News 08 February 2024
Find out more about the jobs of 3 of our experts
from the Well Intervention Group.
3 portraits, 3 different jobs!
Faustin, a work-over engineer, Pierre, a work-over supervisor, and Anthony, wireline technician, share with us their daily lives and their passion for their jobs.
What does it mean to work at GIP? Find out in the videos.
If you're interested in joining the Well Operations Group,
Faustin, work-over engineer
Today, at the age of 28, I'm realising my dream. I manage interventions on high-pressure gas wells. It's great because Storengy, it's the only company where I can carry out this kind of work with the highest level of rigour, expertise and safety. After my A-levels in Cameroon, I did a BTS in industrial maintenance. Then I went on to ICAM, a school of arts and crafts engineering. After that, in 2019, I’ve done a specialised-engineering-graduate degree (MSc) at the Institut Français du Pétrole in France. I was on an alternating school/company program with an E&P oil and gas company in Cameroon, working on offshore well platforms, and they hired me on. I joined Storengy in June 2023, in the GIP, the Well Intervention Group. So I'm an expert in designing and carrying out work-over operations on wells. Work-over is the heaviest operation that can be carried out on a well in operation. It consists of diagnosing the problem affecting the well, replacing any production equipment whose productivity has been degraded, or restoring the well's integrity to a safe state. CR15, at Germigny-sous-Coulombs, is an old control well dates and is therefore subject to abandonment. We are going to remove the existing completion, carry out the regulatory checks on the thickness and corrosion of the existing casing, and then abandon the well, i.e. pump cement plugs to isolate the reservoir from the groundwater and aquifers. Hello everyone. Today we're going to be doing the briefing on the CR15 well. We're bringing together the technicians, engineers and supervisors to present the previous week's operations and the operations to come, with the specifics and solutions applied. Two days a week on average, I travel to a site in France or abroad. In this operation, I have to be available 24 hours a day. If anything goes wrong, I have to react very quickly. Hi! Hi! We’ve done the cut, pulled out of the hole the upper part of the completion and now we’re running in hole the overshot for the lower part. Great, great! Are we ready to catch now? Yeah, soon. Great, it's working. That's 800 metres of tubing we're going to take out. These are old working pipes. We're going to put them aside and then put in new ones. What you have to understand is that in work-over in general, and anything that involves intervention at the bottom of the shaft, you go underground, so you're blind. We have three indicators to be able to understand what is going on. Weight: what's the weight? Depth: where are we? And pressure: are we plugged or not? We work under exemplary safety conditions. So we have the BOP, the well blow-out preventer, which, in the event of gas coming in, closes the well and contains the gas at the bottom of the well. To do my job, you need to be rigorous, autonomous and know how to work under pressure because we often have to. What I like best about working for Storengy is that it's a job that's both technical and creative. We work at depths of over 1,500 metres, and you can't see them. What I also appreciate is the human dimension. You're never isolated in your corner, always part of a team, and open to contact with the men and women who are my colleagues, whom I appreciate enormously.
