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SPE Deep Drilling Challenges

3–4 November 2014

Dubai, UAE | Grosvenor House Hotel

Technical Agenda

Monday, 3 November, 0930-1000

Session 1: MPD/UBD

Session Chairs: Pascal Aviengne, Shell; Hazem Sattar, Schlumberger

UBD is generally applied to enhance reservoir characterisation and drilling performance while minimising permeability impairment. MPD allows to more precisely control the annular pressure profile throughout the wellbore and to drill horizons where the margin between pore pressure and fracture gradients is small.
Deep wells could benefit from both of these technologies, since they are normally targeting some of the more difficult-to-develop oil or gas reserves. However, some of the challenges of applying these technologies to deep wells are yet to be addressed. These challenges include dealing with higher pressures and temperatures than usual, accurate kick detection, the availability of suitable tools, modelling and predicting well behaviours, etc. The purpose of this session is to share the latest developments in UBD and MPD technologies, which could unlock the immense potential of the reserves, and to identify the remaining gaps.


Session 2: Risk Assessment and Risk Management Challenges in Deep Drilling

Session Chairs: Jamshed Khan, KCA Deutag Drilling Group; Gary McNair, Chevron

The drilling of deep wells presents many challenges in the areas of health, environment, and safety. While the types of hazards are similar to those found in conventional wells, the conditions found in deep wells—high temperature, high pressure, and reservoir fluid uncertainties, present a significantly different set of potentially adverse outcomes. Post-Macondo there has been a shift in emphasis within the oil and gas industry to re-evaluate process safety management, as it pertains to ensuring the elimination of loss of containment events. The oil and gas industry, on a discrete level, is constantly monitoring the challenges faced in drilling deep wells from a HSE point of view. Integrating process safety with personal safety is the new challenge for the industry. This has resulted in improved engineering and operational standards, equipment qualification standards, personnel competency assurance requirements, and a laser focus on well control. There is also much better focus on risk assessment and management of potential outcomes. Accident causation tools such as James Reason’s Swiss Cheese model and Shell’s Bow Tie Diagram, that address risk assessment and risk management/control, are gaining wider use within the oil and gas industry. This session aims to showcase the various risk assessment and risk management tools and programmes developed recently by the oil and gas industry, supporting a desire for continual improvement in the areas of process and personal safety.


Session 3: Drill String Challenges in Deep Drilling

Session Chairs: Chris McKlemurry, Vallourec Drilling Products; Ghana Gogoi, Oil India; Alan Iravani, National Oilwell Varco

Drilling today’s deep wells requires an ever-evolving drill string design that adapts to new challenges that continue to surface. And although objectives of the string design may remain the same as before, achieving them is now a far more complex task. High pressures and temperatures, along with increased weight, reduced over-pull capacity, slip crushing, reduced OD and string hydraulics, are all challenges that need to be overcome. In this session, the above challenges will be reviewed and the floor will be opened for participants to discuss solutions or techniques attempted in the field.


Session 4: Rig Capabilities and Technologies

Session Chairs: Jamshed Khan, KCA Deutag Drilling Group; Gary McNair, Chevron

In the past, all an oil company needed to drill a deep well was a drilling rig with lots of horsepower and plenty of patience. Things have changed. Advances in technology have moved the paradigm from being horsepower-focused to safety, reliability, and efficiency-focused. Automated pipe handling, expandable tubulars, integrated storage for acquisition and transfer of drilling data, alternative hoisting systems, skid-able drilling packages, and integrated logic systems for top drives to prevent downhole stick-slip, have been developed and integrated into new and existing rigs over the past decade. As the hazards associated with drilling deep wells increase, the desire to reduce personnel and environmental exposure is also driving the way we think about drilling wells. There are multiple initiatives in the oil and gas industry associated with the “Rig of the Future” concept. Fully automated rigs, operated remotely, may come into existence sooner than estimated. The objective of this session is to present and discuss some of the new and unique rig systems and associated technologies that are helping the industry drill faster wells while significantly reducing HSE risks.

Tuesday, 4 November, 1100-1200

Session 5: Advanced Drilling Tools and Wellbore Stability

Session Chairs: Rami Bakir, National Oilwell Varco; Nigel Yip-Choy, Halliburton

Hydrocarbons are formed deep inside the earth, under high temperature and pressure conditions. While our industry has been successful in exploiting hydrocarbons that have migrated and been trapped in shallower formations, significant untapped reserves lie at greater depths. Extreme pressures, temperatures, mechanical loading, project complexity, costs, and risks, have been the primary impediments to unlocking deep and ultra-deep reserves. The need to use smaller tools in the deeper parts of these wells adds to the complexity of overcoming the mechanical and environmental challenges. Ensuring wellbore stability and well integrity ties into these themes, considering the long open hole exposure times and swab/ surge pressures encountered, and frequent trips to surface. This session explores new processes, technologies, and multi-disciplined, collaborative initiatives that are being developed to access deep and ultra-deep reserves, cost effectively, and with managed risk.


Session 6: Cementing Challenges in HTHP

Session Chairs: Ibrahim Riyami, Petroleum Development Oman; Nigel Yip-Choy, Halliburton

Cementing the HTHP annulus where high pressure zones exist requires heavyweight slurries, typically of 1-3 ppg higher density than the drilling fluid in the well. Compromised cement integrity can lead to costly interventions required to mitigate issues such as Sustained Casing Pressure (SCP), poor zonal isolation, Annular Pressure Build-up (APB), and can play a role in sub-optimised reservoir stimulation in hydraulic fracturing applications. The key success factors for ensuring cement integrity over the well life are proper slurry design, accurate placement, and development of the desired mechanical properties. Achieving desired cement properties is complicated by HTHP environments, potential contamination during displacement through the tubulars in deep applications, and corrosive environments. This session will focus on technology development, in terms of new cement materials, design and simulation modelling tools, and operational best practices for ensuring cement integrity in deep HTHP applications.


Session 7: Advanced Logging Tools

Session Chairs: Niels Espeland, Grey Wolf Oilfield Services; Omar Youssef, Baker Hughes

Formation evaluation and determination of the formation characteristics are very critical to maximise production and minimise wellbore development risks, whether they are a part of the LWD service or a wireline logging suite. These measurements allow us to understand the downhole environment while evaluating the reservoir’s geological, geophysical and petrophysical properties. Accurately identifying real-time properties maximises reservoir contact and reduces NPT, facilitating the decision-making process. Both the type of formation to be logged and the mud system employed during drilling are critical inputs for the tool selection and measurement interpretation processes. Well geometry also plays an important part in logging tool selection, especially in deep, deviated, and horizontal wellbores. Advanced logging tools are able to integrate downhole relative positioning with formation evaluation measurements, ensuring optimal entry to maintain the wellbore in the zone of maximum interest, predicting and avoiding reservoir exit, and therefore, achieving maximum production as a result. Advanced logging tools are also able to combine multiple measurements of formation properties during the deepening of the borehole or shortly thereafter by being integrated in the BHA. This allows for the measuring of formation properties before the drilling fluids invade deeply. Recent advances in technology have made it possible to replace chemical radioactive sources with electronic generators, thus greatly reducing logistical costs.