Learn More About The Different Types Of Lines Used For Wellsite Applications

As an operator, you know that having the right tools and technology is critical for efficient wellsite operations. An often overlooked but essential component is selecting the proper line for the job. Different lines have advantages and limitations depending on the application. Here’s an expanded overview of common options to consider.


Slickline is the most basic wireline, consisting of a thin, solid steel cable. It has no inner conduit, so it cannot transmit hydraulic or electrical signals. Slickline is used for simple mechanical well interventions like setting plugs, swabbing, and basic fishing. Benefits of slickline include its affordability, flexibility, and wide availability. Slickline can be easily transported and quickly rigged up on location. Limitations are no telemetry capabilities and low strength ratings compared to other lines. Slickline is ideal for basic well maintenance and interventions using weight and tension to activate mechanical tools.

Braided Line

Braided line has multiple steel strands wrapped around a core in alternating directions. This gives braided line higher strength ratings than slickline for deeper wellbores and heavier tools while remaining compact. The braided design also provides excellent resistance to crushing and abrasion. Braided line enables fishing in deeper or highly deviated wells where slickline may not have the strength to reliably retrieve stuck equipment. It also allows smaller diameter tools that can still provide very heavy tensile loads.


eLine is a proprietary type of cable that contains embedded conductors. This allows it to transmit electrical signals as well as mechanical strength for intervention operations. Data can be communicated through the eLine for relaying information on tool status, weight, pressure and more. eLine enables smart tools with real-time telemetry and immediate data acquisition. The conductors give eLine capabilities closer to wireline while retaining a compact, slickline-like design.

Greaseless Line

Greaseless line is a multi-strand wireline with no internal grease injection. The line strands interface directly with the wireline head without any lubricant in between. This eliminates issues with grease retaining debris that could damage the line. Greaseless line has higher working loads than slickline and can reliably handle deviated wellbores. It is optimal to maximize reliability and avoid grease-related wear in high-use service operations. The lack of grease also enables cleaner wellsite operations.

With so many options, it’s essential toΒ select the right line for your wellsite needs. Every type has advantages and limitations. Don’t just default to slickline – consider which line design will enable the most effective and reliable intervention. Consult wireline experts, such asΒ Renegade Wireline Services, during the planning process to match the optimal line for the job parameters. With the right line, you’ll get the performance you need for successful wellsite operations.

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