Pierre, work-over supervisor
I've been working for Storengy's GIP (Well Intervention Group) for 20 years now. It's a fascinating job and if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it again. Right now, I'm getting ready for my first night on rig location. I've got my cooler ready and my headlamp, and I'm off for a night's work. At Storengy, we store natural gas. We have more than 600 wells at 21 sites across Europe. These wells require heavy maintenance. This is known as work-over. When you're a work-over supervisor, like me, you have to travel all over Europe. Our work rhythm is a bit unusual. It's broken down into three weeks. The first two weeks are spent work overs operation. The third week is spent resting and recuperating. Before leaving for the site, we have what's called a briefing, which takes place on Tuesday at the GIP base and the engineer presents the project to us. To be a work-over supervisor, you need very good technical and mechanical knowledge, and you have to be extremely rigorous because, in our job, we don't compromise on safety. Shall we have a look around the mud tanks to see how much mud there is? Yes, we received 8 m3 of water. OK, let's do it like that. We're working 3x8, which means we have to be on the well 24 hours a day. As soon as we're open on the gas reservoir, we have to work 3x8, for the safety of the well, for continuity and to optimise our interventions. I work 8 pm-4 am. Thibaut works 12 to 8, so I take my colleague's instructions. I started my career at GIP in 2003. I first joined the slick-line teams, which meant working on shafts, and then I moved on to heavy work, i.e. work-over, tubings position adjustment and completion. We have regular safety and technical training, and we undergo compulsory certification every two years. When we're working on the wells, if there's a gas leak, we're in a position to control the leak and make our work safe. At GIP, I passed my heavy goods vehicle licence, and my super-heavy goods vehicle licence, as well as certificates of aptitude for driving forklift trucks, cranes, etc., which enable us to work safely on sites and do handling work. About tonight's operation, we're running in hole drill pipes with an overshot, and this overshot will enable us to recover the 5-inch section at the bottom of the shaft, at 750 metres, at the level of the cut we made two days ago. Is that OK with you guys? OK, here we go! When you are hired at GIP, there's a spirit of companionship that's very important. The seniors are there, they train you, and they teach you how to work safely. I'm responsible for 12 people, their safety, the safety of the well and the smooth running of operations. This afternoon, we pulled up what we call the completion. These are the pipes that allow us to bring up the gas. We unblocked them, i.e. we removed them from the floor to reprocess them. Behind us, we now have a job to do 750 metres away at the level of what we call a fish. This is a piece of metal at the bottom of the well that needs to be brought up. It's sometimes a bit hard to be away from your family. But on the other hand, I like this life with colleagues. I just love it. It's a living profession and it's people who put a lot of effort into what they do, and that automatically creates very strong bonds.
Anthony, wireline technician
Look, this is wireline work. We work with a cable that allows us to manipulate our tools: we jar up and down, we set plugs. Isn't that great? About ten years ago, I got my electrical engineering vocational diploma. I started as a temp doing extensometry. Then I was recruited by a company that does maintenance for car manufacturers. Then I was contacted by a recruitment company who told me: maintenance technician at Storengy. When I arrived at Storengy, they told me that I would be doing wireline work. I didn't know anything about wireline. I was a trainee for one year. I've passed my heavy goods vehicle driving licence and super heavy goods vehicle driving licence. You're mainly the fourth man at the beginning. As the months go by, you can become vehicle responsible. So once you know more about the equipment, you become the equipment responsible. And once you're more comfortable on the site, you become a site supervisor. Today, I'm the boss. OK, you stand at the wellhead. You tell me and I'll guide him at the same time. Stop. We're very well received by the people in the trade. Everyone has the role of trainer for the newcomer. Today, we're going to install an X 2.81’’ to plug the well. In practical terms, there are several steps involved in fitting a plug: calibration, brushing and fitting the plug. Here's the plug with its pulling tool. The elastomer here make a seal to prevent the gas from escaping to the outside. All this with a cable, at a depth of 200 metres, with no vision. Safety is paramount. We have gas training, we have training in the tools we use. There's a valve at 30 metres, called a subsurface valve. It's a safety valve. If there's an explosion or if the wellhead goes, this valve closes because it's controled at the surface. And, as soon as it runs out of pressure, it closes automatically. I've been with GIP for 5 years now, and I'm a wireline operator. In simple terms, a well is a large tube that descends into a gas-filled reservoir. And we come in to do maintenance on it. To understand our work, it's simple: it's like a fisherman. The fisherman has his rod and reel. We have our winch. It's a big reel with a cable and our hook at the end. We've just prepared our foot of cable. Here's the cable. This is our hook. And at the end, we'll put all the tools, like plugs, brushes and gauges. Here we have the brake, the lever for raising and lowering. We have the number of metres where our tool train is and we have our weight here. So we have two types of cable. Today, we're working with a slickline cable, so it's a mechanical cable. The other type of cable is wireline, also known as e-line. It's an electrical cable that allows us to use cameras, make acquisitions, take water samples and run neutrons. That's what's nice about it, is that it's not always monotonous. We have 14 different storage sites all over France. They're never the same places, never the same pit configurations. And I love travelling, so that's what I like. This job is a great adventure, both technically and in human terms.