Swabbing can be dangerous, yes, but by following good operational safety practices you can minimize your risk. It’s such an important part of well operations. It’s one of the most efficient ways to bring “loaded up” well production back to its full capacity. Using the right machine and ensuring proper procedures can make swab rig safety possible.
Common Swab Rig Safety Recommendations
Tiger General LLC does not make any assurances regarding safe swabbing. We only share the recommendations we have been informed of. We advise you to watch for dangers, listen to your inner fears and use good judgement while swabbing. Below are some common industry recommendations.
For 10,000 PSI wellhead connections, first make sure to install a 4-way manifold with two side ball valves on top of the crown tubing valve. There should be a choke on one side. Both should be plumbed or piped to flow line or tank. Some wells will need Unrestricted flow to the tank. There will be times the operator will need to balance each side of the 4-way manifold.
Next you need to install a hand operated BOP (Blow Out Preventer) on top of your 4-way manifold. On top of that, hook up a two piece lubricator that’s the length of the tools with oil saver on top of the stack. Our Swab Master Machines have “Tiger Vision” ports for casing and tubing pressure gauges on the lubricator or well head. Make sure to monitor those pressures.
When operating the 4-way if a well “kicks off” choke the flow to put back pressure on the well until it settles back down. Often choking will give you enough time to bring the tools back up into the lubricator and flow the well until the pressure settles back down. If this doesn’t work then you must stop the swabbing. Close of the BOP and if it’s possible start winding up the cable very slowly until it’s out of the well. Monitor the weight indicator to make sure that you are still pulling cable out of the well. Alternatively you can completely stop and wait for the well to settle or equalize.
Typically tooling starts with a swivel rope socket that is properly attached to the swab cable. After that comes two to three sinker bars which usually weigh about 40-70 pounds total. Certain wells may require heavier and/or different sinker bar hookups, make sure to be aware of what yours needs.
Next you need a set of jars in case tooling gets stuck in the well. You’ll also need a knuckle joint swab mandrel with swab cups to fit the casing or tubing size needed. Some will add an anti-kick out tool at the second sinker bar. This is only utilized in the event of a down whole “kick” that’s pushing the tools up and out of the well. This is usually signified by cable unloading. As the weight comes off of the tools the spring loaded anit-kick tool has arms that spring out to engage the tubing to stop the tool blow out.
Down Hole Operator Information
As an experienced swab rig operator you should use the sounds, sights and senses to ascertain what is happening in the down hole operations. However, without Tiger Vision technology you don’t have to rely on that alone. We believe you need the most accurate information possible to be safe and efficient.
Tiger Vision is a Tiger General LLC patented and proprietary hardware and software data acquisition and monitoring system that is built on the Microsoft Windows 7 platform. It uses touch screen to record, save and display incoming Swab Master and engine electronic data. The data is displayed using analog and digital color coded gauges that an operator can monitor in real time.
Information such as depth in and out of the well, line speed, gross and net loads, system pressures, charge pressure, tubing and well head pressures are provided. You can also program depth alarm warning horns that indicate when the tooling has reached the top of the well. Set up is easy and all the data can be downloaded to a laptop or mobile device. This is just some of the reasons why Tiger General machines are the best.
Be Safe With the Tiger General Swab Master Machine
Swab rig safety is always on our mind. Fill out the Tiger General Truck Inquiry Form today to get started on bringing your next piece of equipment to where it’s needed most. Get yourself something safe, affordable and efficient.