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Adaptive Well Construction

13 –18 October 2013 :: Vilamoura, Portugal


Technical Agenda

Session 1: Framing—Adaptive Well Construction

Session Managers: Walt Aldred and Sigve Hovda

Adaptive well construction is a new idea that could radically change the way we drill wells; however,  to be successful we need a clear common definition understood by all, of what it is, why we believe business as usual is not good enough and change is necessary, and where we should apply it. The session will develop an initial vision of the adaptive well construction landscape by considering and charting the key features that will motivate its development and adoption. These include:

  • Trends and Drivers: Internal and external market factors that contribute to the overall environment in which adaptive well construction will play a part and which will drive the adoption of adaptive well construction, including social, economic, regulatory, geopolitical, stochastic, environmental, etc.
  • Opportunities: What are the characteristics of the reserves to which we need economic access, what products, services or other applications will be required for adaptive well construction, what resulting significant value can be realised for the industry in terms of revenue/profit earnings, and jobs created.
  • Value Chain: Motivations and factors influencing elements of the value chain that will drive the creation, delivery, and adoption of applications of adaptive well construction.

Session 2: System Capabilities

Session Managers: Jan-Jette Blange and David Curry

The success of adaptive well construction will depend not only on the success or failure of individual subsystems and components, but critically on the ability of the system as a whole to perform efficiently and effectively. In this session, we will explore the broad characteristics of an adaptive well construction system that can deliver vision. In this context a system is the combination of the technology, process, people, organisation, and crucially the relationships and interfaces between them. We know that today these relationships and interfaces are very complex in the drilling industry due to factors such as segmentation, business models, regulatory structures, organisations, computer interfaces, etc. While this may be acceptable to address the current challenges, we must further develop both technical and economic resources to enable the current system to meet new challenges.

In this session, we will firstly coarsely map out the system, including the technologies, process, and how people and organisations apply them. We will then identify and characterise critical interfaces and relationships. In subsequent sessions, we will develop the details of the technology, process, people, and organisation requirements.

Session 3: Barriers

Session Managers: David Brunnert, Ahmed El Demerdash, and Robin Macmillan

Assessing and debating the barriers to development is an important step. Doing so will provide valuable insights into the changes required to successfully adopt new processes and technologies. This debate requires the input of all stakeholders for it to create a legitimate description of the barriers. This session will allow participants to express their concerns about how challenging adaptive well construction can be. Through a series of activities we will catalog and categorise the barriers that stand in the way of our success. The session will cover the following areas now and in the longer term: cultural and stakeholder, business (contract and industry structure), technical, and regulatory.

By the end of this session, all of the participants will be mindful of these insights but will be energised to fearlessly proceed with a deeper exploration of adaptive well construction.

Session 4: People and Organisations in the New Paradigm

Session Managers: Steve Sawaryn and Tom Geehan

This session will access the collective inspiration of the group to gather ideas on exactly what sort of human and social organisation will be needed to support high-tempo adaptive well construction activities. Participants will hear ideas from various organisations that are network enabled and geographically widely dispersed. They will be tasked in a series of breakout sessions to develop thoughts on what might be involved in making such a vision happen. Small groups will be invited to consider a range of questions relating to the design of organisations, access to specialist skills, the chain of command, and the non-technical skills involved.

Session 5: Processes To Support Real-Time Decisions

Session Managers:Andrew Craig, John de Wardt, and Steve Sawaryn

Flawless execution of complex workflows will be the cornerstone of successful adaptive well construction. Control of work in a dynamic environment will require a high-level of operational discipline for planning, execution, monitoring, and dealing with changes in a structured manner. There will have to be round-the-clock availability of subject matter experts to guide problem analysis as well as senior technical authorities to approve decisions involving changes to objectives or well integrity. The group will consider how existing approaches to managing drilling operations will have to be changed. The question is how this transformation can be achieved and whether there are techniques in other domains that could be transferred.

  • Discussion Leader: Clay Flannigan, Manager, Robotics and Automation Engineering, Southwest Research Institute
  • Discusssion Leader: Roger Young, CTO, eSeis, Inc. 
    Discussion Topic: Adaptive Well Construction – Obtaining a Better Earth Model. (Because Real Time is Too Late)

Session 6: Technology Gaps

Session Managers: Egill Abrahamsen, Andrew Craig and Gregers Kudsk

This session concerns the technologies needed to enable adaptive construction of various types of wells including complex wells and high-density simple wells. The session consists of two parts: the first part will be focused on the application of existing technologies, with the second part focused on brainstorming and application of new and out-of-the-box technologies that could enable a greater level of adaptability.

The existing technologies portion will address currently available but potentially underutilised technologies that can enable an adaptive well construction process through different application or integration. Such technologies include performance stabilisation and optimisation systems based on closed-loop control systems as well as potentially remote, real-time monitoring systems. These technologies may fully exploit modern sensor technology, including surface, BHA and along-string based, plus measurement techniques that look ahead of the bit.

Group discussion and breakout teams will be used to identify technology gaps that limit well construction adaptability. Brainstorming will be used to identify potential solutions to eliminate selected gaps and several novel technologies such as adaptive and intelligent drilling control systems and new nanotechnology-based materials will be used to inspire discussion.

Session 7: Creating and Socialising Change—Understanding Cultural Change: Moving Forward, Past, and Future

Session Managers: Ahmed El Demerdash, Fionn Iversen, and Robin Macmillan

The session will invite participants to engage with speakers who have experience in facilitating change in other domains. The barriers that will exist to changes in organisational structures and workflows, and the technology needed to enable change cannot be underestimated. The group will endeavour to identify the pitfalls to be avoided and critical priorities that must be considered when embarking on radical transformation in ways of doing business. Breakout groups will be invited to consider a range of questions relating to how such a transformation may be approached, the resources and support needed to achieve it, and whether there are lessons we should learn from others.

Session 8: Futures—What Can They Look Like?

Session Managers:John de Wardt and Fionn Iversen

The fastest road map to achieve the ability to adaptively drill complex wells and successfully apply this in the oil and gas drilling business is a serious challenge to create. The target is a vision of the future which, by definition, is uncertain. We can only imagine what it could be. Successful business transformations require, among other things, a compelling vision of the future that will change the basis for operations. This session will use visioning techniques to use the collective views of the participants to describe possible futures that address the challenges for adaptive well construction of complex wells and deliver customer value. These futures will be contrasted and compared to arrive at a potential outcome that will provide the necessary insight to update the road map.

Session 9: Getting There From Here

Session Managers: Walt Aldred and Tom Geehan

The final session will use background information and vision from the previous sessions to plan routes to achieving the goal of developing an adaptive well construction system and process. This will be approached from a number of perspectives—the industry as a whole, the services and technologies required, business and organisational requirements—and how they all interact. We will look at this in groups and individually. At the end of the session, participants will be able to see the path of development of an adaptive well construction system for the industry as well as each of their individual scenarios.