This time last year, there was uncertainty as to what the future held for our industry as a whole and the coiled-tubing sector in particular. Today, the mantra appears to be “lower for longer.” With the price of oil hovering around USD 50/bbl, is this really the case? Looking at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data for West Texas intermediate and Brent spot crude oil prices, it was not until 2005 that prices rose and consistently stayed above the USD 50 mark, with a short dip below that in 2008. On the cost side of the equation, the US Consumer Price Index in 2005 was 195 (1982 is the base year of 100) and 240 for 2016. Looking at US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, oil and gas extraction employment rose from 1,287,000 to 1,932,000 in the US between 2005 and 2015, peaking in 2014. Placing the coiled-tubing sector within this context, the global coiled-tubing-unit count has increased from 1,163 in 2005 to 1,951 in 2016, with the peak being 2,096 units in 2015 (Intervention and Coiled Tubing Association worldwide coiled-tubing rig count).
So what do these statistics imply? They would seem to reflect trends that are currently manifesting themselves: a decrease in activity, continuing rising costs, and a reduced return. However, even with the lower current situation, overall activity has not dropped to 2005 levels; the demand side of the curve is still trending upward. (EIA world petroleum consumption data show 84.7 million B/D in 2005 to 95.1 million B/D in 2016.) Therefore, efficiency and effectiveness will continue to be strong influencing factors in the development of the coiled-tubing market sector.
Efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved in differing ways. This year’s papers provide readers with examples of efficiencies that have been achieved in coiled-tubing operations. The papers demonstrate how problem-solving techniques have been applied to improve such aspects as on-site processes, fit-for-purpose equipment, coiled-tubing-string selection for process optimization, and more-effective treatment placement.
OTC 26690 Journey to Success—Advancement of Coiled-Tubing Drilling in Malaysia by Zhon Wei Ooi, Petronas, et al.
SPE 182905 Coiled-Tubing Technology for Extending the Reach in Sand-Screen-Completed and Openhole Wells by Karim Elrashidi, Baker Hughes, et al.
Alex Crabtree, SPE, Senior Adviser, Hess Corporation
01 June 2017