1. n. [Drilling]
A long, high-pressure pipe fitted to the top of a wellhead or Christmas tree so that tools may be put into a high-pressure well. The top of the lubricator assembly includes a high-pressure grease-injection section and sealing elements. The lubricator is installed on top of the tree and tested, the tools placed in the lubricator and the lubricator pressurized to wellbore pressure. Then the top valves of the tree are opened to enable the tools to fall or be pumped into the wellbore under pressure. To remove the tools, the reverse process is used: the tools are pulled up into the lubricator under wellbore pressure, the tree valves are closed, the lubricator pressure is bled off, and then the lubricator may be opened to remove the tools.
2. n. [Well Workover and Intervention]
A term initially applied to the assembly of pressure-control equipment used on slickline operations to house the tool string in preparation for running into the well or for retrieval of the tool string on completion of the operation. The lubricator is assembled from sections of heavy-wall tube generally constructed with integral seals and connections. Lubricator sections are routinely used on the assembly of pressure-control equipment for other well-intervention operations such as coiled tubing.