Offshore Drilling and Completion

Intervention-free wells, intelligent completions, automated and selective smart tools—this veritable buzzword bingo several years ago offered the real promise of some advancement but, unfortunately, mostly delivered consistent failure and disappointment. That was a period when the industry was littered with a swath of great technologies, but they were deployed in such a haphazard and almost incoherent way that they were surely doomed to failure from the offset. Although these technologies often were presented as magic-bullet solutions, few of their trials considered the necessary detail of the greater system within which they were deployed and functioned, an approach that ultimately tainted their delivery and results.

That has since changed. In the present day, the industry has developed a deep and healthy respect for systems-engineering processes and the associated full considerations during the deployment and trial of new technologies and techniques. The result of this uptake has been a significant improvement in the successful use and broader deployment of these automating, enhancing, and attractive technology options.

This month, I would like to showcase just a handful of the studies that demonstrate deployment of such solutions within long-established and mature systems where they have been considered in an integrating, sympathetic, and, as a direct result, highly successful way. This overall-system appreciation and consideration has finally allowed these enhancements and technologies to enjoy their newfound and sustained success.

This Month's Technical Papers

RFID Technology for Deepwater Drilling and Completions Challenges

Systems Approach to Product Design for Ultradeepwater Completion Systems

Interventionless Reservoir-Isolation Valve Removes Need for Intermediate Completion

Recommended additional reading

OTC 26736 Remotely Operated Barrier Valve Provides Interventionless Solution for Offshore Vietnam Completion Campaign by Bruce McLeod, Halliburton, et al.

SPE 181070 A Case Study on Remotely Operated Intelligent Bridge Plugs for Plug-and-Abandonment Operations by Zac Suresh Arackakudiyil, Halliburton, et al.

OTC 27222 The Successful Development and Installation of a New Single-Trip Multizone Completion System Developed for the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Lower Tertiary Formation by Tommy Grigsby, Halliburton, et al.

Martin Rylance, SPE, is senior adviser and engineering manager for the Frac & Stim Group with BP. He has worked with BP and its partners and joint ventures for more than 28 years. Rylance holds a BS degree in pure mathematics. He has been involved in all aspects of pumping operations, well control, well interventions, and pressure service. Rylance has specialized in unconventional resources and fracturing in tectonic and high-pressure/high-temperature environments. During his career, he has been responsible for the implementation of numerous intervention campaigns, pilots, and exploration programs. Having lived in 10 countries and pumped in more than 20, Rylance has created and managed teams that have delivered thousands of fracturing and stimulation treatments around the world. He has numerous papers and publications to his name. Rylance was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2008–09 and in 2013–14 and is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee. He can be reached at

Offshore Drilling and Completion

Martin Rylance, SPE, Senior Adviser, BP

01 April 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 4