The Advantages of Subsea and Rigless Well Intervention Techniques

For more than 20 years, the oil industry has struggled with a lack of suitable solutions to perform well construction, maintenance and enhancement at low cost compared to drilling rigs. A new generation of subsea and rigless well-intervention techniques has been developed to address these challenges.

Rigless production enhancement systems can enhance production by treating a well’s flow line and casing strings at high pumping rates. This alternative method reduces workover costs, defers well closure and increases production.


In recent years, there has been considerable latent demand for practical intervention innovations that can revitalize falling output from mature wells. This requires fit-for-purpose solutions that are low in cost compared to using rigs but still meet operators’ safety standards and operational requirements.

One example is a rigless production method recently used on two North Sea fields to perform scale squeezes. It involved connecting an HMHB to a rigless intervention package via an open-water downline and receptacle, allowing for deploying the HMHB onto the excellent bore.

Most subsea well intervention techniques are currently performed with a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) or a semisubmersible vessel. However, this is only sometimes the case, and more innovative approaches are being adopted.


Most well interventions are performed to increase production or access additional hydrocarbon pay zones. They may also be required to address changes in reservoir characteristics, sand production, or mechanical failure.

Typically, they include wireline, coiled tubing (CT) and hydraulic workover (HWO) services. However, these techniques do not require a conventional workover rig.

As a result, a rigless well-intervention approach can save a significant amount of money and reduce the risk of downhole accidents. These benefits can help drive a profitable business and substantially benefit everyone involved.


A good intervention is a process of improving a well’s productivity, performance or integrity. This can involve performing downhole applications that resolve flow restrictions, sand production, changes in reservoir characteristics or mechanical failures.

A  rigless well intervention can be a cost-effective way to resolve these issues, reducing downtime and the associated costs. Coiled tubing, slackline and wireline are all examples of rigless well intervention techniques that can improve well performance.

The proper rigless well intervention technique is crucial because it can be tailored to the specific needs of a particular operation. This can reduce downtime and increase efficiency while delivering real-time data that can be used to plan and execute future operations.


As production rates decline or wells become increasingly challenging, operators seek cost-effective alternatives. In a “lower for longer” world, they are looking to rigless and subsea well intervention techniques to help them save on P&A costs and rig time.

Using rigless techniques has proven more efficient and cost-effective than a conventional workover rig. Rigless technologies can perform a broad range of downhole applications.

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