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March/April

New tool for blowout risk management allows cross communication among decision-makers

By Øystein Arild, International Research Institute of Stavanger A blowout is among the most severe events that can happen during exploitation of petroleum resources. Particularly in environmentally sensitive areas, where uncertainties about consequences are high and contingency planning for major accidents requires extra attention, oil spill preparedness is critical. In well planning on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, calculations of blowout flow and duration from potential blowouts are important parts of environmental risk management. E&P company practices vary in their level of detail, assessment of uncertainty, nomenclature, documentation and traceability of the blowout analysis. Due to this lack of international and national standards for environmental risk analysis, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) has developed guidelines to standardise nomenclature, procedure and ...

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Impact of thermal expansion on kick tolerance should be part of pre-drilling risk assessment

By Inge Mosti, Bjørn-Tore Anfinsen, Anne Sofie Flatebø, SPT Group Expansion of drilling fluid due to geothermal heating is a well-known effect. However, it has been difficult to quantify with software simulations because it requires very accurate modeling of downhole temperature conditions during operational changes. In the case discussed in this article, a pit gain was observed at surface after shutting down the pumps during normal drilling operations. The well was closed according to rig procedures, and a pressure increase was observed in the shut-in well. No other indication of a kick was observed during the continuing well control operations. SPT Group was approached with the case, and post analyses were carried out with the Drillbench Dynamic Hydraulics software. When ...

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New generation of subsea BOP equipment, controls smaller, stronger, cleaner, smarter

By Frank Springett and Dan Franklin, National Oilwell Varco With the high price of oil, it’s become more economical to go to deeper water depths and more challenging reservoirs. With those more challenging reservoirs, comes a whole new set of problems designing the next generation of drilling rigs and subsea BOP equipment. Those new challenges have inspired a new age of BOPs that have been made smaller by reducing the number of stack-mounted accumulators, stronger by increasing the available shear force, cleaner by developing a complete fluid recovery system, and smarter by improving the control system diagnostic systems. Depth Compensated Accumulators Today’s designed operating environment for stack-mounted accumulators is challenging. Design criteria include 12,000-ft water depths, temperatures as low as ...

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Managing Beyond Zero: How to Sustain an HSE Program nearing the Ultimate Goal of Zero Incidents

By Kent Van Eaton and Curt Cranford, Corporate Health, Safety and Environmental Managers, Grant Prideco – Houston, Texas Managing Beyond Zero In the late 1970’s, we can recall safety meeting discussions centered on the lost time injury rate. At that time we had never heard of total recordable injury rate.  However, it didn’t take very long until the lost time injury rate became so low that it was obvious that an LTIR focus would not allow us to continue to improve.  We began to discount the lost time injury rate and consider a broader spectrum of injuries. We increased the magnification, so to speak, and took on the total recordable injury rate as our indicator of success. Fortunately, in the ...

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System uses downhole data to make operations smarter, reduce job time for well intervention

By Marianne Stavland and Jim McNicol, Baker Oil Tools Traditional rig-floor instrumentation provides an indication of critical job parameters taken at surface. As wells become deeper and more tortuous, surface measurements no longer accurately reflect the forces being exerted on and around downhole tools. This uncertainty about what is happening at the business end of the string often creates inefficient operations and a high exposure to risk, resulting in nonproductive time and increased cost of operation. To address these issues, a new system has been developed that integrates real-time data into well intervention, allowing operators to make informed decisions and take immediate actions to optimize ongoing intervention operations. Technology overview The Smart Intervention system features a downhole data acquisition and ...

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Innovative filtration process for well clean-up fluids reduces amount of water-based waste

By Thomas Blyth, Anna Johnston, CETCO Oilfield Services Company As environmental legislation becomes more stringent around the world, oil companies need to continually re-evaluate how waste fluids produced offshore can be processed and disposed. Areas of focus include reducing onshore disposal of waste and discharge of harmful materials to sea. Drilling rigs, while completing well tests and performing well completions, are a source of water-based waste, and there are several options for handling well return fluids from these types of operations. This article discusses the options for handling this water and proposes an innovative filtration process to reduce the overall waste. Possible sources of water-based waste streams, options for handling water-based waste streams, and a waste classification and filtration process ...

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Bioremediation project achieves drilling, environmental objectives onshore Bangladesh

By Chris West, Jim Hunt, Kevin Bowen, Chevron Bangladesh; Gary Cole, Greg McEwen, M-I SWACO A combination of demanding well objectives in a remote and environmentally sensitive area prompted Chevron Bangladesh to achieve their drilling objectives by using an all-encompassing, fully integrated drilling fluid and drilling waste treatment plan for the Moulavi Bazaar (MB) and Bibiyana (BY) field development programs. This approach matched synthetic-base drilling fluid technology with a proven land-farming bioremediation treatment technology, which allowed the successful remediation of drilled cuttings within the limited time frame dictated by the local monsoon weather window. The primary objective was to successfully reduce the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) of the produced drilled cuttings to a minimum of 1% during the dry season. ...

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Company initiatives show drilling industry is taking environmental commitment to heart

By Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor Being environmentally friendly is a great catch phrase, but it doesn’t mean much if companies and people don’t take that commitment to heart. This means not only making a commitment to protect the environment by using the best resources and programs available to reduce environmental hazards but also winning the hearts and minds of employees who take the commitment seriously. In that respect, there is perhaps no industry more aware of the environmental consequences of its actions and does more to mitigate environmental hazards than the oil and gas industry. Sometimes it seems that the environmental bandwagon hasn’t been rolling very long, but some drilling contractors have been protecting the environment with rig-based initiatives and ...

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Bigger coil sizes, hybrid rigs and RSS advances pushing CT Drilling to next level

Old ways may die hard, but in an era of declining, expensive and difficult-to-tap resources, new and unconventional methods of oil and gas exploration are challenging the status quo. Among innovations rising to the top of the wave is coiled tubing drilling, which, while not new, is evolving through recent advances in technology and design as a viable alternative to conventional, jointed pipe drilling in shallow reserves – and beyond. The method has been used successfully for the past decade in Canada, where up to an estimated 40% of wells are drilled with some form of coiled tubing (CT). Why CT drilling has been so slow to come to the continental United States, where it represents only 1-2% of all ...

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Abbot Group chairman looks ahead following $2 billion First Reserve deal

By Jeremy Cresswell, contributing editor Early March saw the completion of a $2 billion deal that took the UK’s Abbot Group off the London Stock Market and into private equity ownership through First Reserve, but with chairman Alasdair Locke and his management team still firmly in command. Mr Locke is regarded as a most skilful company builder. The manner in which he picked up KCA Drilling, placed it at the heart of what was essentially a shell company (Abbot) and capitalized on the classic brand’s reputation and management team strengths to create Britain’s only drilling company with real clout is a story of determination and calculated risk taking. “Abbot was my private company that acquired KCA in 1992,” Mr Locke ...

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