Offshore Drilling and Completion

Topics: Offshore

Cross-discipline solutions? Unified (oil)field theory? We will not expound on quantum theory here; we will discuss unified oil fields, cross-discipline integration, cooperation, and solution deployment. Well construction and operation is a serial piece of business, and, while different disciplines manage the various pieces of the business well, the decisions made at any stage can have implications later in the drilling, completion, and production phases of the well.

This is a timely subject for two reasons. First, with low oil prices, we need the maximum efficiency that we can achieve. Second, a potentially emerging challenge in completions is that a drilling solution may be affecting a completion solution. Across the globe, there is increasing evidence that the widespread use of stress cage (a very good drilling solution for depleted formations) may be affecting the ability to deploy fracturing and frac-pack solutions efficiently. The growing evidence consists of higher breakdown pressures, more near-wellbore friction loss, an increasing ­early-screenout frequency, and even long-term effects on productivity. While it looks as though this interaction has been identified early, it is now imperative that we work across all the disciplines involved—drilling, completions, and production—to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to ensure that the well can be drilled and completed efficiently.

Therefore, this month, I include a number of papers for further review that clearly demonstrate the highest levels of cross-discipline teamwork and that have developed solutions that improve efficiency across the scope of a well’s operations. These papers all relate to some extent to the deployment of more-complex completions, requiring cabling, control lines, and flat packs. The success of these approaches can be achieved only in cooperative environments. Requiring alignment of a range of different subdisciplines and roles, positive outcomes rely heavily on ensuring that the process is fully integrated.

Many of us work in strong functional environments, where all too easily we can deploy solutions that have the potential for repercussions on other aspects of well design, construction, completion, and performance. It is always worth taking a moment during the planning phases of technology and solution deployment to consider the breadth of effects that your solution may have on others.

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 176268 First Large-Bore Expandable-Liner-Hanger Deployment Offshore Gabon: Case Study by John McCormick, Halliburton, et al.

SPE/IADC 173060 Design, Qualification, QA/QC, and Operational Performance of Completion Fluid, Reservoir Drill-in Fluid, and Breaker—Tamar, Offshore Israel by John Healy, Healy Energy, et al.

OTC 26284 Successful Application of Drilling-Optimization Methodology and Integrated Solutions in a Presalt Well by Marcus Pinheiro, 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. Recently, 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 ­martin.rylance@se1.bp.com.

Offshore Drilling and Completion

Martin Rylance, SPE, Senior Advisor, BP

26 March 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 4