2013 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference: Exclusive roundup of abstracts from 18 technical sessions

Posted on 21 February 2013

Editor’s note: These abstracts have been edited for space and clarity. This program is current as of 15 January 2013. Additions, withdrawals and other changes to the conference program after this date may not be reflected. Click here for the most updated program.


SPE/IADC 163525

Setting Free the Bear: The Challenges and Lessons of the Ursa A-10 Deepwater ERD Well, E. van Oort, University of Texas Austin; G.A. Ugueto, J.R. Gradishar, J. Murdoch, Shell

This paper details the case history of the challenging extended reach deepwater A-10 well, drilled in the Ursa prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. This well, drilled from the Ursa TLP at a vertical depth of 20,000 ft and a horizontal displacement of 20,000 ft, targeted the yellow sand in the Ursa-Princess section of the greater Mars-Ursa basin. During the drilling of the original hole and three subsequent sidetracks, significant hole problems materialized causing extensive non-productive time and associated trouble cost. A succinct overview of the Ursa A-10 case history and a comprehensive summary of the learnings will be provided in the paper to help the future drilling of extended reach wells in geopressured, low-margin deepwater environments.

SPE/IADC 163487

Case History of a Challenging Thin Oil Column ERD Development at Sakhalin, V.P. Gupta, S.R. Sanford, ExxonMobil Development Company; R.S. Mathis, E.K. DiPippo, Exxon Neftegas; M.J. Egan, AIPC, Consultant

ExxonMobil, as operator for the Sakhalin-1 project, recently planned a drilling campaign at the Chayvo Field, Sakhalin Island, Russia. The focus of this campaign is the development of a thin oil column reservoir using extended reach drilling (ERD).

The case history described in this paper illustrates the combination of planning, technical design and operational practices required to push the ERD envelope further.

SPE/IADC 163456

White Rose Project Drilling and Completion Performance Evolution: A Case Study, G. Akinniranye, T. Krepp, B.M. Foster, K&M Technology Group; C. Pardy, Husky Energy; M. Carter, Schlumberger; C.C. Gregory, Canada Husky Energy

The White Rose field is a large oilfield offshore Eastern Canada, approximately 350 km east-southeast of St John’s Newfoundland. The North Amethyst Drill Center was the first satellite tie-back development of the main White Rose field.

North Amethyst faces significant drilling challenges. In earlier wells, the severe levels of shocks and vibrations encountered while drilling both the intermediate and production hole sections resulted in low rates of penetration, premature bit wear, damaged tools, unplanned trips and drill string failures.

This paper presents a deconstruction of how drilling and completion performance improvements were achieved over three years from 2009 to 2012. These efforts, even as wells complexities increase, reduced cost per foot and days per thousand feet by over 20% while drilling approximately eight wells over a two-year period.

SPE/IADC 163447

Shale Play Drilling Challenges: Case Histories and Lessons Learned, M.J. Jellison, J.N. Brock, A. Muradov, D. Morgan, NOV Grant Prideco; J. Rowell, Premium Oilfield Services

This paper discusses the requirements for drill pipe in shale applications along with a review of some of the challenges and problems associated with the drill string in these critical applications.

SPE/IADC 163415

Exploration and Appraisal Drilling Operations in the South Atlantic, J.W. Jenner, A. Morrison, Rockhopper Exploration; B. Lyons, Desire Petroleum; L. Phillips, AGR Petroleum Services; I. McBean, Diamond Offshore Drilling (UK)

The paper describes how the teamwork and continuity provided by utilizing a drilling project management company based in Aberdeen and a single drilling contractor enabled two small UK operating companies, with limited in-house operational resources, to conduct offshore drilling campaigns in an area remote from established support centers.

The paper will demonstrate that with detailed and careful planning, inclusive management and modern communications technology, drilling operations in remote locations can be conducted safely and efficiently.

SPE/IADC 163418: Weatherford’s 7-in. x 8 ½-in. Defyer DPC 513 drillable casing bit was used with liner drilling technology to drill and cement an operator’s 9 5/8-in. and 7-in. liners in place from the naturally fractured El Abra formation in the Carpa and Bagre fields of the Faja de Oro area offshore Mexico.

SPE/IADC 163418: Weatherford’s 7-in. x 8 ½-in. Defyer DPC 513 drillable casing bit was used with liner drilling technology to drill and cement an operator’s
9 5/8-in. and 7-in. liners in place from the naturally fractured El Abra formation in the Carpa and Bagre fields of the Faja de Oro area offshore Mexico.

SPE/IADC 163418

Use of Liner Drilling Technology as a Mitigation to Lost Circulation in the Faja De Oro (Golden Lane) Oil Fields Offshore Veracruz, Mexico, O.L. Pohlenz, Pemex Exploration and Production; S.M. Rosenberg, E. Garcia, M.Z. Tan, Weatherford International

This paper will demonstrate the benefit of liner drilling technology to drill and cement an operator’s 9 5/8-in. and 7-in. liners in place allowing for the continued development of oil reserves from the naturally fractured El Abra formation in the Carpa and Bagre fields of the Faja de Oro area.

Prior to the introduction of liner drilling, two previous wells drilled in the Carpa field encountered massive lost circulation and hole instability while drilling into the El Abra limestone resulting in a total of 55 days of NPT for the two wells. An estimated 2,700 bbls of fluid were lost in these wells with both wells having to be sidetracked to reach their El Abra objective.


SPE/IADC 163443

First Oil Requirements Drive Simultaneous Drilling and Subsea Construction Operations on UK Central North Sea Development, R.M. Allan, B. Fraser, S. Short, S. Davidson, E.ON E&P UK

Accelerated production targets in the field development plan of this UKCS project drove the requirement for design and drilling of the four production and two injection wells with concurrent subsea construction and planned production start-up. The objective of the paper is to demonstrate that the use of a jackup with subsea template and high-pressure riser is a worthwhile subsea well development method.

The activities described in the paper can be applied to marginal developments where accelerated production is a driver or rig market constraints are a factor during rig type selection.

SPE/IADC 163457

Case Study of Rotating Expandable Reamer Across Whipstock and Drilling Ahead Over 8,000 ft Thereby Reducing Drilling Time, S.R. Radford, M. Allain, J. Oliveire, S. Desselle, Baker Hughes; B. Pearl, Chevron; J.D. Enterline, Hughes Christensen

Reducing drilling time and cost has become more important as wells have been drilled deeper and costs have risen. This paper will describe a case study of a well drilled in the Main Pass area of the Gulf of Mexico for a major operator. In this job it became necessary to rotate a bottomhole assembly, including an expandable reamer, across a whipstock. This eliminated a trip and significantly minimized costs.

SPE/IADC 163523

Operational Reliability Assessment of Conventional Drilling vs MPD on Challenging Offshore Wells, D.M. Hannegan, Weatherford International Ltd.

This presentation applies reliability engineering concepts to a HPHT prospect whose water depth and formation pressure map suggests risk of kick-loss scenarios, differential sticking, risk of twist-off, cementing challenges and TD with too small a hole. An offset well’s actual experience with conventional drilling methods will be compared with an operational reliability assessment of applying the constant bottom hole pressure variation of managed pressure drilling on the proposed well.


SPE/IADC 163411

Wellbore Collision Avoidance and Interceptions – State of the Art, J.P. de Wardt, de Wardt and Co; S.V. Mullin, Gyrodata Inc; J. Thorogood, Global Drilling Consultant; J. Wright, Bearco

Results and knowledge shared from the SPE Workshop held in Inverness, September 2012 (Collision Avoidance and Well Interceptions) will be presented.

SPE/IADC 163496

Rank Wildcat Drilling Risks & Drilling Time Reduced in Ultra-Deepwater Offshore Namibia with the Application of Seismic & Formation Pressure While Drilling Technology, M. Richards, J. Kemper, A. Jervis, E. Bowles, Chariot Oil and Gas; C. Cassidy, Senergy World; M. Turner, N. Kelsall, J. Puech, Schlumberger

Rank wildcat wells in deepwater present some of the greatest challenges today. Decision making during drilling is challenging due to a lack of offset well data. 3D surface seismic data has significant uncertainty from the translation of two-way time to horizon depths, which further induces risk into the predrill pore pressure model.

This paper looks in detail at how the utilization of a high-tech logging while drilling suite in the execution of a rank wildcat enabled key drilling decisions to be made, reducing risk and time taken to drill the well.

