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  • Writer's pictureFlorent COULIOU

How to get out of a predicament of an unexpected side-track

Whether it’s in oil & gas or geothermal, an unexpected sidetrack is a costly problem. It’s doubly so when it happens to a producing well, for it not only costs you money to do the sidetrack but also you’re losing production while the sidetrack work is being carried out.

In short, not a happy day for anyone finding himself/herself in such a situation.

However, just as every cloud has a silver lining, there’s also a silver lining in such situations. That is when you have a competent team that can come up with a solid engineering plan and execute with precision and efficiency, your cost for the problem is then minimised and you get back a producing well and you learn a great deal about solving such problems and about correcting issues that caused your problem in the first place.

That’s what happened to one of our clients, whose geothermal well doublet suffered a cement flash-set incident which got the 3 ½” drill string stuck inside casing. After a series of coiled tubing operations were attempted without success, a painful decision was made to drill a sidetrack in order to restore injection to the geothermal reservoir and save the well doublet. And there’s one more catch though: the local regulations require proper isolation of all aquifers, which lie below the stucked fish in the hole. That means an interception has to be carried out first to re-enter the original wellbore in order to set cement plugs for compliance before sidetracking the new wellbore.

CFG Services and DrillScan were thus required to propose and plan an Intercept Well level-3 re-entry solution for this client, with objective to:

  1. regain access below the fish, meeting local regulations by properly isolating all aquifers with cement barriers,

  2. restore injection to the geothermal reservoir.

To find out what happened and how we helped our client regain the well, read our white paper by sending an email to We will share our success and failure stories on a monthly basis, so that you can get valuable insights for your well project.

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