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Adaptive Well Construction

13 –18 October 2013 :: Vilamoura, Portugal


About this forum

As well architecture becomes ever more complex in response to the need to exploit difficult-to-access reserves, traditional feedback loops in controlling the well construction process are becoming inefficient, costly, and even redundant. In many cases, the classic feedback loop is still: construct the well, look at what went wrong, and then try to improve on the next well. This has been improved somewhat by the 24-hour cycle of the morning call that checks on progress and makes minor changes. In critical wells or hole sections, specialists work through remote operating centres to perform hour-by-hour monitoring. For the next generation of well architectures, however, this type of delayed process control will no longer be sufficient as targets become more difficult to identify, drilling margins become narrower, and regulators call for constant monitoring.

This forum will look at what it would take to dramatically shorten the feedback loop and develop systems that could respond to the conditions we encounter, foot by foot, as we drill and adapt to these conditions for the optimal route to the reservoir and the best-placed and configured wellbore section for optimal production.

We are currently seeing a surge in the performance of computing, processing, imaging, sensors, material, and data transmission and visualisation technologies. How can this technology be brought to bear on the well construction process in a reliable and cost-efficient way? The first steps are already being taken with autonomous directional drilling and constant bottom-hole pressure control, but at the moment, these are still individual processes that are not joined up to provide real-time decision making on well construction parameters.

What might technologies for adaptive well construction include and what should the key target areas be?

  • Real-time systems to optimise well design
  • Autonomous model-based drilling control systems based on formation conditions
  • Production drilling control based on measured reservoir properties
  • Completion customisation for the actual well drilled

Making changes to the wellbore construction in real time may be possible, but with the lead time for ordering well construction components, there are sometimes real constraints on the flexibility of well architecture. What technologies can remove these constraints? Today 3D printing is used to make complex parts for aircraft—when might we be able to customise completions components at the well site or what other technologies could give this capability.

Such changes in the way we plan and execute well construction raises many organisational issues, both in development and testing, and in final implementation:

  • Who will pay and/or test these technologies?
  • How will human expertise and decision making sit in these systems?
  • How will the knowledge of the many disciplines involved in the decision-making process be used?

Who Should Attend?

The forum is a limited-attendance meeting for up to 75 people, designed for professionals in the oil and gas industry interested in the design and construction of wells. The forum is aimed at people whose principal job falls into any of the following categories:

  • Academics
  • Petroleum engineers and managers
  • Production technologists and managers
  • QHSE professionals
  • Research and development managers
  • Rig manufacturers and designers
  • Safety regulators
  • Well control trainers
  • Well engineers and managers
  • Well product line managers
  • Well technology drilling engineers and managers

Benefits to You and Your Organisation

  • Gain insight and perspective through conversations with peers who share your same interests.
  • Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of learning through one-on-one interaction.
  • Meet with other experts from international companies, research institutes, and universities in an off-the-record format.
  • Form professional relationships that will continue after the forum has ended.

Forum Guidelines

The following will prepare attendees for what to expect when attending a forum:

  • Participants are expected to attend every session.
  • Slides are limited, allowing maximum time for informal discussions and exchange of experience.
  • Forums are conducted off the record to support the free interchange of information and ideas.
  • Extensive note taking is not allowed.
  • Recording of any forum session is prohibited.
  • Information disclosed at a forum may not be used publicly without the originator’s permission.
  • Participants are requested to omit reference to forum proceedings in any subsequent published work or oral presentation.
  • A written summary may be prepared and distributed to attendees after the forum with unanimous attendee agreement and at the discretion of the steering committee and SPE approval.
  • No commercialism.