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An operator in Casper, Wyoming completed a well that was producing a high concentration of sand. Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), recommended combining the 2-7 ⁄8 in. vectored annular cleaning system (VACS™) technology and the 3-¾ in. VACS G2™ system to clean out the well and bring it onto production.

The bottomhole assembly (BHA) was deployed on 2-7 ⁄8 in. tubing and included the VACS technology, 2-7 ⁄8 in. tailpipe tubing, and a shoe with finger cages to retain debris. The 3-¾ in. VACS G2 system was used to run downhole at 2 bpm with continued rotation to clean out the well through the heel and into the lateral, recovering 54.5 joints of sand.

The VACS technology can be rotated during operation in order to washover hard-packed sand or bridges of shale deposits in the horizontal section where bailer rotation is problematic. It is also well suited to clean out depleted wells that can no longer circulate to surface.

To clean out at an extended depth, the 2-7 ⁄8 in. VACS assembly was run at 2 bpm with rotation to recover 44 more joints of sand. Combined, the two systems recovered over 100 joints of sand with a total volume exceeding 450 gallons, or around 6,000 lb of proppant.

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Challenges & Results


  • Recently fractured well with high sand production
  • Final target measured depth in lateral of 13,929 ft
  • 7 in. intermediate casing to surface
  • Over 7,000 ft of sandfilled lateral


  • Re-established production through economical wellbore cleanup process
  • Eliminated costly fishing operations
  • Reduced operational risks in a debris-filled lateral well
  • Cleaned out the lateral where conventional bailers are not able to perform effectively
  • Enabled milling of obstructions while performing the cleanout
  • Cut costs required for chemical pills, coiled tubing unit rental, and fluid handling systems