Category Archives: Drilling and Completions

IDE

Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) Symposium

Monday, 4 March, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. (CET)
Held in conjunction with the 2013 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition
Rai Congress Centre
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Learning from Heavy Industry Front Runners

Keynote Speaker:  Andrew Stokes, Global Practice Leader Surface Mining Innovation Rio Tinto
Moderator: John de Wardt, DE WARDT AND COMPANY

The SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) and IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee (ART) will hold another exciting half day symposium on advances in drilling systems automation. The keynote speaker will present Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future Program™, a project that includes unprecedented levels of automation and remote operations. Other speakers from heavy industry front runners in automation applications will also describe how they drove implementation.

This is a complimentary event, but you must register to attend (limited capacity).

Register now »

A networking reception will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (CET) sponsored by Integrated Drilling Equipment (IDE).

KGray_70w

Meet the 2012 SPE Drilling Engineering Award Winner

Kenneth E. Gray

Kenneth E. Gray, University of Texas, Austin, Texas USA

Kenneth E. Gray built a research center and conducted pioneering research on bit tooth impact mechanics under pressure and 3-D rock behavior under 3-D stresses. Additionally, Gray has developed techniques for simultaneous measurement of rock parameters for variable stress paths, designed core bits for Apollo Program, and introduced the concept of Dynamic Density Control for improving HSE footprints of every drilling rig on land or water.

Hazim H. Abass

Meet the 2012 SPE Completions Optimization and Technology Award

Hazim H. Abass

Hazim H. Abass, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

For his pioneering work on coning-based completion, oriented  perforation, non-planar hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells, acid vs. proppant fracturing in carbonate formation, sanding tendency, and directed fracturing, Hazim Abass has earned regional & international SPE awards, company awards,10 patents, more than 45 papers, contribution to 3 industrial books, and more than 500 citations.

 

SPE Awards

Congratulations to the 2012 International Award Winners: Drilling and Completions

Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.

Drilling Engineering Award
Fred E. Dupriest, ExxonMobil, Houston, Texas, USA
Kenneth E. Gray, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA

View a full list of 2012 International Award Winners »

Learn more about SPE International and Regional Awards »

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JPT Online Technology Briefs

Multifunctional Handling tool launched

Weatherford International recently announced the launch of its UniSlips all-in-one handling tool, the industry’s first rotary-mounted, multifunctional slip for casing, tubing, or drillpipe operations. Read more »

New subsea system launched for jack-up drilling units

Argus Subsea has recently introduced the AZ-15J subsea tree and wellhead system, specially designed for jack-up mobile drilling units. The company states that the new system is the world’s first purpose-built system that allows operators to drill and complete wells at up to 15,000 PSI working pressure without special riser systems or temporary abandonments. Read more »

New drilling motor promises performance boost in challenging environments

Mpact Downhole Motors has introduced a new proprietary downhole drilling motor that promises significant increases in performance and reliability. Designated Model 775 7822 HTS, the drilling motor’s ultralow speed and robust design have helped reduced drilling downtime in field trials in Texas and Louisiana. Read more »

McDonough

Wellbore Tubulars

We wear small bands on our fingers for many reasons. The rings have many meanings; the wedding ring may be the most common. This band, signifying no beginning or end, represents a union or reminds the wearer that he or she is married. It is traditionally worn on the left hand, on the vena amoris, the digit that the Romans believed was connected directly to the heart. Puzzle rings, or gimmel bands, are another type of ring used as wedding bands that has dual meanings. The word “gimmel” comes from the Latin gemellus and means “twin” or “paired.” Engaged couples would each wear one piece of the puzzle ring and, upon marriage, join the two bands with another provided by the priest. Once joined, the bands formed a puzzle that, if removed, was difficult to piece back together. Deceit that led to infidelity was made more difficult because the wearer might not be able to put the puzzle back together. Wedding rings have different traditions in eastern and western cultures, but they always hold a strong mental connection for the wearers.

Rings also tie us to our accomplishments or recollections. School rings and championship rings can tie us to a collegiate career or a significant athletic accomplishment. The purpose of these rings is to remember. I have always been inspired by a tradition that many Canadian engineers have of wearing an iron ring. The ring is worn on the little finger of the engineer’s dominant hand so that, when writing or tasking with the dominant hand, the engineer is reminded of his or her obligations. The tradition holds that the iron in the ring came from a bridge that failed and cost many lives. The ring is small and is designed to be a constant reminder. The tradition continues when the engineer retires; the ring is returned to service as an “experienced ring.”

Preventing failures in our field is imperative for safety and economic operation. Learning from these failures, properly documenting and remembering them, is important for avoiding catastrophes. We may engineer a process, a method, or a particular part to reduce failures and enhance operations. Solid-expandable-tubular technology is a fairly new technology that is gaining more promising and important applications in oil- and gas-wellbore design. Constant improvements to the deployment of this technology are increasing its reliability and number of applications. Heat treatment of the expansion-cone material used in an expanding tubular is one such modification. The drillpipe-connection phase of the drilling operation can be one of the greater opportunities for failures and mishaps. An improperly handled connection procedure can damage drillpipe; stick a drillstring; and, in the case of managed- pressure drilling, induce an unwanted influx. One of the selected papers reviews a database of drillpipe-connection damage, and another reviews a method for making connections in the managed-pressure environment.

Read the paper synopses in the June 2012 issue of JPT.