SPE/IADC 163467

New Directional Drilling Modeling Tools Improve Drilling Performance, R. Spencer, A. Kulkarni, Baker Hughes; J. Hanson, JM Hanson Consulting

This paper describes the development and use of new directional drilling software modeling tools. A new, fully dynamic drill bit software simulator is introduced with the capability of modeling rock removal done by cutters as well as gauge pads and bit blades. Side-cutting simulations with gauge pad/rock interaction are presented and compared to side-load lab test data at atmospheric pressure. Axial drilling simulations with blade/rock interaction are presented and compared to pressurized axial drilling lab tests. Both side-cutting and axial simulations show good agreement with the lab tests.

SPE/IADC 163513

Advanced FEA-Based Modeling System Successfully Reproduces and Solves RSS Hole Spiraling Issue, M. Al Habsi, Al Hosn Gas (ADNOC); T. Stephens, Y. Owodunni, Al Hosn Gas (Oxy); R. Boualleg, Y. Shen, O. El Amin, M.R. Mokhti, P. Le, V. Radhakrishnan, Schlumberger

Hole spiraling can adversely affect drilling costs and reduce the quality of formation data acquired for geological interpretation. Quality image logs are imperative to optimize well planning, field development and reservoir characterization. In a recent production well, the operator was experiencing severe hole spiraling using RSS in the 8 ½-in hole section that severely reduced resistivity image quality. To solve the problem, an accurate 3D modeling system was applied that utilizes laboratory derived cutter-rock interaction as the basis for engineering analysis.

SPE/IADC 163472: Schlumberger’s slim-hole PowerDrive Archer RSS was designed for worldwide application in various borehole sizes. Field tests of the new high-dogleg RSS show improvements in multilateral well construction. Photo courtesy of Schlumberger.

SPE/IADC 163472: Schlumberger’s slim-hole PowerDrive Archer RSS was designed for worldwide application in various borehole sizes. Field tests of the new high-dogleg RSS show improvements in multilateral well construction. Photo courtesy of Schlumberger.

SPE/IADC 163472

Design, Development and Field Testing of a High Dogleg Slim-Hole Rotary Steerable System, R.F. Hawkins, S. Hough, S. Jones, J. Sugiura, J. O’Connor, Schlumberger

This paper presents the design, development and field testing of a new high dogleg RSS for 5 7/8-in.
to 6 3/4-in. hole size. The design methodology is explained in terms of requirements and specifications. The development and field testing phases of the project will be described in detail including field test results from different drilling applications worldwide.


SPE/IADC 163482

Sakhalin Gas Shut-off Workovers: A Case History of Zonal Isolation at Record Depths, R. Molloy, ExxonMobil Development Company; M.M. DiPippo, Exxon Neftegas

Exxon Neftegas, as operator for the Sakhalin-1 project, recently completed gas shut-off workovers on two extended-reach horizontal wells at the Chayvo field, Sakhalin Island, Russia.

This paper will recap the results of this successful gas shut-off workover campaign and the learnings obtained from straddle liner installations at world record depths.

SPE/IADC 163426

Innovative Managed Pressure Cementing Operations in Deepwater and Deep Well Conditions, Y.A. Elmarsafawi, A. Beggah, Schlumberger; V. Pradet, C. Cheshier, BP

In Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, the innovative MPD cementing technique was used to cement several string sizes that sat at different depths. In this challenging deepwater environment, specialized surface equipment was used to control the well during cementing. In addition, the mud properties and cement system were tailored for this specific operation. After cementing, the job was evaluated with sonic and ultrasonic logging tools.

The success of the MPD cementing technique enabled us to reduce completion costs and achieve drilling objectives. In this paper, we present case studies of the technique used to cement several wells and the evaluation performed after operation completion.

SPE/IADC 163452

HPHT Well Construction with Closed-Loop Cementing Technology, D.M. Hannegan, Weatherford International

This presentation speaks to applying the principals of MPD and recent refinements of its deepwater practice to cementing processes. Precise mass flow in/out measurements, ascertainment of actual downhole pressure environment, ability to conduct frequent dynamic formation integrity tests without drilling interruption and use of PLC choke systems are applicable strengths.

SPE/IADC 163511

Qualification and Field Trial of a Metal Expandable Well Annular Barrier, J.R. Drechsler, O. Eikeskog, Statoil; P. Hazel, R. Vasquez, B. Filev, Welltec A/S; O. Hjorteland, Welltec Inc

This paper covers the design, development and qualification of a hydraulically expandable metal annular barrier assembled on a full bore liner. The presentation will review the design, material selection to achieve the required expansion, the unique outer seal design to deliver the pressure differential requirements and the final qualification process, which exceeds the industry- established guidelines within ISO 14310.

SPE/IADC 163461

LWD Sonic Cement Logging: Benefits, Applicability and Novel Uses for Assessing Well Integrity, M.P. Blyth, D. Hupp, T. Kinoshita, Schlumberger; I. Whyte, Tullow Oil

This paper explores the applicability of LWD sonic tools to the analysis of cement behind casing. It considers both the currently accepted deliverable of top of cement analysis, along with examples of more advanced processing techniques and their comparison to wireline cement evaluation, providing case study examples in each case.

The benefits and limitations of these methods will be discussed, along with operational considerations to aid in successful logging, including the use of repeat logging passes to indicate changes in cement quality with time. The use of LWD sonic tools to identify casing collar connections on driller’s depth, enabling the safe positioning of cased-hole whipstocks, is also covered, demonstrating a novel and little-used application of LWD technology.

SPE/IADC 163446: A new cement placement simulator investigates key criteria for optimization of zonal isolation and cement placement. Accounting for losses and the behavior of non-aqueous fluids together during cement placement allows for more in-depth analysis.

SPE/IADC 163446: A new cement placement simulator investigates key criteria for optimization of zonal isolation and cement placement. Accounting for losses and the behavior of non-aqueous fluids together during cement placement allows for more in-depth analysis.

SPE/IADC 163446

Accounting for Lost Circulation and NAF Compressibility – Impacts on Cement Placement, J.M. Shine, Jr., S.A. Chaudhary, A.J. Felio, R.S. Martin, Baker Hughes

This paper will explain the theory and methods behind the advanced cementing simulator inputs and resultant outputs with case histories demonstrating field validation of the new simulator’s reliability. For example, in a Gulf of Mexico well where zonal isolation below the base of salt is critical, the simulator provided more accurate results resulting in top of cement as planned. The advanced simulator provides accountability for new industry regulations and confidence when evaluating the cement placement.


SPE/IADC 163544

Performance of Heavyweight Cements at Ultra-High Temperatures, J. Caritey,  J.E. Brady, Schlumberger

The effect of common weighting agents on the corresponding set cement properties at very high temperatures and pressures is presented. It demonstrates for the first time that metal (iron, titanium, manganese) oxides are not at all inert in these conditions. Analytical data show that they react with cement hydrates (xonotlite) to form other mineral phases, which are detrimental to zonal isolation as they result in lower compressive strength and higher permeability. A new strategy for heavy weight cements at extreme temperature is then presented, where performance of the set cement is preserved.

SPE/IADC 163459

Dynamic Cementation: A Solution to Well Integrity Problems, C. Holt, N. Lahoti, L. Godoy, Tesco Corp

A new method of dynamic cementation, where pipe movement is maintained until cement begins to set maximizes the mud-cement displacement process. It can achieve a quality completion using cementing software, real-time rig instrumentation and casing rotation/reciprocation.

In this paper, barriers to change, a methodology with classifications in dynamic cementation levels and field examples are presented. It investigates the benefits of casing movement during cementing and reviewing cement bond logs.


SPE/IADC 163476

Thermal Modeling Reveals Hidden Conditions that Can Impair Wellbore Stability and Integrity, R. Mitchell, R. Sweatman, Halliburton

This paper describes thermal modeling, combined with drilling fluid analysis, which reveals concealed changes in well conditions during various drilling and completion operations. These hidden conditions represent significant changes in the well’s drilling and completion fluid temperature, pressure, and density that may help explain wellbore stability and integrity issues.

SPE/IADC 163455

Casing Design for Dual-Gradient Wells, A.J. Cantrell, Cherokee Offshore Engineering

This paper outlines factors that should be accounted for in dual-gradient casing design as compared to conventional deepwater casing design.

