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2008

News Cuttings

IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee holds 1st meeting The new IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee plans to work toward guidelines and best practices for automated drilling systems, as well as examine standard methods of reporting reliability problems with advanced rig equipment. The committee held its inaugural meeting during the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Orlando, Fla., on 5 March. Automated drilling systems are increasingly common in today’s rig fleet. However, reliability can be problematic. The IADC committee will consider a wide range of issues, including: • Standardization of plug-and-play equipment electrical interfaces. • Guidelines for competency and HSE. • Guidance to drilling contractors on appropriate operations for automated systems. • Developing a database of reliability or failure statistics for key ...

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Wirelines

IADC argues against lease suspensions The US Minerals Management Service held a workshop in New Orleans on 23 January to allow three Gulf of Mexico operators to make their case for “suspension of operations” when technology to exploit offshore leases is allegedly not available. IADC representatives attending the workshop concluded there’s no justification for expanding the criteria for suspensions of operations, and that MMS has sufficient authority to grant relief as needed. In its formal comment to the docket, IADC observed that the same so-called technological barriers found in the GOM deepwater frontier have been surmounted elsewhere in the world. IADC argues that operators who won’t fulfill their lease commitments by the end of their lease terms must return the ...

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IADC, regulators address asset integrity in continuing effort to improve HSE

HSE is central to IADC’s mission on behalf of the global drilling industry. In pursuit of HSE improvement, IADC collaborates with all stakeholders – operators, service firms, government and, of course, drilling contractors. We have been honored to be recognized for our efforts in this regard, most recently by the International Regulators Forum (IRF) at its Offshore Safety Forum, held in Miami last December. At that event, we were recognized with the Carolita U Kallaur Award for Outstanding International Safety Leadership for our development of the IADC Health, Safety and Environmental Case Guideline. Discussion at the IRF event focused to a large extent on asset integrity of offshore installations. Distilled to its essence, this broad topic spans the overall ability ...

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Real-time, 3D visualization drilling supervision system targets ECD, downhole pressure control

By Rolv Rommetveit, Knut Bjorkevoll, SINTEF Petroleum Research; Sven Inge Ødegård, Hitec Products Drilling eDrilling is a new and innovative system for real-time drilling simulation, 3D visualization and control from a remote drilling expert centre. The concept uses all available real-time drilling data (surface and downhole) in combination with real-time modeling to monitor and optimize the drilling process. This information is used to visualize the wellbore in 3D in real time. eDrilling has been implemented in an onshore drilling center in Norway and has been used on several drilling operations. This article focuses on utilization of an advanced flow model for real-time supervision and control of ECD and ECD-related effects. Real-time modeling The key elements of eDrilling are real-time simulation, ...

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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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