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2008

Casing Drilling improves mature field production, eliminates fluid losses, directionally drills well

By Eric Moellendick, TESCO Corp CASING DRILLING has been used in numerous difficult wells and to drill through troublesome well sections that would not have been possible with conventional drilling techniques. The process eliminates tripping of the drill string and requires only a Range II rig with a single mast. In addition, by reducing or eliminating lost-circulation events, cost savings are realized in the reduced amount of drilling fluid and LCM material required, in turn reducing the environmental impact of the operation. Casing Drilling also has shown to result in significantly better borehole quality and reduced reservoir damage, resulting in improved cement jobs, sometimes with significantly reduced cement volumes and reduced risk of wellbore instability. The plastering effect resulting from ...

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Seismic-while-drilling: Where is it heading?

The concept of seismic-while-drilling (SWD) promises so much, yet still the industry has realized so little of that promise. Drilling Contractor spoke with Robert Radtke, president of Technology International, about where SWD is at, and where it might be headed. Technology International has been working on a joint project with the US Department of Energy to push the current limitations of SWD. Mr Radtke served as chairman of an SPE Emerging Technology Workshop focused solely on SWD in late 2007 and believes the industry is on the verge of a significant SWD breakthrough. DC: Why is SWD still such a niche application? Radtke: Seismic-while-drilling is an emerging technology, and it has been limited because of a lack of a true ...

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Telemetry strings, hardware reliability and trasmission capabilities: update and outlook

By Maximo Hernandez, IntelliServ During recent industry conferences and workshops, reliability figures for the use of telemetry drill strings have been disclosed for the latest wells drilled around the world. These statements of technical performance have had the objective of confirming that the installations of the telemetry network hardware within double shouldered drill strings do not affect the mechanical characteristics of the connections or tubulars. This is directly related to the method of network installation within the drill string. A completely finished double-shouldered drill string manufactured from Grant Prideco is used as the base to install the network. The transmission between joints of pipe is performed by the use of inductive coils connected to a high-strength steel shielded cable that ...

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Automated drilling and real-time drilling process monitoring optimize RSS underreamer technology

By Junichi Sugiura, Steve Jones, PathFinder Energy Services The advancement in deeper drilling programs and directional wells with multiple casing strings have urged the use of an expandable reamer in which casing pass-through ceases to be a restriction. Significant cost savings on enlarging the hole can be obtained by drilling with a rotary steerable system (RSS) because it eliminates a designated hole-opener run after the pilot has been drilled. However, RSS underreamer assemblies are often challenged with BHA instability, excessive vibration and stick-slip problems when the two different cutting structures (bit and underreamer) interact with significantly different formations. In the past, a combination of steerable motors and bi-center bits was the only viable option for concurrent directional drilling and hole ...

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Operator finds cost-effective rotary steerable applications in Oman’s low-cost environment

By M Riyami, Petroleum Development Oman; J Edwards, E Vache, O Ojeiduma, S Johnston, Wael Darwish, Schlumberger Hydrocarbon basins in the Sultanate of Oman are located in the desert, where rig rates are low. Although this is not a typical environment for sophisticated drilling systems such as rotary steerable systems (RSS), use of this technology can make business sense in some niche applications. One application, for example, is efficient directional drilling in hard and abrasive layered formations of S-shape and J-shape profiles. Another is drilling build-ups to precise horizontal landing depths, or drilling absolutely vertical holes in wells that have long, heavy-wall liner sections that are run with inner strings and mechanical-set liner hanger packers. A dogleg can result in ...

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Case study: HPHT infill well drilled successfully in highly depleted reservoir on UKCS field

By L. Fambon, G. Joffroy, TOTAL E&P UK Drilling infill wells on HPHT fields after a significant depletion has occurred represents a difficult challenge. It requires drilling from a cap rock remaining at or close to virgin pressure into a reservoir in which pore and fracture pressures have largely decreased due to production. No mud-weight window exists anymore at the transition between cap rock and reservoir. The difficulty is further increased by uncertainties in the pressure profile along the well path, the rock mechanics and their change generated by the high and rapid depletion, and also by depth uncertainty on the top reservoir. For this reason, most HPHT fields are developed by drilling all wells before a pre-defined limit of ...

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Seadrill confident in growth, believes modern fleet will pay off, says CEO Thorkildsen

By Jeremy Cresswell, contributing editor In Q2 2008, Seadrill landed one of the most spectacular contracts ever awarded in offshore drilling. The client is Petrobras, the revenue potential is $4.1 billion across 18 rig years, and the rigs to be used comprise a trio of sixth-generation semisubmersibles currently in build. Moreover, strategically, Brazil is set to become one of the most important areas of operation for this Bermuda-registered group whose fleet numbers 43 semi-submersibles, jack-ups and tender rigs, including the many new units on order but not options held at the time of writing. Seadrill is one of the fastest-growing, and may in fact be the fastest-growing, company of any engaged in offshore drilling. Of the 43 rigs, 25 are ...

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Exploration on the Atlantic Frontier has been hit-and-miss, but hope lingers for breakthrough

By Jeremy Cresswell, contributing editor As IADC members know all too well, patience is a prerequisite for success in the petroleum industry; it’s a basic fact. But some energy provinces take a lot more figuring out than others before the door to the prize is unlocked. A prime example is surely the Europe Union portion of the Atlantic Frontier, that is, the waters west of France, Ireland, Portugal and Scotland. While a number of promising finds have been made, especially west of Shetland – with three sizable developments producing successfully – and Irish results tantalise, the Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters have yet to yield a meaningful prize. Take the French sector. Thirty years ago, high hopes on France’s ...

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Win-win cooperation between regulators, IADC leads to more efficient moving of MODUs

By Magne Ognedal, Petroleum Safety Authority Norway Safety regulators in North Sea countries have pursued a fruitful collaboration for several decades through the North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum (NSOAF). Its members hold an annual working meeting where activities are summed up and new tasks are initiated and discussed. Most of the forum’s work is carried on through dedicated working groups. These are appointed to tackle particular challenges where the forum sees potential for enhanced efficiency if members coordinate their efforts and benefit from mutual experience and knowledge. Many of the conditions addressed by the forum have related to mobile drilling units, which often move across continental shelf boundaries. Every such move unleashes a number of administrative, inspection and supervisory activities ...

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It’s high times, high demand in the North Sea

It’s a fact that the North Sea is a mature oil province where exploration finds are often smaller compared with those offshore Africa or in the Middle East. But when oil is selling for $130 per bbl and bringing natural gas prices along with it to historic highs, being “mature” doesn’t seem to matter much anymore. Rig utilization offshore Europe stands at an impressive 100%, according to the 13 June weekly rig count from ODS-Petrodata, reflecting continued strong demand and interest from operators. And for drilling contractors, 2009 is already shaping up to be a strong year. “We see a slightly underbalanced market of about two units for 2009, which means the market is looking good,” said Ronald Hoope, commercial ...

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