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