Field Testing a New Rotary-Steerable-Drilling-Liner Technology

Fig. 1—The Alpine field in the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska (NPRA).

Conventional drilling through lower intermediate intervals in the southern portion of the Alpine field on Alaska’s North Slope has posed significant challenges. While unstable shale sections can be drilled without significant issues, hole collapse has caused difficulties while tripping out of hole and running casings. In 2011, a new steerable-drilling-liner system was deployed in the field. This paper provides insights into the new technology and the field-trial program.


The Alpine field, which came online in 2000, lies near the environmentally sensitive shoreline of the Arctic Ocean on the North Slope of Alaska (Fig. 1 above). It is the westernmost of the current North Slope producing fields and straddles the border of the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska. The field was developed without a permanent road connection to the existing North Slope infrastructure, to address environmental and indigenous-community concerns. Much of the resupply effort for the roadless period is accomplished during the ice-road season. Field development has progressed from near-pad targets to higher-departure wells in a 6,700-ft-true-vertical-depth reservoir section that has introduced drilling challenges.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 168044, “First Field Testing of a New Rotary-Steerable-Drilling-Liner Technology on Alaska’s North Slope,” by Greg Hobbs, Rob Stinson, and Chip Alvord, ConocoPhillips, and Okechukwu N. Anyanwu, Christian Klotz, and Muntasar Mohammad, Baker Hughes, prepared for the 2014 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 4–6 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Field Testing a New Rotary-Steerable-Drilling-Liner Technology

01 December 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 12


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