Services range from logging and perforation to mechanical services such as plug pulling/setting, valve manipulation, clean-up, milling and many more. The company was established in 1994; today Welltec has established 34 offices worldwide and employs more than 550 people.
The founder and CEO of Welltec is Jørgen Hallundbæk who conceived the idea behind the Well Tractor while he was a graduate student at the Technical University of Denmark. The idea consisted of eliminating the large and expensive amounts of equipment needed for conveying tools and performing interventions in oil and gas wells. The Well Tractor enabled operators to reach the horizontal part of oil and gas wells and getting past the deviated sections using standard electrical wireline. Generally, wells are considered deviated when they reach an inclination higher than 60°. Previously, interventions in horizontal and deviated wells were considered a lengthy and costly process.
New technology in the oil and gas industry is not readily accepted due to the costs of failure. The multinational oil company Shell has estimated that new technology requires 20-30 years to achieve broad acceptance The Well Tractor performed its first job in 1996, an operation that took place in the North Sea offshore Norway
In 2003 the company went from being a sub contractor to other service companies to being a direct contractor to the operators.
Welltec is relatively small with 550 employees but the company has created their own niche: robotic well solutions. In comparison, the world’s largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger, has 70,000 employees.
Today, Welltec has 34 office and service facilities worldwide including Headquarters located in Allerød, Denmark. From 2005 to summer 2007, the total headcount went from approximately 200 to +450 out of which the majority is employed at the headquarters in Allerød.
Welltec provides a range of services to international oil and gas companies from the drilling & evaluation phase to the completion and production phases. Services are delivered on wireline. The proprietary technology is developed and manufactured at headquarters in Allerød.
Services solve problems across different well types and environments. Welltec’s technology is applicable in vertical, horizontal, deviated and technologically advanced wells. Challenging conditions may be wells such as deepwater, Subsea, extended reach, high-yield, heavy oil, Arctic conditions and unconventional gas environments.
Wireline technology is by many people in the oil and gas industry viewed as a focus area with potential for development, and Welltec has expanded their technology portfolio during the years. Most services are performed with the Well Tractor that conveys logging tools or intervention tools to the desired point in the well where an intervention is needed. Originally, the Well Tractor was designed as a tool conveyor but today it is also able to perform interventions.
Initially, the Well Tractor formed Welltec’s tool portfolio, but in 2003 the so-called mechanical down hole services were added to the portfolio of technology. These intervention services are intended for electric wireline operations such as valve manipulation, scale milling, setting and pulling plugs, milling plugs and sand bailing. To date, Welltec has developed and produced seven tools with different areas of operation. Apart from the Wireline Well Tractor, a Coiled Tubing Well Tractor has been manufactured, which instead of running on wireline is fluid-driven. The mechanical down hole services consist of the Well Stroker, the Well Key, the Well Cleaner, the Well Miller and the Welltec Release Device. All tool names are registered trademarks of Welltec.
Due to the wireline solution, technology can be transported to job sites in helicopter and do not require a rig to carry out services. A rig is typically an enormous structure with equipment used for drilling wells and getting the oil to the surface. Apart from the considerable size, a rig is also a costly device, making operators reluctant to use it.
Sometimes lightweight solutions such as rigless interventions might be a requirement when oil companies operate in sensitive eco-regions where large amounts of heavy equipment could harm the environment. This is for instance the case in the Arctic tundra in Alaska where many areas are protected by a national biodiversity action plan. Because of these limitations, a wireline solution is sometimes the only alternative to a job if methods like e.g. coiled tubing or slick line are too large to mobilize. This is especially the case at offshore rigs where space is limited or in sensitive eco-regions. Equipment can be flown in by helicopter, and the tools can reach many miles deep underground while being controlled from the surface.