Casey McDonough, SPE, is a drilling engineer for Chesapeake Operating. He has 7 years of practical drilling experience working in the Permian Basin and with the Barnett and Marcellus shale. McDonough has nearly 20 years of combined consulting, managerial, technical, and field experience in the oil and gas industry. He has worked as a consultant for Knowledge Systems, providing clients with pore-pressure and wellbore-stability studies. McDonough also held technical and managerial positions in downhole logging-while-drilling development for Dresser and Halliburton, where he contributed to density, neutron, vibration, and hot-hole technology. He began his career as a field engineer for Sperry Sun Drilling Services and holds a BS degree in industrial engineering from the University of Oklahoma. McDonough serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

Coulter

Well Stimulation

Well stimulation continues to be a hot topic in our industry, particularly with hydraulic fracturing of shales. Having been in the industry since the Dark Ages, (at least, it seems like it at times), it is interesting to see the technology changes over time and what areas are currently in the spotlight. Certainly, hydraulic fracturing continues to lead the industry interest; however, we do pump a lot of acid, and we have not forgotten its importance. Our acid blends have not changed much since the very early days— the late 1800s—of acidizing. Hydrochloric acid has been the mainstay, with primarily hydrofluoric acid and formic and acetic acids being the complimenting acids. Specialty acids, such as phosphonic, sulfamic, and others, have also been playing a role.

Major technology developments in nonproppant-fracturing well stimulation, as evidenced by the numerous publications over the last few years, have been primarily in carbonate acidizing. This is a continuing trend brought about by the significance of the carbonates to the world’s oil supply. However, our industry does use a lot of acid in the noncarbonates. One of those areas is in spearheading fracturing treatments to reduce near-wellbore tortuosity, most of these in sands and shales. My experience with this approach in horizontal shale wells has not always been successful; however, one of the papers selected for this month’s feature shows a unique acid blend that has shown some success in tight-gas-sand fracturing. Perhaps this and other unique acid blends could provide increased success in shales.

Horizontal wells in all reservoir types are now quite common, allowing our industry to exploit lesser-quality reservoirs economically. Shales are excellent examples. Many reservoirs have a high water cut, and stimulating wells in these reservoirs can be a real challenge. Acid-placement techniques, as well as diagnostics while acidizing, are a significant challenge to our industry. Of course, in our industry, challenges beget solutions. A recent development helping with well stimulation and production diagnostics is distributed temperature sensing (DTS) and distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). From reviewing numerous technical papers from worldwide SPE meetings held in the last year or so, the development and application of DTS and DAS appear to be in the forefront. Two of the papers selected for this month’s feature reflect on these developments and applications.

Readers are advised to review the following synopsized papers as well as the recommended additional reading to gain information on recent advancements in well stimulation.

Read the paper synopses in the June 2012 issue of JPT.

Gerald R. Coulter, SPE, is a consulting petroleum engineer and president of Coulter Energy International. He is involved in consulting and technology transfer of well-completion, formation-damage, and well-stimulation technology. Coulter is currently an instructor with PetroSkills. His industry experience includes work with Sun Oil/Oryx Energy Company, Halliburton, and Conoco. Coulter has authored numerous technical papers and holds numerous patents, has been chairman of and has served on numerous SPE committees, and is currently serving on the JPT Editorial Committee. He holds a BS degree in geology and a BA degree in chemistry from Oklahoma State University and an MS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Misselbrook

Coiled Tubing Applications

The coiled-tubing (CT) industry has experience unparalleled growth in the past year, driven directly by the massive expansion in multistage-fracturing operations in North America. Various sources estimate that the US consumed 50% of the world’s CT in the past 12 months, helping to contribute to a massive 80% growth in product coming off the CT production lines.

The growth in the United States was fueled primarily by three applications: milling out composite plugs, milling out fracture-sleeve ball seats, and toe shoots (the name given to the first perforating operation before plug-and-perforate operations). Because toe shoots take place without any pressure on the well, the amount of CT life consumed by fatigue during the operation is small. Plug or seat milling, on the other hand, takes place after fracturing operations are complete and with the wellbore fully pressure charged by the formation; therefore, the CT life consumed by fatigue is high. Superimposed over the wellbore pressures are the pressures arising from circulating fluids through the CT and the milling assemblies. In some of the higher-pressure shale plays, CT strings last only for a few jobs.

Accordingly, any technology that reduces the superimposed pressure could lead to longer CT life and potentially to lower completion costs. Two of the papers selected for this month’s issue involve new technologies that might be helpful to operators in this respect.

However, of possible greater concern to CT companies in North America is the fact that CT use is now clearly dominated by well-completion operations, or, to put it another way, by rig count. Until recently, the CT intervention business was primarily remedial in nature and, thus, was partially cushioned from the extreme cycles experienced by drillers. However, in North America, a change has already arrived and, with gas prices at historic lows, CT service companies, CT pipe manufacturers, and CT equipment manufacturers probably need to prepare for the same swings that the rest of the well-construction industry is used to.

Read the paper synopses in the June 2012 issue of JPT.

John Misselbrook, SPE, is senior advisor global coiled tubing with Baker Hughes. Previously, he was with Nowsco Well Service Company, which merged with BJ Services in 1996. Misselbrook has worked in various operational, engineering, research, and management roles involving CT in the North Sea, Canada, Southeast Asia, and theUnited States. He was a member of the original team of engineers involved directly in the development of improved engineering techniques for underbalanced drilling in western Canada in 1991. Misselbrook subsequently became responsible for Nowsco’s initiative to develop underbalanced-drilling technology by use of CT. He holds several US patents and has authored several SPE papers on the use of CT. Misselbrook is a mechanical sciences graduate of Cambridge University. He served on the 2008 and 2009 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention Conference Committees and serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.