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A prominent Permian Basin customer experienced a combination of declining bottomhole pressure and a corresponding drop in production in an aging well in west Texas. The initial attempt to boost production involved a coiled-tubing clean out of the 4 ½-in., 11.6 lb/ft. liner. Low bottomhole pressure made conventional circulation a real challenge, and despite the use of energized fluid (nitrogen), the customer was unable to circulate when the coiled tubing reached the top of the liner.

Based on previous experiences, the customer contacted Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) to run the vectored annular cleaning system (VACS™) G2 to clean out this well. The VACS G2 system is a modular system composed primarily of a jet engine, a tubing debris cavity, a mill, skirted bit, or wash pipe shoe. The optimized jet engine incorporates an internal nozzle that creates a significant pressure drop inside the tool, inducing a vacuum effect which forces debris into the debris chamber.

Initially, the BHGE team did not know what types of debris were present in the wellbore. To maximize efficiency, BHGE deployed the 2 7/8-in. VACS G2 system with 2,293 ft (699 m) of 2 3/8-in. premium-connection tubing to collect samples. Analysis of the recovered debris revealed the primary deposits in the wellbore were calcium carbonate (near the heel) and iron sulfide (at the toe).

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Recover lost production
  • Overcome low bottomhole pressure to clean out wellbore to improve circulation


  • Cleaned 7,214 ft (2198 m) of lateral section
  • Removed 7.8 barrels of scale
  • Increased production by 700 B/D