SPE/IADC 163410

Big Bore Expandable Liner Hangers for Offshore and Deepwater Applications Reduces Cost and Increases Reliability: GOM Case History, J. McCormick, A. Carter, Halliburton

A case history of six expandable liner hangers (ELH) in the Gulf of Mexico show consistent materials cost savings, reduced installation time, improved reliability and increased versatility over the conventional system.

This paper disseminates technical information to increase operator awareness of an additional technology. Because deepwater exploration and development wells are becoming more prevalent, solutions for decreased materials costs, reduced installation time, improved reliability and increased versatility are needed. This ELH technology assists with both increased efficiency for current operations and the ability to push the deepwater technological envelope.

SPE/IADC 163573

BOP Testing – Qualification Tests, Test Facilities and the Efficient Means of Operating Them, F.B. Springett, C. Johnson, M. Shah, National Oilwell Varco

BOP performance is in the limelight all the way from the manufacturers to governmental levels. Greater performance objectives require higher testing standards. This paper will examine the needs of a modern BOP test facility and the methods used to deliver on those needs effectively.

SPE/IADC 163462

Zonal Isolation Through Gas Hydrates Offshore Tanzania, J.S. Vølstad, T. Tveit, Statoil; P.C. Aguilar Mayorga, N. Hurtado, M. Bogaerts, Schlumberger

Deepwater cementing becomes increasingly challenging as drilling operations move to greater water depths and to more remote locations. Understanding these challenges and mitigating the associated risks in time becomes ever more important. Before the first exploration well for an operator offshore Tanzania was spudded in a water depth of 2,580 meters, an extensive analysis was performed to determine all the risks for cementing operations, especially critical was the cementation of the surface casing.

SPE/IADC 163549

Perforating Gunshock Loads – Prediction and Mitigation, C.E. Baumann, K.E. Barnard, H.A. Williams, Schlumberger; D.R. McDaniel, J.R. Cromb, Anadarko Petroleum

Most wells and particularly high-pressure wells are susceptible to gunshock damage when they are perforated with inappropriate gun systems. This paper presents a simulation methodology to predict gunshock loads for tubing-conveyed and wireline-conveyed perforating jobs. This methodology enables completion engineers to evaluate the sensitivity of gunshock loads to changes in gun type, charge type, shot density, tubing size and length, number of shock absorbers, rathole length, and placement of packers, among others.


SPE/IADC 163416

The Evolution of Wired Drilling Tools: A Background, History and Learnings from the Development of a Suite of Drilling Tools for Wired Drill Strings, A.D. Craig, T.A. Jackson, NOV IntelliServ; D.A. Ramnarace, R. Schultze, NOV Downhole; S. Stene, ConocoPhillips Norway; M. Herbert, ConocoPhillips Norge

This paper will summarize the development of a range of drilling tools for use in a wired drill string. The paper will focus on the history and learnings from the engineering design, field use and commercialization of wired conventional drilling tools, including jars and underreamers as well as the development of an advanced drilling dynamics measurement tool capable of transmitting downhole data through the wired drill pipe network.

SPE/IADC 163537

Industry’s First Hydro-Mechanical Surface Controlled System for Multiple Reamer Activation/Deactivation Increases Drilling Efficiency, B.T. Torvestad, H.M. Bjoerneli, K. Toerge, L. Andreassen, Schlumberger; S. Haavardstein, ConocoPhillips

Using a concentric underreamer is a widely used technique for efficient wellbore construction. Most underreamers are fitted with lock-out systems to provide a means of drilling out the shoe-track with the cutters closed before enlarging the tool below casing. Several underreamers also provide a system to lock the tool closed after reaching TD to enable full flow while pulling out of hole for best possible cleaning. However, a major limitation these systems have in common is the underreamer cannot be reactivated once closed and the tool must be placed at top BHA due to the activation method.

To increase reamer efficiency/BHA flexibility, a new hydro-mechanical system has been developed that makes it possible to perform multiple activation/deactivation of the underreamer by manipulating the flow rate in a short sequence allowing infinite open/close cycling for selective underreaming and more flexible placement opportunities within the BHA. The concept does not require any form of device to be pumped down the drill string. The system also increases the potential to save rig time on the activation/deactivation sequence.

SPE/IADC 163516

Downhole Vibration Analysis: Fishing Agitation Tool Efficiency in Stuck Pipe Recovery, A.K. Mohanna, P. Shwets, M. Voghell, D. Perez, National Oilwell Varco; M. Ahmed, Saudi Aramco

Challenging and costly situations to overcome in modern day directional drilling applications are stuck pipe in open hole due to differential and/or mechanical sticking forces. Chances of recovery decay with time and conventional fishing BHAs are frequently unsuccessful. By incorporating axial-oscillation technology, its fishing reliability and effectiveness improve exponentially. The fishing agitation tool (FAT) is an excitation component of the fishing BHA used to deliver low impact high energy oscillation to the engaged fish. FAT keeps the string in motion, breaking static sticking friction.

SPE/IADC 163568

Expandable Liner Hanger Milling: North Sea Case Histories, T. Berge, K.D. Mathisen, O. Storebo, Halliburton; M.S. Muir, Maersk Oil and Gas A/S

This paper discusses the first two cases in the North Sea where expandable liner hangers were milled due to drilling issues below the liners. The milling of the expandable hanger bodies provided several benefits over conventional liner hanger systems. The benefits included reduced rig time and NPT, less well debris than when milling movable parts/slips, and no parent-casing slip damage.

SPE/IADC 163409

Unique Motor Design Decreases Costs While Improving Performance in High-Speed Drilling Applications, B.C. Guidroz, M. Hussain, National Oilwell Varco; C. Zowtuk, D. Erlandson, Talisman Energy

Drilling in high-speed applications typically requires the use of a turbine or a uniform-rubber thickness motor. While both generate high-rotating speeds, both are limited in the output power transferred to the bit. This decreases the drilling potential of the bit, especially in hard rock applications where rate of penetration (ROP) requires high speed and power. A further limitation is the per-foot drilling cost being significantly higher than traditional drilling motors and, in some cases, preventing the use of impregnated bits in low cost markets.

A new positive displacement motor has proven that the use of turbines and uniform-rubber thickness motors are not the only choices for high-speed drilling. This new motor is similar to conventional positive displacement motors in that it consists of a bearing assembly, transmission shaft and power section. The net result is a motor that can rotate at the speeds required for high-speed drilling while generating much higher output power than existing technology.

Field testing of this new motor design has shown performance that meets or exceeds existing high-speed drilling technology with regards to ROP and total drilling time.

SPE/IADC 163413

Planning for Successful Jarring Operations – Effective Use of Drilling Impact System Helps Release Stuck Pipe, J.L. Mercado, Schlumberger

This paper focus on the drilling bottomhole assembly (BHA) design process and best operational practices that need to be follow to assure a successful drilling operation. The authors will discuss effectiveness of the impact system and proper pre-job analysis procedures for optimum jar placement to avoid a lost-in-hole situation. Case studies are presented to illustrate how the utilization of the drilling impact system culminated in the successful execution of a jarring operation to free stuck BHAs.


SPE/IADC 163507

A New Standard in Wireline Coring: Recovering Large Diameter Wireline Core Through Standard Drill Pipe and Custom Large Bore Jar, T.M. Farese, H. Ahmed, National Oilwell Varco; I.A. Adebiyi, Saudi Aramco

A new wireline retrievable system capable of acquiring 3-in. diameter core utilizing standard drill pipe was designed for application in Saudi Arabia. In addition, custom large bore coring jars were designed and deployed to meet the operator’s stuck pipe prevention standards. In all, 215 ft of core was cut in 8 3/8-in. hole size achieving 98.6% core recovery, excellent core quality and 74-hrs of rig time savings compared to conventional coring operations.

The improvement in this technology has drastically increased the efficiency of large diameter wireline retrievable coring technology, decreased the stuck pipe risk and greatly reduced the minimum amount of core needed for the technology to be economically justified.

SPE/IADC 163570

System Reliability and Metrics for the High-Speed Networked Drill String Telemetry and Along String Evaluation, D.M. Veeningen, R. McCubrey, A. Johnson, R. Adsit, National Oilwell Varco

Industry-wide adoption of networked drill strings require that the system is a viable alternative to conventional strings in terms of expense that lower well cost through increased efficiency, improved wellbore quality and reduced risk exposure. In addition, system reliability must be demonstrated with metrics.

