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Liner Hanger Systems Installation Failures
30 May 2016
I am working on liner hanger. The company I work in experienced many failures when trying to install them (5 failures on the last 5 jobs). The failures concerns a sequence in the procedure:
- The packer which could not be set
- the drill pipe dart which didn't land on the wiper plug
- the wiper plug which didn't shear, so didn't bump on the landing collar.
I would like to have advice from others concerning root causes of such kind of incidents.

6 answer(s)
Well Abandonment Director
Well-Safe Solutions
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 15/06/15
One common cause for all the points you list could be the internal profile of the running string.  I've certainly been involved in jobs in the past where darts have got stuck in the string due to internal upsets.  Is the string all of the same spec?  Do you have any X/O or different spec pups in the string?  When you recover the running tool, are the darts hung up at a certain point?  Even a change in ID can lead to a dart 'stalling' and flow by-passing (and then washing out) the dart fins.
Senior Drilling Engineer
Pakistan Petroleum Ltd
Total Posts: 30
Join Date: 02/08/15
You need to start with the RCA for all the failures i.e. ask why it happened and in case the Root cause converges for more than one failure than it can be further deliberated.

In case all the failures are in isolation, then all the process, the equipment needs to be checked in detail.
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 470
Join Date: 10/01/05
Things just don’t fail they are caused. All causes can be determined and evaluated through investigating the 3 p’s of evidence trails that Exist.

phyiscal ( parts) evidence 
people evidence 
paperwork evidence.

Try and avoid bias.,
as you investigate identify stakeholders involved. 

Only an non blame evidence based approach shall lead us to the truth of all failures. 

Gather all the evidence. 
Present the evidence to the stakeholders. 
Let them conclude what went wrong at a stakeholder meeting. 
Where there is only one rule. One can’t blame anyone but yourself.

Then further try and understand the latencies why people did what they did.
eg choose the cheapest bidder 
used up old stock that had been sitting in a yard for xyears
used outdated or wrong components  
did not carry our maintenance checks 
People were not trained 
operating guideline requirements were not clearly stated
engineering design was inappropriate etc etc 

only though discovering change and changing people will you resolve such failures.,

As Paul has stated get trained in how to properly investigate and learn from things that go wrong as an individual and as a organisation. without assigning blame. 

Take an evidence based approach. 

Personally I have estimated that I have experienced 4800 well related ( non injury accident) failures in drilling operations that in the main were never investigated and/or truly  resolved. We stop at the symptoms and teareky get to all the root causes. There are generally several per each accident event. Where are all these reports and learnings?

We wonder why things dint improve?  

Where I was not trained by any employer in a 40 year career in how to truly investigative drilling failures. That for me was always viewed as a core and essential safety leadership skill? 

Sadly many organisations do not yet view majority of such accidental events  as safety. Despite all evident FACTs that these are the exact same accident  precursors to personal injury. 

So why are these drilling  events not investigated or viewed as safety by ones self,  management and executive as safety?

If we want to truly know and understand where the problems lie. Just look in the mirror each morning as start there. 

We can either continue to accept all accident failures and react by pointing the finger somewhere else or all start to do better to prevent them. 
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 470
Join Date: 10/01/05
Keep it simple. Run an expandable liner hanger systems. There is far less that can go wrong. 

They are the same price as conventional systems. 

In my view they offer more benefits. 

People don’t want to change. In 2005-09 we were the only operator running 9⅝" and 13⅝" expandable liner hanger systems for the above reasons in a mature region. We had no failures. 

I believe the evident data today presented will prove these to be the better option of choice. 

Note from moderator:

Kamdem posted this back in 2016 when he was an intern.  He is no longer in the industry, but we keep all old posts alive in the hope that they stimulate conversations such as we are seeing here.
Total Posts: 114
Join Date: 10/04/08
Marcel, liner hangers can be a tricky business to get right.

I have investigated several multi million dollar failures over the last 10 years. I am involved in one right now. There are so many individual parts, components and assemblies to a liner hanger installation that can cause issues if they don’t function correctly.

Each of your problems could have more than one cause.

Only a full and thorough investigation is likely to discover the causes, understand why and identity lasting measures to prevent them happening again.

Note from moderator (Dave Taylor of rp-squared):

I can vouch for the quality and value of Pauls' investigations.
Managing director Punch Energy Services
Punch Energy Services
Total Posts: 9
Join Date: 24/06/20
5 failures on last 5 jobs is unacceptable I would tend to judge. With the note that it is not always to blame on the manufacturer.

You must be sure that the drilling teams have provided all the right details/specs (not just copy / paste).

  • Who was running the systems, i.e. was the manufacturer involved. 
  • Was everything checked from functional spec, though proposal / tender selections, purchasing the equipment, verifying the equipment delivered, checking assemblies etc. 
  • Did the team kick all the tyres before running? 
  • Was anything changed compared to the detailed drilling program?

But in these cases, where 5 failures occured on the last 5 jobs, you could perhaps see if you can get another vendor delivering and running a liner hanger system.

They can prove themselves and if all goes well you reward them with more work.
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