Home / 2008 (page 5)

2008

Australia is at forefront of biofouling issue, but this environmental challenge may soon go global

By Linda Hsieh, assistant managing editor A critical issue is emerging on the environmental front that could result in serious consequences for drilling contractors and their operations: biofouling. Sometimes called “invisible pollution,” biofouling occurs when organisms attach to a surface – such as the hull of a ship – and get introduced into foreign ecosystems as the vessel moves to new places. These invasive species can then impact local marine environments and species. Considering the nature of drilling rigs and how they’re used – they often sit at one site for five months or even five years before picking up to move elsewhere – it’s no surprise local organisms will grab on and settle in. As the importance of environment ...

Read More »

New method developed to treat individual layers in cemented cased-hole completions

By Gary Rytlewski, Schlumberger A new method of completing multiple-layer formations has been successfully tested in the United States and Canada. This new method places sliding sleeve valves in the casing string and completes the well with normal cementing operations. The sliding sleeve valves are opened one at a time to fracture layers independently without perforating. Completions using these casing valves are called treat and produce (TAP) completions and have a unique design feature in the valves that allows a theoretically unlimited number of valves to be placed in a single well without incremental reductions to the internal diameter (ID). This near full bore feature allows normal cementing operations to be preformed with a special cement wiper plug. A control ...

Read More »

New NELP licensing round to push India’s deepwater ambiitions, need for deepwater rigs

After three extensions, the bid deadline for the seventh round of India’s New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) is now set for 30 June 2008. A total of 57 blocks have been offered for bidding, including 29 onshore blocks, nine shallow-water blocks and 19 deepwater blocks. Announced in December 2007, NELP VII has been heavily promoted by the Indian government, with “road shows” promoting the new licensing round earlier this year in cities like London, Houston, Singapore, and Perth, Australia, as well as cities in India. According to the Indian government, the development of the E&P sector has been significantly boosted by NELP. Before NELP, only 11% of Indian sedimentary basins were under exploration. Six rounds of NELP later, 162 production ...

Read More »

PV Drilling building new rigs as it eyes Vietnams expanding E&P market, exploration successes

By Linda Hsieh, assistant managing editor Vietnam-based PV Drilling is gearing up to be a serious offshore player – just in time, since Vietnam is gearing up for some serious offshore drilling. Just six years ago, PV Drilling – or Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Services Corp – was a company providing small-scale services such as drilling tool rental and oil spill response. By March 2007, it had taken delivery of its first jackup rig – not only the first offshore rig for PV Drilling but also the first ever offshore rig for any Vietnam-based drilling contractor. Since then, the company has ordered two more jackups from the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore. Both are scheduled for delivery in 2009. “It’s ...

Read More »

Gulf of Thailand drilling/completion both high tech and high volume, with HSE as core value

By Mike Killalea, Editor & Publisher Drilling in the Gulf of Thailand (GOT) is not only high-volume work, but presents considerable technical drilling-and-completion challenges. Chevron, the major operator in the GOT, drills some 40% of its global footage there – that’s right, 40%. In 2007, that constituted 3.7 million ft and 310 wells, and the previous year, 4.4 million ft. Chevron’s preeminence in the region more than doubled following the 2005 merger with Unocal. Chevron’s drilling program will extend through the next decade and beyond, explained Mike Haas, drilling & completions manager for the Asia South Business Unit, Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production Ltd. “It’s good for us because it allows us to contract long term,” he said, “and it ...

Read More »

Permanent magnet motors lead way to better power efficiency, safety on cranes, winches

By Hege Kverneland, National Oilwell Varco Recognized around the world as a leader in technology-driven drilling solutions, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has kept its focus on commercializing permanent magnet motor technology and developing innovative applications for its use. The Lifting and Handling Group’s latest technological development is the new all-electric King Post Crane using permanent magnet motor (PM motor) technology with a new type of permanent magnet motor winch (PMW). PM motor Technology The technology of the PM motor differs from the traditional squirrel cage AC asynchronous motor in that it uses permanent magnets to generate the magnetic flux to turn the motor, versus excitation by copper or energizing large copper winding in the rotor. The benefits of the PM ...

Read More »

Lifting Safety: Inexperienced employees, deepwater/subsea projects push lifting challenges to new

“The challenges have shifted,” said Mike Brasic, who retired from BP in May 2008 as lifting adviser and as HSE manager for BP Sakhalin. First, there’s the people problem. “The level of experience among employees has gone down as the level of activity has gone up. That’s presenting challenges with competency that the industry must address.” Second, the move into deepwater and subsea operations has brought its own set of technological and safety challenges – including lifting challenges. “It’s a new phase to the lifting game,” he said. Lifting performance Mr Brasic believes the industry has seen a decrease in lifting fatalities and serious incidents in recent years, and several factors have contributed to that. “There’s more focus on near-miss ...

Read More »

Ultra-stable PDC drill bit technology improves performance in Southern Mexico applications

By Dalmo Amorim, ReedHycalog/University of São Paulo; Andrew D Murdock, Carlos Huerta, ReedHycalog; Diogo S Oliveira, Fabiola Diaz, Gustavo A Padron G, Willie Columbine, Schlumberger IPM; Wilson S Iramina, University of São Paulo As worldwide demand for hydrocarbons continues to grow and with shallow reservoirs rapidly depleting, most new discoveries are being made at greater depths (5,000 m or deeper). These wells are increasingly directional, presenting new challenges and facilitating the need for more powerful equipment that decreases the overall drilling cost. In today’s high-cost drilling environment, the durability and steerability of the drill bit are critical to economically drilling harder formations with increasingly demanding directional objectives. Because stability affects both durability and steerability, stable bits are a key to ...

Read More »

Tough directional TCIs deliver longer runs with higher ROP in Canadian build sections

By Chad Mason, Caleb Rickabaugh, Eric Olson, Hughes Christensen Certain formations create unique challenges for operators drilling directional applications with roller cone bits. In western Canada, for example, interbedded formations of hard sandstone, siltstone, shale and chert have frustrated operators using conventional tungsten carbide insert (TCI) bits to drill a directional wellbore. In addition to short runs with low ROP because of high cyclic loading failure, damaging hole-wall contact increases gauge and shirttail wear. With WOB preferentially loaded on the roller cone’s heel and adjacent heel area, cutting structure breakdown and seal failures are accelerated. The conventional bits’ non-cutting structure elements rapid breakdown causes excessive trips. Overall, these unique loads, stresses and increased drilling cost called for a new approach ...

Read More »

Improved design processes allow bits to fit specific applications, set new drilling records

By Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor Designing a drill bit with the correct configuration and hydraulic performance for a specific application has everything to do with a well’s success. A wrong bit for the application can result in low rate of penetration (ROP), inefficient hole cleaning and expensive wells that sometimes won’t reach the operator’s geological objectives. Today, bit companies use the latest software to model the bit based on lithology from offset wells and from lab tests on rock strength. Once data is input into the software, virtual wells can be drilled, using the resulting data to tweak the design and create the optimum bit for the specific application. Since the introduction of rotary steerable systems (RSS), the industry appears ...

Read More »