This paper details underlying assumptions, statistical methods and presents reliability metrics for the high-speed networked telemetry drill string.


SPE/IADC 163548

A Brief History of the Shell “Soft Torque Rotary System” and Some Recent Case Studies, J.J. Runia, S. Dwars, Shell; I. Stulemeijer, Consultant

The Shell “Soft Torque Rotary System” is a rotary drive control system to mitigate torsion vibrations in oil and gas drilling. The system was developed by Shell (with help from industry partners) in the early ‘90s and commercialized by licensing to a number of industry equipment suppliers. The original system was developed for DC-drilling drives using analogue torque feedback. The development of next generation AC drives in the drilling industry has required a re-look and upgrade of the technology. Currently we have rejuvenated the technology and introduced stringent commissioning criteria to safeguard the quality of deployment. An overview of these developments will be given, seen from a Shell perspective. In addition, a number of recent case histories will be presented.

SPE/IADC 163558

Fit-for-Purpose BHA Design for Drilling Complex Wells Offshore Brunei Leads to New Industry Benchmark, B. Legarth, S. Dustin, J. Montero, Brunei Shell Petr. Sdn Bhd; J.R. Walker, R. Mulligan, C. Maeso, Schlumberger WTA Malaysia S/B

The paper will discuss engineering solutions implemented to mitigate risks from break-outs and complex well geometries, which consequently contributed greatly to deliver the subsequent 6,500-meter high complexity ERD well at 21.28 days ahead of AFE and with a best in class performance in the Rushmore Benchmark.

SPE/IADC 163475

Instrumented IBOP Improves Measurements for Drilling and Equipment Optimization, J. Anderson, J. Standefer, R. Wylie, National Oilwell Varco

SPE/IADC 140347 described an instrumented surface sub (ISS) that included a vibration sensor, in addition to the standard measurements. Though tests appeared promising, practical ISS application proved difficult because of modifications needed to existing drilling equipment and resulting working space reductions between the crown block and drill floor.

To overcome these operational drawbacks, the sensor system was integrated into a standard internal blowout preventer (IBOP). Designing the instrumented IBOP presented many challenges both electrically and mechanically based on system requirements. This paper discusses the solutions for these design challenges and the validations that overcome each challenge, including lab and field testing.

SPE/IADC 163406

Application of Targeted Bit Speed (TBS) Technology to Optimize Bakken Shale Drilling, W.D. Bassarath, C.A. Maranuk, Weatherford International

This paper examines the results of two 10,000-ft horizontal wells drilled in North Dakota. The first well was drilled to the planned total depth using TBS technology; the second well (not using TBS technology) was terminated prematurely due to high torque and drag. This paper details the improvement in the drilling process that this new technology offers by way of key metrics, such as reduced drilling time and improved wellbore geometry, with consequential cost savings.

SPE/IADC 163408

Maximizing BHA Durability/Reliability: Turbodrill/Impregnated Bit Significantly Reduces Drilling Time in Granite Wash Laterals, G. Bone, C.D. Jamerson, Apache Corp; A.J. Klassen, J. Gray, Schlumberger; R.N. Baker, K.D. Turner, M. Parra, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger Company

Inconsistent roller cone/PDC bit performance drilling horizontally through the hard/abrasive Granite Wash reservoir in western Oklahoma has resulted in low ROP, increased operating days and escalating drilling costs. The authors will present case histories that illustrate performance achievements in the horizontal section and provide details that contributed to the success of the unique BHA.

SPE/IADC 163505

Drilling Optimization in Deep Tight Gas Field, M.A. Al-Sharafi, N. Hariri, M. Nasrumminallah, Schlumberger; M. Al Naamani, PDO

In Oman, a high temperature/pressure, deep vertical tight gas exploration field required to reduce the drilling AFE. This paper provides a benchmark for similar high temperature/pressure tight gas projects, where cost is a concern and requires a technical solution.


SPE/IADC 163565

Little Things, Big Effects – Identifying Causes and Addressing Vibrations Issues in Challenging Deepwater Applications, G. Mensa-Wilmot, P. Benet, B. Maddoux, D. Ramchune, Chevron

This paper identifies a major contributor to drilling vibrations that is often overlooked in the types of analysis mentioned earlier – geometries of downhole tools, especially stabilizers. This realization is based on extensive analysis of worn tools. Correlations between specific vibrations modes, their initiation factors and failure patterns on downhole tools are established. Low-cost remediation solutions, that focus primarily on modifications to downhole tool geometries (little things), and the positive results they have had on the issues discussed earlier (big effects) will be discussed. Worldwide deepwater projects and results, following the new changes, will be presented.

SPE/IADC 163477

Drill String Analysis with a Discrete Torque-Drag Model, R. Mitchell, Halliburton

In the standard torque-drag model, the drill string shape is taken as the wellbore shape. However, given that the most common method for determining the wellbore shape is the minimum curvature method, this assumed wellbore shape forces the bending moment to be discontinuous at survey points. This defect is dealt with by neglecting the bending moment.

A different approach assumes that the drill string position corresponds with the minimum curvature wellbore only at discrete points. The paper gives a complete description of the drill string calculation. Typical torque drag problems with different inclinations and wellbore curvatures are studied to compare the two torque-drag formulations. These studies give comparisons in drag forces, torques for the two models and for the new formulation, the magnitude of the bending moments.

SPE/IADC 163420

Drill String Mechanics Model for Surveillance, Root Cause Analysis, and Mitigation of Torsional and Axial Vibrations, D. Ertas, J.R. Bailey, L. Wang, P.E. Pastusek, ExxonMobil

Case studies utilizing high-frequency surface/downhole drilling mechanics data validated a general purpose drill string mechanics model and identified three types of torsional dysfunctions with distinct signatures and mitigators: unstable stick-slip, bit/BHA stall and synchronous torsional oscillation.

SPE/IADC 163503

Design Evolution of Drilling Tools to Mitigate Vibrations, J.R. Bailey, R.W. James, P.E. Pastusek, M. Prim, ExxonMobil; C.C. Elsborg, Esso Norge A/S

The development of methods to characterize the relative vibration tendency of alternative bottom-hole assemblies has enabled deliberate tool redesign to reduce vibrations. Tool redesign is most effective if applied early in the tool design cycle, where important configuration parameters are most easily adjusted. This paper outlines several design issues to resolve so that the next generation of tools has inherently lower vibration levels.


SPE/IADC 161155

Solving Stick-Slip Dilemma: Dynamic Modeling System Significantly Reduces Vibration, Increases ROP by 54%, A. Mohaideen, F.H. Bakar, N. Abd Rahman, Petronas Carigali; K.H. Tang, R. Maury, P. Cox, P. Le, H. Donald, B. Subroto, E. Brahmanto, Schlumberger

In mid-2010, Petronas Carigali started a drilling campaign of a green field development at the Malay Basin, offshore Peninsular Malaysia. The operator drilled a borehole through a challenging interbedded formation with hard dolomite stringers to access natural gas reserves in one of the fields. This paper details the collaboration and integrated approach of the service company in determining vibration issues and solving the problem, hence enhancing the drilling performance of future wells.

SPE/IADC 163464

Pre-Job Modeling/Resulting Integrated BHA System Solution Sets Multiple ROP Records, North Field Qatar, M. Kieschnick, T. Jacob, B. James, Schlumberger; V. Karuppiah, R. Hamilton, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger Company

Drilling the 12¼-in. tangent section through thick carbonate lithology in Qatar’s North Field is exceptionally challenging. An FEA-based modeling system, rock strength identification program and CFD analysis was used to investigate several 12¼-in. PDC bit designs. The results of the simulations led to a new MSi716 design with back-up cutters strategically positioned on all blades to provide maximum durability in critical wear areas. Based on outstanding bit performance, the operator made these design changes a standard requirement for PDC bits in this application. The new design also helped standardize MSE values for future ROP gains.


SPE/IADC 163509

Experience from Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing of Drilling Control Systems, T. Pedersen, Marine Cybernetics

Marine Cybernetics has finalized testing of drill floor control systems for seven rigs, involving nine different vendors. This paper presents experiences from these projects in terms of project execution, test timing and vendor cooperation and participation. Examples of typical observations are also presented.

