Donald G. Hill, Ph.D., 

R.Gp., R.G., R.P.G.

Consulting Petrophysicist

"The World is my District"


California Registered Geophysicist No. 170

California Registered Geologist No. 6043

Kentucky Registered Professional Geologist No. 1624

Texas Licensed Professional Geophysicist No. 6289


Buying Logging Cable By The Pound, Oceania 


Bad things can happen quickly, during logging operations. 

A stuck tool - A bad decision by the Tool Pusher - The next thing you know:


You're retrieving 3.5 miles of logging cable by balling it up on the drill bit, cutting it off with an acetylene torch,


and buying logging cable by the pound.

The Story Behind These Pictures:

The well pictured above was an extended reach directional well drilled from an isolated drilling island in dense jungle.

The Logging Engineer became concerned about the possibility of sticking the formation testing tool, based on cable pulls encountered in earlier logging trips for this job.

My weevil, the Wellsite Geologist, did the right thing.  He communicated the Logging Engineer's concerns to his management.  After careful consideration of options, the Operator elected to risk sticking the formation test tool, in order to obtain formation pressure information.

During the formation test logging operation, the Logging Engineer's fears were realized and the formation test tool stuck.  Attempts to free the stuck tool by collapsing the calipers and "yo-yoing the cable" were unsuccessful.  At this point, the Tool Pusher intervened and decided to use the rig traveling block and draw works to free the tool, by clamping the logging cable at the surface with the drill pipe elevator "ears".

A wireline logging system is designed such that the cable "weak point" is at the cable head on top of the logging tool.  This is accomplished by breaking off half of the double wrap cable armor strands and using only the remaining half to attach the cable head.  Locating the cable weak point at the cable head allows the logging cable to pull free from the cable head of a stuck tool, clearing the borehole of debris, so that the tool can be recovered, using an overshot tool on a drill string.

When the logging cable in this well was clamped at the surface, the clamping point became the "weak point" and the cable parted at the surface, filling the borehole with approximately 3.5 miles of logging cable on top of the stuck formation test tool.

Once the logging cable parted at the surface, there was nothing for the Wellsite Geologist to do but retire to one side and photographically record the ensuing recovery operation.

How May I Help You Avoid Embarrassing Wireline Incidents?

Send Me an E-Mail

If your Internet browser is not configured to send e-mail, send your e-mail directly to my e-mail address:

Contact:  Donald G. Hill at:  Home Phone:  +(925) 947-1541, FAX:   +(309) 437-5748, Cell/Business Phone:  +(925) 437-5748 


[Home] [Experience] [Training Programs] [Wireline QA/QC] [Petrophysical   Operations] [Virtual Petrophysicist] [Petroleum Examples] [Geothermal Examples] [Minerals Examples] [Environmental Examples] [Operations Images] [Requests] [Links]