The Tale of Two Towers: How Regular Maintenance Can Impact Your Bottom Line

You are focused on keeping your operation productive and moving forward, however, scheduling downtime to maintain your equipment may not be a priority. You may think it will just cost you time and money to shut your operation down to have your equipment inspected and repaired. In reality, you could create significant savings by regularly maintaining your coiled tubing and wireline equipment.

We are comparing two 15K Dual Combi Blowout Preventers, one which received regularly scheduled maintenance and the other did not, to demonstrate the cost savings experienced.

Equipment Maintenance Practices

There are different inspection and maintenance procedures for different pieces of coiled tubing and wireline equipment. As it applies to blowout preventers (BOP), maintenance covers testing the different components, including the body pressure, hydraulic lines, and stack. To ensure oil well safety, implementing additional BOP maintenance practices can involve:

  • Cleaning the equipment to minimize the risks of leakage
  • Lubricating all moving parts
  • Replacement of all seals
  • Removing metal fragments in the BOP

Tower One

Without a Regular Maintenance Schedule

The first Dual Combi BOP we are looking at in this comparison did not have a regular maintenance schedule. The 15K Dual Combi BOP was purchased in 2018 and received its required 5-year recertification in 2023. Over those five years, the equipment experienced wear and tear, which accumulated year after year.

During its recertification process, it was discovered the customer-owned BOP required significant repairs, which led to considerable repair costs and downtime. 

Tower One Stats

  • Customer Owned
  • Purchased new in 2018 
  • Regular maintenance schedule: Unknown
  • Annual recertification status: Unknown
  • 5-Year recertification (performed in 2023)
    • Third party breakout company required with added cost.
    • Weld repair and machining operations required with added cost.
    • Significant OEM parts needed due to improper maintenance with added cost.
    • Time taken: 20 weeks total without equipment
    • Lost revenue due to additional time without equipment – Unknown

In the end, it is estimated the customer incurred significant costs in maintenance and repairs, as well as an unknown amount of revenue lost due to the time required to perform the extensive recertification and repairs.

Tower Two

With a Regular Maintenance Schedule

The second 15K Dual Combi BOP compared in this case study is a part of NXL Technology’s rental fleet. This pressure control equipment was originally manufactured in 2014 and had a regular maintenance schedule, which included inspections and repairs after each rental to ensure that it remained efficient and safe for our customers to utilize in their operations. 

Tower Two Stats

  • NXL Rental Fleet
  • Purchased new in 2014 
  • Regular maintenance schedule (after each rental):
    • BOP opened up
    • Remove all trace fluids
    • All Ram blocks disassembled and cleaned
    • Protective film applied 
    • All BX grooves cleaned – protective film applied
    • Q Ports and blocks cleaned
    • Time Taken: 2-4 hours, depending on severity
  • Annual recertification status (yearly):
    • Full disassembly
    • Inspections
    • Assembly
    • Pressure Test
    • Time Taken: 2 days
  • 5-Year recertification (performed in 2018 and 2023)
    • Full disassembly
    • Remove all trace fluids
    • Teflon coating and paint removed
    • Dimensional inspections
    • NDT inspections
    • Teflon coating applied
    • Assemble and pressure test
    • Fresh Paint
    • Time taken: 6-8 weeks

With all the recertifications and scheduled maintenance this BOP received, the total cost came to 2-3X less than the tower that did not receive regular maintenance. This tower also experienced significantly less time being out of commission - by 12-14 weeks.

As you compare the maintenance schedules of the two blowout preventers, you can see that investing in regular maintenance and making small repairs and upgrades can offer significantly more cost savings than delaying scheduled maintenance and having to pay for substantial repairs.

More Reasons Why You Should Maintain Your Equipment

Regular maintenance of equipment in coiled tubing or wireline operations is crucial for several reasons. 

Safety and Environmental Protection: By ensuring that your equipment can be operated safely, you can safeguard personnel, the environment, and the wellbore. Neglecting regularly scheduled maintenance can lead to malfunctions or failures, increasing the risk of blowouts, well control incidents, and other harmful events. Regular inspections and upkeep ensure that your equipment functions optimally, reducing the chances of catastrophic accidents and environmental damage.

Compliance with Regulations: The oil and gas industry is regulated to ensure safety standards are met. Companies must adhere to specific guidelines set by regulatory authorities to prevent accidents and maintain operational integrity. Regular coiled tubing and wireline equipment maintenance is often a mandatory requirement.

Equipment Reliability: Coiled tubing and wireline operations often involve harsh environments, high pressures, and extreme temperatures. These conditions can expose equipment to wear and tear over time. Regular maintenance ensures that your equipment remains in peak working condition, reducing the likelihood of unexpected failures that could disrupt operations and incur significant downtime and costs.

Cost-Effectiveness: Although regular maintenance incurs some costs, it is more cost-effective in the long run compared to dealing with the consequences of equipment failures. The expenses associated with well control efforts, equipment damage, and environmental cleanup far outweigh the preventive maintenance costs. That is why it is beneficial to budget for more predictable costs, such as regular maintenance, versus having to pay for the unknown costs of major repairs.

Proactive Risk Management: In high-risk industries like oil and gas, proactive risk management is essential. Regular maintenance is part of a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy, providing you with peace of mind that you are taking necessary precautions to minimize potential hazards.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Well interventions require precise execution and efficient operations. A well-maintained fleet of equipment ensures smoother and safer interventions, minimizing disruptions and downtime. It also allows operators to focus on the task at hand with confidence.


If you have any questions about how often your coiled tubing and wireline equipment should be inspected, maintained and recertified, our knowledgeable team is here with all the answers. And if you feel that your equipment may be due for a tune up, contact NXL Technologies today.

Contact Us

August 29, 2023