What are Wire Lines?

Wire lines

In the oil patch, wireline service companies use wire lines (also called slicklines) to perform well maintenance services.   Services include well depth measurements, setting and retrieving safety valves or plugs, and opening and closing downhole circulating devices, as well as pulling and running various flow control devices.  It also allows high speed data retrieval and transmission in order to produce high quality log printouts from downhole memory surveys.


How Do Wire lines/Slicklines Work?

Wire lines are typically sold/purchased as tightly wound continuous lengths of wire on wooden or metal reels. The wire lines are then re-spooled from a reel to a large steel drum which is installed on the back of a well servicing truck, or offshore unit.

The wireline drum is controlled from a special cab on the back of the truck. The wire passes around a 16” double-wheel measuring device and then to a 13”/20” pulley, where it enters the “stuffing box” or seal.  It then passes through the wireline shutoff valve and into the actual wellhead, or start of the drilling tubing.  The operator pays close attention to smooth, uniform wire feed so that no mechanical kinks or damage is caused to the wire, which could develop into a mechanical break. These highly trained operators rely on their experience, as well as the wire quality, to perform their duties under frequently hazardous conditions.


Wireline wire sizes generally include .082”, .092”, .108”, and .125” diameters, although there has been a growing demand for .140”, .150”, and .160” diameters Wireline lengths vary from 5,000 feet to 40,000 feet, with 25,000 feet being the most popular.


Tree Island Steel - Industrial Alloys

Tree Island Steel offers five  grades of wire lines, depending on the application and well conditions, including carbon grades, the standard Grade 316 stainless steel, duplex stainless steel (Grade 2205), and nickel alloy grade 25-6Mo.


Tree Island also offers two grades of carbon steel, both in accordance with the Spec API 9A. The “regular grade” is called IPS, which stands for “Improved Plow Steel”.  The “higher strength grade”, which is called EIP, stands for “Extra Improved Plow Steel”.  The EIP Grade has higher breaking strength levels than the IPS Grade.

Specifications for 316, 2205, 25-6Mo as well as IPS and EIP wire lines can be found on our website.