SPE/IADC 163547

Microwave Heating: A Feasible Alternative for Drilled Cuttings Drying in Offshore Environments, A.L. Martins, C. Sa, C. Panisset, Petrobras; M. Pereira, C. Ataide, Federal U of Uberlandia; R. Naufel, ONDATEC

Offshore discharge of drilled cuttings contaminated by non-aqueous fluids is subject of strict environmental regulations. Limits vary from country to country and are certainly associated to water depths. In many cases, deepwater operation regulations tolerate some amount of organic phase in the cuttings, while shallow water regulations generally signalize to zero discharge. Cuttings collected by the shakers are conventionally processed by centrifugal driers installed at each drilling vessel. The low efficiency and safety issues related to this process motivated the industry to pursue alternate drying techniques. Several alternatives are currently under analysis and some of them, such as thermal desorption processes, are already a reality. This article deals with the feasibility of microwave technology to remove the organic phase of these drilled cuttings.

SPE/IADC 163561

Technological Innovation in Riser Tensioner Design Significantly Reduces Risk of Tensioner Overpull and Likelihood of Catastrophic Events, D. Trent, DTI LLC

Direct-acting riser tensioners are critical components in oil and gas drilling. What has become the accepted industry design standard for direct-acting tensioners, however, has inherent significant potential for overpull during normal operations. Overpull is directly linked to well head deformation and parting of the riser. Analysis of two assembly configurations proves that a solution exists to significantly diminish these risks.


SPE/IADC 163517

The Next Step in Reciprocating Mud Pump Technology, D. Berryhill, S. Shelton, Weatherford Gemoco

Recent developments in reciprocating mud pump technology provide added value for operators, drilling contractors and measurement while drilling/logging while drilling (MWD/LWD) service providers. Utilizing current proven conventional triplex (three-cylinder) pump designs and adding two cylinders provides an increased performance envelope, reduces pulsations on the rig structure and piping, and substantially increases data rate-transfer bandwidth during MWD/LWD operations.

SPE/IADC 163555

Energy Storage for Electric Drilling Rigs, R. Thompson, K. Williams, J. Garaghty, KRW Technologies

This paper discusses the benefits from integrating large scale energy storage into gas powered electric drilling rigs. Benefits presented, which include fuel savings and emissions reductions, are based upon actual rig data with simulations of the proposed energy storage system. The energy storage technology is discussed as well as rig integration details.

SPE/IADC 163531

BOP Performance – Developments and Consequences in a Post-Macondo World, J.P. Sattler, WEST Engineering Services

The Macondo disaster and other recent environmental incidents have resulted in an emphasis on the performance and reliability of BOP equipment and systems, specifically in the US Gulf of Mexico, but also in other regions. With the increase in industry scrutiny and regulatory requirements, this new emphasis has led to many improvements.

This paper will describe the practical effects of these changes from an independent, third-party verifier’s perspective, including perceived benefits and identified but unintended consequences, together with some possible future unintended consequences.

SPE/IADC 163493

Dual Fuel and Dedicated Gas Engines Bring Cost and Environmental Benefits to the Oil and Gas Market, E. Henin, Caterpillar

A diesel engine fitted with an aftermarket add-on gas fuel system that provides a supplemental fuel source is generally called a dual-fuel system. Dual-fuel usage can lower fuel costs by as much as 70%, as compared to a standard diesel engine. While functional, these systems can create challenges for emissions and engine longevity.

In 2013, Caterpillar will offer dynamic gas blending, a comprehensive dual-fuel solution for land drilling and land production genset products. Caterpillar is also developing a solution for well fracturing applications.


SPE/IADC 163481

Practical Guide to Lost Returns Treatment Selection Based on a Holistic Model of the State of the Near Wellbore Stresses, R.D. Duffadar, F.E. Dupriest, S.C. Zeilinger, Exxon Mobil Corp

This paper presents a holistic model describing the relationship between the various common lost returns treatments, the degree to which each is capable of maintaining or enhancing borehole integrity, and corresponding methodology for selecting the appropriate treatments for given situations.

SPE/IADC 163512

On the Shear Degradation of Lost Circulation Materials, P. Valsecchi, S.C. Zeilinger, Exxon Mobil Corp

In the present paper, a harder look is taken on the very concept of “shear degradation” and on its effectiveness in capturing the progressive size reduction of lost circulation material during circulation. Using dimensional analysis, the tendency of a material to degrade can be determined in advance. Density of the particles and suspending fluid, size of particles and fluid viscosity are examined and understanding the underlying physics enables the selection of a more shear-resistant engineered-particle drilling fluid, regardless of its application.

SPE/IADC 163434

Wellbore Strengthening – Nano-Particle Drilling Fluid Experimental Design Using Hydraulic Fracture Apparatus, C.O. Nwaoji, G. Hareland, University of Calgary; M. Husein, University of Calgary Library – Swets; R. Nygaard, Missouri University of Science and Tech; M.F. Zakaria, University of Calgary

This paper introduces a novel LCM drilling fluid blend, which has been used successfully in the laboratory to achieve very impressive wellbore strengthening results in both permeable and impermeable formations for both water-based and invert emulsion- (diesel oil) based mud.

SPE/IADC 163514

Numerical and Analytical Investigation of Smearing Effect in Casing Drilling Technology: Implications for Enhancing Wellbore Integrity and Hole Cleaning, S. Salehi, University of Louisiana; J. Mgboji, TESCO Corp; A. Aladasani, Kuwait Oil

This paper presents numerical and analytical models to optimize the parameters in casing drilling applications. Advance finite-element methods has been used to model the near wellbore area with considering various pipe/open-hole ratio and filter cake penetration in each simulation. The models will consider geomechanical, poro-elastic parameters of the formations, which are coupled with hydraulic model to consider drilling fluids properties. Analytical models were used to investigate the RPM, rotation mode and boundary conditions for the contact between casing and filter cake.


SPE/IADC 163486

Analytical Model to Characterize “Smear Effect” Observed While Drilling with Casing, A. Kumar, University of Houston; R. Samuel, Halliburton

This study analyzes the theory behind the phenomenon of the smear effect mechanism using case studies and existing literature and proposes an analytical model to estimate the improvement in fracture gradient based on the drilling parameters and reservoir properties. The formation of the smear zone is addressed by broadly classifying this mechanism into four steps and modelling their contribution to the smear effect.


SPE/IADC 163412

Industry Analogies for Successful Implementation of Drilling Systems Automation and Real-Time Operating Centers, J.P. de Wardt, de Wardt and Co

It is very important to define current state and future desired state for data acquisition, processing, decision making and work flow in high-performance drilling operations. Understanding the difference between these two states provides the opportunity to guide the successful implementation of drilling systems automation (DSA) and real-time operating centers (RTOCs).

Various industry analogies will be evaluated for their applicability to DSA and RTOCs. The benefits and drawbacks of each will be highlighted. A guide will be developed to define best practices and relevant application for various well types from these analogies.

SPE/IADC 163466

Autonomous Robotic Drilling Systems, K. Soendervik, K. Mikalsen, Robotic Drilling Systems

A full-scale autonomous robotized drill floor prototype has been run over the last two years in Norway, showing the potential of a much more cost effective and safer, unmanned drilling process. Furthermore, a simulated reality combined with a surveillance system is used for operation and visualization of the rig. This system also makes it possible to run the entire drill floor including the actual control system and simulated I/O, utilizing the final man-machine interface during the design faces of a drilling structure.

Robotic drilling systems will dramatically reduce the cost of drilling and reduce environmental impact. An autonomous robotic drill floor with a divergence system will eliminate human error.

SPE/IADC 163449

Drill Pipe RFID: A Key Enabler in Drilling Automation, M. Grinrod, Minerals Group AS; M. Vonlanten, Trac-ID; R. Gaaso, Statoil

Radio frequency identification (RFID) for drill pipe has been developed to withstand temperature and shock/vibrations encountered in most wells. This paper outlines the technology development and status for application of RFID tags on drill pipe. Key challenges has been temperature limits, vibrations, wear and max tripping speed to pick up radio signals. Further, the paper outlines present software applications and future possibilities in software development.

SPE/IADC 163440

Toward Drilling Automation: On the Necessity of Using Sensors that Relates to Physical Models, E. Cayeux, B. Daireaux, E.W. Dvergsnes, Intl Research Inst of Stavanger; F. Florence, National Oilwell Varco

Current topside and downhole instrumentation at the well site has been developed for the purpose of manually conducted drilling operations. The emergence of automatic drilling analysis software shows the limitations of today’s measurements capabilities. It is therefore time to analyze the requirements for on-site instrumentation in order to implement new, efficient drilling automation technologies.

