Drilling Technology and Rigs
Sustaining innovation and well performance during economic downcycles is a hot topic right now, familiar in many ways to those of us privileged enough to have been involved in upstream operations for 3 decades or more. However, the severity of this downturn has resulted in an unprecedented purging of existing paradigms. In parallel with a prolonged period of depressed commodity pricing, geopolitical upheaval, budget constraints, and loss of experienced personnel all contributed to challenges in delivering performance and technology through 2016 and into the new year.
In this context, it is particularly important to reveal and highlight new initiatives and success stories. As will be shown in this feature, across operator/service companies and geographical boundaries, breakthroughs in safer and more-innovative and -efficient well-construction strategies continue to occur. Highlighted papers include topics with particular relevance: recent deepwater casing and cement design, improved understanding of rig-control systems, well-control/blowout contingency planning, new remote-operations concepts for extreme Arctic landscapes, breakthrough steerable-liner drilling, and improved drilling fluids for long horizontal onshore wells. Beyond these headlines, the reader will find valuable content and further insight into specific solutions on the most urgent drilling challenges, including safety, environmental protection, operational efficiency, reliability, and well integrity.
Once again, there are a number of common threads revealed in the paths to success: dedicated leaders with clear vision beyond near-term economic and organizational hurdles; retention of competent, highly motivated technical teams; and the courage to push new ideas and persevere through early trial-and-error phases.
The wisdom of history continues to teach us that complex-well solutions can be discovered and captured best when the essential elements are present: adequate levels of time and talent, front-end loading, and continuity of key personnel. The featured papers reinforce these principles, and the common threads in the paths to success are evident for us to continue to recognize and apply.
This Month's Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
IADC/SPE 178883 Improved Drilling Performance in Extended Horizontals Using Clean Brines in the Williston Basin by J. Davidson, QEP Energy, et al.
SPE 181415 Drill-Rig Control Systems: Debugging, Tuning, and Long-Term Needs by Paul Pastusek, ExxonMobil Development, et al.
IADC/SPE 178811 World Record Using Steerable-Drilling-Liner Technology To Secure a Previously Nondrillable Section in Unstable Shale by Vincent Bossis, Statoil, et al.
Drilling Technology and Rigs
Michael H. Weatherl, SPE, Engineering Consultant and President, Well Integrity
01 February 2017
Total Prepares Exit from Big Iran Project as US Sanctions Renewed
The US re-imposing sanctions on Iran has prompted Total to consider dropping its stake in a project designed to bolster output from the world’s largest gas field.
Norwegian Firm Adds Smarts to Offshore Coring
Coring is essential to offshore exploration programs—but sometimes cores are taken from the wrong formation or return to surface in poor condition. One firm thinks it can solve these costly issues with a first-of-a-kind coring device that uses logging instruments that add accuracy and integrity.
As the resources that the industry develops become increasingly challenging, access to a broader range of options and new and developing approaches allows more-efficient and -effective recovery.
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07 May 2018
08 May 2018