The Hydraulic Latch Assembly

The Rig Latch System—technically, its name is “Hydraulic Latch Assembly”—is an apparatus that mounts on a wellhead. It allows some wellhead actions to be executed remotely, thus eliminating the need to have a man stationed there in a man-basket. Thus, the Rig Latch System adds a degree of safety to the proceedings.

Rig Latch Systems – Hydraulics Remove Risks to Humans

The area immediately surrounding the wellhead is essentially “ground zero” in a well completion (frac-ing) operation. That’s why frac crews call that area the “red zone.” The pressures in the lines that surround a wellhead during a frac job are enormous. It’s called “pressure pumping” for a reason. The frac fluids being pumped down a well during a completion job can exceed 9,000 pounds per square inch.
The Rig Latch System removes any need for having personnel in the hot zone when it’s necessary to make or break connections. Moreover, the system allows the frac crew and the wireline crew to operate simultaneously, and thus saves a lot of time each “trip” downhole. Not every wireline company uses Rig Latch, but Integrity Wireline does. It’s one more reason why Integrity Wireline has a stellar safety rating. Plus, it saves customers’ money. And it makes everyone more productive.
When Integrity Wireline uses its Rig Latch on a job site, the wireline crew can release the lubricator from the wellhead simply by operating controls housed in a control box. All from a safe distance away. Additionally, the crew can open valves remotely and perform other tasks.
Rig latch system (hydraulic latch assembly) being deployed by team members of Integrity Wireline LLC in the Permian Basin
Our team is shown rigging up our Rig Latch system on a Deep Rock well. Permian Deep Rock is a great customer/partner of ours and we thank them for their business and for their professionalism.

More Efficient Runs

Matt Hargett, director of operations, Integrity Wireline LLC
Matt Hargett, Director of Operations for Integrity Wireline
As Matt Hargett, Integrity’s director of operations, observes, there’s more to Rig Latch than safety, important as that is. There’s also efficiency.
He explains:
“If we’re working on a site that has multiple wells, on what is called a well pad, we might be going down, say, Well No. 1 while the frac crew is frac’ing Well No. 2,” Hargett said. “Now, say for instance, there were a problem with the gun string and we have to come out of the hole and fix it. We can do it while the frac crew is still frac’ing their well. We can have our gun string broke off and a new gun string put on. That is, we can do that if we have an addressable gun system [which Integrity has] and a Rig Latch System [again, which Integrity uses].

Avoiding Down Time

Hargett continued, “In such a case, we can come off the well, fix the problems, and go back down [to finish the perforating run] before the frac crew is done with Well No. 2. And so there’s no down time.”
The complete array on display: hydraulic latch assembly, aka "rig latch."
Advanced Tech hydraulic latch assembly package.

Learn More About Rig Latch System

If you’d like to know more, here’s a great video on this equipment. This is from the system’s manufacturer, Forum Energy Technologies.
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