The high costs surrounding deepwater developments and the low price of oil are a challenging combination for operators and service companies today. Considering transportation, services, qualifications, permitting, and infrastructure costs, capital-expenditure costs for deepwater developments are much higher than they are for onshore developments. Similarly, operating in remote locations, where risk must be low and safety and preparedness must be high, operating-expenditure costs are also much higher for deepwater projects than they are for those onshore.
Over the last couple of decades, we have seen a steady stream of "intelligent" innovations go from ideas to infancy to catalog solutions. Advances in metering, measurement, control, automation, and modeling have changed our daily routine such that our decisions are better informed, and, as a result, we produce in more-challenging environments, at lower cost, and with better recoveries.
Multilateral-well technology also matured during the past 2 decades. There were many drivers for this development. One of the more important was the desire to increase production in tight reservoirs. Another advantage is directional control. Well stimulation with fracturing has the drawback that the fracture direction is controlled by the in-situ stresses in the rock. Multilateral branches, on the other hand, can be drilled in any direction.
Is zonal isolation provided by cement? Cementing is central to the discussion of zonal isolation and well integrity because cement typically provides at least one barrier in a well and is a component of the barrier envelope or barrier system during well construction and the operational phases of the well. Cement parameters are typically included in regulations and included as part of the permanent-abandonment requirements for oil and gas wells.