SPE/IADC 163439

Design Aid for Charting a Drilling Automation Road Map, M. Zamora, M-I SWACO; G. Hildebrand, Schlumberger Trinidad

A new design tool has been developed to chart a technology roadmap for drilling automation. The concept is based on a ternary chart, a triangular diagram that graphically depicts the composition of three-component systems. For drilling automation and perhaps automation in general, the components are automated equipment, human involvement and remote control. The relative contributions, by definition, must total 100%. In contrast, Sheridan’s well-known automation hierarchy considers only two components – automated equipment and human involvement.

SPE/IADC 163571

Pipe-Handling Integration in Land Drilling Operations – Safety Review, Operational Drivers and Field Performance Feedback, T. Yost,  J. Heinen, National Oilwell Varco; M. Garvin, Patterson UTI

A fingerboard mounted pipe-handling system has been introduced, which differs from previous attempts to eliminate the manual interaction of a derrickman in land drilling operations. The machine was the outcome of unique consensus between the designer and the drilling contractor and provides a solution equivalent to manual tripping speeds that is strongly accepted by the drill crew.

Critical to operational success was tripping speed, simplicity and following the process that a manual operation is comfortable with. Eliminating the existing gripping devices and hoisting systems were one of many steps taken to improve the acceptance of a safety support tool on a working drilling rig.

This paper will examine a case study with Patterson UTI and an equipment manufacturer, which will show the performance feedback from a field proven solution. It will also address the barriers that hold this advancement back and has the possibility of greatly increasing safe land drilling operations.


SPE/IADC 163453

On the Path for Offshore Drilling Automation, A.L. Martins, Petrobras

This article deals with important steps, which compose the natural path aiming drilling automation, a topic foreseen by the industry as a key player for assuring the success of a huge number of projects to be developed in the Brazilian deepwater scenarios.

SPE/IADC 163473

Automatic Mud Mixing, R.R. Nafikov, Statoil

The paper describes automation of drilling fluid mixing and is based on Msc thesis. The investigation is based on developed model with the help of MATLAB and SIMULINK softwares. The idea of the paper is to bring new ideas into the industry by presenting simplified explanation of the automation task.


SPE/IADC 163499

Subsea Cap and Contain Method for a Deepwater Tension Leg Platform, J.A. Henley, T. Webb, Shell Exploration and Production; J. Soliah, Delmar

This paper will focus on four key aspects of Shell’s TLP containment plan. The combination of two existing proven techniques, the heave compensated landing system and the suction pile based pipeline initiation methods, have been adapted as the enabling technologies to meet these four key aspects. Additional methods and constraints have been identified for development and inclusion in the base response plan as needed.

SPE/IADC 163474

Automated Alarms for Smart Flowback Fingerprinting and Early Kick Detection, T.H. Ali, S. Haberer, I.P. Says, C.C. Ubaru, M.L. Laing, Baker Hughes; O. Helgesen, M. Liang, B. Bjelland, Statoil USA

This publication focuses on the development and deployment of an automated flowback monitoring technology. The new solution aids drillers and drilling engineers by generating intelligent alarms relevant to current well conditions for early kick and loss detection, which can result in detecting kicks up to one connection earlier than the existing manual method. This paper demonstrates the benefits of the smart flowback fingerprinting over existing practices and how it can significantly reduce safety risks and NPT.

SPE/IADC 163417

Detect Kicks Prompted by Losses and Direct Measurement Well Control Method through Networked Drill String with Along String Pressure Evaluation, D.M. Veeningen, National Oilwell Varco

This paper describes efficient detection of well control events, both in underbalanced and overbalanced conditions, which is especially relevant for deepwater operations as the reaction time is significantly less than with surface BOPs. A methodology is offered to detect the annulus fluid level in conditions of unknown hydrostatic column height and fluid density through the use of discrete annular pressure acquisition along a networked drill string. The downhole real-time pressure evaluation also provides for monitoring of the gas migration to manage annular filling, while losses continue to be experienced. Further, the direct measurement method is offered for well control based on constant bottomhole pressure through downhole pressure measurements independently from surface measurements.

SPE/IADC 163515

Advances in Real-Time Event Detection While Drilling, R. Wong, Q. Liu, M. Ringer, J. Dunlop, J.C. Luppens, C. Chapman, H. Yu, Schlumberger

New sensors and enhancements to the Bayesian inference techniques significantly improve event detection and its extension to more complex scenarios making them more suitable for application to automated systems.

Although applicable to a broader set of events, improvements to these previous event detection methods are described with a focus on a new drill string washout detection module. The new module combines a method of detection of on-bottom drilling with enhanced signal characterization of standpipe pressure and flow to create an algorithm that can effectively handle drilling with a motor.

SPE/IADC 163454

Calibrating Automated Event Detection Algorithms for Real-Time Wellbore Stability Applications, S. Wessling, A. Bartetzko, P. Tesch, T. Dahl, Baker Hughes

After an introduction into drilling automation and wellbore stability analysis, this paper presents different approaches for the automatic analysis and interpretation of formation evaluation logs for the detection of drilling events. These algorithms were extensively tested on more than 30 data sets. The approaches are beneficial to monitor the wellbore conditions and to deliver alarms about potential overpressure regions and breakouts on the formation wall. Observations obtained from testing are put into the context of developing an automated alarm and advice-generation system. Experience with alarm generation within other communities and its comparison to the oil and gas industry will be highlighted.

SPE/IADC 163445

Feasibility Study of Applying Intelligent Drill Pipe in Early Detection of Gas Influx during Conventional Drilling, A. Karimi Vajargah, S.Z. Miska, M. Yu, University of Tulsa; R. Majidi, BP America

This paper proposes a technique for early gas detection during conventional drilling by utilizing intelligent drill pipe. For this purpose, different involved flow regions in the annulus are identified and modeled based on the conservation equations. A numerical scheme and transient gas kick simulator are developed to solve the equations. Sensitivity analysis is conducted for various parameters such as influx sizes, mud flow rates and wellbore geometry.


SPE/IADC 163442: A test facility is used to quantitatively analyze the results of negative pressure tests. No standard procedures currently exist for conducting and interpreting negative pressure tests, which recent industry experience has shown could have disastrous results if misinterpreted.

SPE/IADC 163442: A test facility is used to quantitatively analyze the results of negative pressure tests. No standard procedures currently exist for conducting and interpreting negative pressure tests, which recent industry experience has shown could have disastrous results if misinterpreted.

SPE/IADC 163442

Full-Scale Testing Shows Advantages of a Quantitative Approach to Interpreting Negative Pressure Tests, R. Rahmani, J.R. Smith, D.A. Bourgoyne, Louisiana State University

Negative pressure tests are an important step in proving well integrity for some well operations. Although the concept is straightforward, there are no standard procedures for conducting and interpreting negative tests. Recent industry experience has shown the potential for these tests to be misinterpreted with disastrous results. This paper describes proper quantitative interpretation of both successful and unsuccessful tests demonstrated on two full-scale test wells.

SPE/IADC 163545

Swab and Surge Effects Due to Heave of Vessel in Deepwater Wells: Model Development and Benchmarking, P.V. Suryanarayana, S. Chandrasekhar, W. Bacon, Blade Energy Partners; B. Toldo, Woodside Energy

In this paper, we present the development of a semi-analytical approach to model transient pressure problems. The transient pressure problem is solved using the method of characteristics. The method is extended to include power-law fluids. Arbitrary flow ports can be situated anywhere in the string, with either one or two-way flow. Both open- and closed-end pipes are considered, in addition to nozzles at the pipe end. Temperature and pressure effects on the compressibility and elasticity of the formation, are considered. The approach can accept any arbitrary forcing function at surface, either as a periodic wave or as a tabulated time function of displacements.

SPE/IADC 163550

Deepwater Well Control – An Important Way Forward, C.P. Leach, J.M. Mounteer, Argonauta Drilling Services LLC

Following Macondo (and other well control incidents), great strides have been made with respect to well control, and much discussion and reflection has taken place.

