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2007

Drilling contractors deliver safety performance improvements through leadership, cultural change: Competitors take differing approaches to same goal

By Ross Richardson, KCA DEUTAG; John Karish, ENSCO International Inc Safety in the workplace is an issue confronting just about every organisation involved in the potentially hazardous oil and gas industry. So when two of the world’s leading drilling and engineering contractors moved to improve their safety performance, they took the unusual step of sharing their experiences. KCA DEUTAG and ENSCO International realised they could learn from each other to successfully implement leadership and cultural change in their work forces. The key motivator for this unprecedented approach was the fact that both companies independently worked with international safety performance specialists, the Enterprise Development Network (EDN). EDN is an Australian-based consultancy with extensive experience in designing leadership and cultural change programs ...

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Study produces supercement for annular seal and long-term integrity in deep, hot wells

By Fred Sabins, Paul Sonnier, Larry Watters, CSI Tech Exploration for natural gas shifts more and more to deeper reservoirs. Encouraging finds and increased demand reinforce the push for drilling wells with target formations deeper and deeper underground in hotter, higher-pressure conditions. This trend presents many obstacles in drilling, completion and production from these deep wells in high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) environments. Durability of annular seals created using Portland cement ranks high on this list of obstacles. Harsh conditions, huge investment cost of well construction, and high cost of seal remediation in these harsh, remote environments increase the necessity for annular seal durability. Industry authorities estimate that remediation of failed cement seals in deep, hot wells costs the industry more than ...

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Aramco uses swell packers to enable smart open-hole, multilateral completions for EOR

By Drew Hembling, Salam Salamy, Abdullah Qatani, Saudi Aramco; Neale Carter, Easywell; Suresh Jacob, WellDynamics Saudi Aramco has successfully used both horizontal and MRC wells (multilateral with greater than 8 km of reservoir contact) to enhance and maximize hydrocarbon recovery from its reservoirs. In recent years, the integration of both intelligent and passive inflow control completion systems have further enhanced the value of MRC well by providing inflow control, better inflow profiles, and downhole monitoring capabilities. Saudi Aramco’s first intelligent well completions were drilled as 7-in. fullbore wells. A cemented 7-in. liner was placed below the conventional 9 5/8-in. casing, providing lateral isolation and a means to conventionally drill the TAML level two multilateral wells. Standard 3 ½-in. ICVs and ...

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Sand control technology enhanced to fit complex deepwater, deep-shelf operations

By Chip Hale, BJ Services Company Deepwater and deep-shelf exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gain momentum, and each new extension of water and drilling depth issues the industry new challenges to traditional drilling, completion and production technology. As part of an optimal completion design, sand control technology faces its share of challenges as wells reach further into unconsolidated formations. Most unconsolidated sandstone formations require solids production control because drilling, completion and production processes upset the equilibrium within a reservoir rock matrix that has formed over hundreds of millions of years. Therefore, well screens, often combined with gravel packs or frac pack treatments, are routine solutions. Nevertheless, even routine solutions become more complex when they occur ...

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Drilling and testing of an HPHT deep gas prospect from an existing well: case history

By M.J. Al-Saeedi, J.R.Singh, V.S. Mahesh, H.S. Al-Ajmi, Kuwait Oil Company; D. McKinnell, Total Kuwait The search for commercial quantities of non-associated gas from the Lower Mesozoic and Paleozoic horizons has been an important part of the exploration strategy of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) over a number of years. Four deep wells were drilled down to the Pre-Khuff formation in the existing oilfield areas of Burgan, Umm Gudair and Sabriyah, before gas shows were recorded from the Sudair formation in the fifth well, KM-1, in the Kra Al-Maru area (Figure 1). Following this result, further evidence of gas shows were recorded from the Unayzah formation in North West Raudhatain-1, and strong indications of a free gas potential were seen during ...

