Open-hole completion innovations push efficiencies in shales

Designing an unconventional well these days is anything but simple. A decade of learning has uncovered a multitude of issues for operators to consider, from reservoir characteristics to stage counts...

Five years after Macondo

Five years ago, a tragic blowout engulfed the Macondo well – devastating the Gulf of Mexico, the global drilling industry and, indeed, the people onboard the Deepwater Horizon. The magnitude of the blowout and resulting spill brought about a heightened awareness...

No end in sight for market volatility

The roller coaster ride the oil and gas industry has been on the last eight months has all the twists, turns and anxiety of an amusement park thrill ride – without the thrills. Significant volatility is evidenced by daily, sometimes hourly, price swings...

US shale production expected to rise even as rig count tumbles

Last year, the US land rig count peaked in November at 1,859. As of 10 April, that number had tumbled to 951, according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count. It’s a glaring indicator of the weak rig market...

Eyes on the long term in US Gulf of Mexico

Major deepwater exploration successes made 2014 a banner year for the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM). These include Chevron’s Anchor and Guadalupe discoveries in the Green Canyon and Keathley Canyon areas of the Lower Tertiary trend; Shell’s Rydberg in the Mississippi Canyon in the Jurassic...


The second edition of API Specification 16C, Choke and Kill Equipment, was recently published. The publication establishes the minimum requirements for the design and manufacture of several types of new equipment...

Industry needs standards for cement plug testing, placement to bump up deepwater efficiency

As operators seek ways to keep every step of the drilling and completion process within budget, the process of cementing long casing strings has come under particular scrutiny. To achieve a satisfactory cement job, the operator must have assurances that the top cement plug bumped, or landed on the lower plug in the float collar. Failure to achieve this might result in significantly longer drill-out times due to the additional cement pumped downhole, or in the possibility of a contaminated shoe track (wet shoe) for which a remedial cementing job may be needed.

From the Chairman: Next upturn hard to see amid weak market, but industry must stay the course to come out stronger

Our industry is facing a range of challenges, most notably low oil prices, and a drastic reduction in rig counts globally offshore and onshore. All indicators point to a tough market situation through this year...

Moonpool dance on the Pacific Santa Ana: Subsea MudLift Drilling system deployments pave path to deepwater DGD

To paraphrase Van Morrison, it’s a marvelous night for a moonpool dance. The Pacific Santa Ana is the world’s first purpose-built, dual-gradient drilling (DGD) rig. Delivered from the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in December 2011, it arrived in the Gulf of Mexico in May 2012 with a mission to deploy the first commercial DGD system using Subsea MudLift Drilling (SMD) technology. This article describes the SMD kit and its deployment in the US Gulf of Mexico, and outlines the ways in which the technology can be used to enable exploration of drilling frontiers.

May/June 2015

The May/June 2015 issue of Drilling Contractor features topics such as IADC: Global Leadership, Offshore Market and Technologies, Regional Focus: Gulf of Mexico, Onshore Drilling, Global Drilling Outlook, and Completions.

This online edition offers exclusive web features not available in the print version.

Click here to see more articles from the May/June 2015 issue of Drilling Contractor or try our new Digital Edition!

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