This paper looks at the processes that must be conducted and gives examples of these. In particular, this requires a deep understanding of the interactions of real reservoir fluids (gas, volatile oil) with typical drilling mud which will be oil based. Examples of what will be seen for these combinations are given along with the resultant detailed solutions/approaches/procedures.


SPE/IADC 163501

Utilizing Wired Drill Pipe Technology During Managed Pressure Drilling Operations to Maintain Direction Control, Constant Bottomhole Pressures and Wellbore Integrity in a Deep, Ultra-Depleted Reservoir, J.C. Rasmus, Schlumberger

A recently drilled well into an underpressured reservoir provided an opportunity to demonstrate the applicability of wired drill pipe (WDP) to deliver the required measurements and maintain the proper directional control while keeping the well fluids under control. During WDP operations, both the traditional mud pulse transmission and the new WDP transmission methods are available, providing 100% data transmission reliability.

SPE/IADC 163546

Anatomy of MPD Well Failures: An Investigation into the Sensitivities to Success on a Series of Difficult Wells, B. Dow, L.D. Smith, A. Voshall, P.N. Spriggs, Schlumberger

The authors will look at a series of uniquely different wells, all employing MPD but for different technical reasons. Exploration drilling through challenging pore pressure ramps, high angle and horizontal wells across formations highly sensitive to pressure cycling, PMCD wells and wells drilled through very narrow pore pressure and stability window across depleted zones. Analysis of the detailed design during the planning phase, with the information that was known at that time, will lay the foundation of how each well was executed. In each case, the desired outcome was not achieved for reasons unique to the respective project falling outside the core MPD engineering design.

Analysis of the failures will identify key lessons learned and show progressive continuous improvement that has made MPD critical to success on future projects and raised confidence of the users.

SPE/IADC 163494

Successful Application of Concentric Casing Nitrogen Injection to Overcome Drilling Challenges and Deliver a Record Horizontal Well in the Tecominoacan Field, M. Salazar, R. Rodriguez, R. Franco, G. Gamez, PEMEX; J. Flor, C. Gonzalez, J. Rueda, W. Colombine, J. Tilley, Halliburton

The Jujo-Tecominoacan field is part of the Bellota Integral Active in the Pemex South Region. It is located in the state of Tabasco, northwest of the city of Villahermosa. Several drilling challenges exist in this field, including horizontal drilling in dolomites with a high compressive strength, under-pressured reservoir requiring the use of a biphasic drilling fluid with nitrogen injection through concentric casing annular space, crossing through Cenozoic members of abnormally high pressure that require managed-pressure drilling, drilling through inverse geologic faults, and proximity to a salt dome.

The service company and operator formed an interdisciplinary team to meet the challenges of constructing the deepest and longest concentric injection horizontal well, with a total depth of 6,611 meters. A horizontal production section was drilled to a length of 862 meters, with an average inclination of 84°. The main objective was to maximize production in the fractured carbonate formations from the lower Cretaceous to the Kimmeridgian Jurassic formation.

SPE/IADC 163498

The Application of Advanced Gas Extraction and Analysis System Complements Early Kick Detection & Control Capabilities of Managed Pressure Drilling System with Added HSE Value, B. Patel, T.D. Cooper, Weatherford; W. Billings, Talisman Energy

The paper will discuss the successful application of an advanced gas extraction system utilizing an innovative membrane technology and high speed gas chromatograph to improve surface gas detection and analysis capability during MPD operations with a micro-influx control system. Various tests were carried to validate the advanced gas detection system’s capability to detect and analyze gas in mud. During hydrocarbon influx circulation, data from the advanced gas detection system helped to plan the strategy to handle gas on surface. Test data was validated with the results from the real wells.

SPE/IADC 163479

Implementation of PMCD to Explore Carbonate Reservoirs from Semisubmersible Rigs in Malaysia Results in Safe and Economical Drilling Operations, I. Abd Aziz, M. Jayah, Z. Drus, Petronas Carigali; F. Rojas, P. Spriggs, A. Voshall, G. Parayno, Schlumberger

Implementing a variant of the managed pressure drilling called pressurized mud cap drilling (PMCD) has allowed the Petronas Carigali drilling team to reach targeted total depths on several wells.

By successfully implementing the PMCD technique, the operator was able to reduce risk and reach the exploration targets successfully. Lessons learned surrounding operational techniques, pressure limitations of the drilling system and continuous training and development of the operating team have expanded the application for the operator.

The authors present case histories of wells drilled to date and key lessons learned as the operator evolves to improve execution of PMCD.


SPE/IADC 163495

Application of UBD and MPD Techniques to Solve Challenges and Optimize Drilling through the Quintuco and Vaca Muerta Formations in the Neuquén Basin, N. Gomez, YPF; O. Montes, R. Leon, J. Benedetti, I. Poletzky, A. Miller, Halliburton

Eleven wells have been drilled in the Neuquén basin, applying UBD and MPD techniques. This paper describes the implementation of these techniques when drilling the 8 ½-in. and 6 1/8-in. sections, along with results, including the evaluation of reservoir potential while drilling, estimation of formation pressures, minimizing formation damage, as lower-density drilling fluids are being used, reduction of NPT, and being able to safely reach the planned TD. Field data is used to illustrate the challenges encountered and results obtained. Lessons learned and how the drilling process has been, and would be, optimized are also discussed.


SPE/IADC 163422

Drilling Systems Automation – Preparing for the Big Jump Forward, J.P. de Wardt, de Wardt and Co; M. Behounek, Apache Corp; C.D. Chapman, Schlumberger; D. Putra, Schlumberger Cambridge Research

Results and knowledge shared from the SPE Workshop held in Vail, Colo., in July 2012 (Well Construction Automation – Preparing for the Big Jump Forward) will be presented.

SPE/IADC 163483

Macondo Litigation and its Impact on the Offshore Industry – What Every Operator, Driller, Service and Supply Company Needs to Know!, C. Moomjian Jr, CAM OilServ Advisors

Macondo is a “game changer” that will substantially impact the industry from an operational, contractual and risk management perspective.

Decisions in the Macondo litigation that are pending in a US District Court in New Orleans will impact operators, drillers, service and supply companies in respect of pollution liability in general and contractual indemnity/release provisions in particular.

This paper reviews and analyzes landmark court decisions on summary judgment motions regarding interpretation, applicability and enforceability of the indemnification provisions and releases in the drilling and cementing contracts that were applicable to the Macondo well.

SPE/IADC 163489

Operational Control and Managing Change: the Integration of Non-Technical Skills with Workplace Procedures, J.L. Thorogood, Drilling Global Consultant LLP; M.T. Crichton, People Factor Consultants

The paper will outline common pitfalls and problems associated with managing operations. It will draw on existing operational decision-making literature and the authors’ experience researching these problems and working with operations teams. It will discuss the non-technical skills required to manage operations effectively, the organizational structures that are most operationally effective and describe techniques for training teams and helping to develop the competencies to manage operations safely and deal effectively with uncertainty.

SPE/IADC 163402

Delivering Consistent Top-Quartile Drilling Performance without Compromise, M. Cockram, F. Stewart, A. Ritchie, BG Norge; F. Hevrøy, S. Bjarne Barke, Seadrill

BG Norge embarked on a five-well exploration, appraisal and development campaign with the West Alpha between 2009 and 2011. The rig was part of a three year, 17-well rig sharing consortium that involved four other operators. Following and expanding upon the management approach outlined in IADC/SPE 87118, BG Group developed a strong relationship with the rig contractor, Seadrill, and delivered exceptional results.

This paper will outline the management process taken by BG Group and Seadrill that enabled improved performance.

SPE/IADC 163510

Advanced Dynamic Training Simulator For Drilling as Well as Related Experience from Training of Drilling Teams with Focus on Realistic Downhole Feedback, S. Ødegård, Ø. Mehus, Oiltec Solutions; R. Rommetveit, eDrilling Solutions; B.T. Risvik, Statoil ASA; K. Bjorkevoll, SINTEF Petroleum Research

The paper presents a highly advanced training simulator that combines an advanced topside simulator with a dynamic downhole simulator with an advanced transient integrated hydraulics and thermal wellbore model and a dynamic torque and drag model. The simulator is aimed at drilling and well operations, and is able to handle all normal operations, including high-pressure, high-temperature wells, through-tubing rotary drilling, extended reach drilling and managed pressure drilling.

