Pre-completion Wellbore cleaning: reasons why you should prioritise wellbore clean ups

Validation of wellbore cleanliness, prior to starting the completion phase, is vital for trouble-free operation and the lifespan of a well. A wellbore clean-up requires a dedicated trip in hole, and therefore has an associated cost in rig time, tools and chemicals. Pressures on rig time and well cost sometimes result in the Wellbore clean-out being curtailed / reduced or even deleted from a drilling programme. Ensuring that the casing and liner is free of debris should be a top priority. Our Oilfield Product and Business Development Manager Andy Moffat explains why…

At Shrieve, we understand the value of wellbore cleaning. Premature reductions (or complete loss) of well production due to debris was recognised as a recurrent problem over two decades ago by the likes of Shell and BP and the solution, performing a dedicated wellbore clean up, is still as relevant today as it was then.

Drilling and completion of a well is a complex and costly process, so investing enough time to ensure the drilled wellbore is clean is a worthwhile activity. Failure to perform a top-tier clean-up can have a direct effect on how well and how long a well maintains production.

Cleaning the wellbore removes residual drilling mud, settled solids, swarf, pipe-dope and any other foreign bodies from the wellbore, and allows displacement to a solids-free, inhibited, (usually) water-based packer fluid. The trip in hole of the wellbore clean out toolstring also provides validation that the wellbore is free of obstruction before running the completion assembly into the well and setting the completion packers / perforating and flowing the well.

In summary as to why you should always do a wellbore clean-up…

Before placing production equipment into the well it is necessary to remove (as far as possible) solids and oil-mud contamination. Pumping a wellbore clean-up pill train of powerful solvents & surfactants, with a dedicated toolstring (e.g. scrapers / magnets and junk basket), to remove mud residues and any other foreign bodies constitutes BEST PRACTICE.


Failure to do a good wellbore clean up can impair well productivity and shorten the lifespan of the completed well.

Andy Moffat:

Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with several fluids and tool companies and was quietly aware of Shrieve chemicals (often in the shadows as a supplier to other companies). By prioritising wellbore clean ups as a critical stage to include in their project, Operators using our Wellbore Clean up products can maximize well production and prevent premature equipment failures.

If you’d like to hear more about how Shrieve can help you, please get in touch.