Remote Directional Drilling and Logging in the Arctic

Topics: Arctic/extreme environments Directional/extended reach wells
Fig. 1—Russian land ROC.

Few locations present as many challenges for drilling as the Arctic. It is one of the most hostile environments in the world, with some of the most remote locations, the toughest logistics challenges, and the largest gaps in infrastructure on the planet. One solution to reduce risk to personnel and the environment and to optimize cost was to use directional drilling and to log the well remotely. Advances in data, communication, and transmission technology have made this possible.

Challenges of Remote Operations

Implementing remote operations is not simple and definitely cannot be accomplished without thorough planning. Three key elements are required: people, infrastructure, and processes.

First, the right profiles and competency levels to staff both field crews and remote operations centers (ROCs) must be identified.

Second, infrastructure must be considered. Every remotely operated rig and ROC should be equipped with a standard kit that provides a reliable fit-for-purpose communication channel, ensuring continuous remote control.

Finally, processes must be determined, reviewed, and implemented. Developing global baselines that will be adopted and adapted by the business units will provide consistency. This includes hazard analysis and risk-control documents; responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed charts; escalation matrices; emergency response plans; remote-­operation standards; and remote-­operation implementation guidelines.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 178873, “Remote Directional-Drilling and Logging-While-Drilling Operations in the Arctic,” by Crispin Chatar, SPE, Alexey Stepnov, Anton Mardyashov, and Juan Raul Elizondo Gonzalez, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2016 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 1–3 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Remote Directional Drilling and Logging in the Arctic

01 February 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 2