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Kuwait Oil Co designs, builds semi-automated 3,000-hp rig to tap deep HPHT resources

By Ayad Al-Kandari and Mohammed Al-Saeedi, Kuwait Oil Company; Roger Kingsborough and T.W. Brewster II, Chevron; David McKinnell, Total Kuwait Drilling of deep HPHT wells in Kuwait requires both local and international drilling contractors to adhere strictly to overall required capacities of equipment for safely and efficiently drilling Jurassic and deeper exploratory prospects from depths of 15,000 ft to more than 22,000 ft TVD. This requires use of 3,000-hp rigs due to heavy casing hookloads for the 24-in. and 18 5/8-in. casings, high mud weights at relatively deep depths in 16-in. and 12 ¼-in. hole sections, and fairly high torques throughout the well. Likewise, mud volumes in these wells require adequate capacities and processing capabilities for the larger hole sections, ...

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Saudi Aramco, Al Mansoori: Quick takes with Middle East innovators

Zuhair Al-Hussain, Saudi Aramco General manager, drilling & workover operations DC: Can you tell us about some of Saudi Aramco’s upcoming drilling projects? Al-Hussain: We’ve started the Khurais project, which calls for 1.2 million bbls/day and ranks as one of the world’s biggest projects. Progress is ongoing, and an integrated services contract has been awarded to Halliburton. Another significant project is the Manifa project, which targets 900,000 bbls/day. It’s in a tough environment, and the wells will be very challenging. About 50% of them will be horizontal and range from 21,000-27,000 ft MD, about 7,000 ft TVD, both onshore and offshore. Start of the project is planned for next year. DC: Does Saudi Aramco plan to stay in the rig ...

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Middle East’s critical energy industry evolves under market influences, geopolitical changes

By Jeremy Cresswell, contributing editor Where does one begin? My brief is to paint, in the context of drilling and related well services, a picture of the Middle East, which as we all know is hardly off TV screens, newspaper front pages or radio newscasts. It’s been that way for years, with the writer first awakening to the incredible complexities of the region when the Yom Kippur War burst forth in 1973, sending oil prices rocketing; the Iranian revolution of 1978; Iran-Iraq War (1980-88); Saddam’s armies marching into Kuwait during August 1990, but being ejected by a Western coalition in Operation Desert Storm; a different Western coalition marching into Baghdad to depose Saddam in 2003 followed by occupation; endless West ...

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Reservoir, drilling and real-time technologies increase Saudi Aramco reserves, production

By Wajid Rasheed, contributing editor Commonly cited as the largest oil company in the world and a “swing” producer in times of crisis, Saudi Aramco faces more challenges than your average operator. Not only does it need to replenish reserves and maintain production output, but whereas other oil companies can acquire reserves through stocks, for Saudi Aramco the only way to add reserves and production is through the “bit.” With some of the largest and most prolific reservoirs worldwide, such as Ghawar, Saudi Aramco’s acreage comprises green and brown fields located both onshore and offshore. Challenges associated with this acreage involve accessing deep oil and gas accumulations located in vast and complex carbonate reservoirs, a requirement for enhanced oil recovery ...

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ReedHycalog taking holistic approach to mitigating drilling vibrations to reduce NPT

By Andy Murdock and Steve Berkman, ReedHycalog Drilling vibrations have been identified by many operators as the leading cause of nonproductive time. With the current strong rig rates, nonproductive time, ranging from drilling inefficiencies to twisting off the drill string due to fatigue failure, has become even more critical. Symptoms of vibration problems that lead to nonproductive time are: • Drill string failures, including twist-offs and washouts. • Overtorqued drill pipe connections. • Premature bit failures, poor and erratic bit life. • Downhole drive system failures or performance inefficiencies. • Logging tool failures. All have been attributed to damaging dynamic conditions, such as bit whirl, pipe whirl and stick-slip. Rather than address these issues individually, ReedHycalog has adopted a more ...

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