SPE/IADC 163528

Dust Collection System for Personnel Health During Fracturing Operations, M.L. Boucher, T. Anderson, C. Hooker, A. Uttecht, National Oilwell Varco

The rapid expansion of the hydraulic fracturing industry has in some places outpaced necessary regulations and equipment for worker safety, especially dust control. A dust collection system has been developed to target specific points, including the hopper and blender where sand particles are likely to be released into the air.

With a system in place that meets OSHA standards, the threat of silicosis is eliminated from the hydraulic fracture process and unconventional development is made safer for everyone involved. This paper will discuss the dust collection equipment, its deployment and integration with existing equipment, and field results.


SPE/IADC 163552

From Research to Practice: A Story of an Actionable Safety Leading Indicator Index, J. Stough, IHS

For the past several years, a group of global energy companies, including nearly all of the super majors, has been working on a research initiative with a common mission to find an actionable leading indicator index to drive safety and eventually overall sustainability performance.

This paper will review the leading indicator research findings drawn from analyzing a large energy industry data set.

SPE/IADC 163816

Evolution of Drilling and Completions in the Slave Point to Optimize Economics, J. Hollan, Packers Plus Energy Services; B. Schaab, N.B. Lerner, Penn West Exploration

This paper will detail the evolution of drilling and completion practices and technologies utilized to optimize economic development of the Slave Point carbonate formation in northern Alberta. The Slave Point was originally developed in the 1960s with vertical wells, but success depended on localized reservoir quality. Horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing completions have opened up lower-porosity regions enhancing recoveries from zones that were once deemed uneconomic.

SPE/IADC 163559

Investing in Greener Growth: Making the Business Case for Environmental Solutions, L. Brantley, J. Kent, L. Sallee, National Oilwell Varco

This paper will analyze the business case for environmental solutions from the perspective of an equipment manufacturer and technology and services provider.

SPE/IADC 163431

Remote Operations Center – An Efficient and Highly Competent Environment to Optimize Operational Performance and Reduce Risk, A.K. Thorsen, E. Saeverhagen, N. Spanovic, J. Dagestad, J. Fraser, Baker Hughes

To illustrate the data gathering and risk mitigation aspect of a remote operational center, the BEACON center concept is used to display the workflows, data analysis and feedback to the rigsite for maximum progress and minimum risk. Areas from subsurface understanding through drilling optimization and BHA reliability will be covered.

SPE/IADC 163451: Weatherford’s 9 7/8-in. x 12-in. Defyer DPA 6413 drillable casing bit was used in a drilling-with-liner operation in a deepwater block of Mississippi Canyon.

SPE/IADC 163451: Weatherford’s 9 7/8-in. x 12-in. Defyer DPA 6413 drillable casing bit was used in a drilling-with-liner operation in a deepwater block of Mississippi Canyon.

SPE/IADC 163451

A Collaborative Approach for Planning a Drilling with Liner Operation, S.M. Rosenberg, T. Cummins, T. Dunn, M.Z. Tan, Weatherford International

This paper will illustrate the collaborative approach an international oilfield services company used for planning a drilling with liner (DwL) operation to isolate a 6.5 ppg depleted sand interval in a deepwater block of Mississippi Canyon. Early collaboration between the service company and operator identified DwL technology as the core technology to meet the operator’s well objectives.


SPE/IADC 163521

Pointing Toward Improved PDC Bit Performance: Innovative Conical Shaped Polycrystalline Diamond Insert Achieves Higher ROP and Total Footage, M. Azar, A. White, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger Company; M. Taylor, Schlumberger

Vibration induced impact damage can significantly reduce PDC bit/cutter life in hard/abrasive and interbedded formations. To develop a more stable fixed cutter bit for these difficult lithologies, an R&D initiative was launched to investigate new insert designs and experiment with count/placement to improve drilling efficiency and mitigate vibration. The research yielded an innovative conical shaped polycrystalline diamond insert (PDI) with an ultra-thick synthetic diamond layer.

It was run in a North Dakota 8.75-in. vertical section through a highly mixed sequence of formations, where the objective is high ROP and to reach KOP in one run. The bit improved ROP over a longer interval drilled compared to PDCs used in offsets. Additional testing is underway to further evaluate PDI potential and how it can used to improve PDC bit performance.

SPE/IADC 163448

Large Diameter (24 – 26 in. OD) PDC Bit Drilling in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, P. D’Ambrosio, E. Prochaska, R. Bouska, NOV Downhole; S. Hart, BP; D. Tinsley, Total Energy Services

This paper focuses on the different aspects of large diameter PDC bit drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and the considerations that have been used to optimize these applications. Conclusions and recommendations will be based on the analysis and evaluation of numerous runs as well as specific case histories. These recommendations will provide a basis for operators to justify a lower cost per foot approach to these large diameter applications.

SPE/IADC 163504

Simulation of Single Cutter Experiments in Evaporites Through Finite Element Method, I.M. Reyes Martinez, S. Fontoura, N. Inoue, C. Carrapatoso, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro; A. Lourenço, D. Curry, Baker Hughes

Single-cutter laboratory experiments are used for evaluating the drill bit – rock interaction mechanisms. These experiments can be simulated through numerical methods to analyze particular conditions of each borehole drilling operation. This paper describes the use of the finite element method for modeling single-cutter experiments in evaporites using a single cutter.

SPE/IADC 163536

Innovative Rolling PDC Cutter Increases Drilling Efficiency Improving Bit Performance in Challenging Applications, Y. Zhang, R.N. Baker, Y. Burhan, J. Shi, C. Chen, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger Company

Extended footage capabilities and high rate of penetration give PDC bits a distinct advantage over rollercone in many applications. However, the fixed PDC element creates an inherent limitation because only a small portion of the cutter contacts the formation, and as the cutters wear/chip, drilling efficiency declines. The industry requires new technology that would effectively utilize the entire diamond cutting edge to reduce frictional heat/wear, while increasing drilling efficiency and bit life.

SPE/IADC 163436

A Breakthrough Performance for an Inland Application with a Hybrid Bit Technology, M. Di Pasquale, E. Calvaresi, Baker Hughes; S. Pecantet, NV Turske Perenco

This paper describes a field experience for a new generation of hybrid bit that is based on proven PDC bit designs with rolling cutters on the periphery of the bit. A hybrid bit can drill shale and other plastically behaving formations up to three to four times faster than a roller-cone bit by being more aggressive and efficient.

A field result compares the performance of hybrid bits with conventional PDC and roller-cone bits used on an offset well, inland application.

SPE/IADC 163524

New Generation Thermally Stable Cutters Deliver High Penetration Rates while Maintaining Durability in the Troll Field, Norway, T.S. Roberts, E. Ludvigsen, M. Bailey, O. Hareid, National Oilwell Varco; C.O. Irgens, Statoil

Following an in-depth study, the drill bit design evolved following several iterations that included computational fluid dynamics to optimize fluid impingement angles and reduce fluid induced shear stress on both the bit body and cutter substrates.

The successful execution of this design with new cutter technology has proven that the combination of improved thermal resistance, with a more efficient cutter geometry, enables the cutters to stay sharp drilling through the hardest stringers and with greater durability to complete the section. The improved designs have now drilled further and faster than any previous attempts.


SPE/IADC 163491

Innovative Hybrid Bit Mitigates Geological Uncertainties, Improves Drilling Performance in Brazilian Pre-Salt Formations, S. Hbaieb, Schlumberger; M.G. Azar, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company

An innovative hybrid bit design has been successfully applied offshore Brazil to mitigate geological/formation uncertainties in pre-salt formations and eliminate several trips for new bits. This paper will focus on case studies where pre-salt carbonate lithology is non-uniform with a high occurrence of silicate inclusions. The authors will discuss drive system and drilling parameters selection that were critical to achieving the desired performance.

SPE/IADC 163458

Novel Drill Bit Materials Technology Fusion Delivers Performance Step Change in Hard and Difficult Formations, A. Garcia, H. Barocio, R.W. Weeden, National Oilwell Varco; R.A. Quijada, ENI

New drill bit technology capable of drilling these lithologies and performance requirements is unmistakably needed. This paper describes the development of novel drill bit technology aimed at this requirement. This technology is born through the fusion of existing bit technologies; fixed cutter and impregnated diamond and a design philosophy providing greater versatility in drilling a wider range of harsh lithologies, not typically drilled entirely with PDC bits. This novel design philosophy includes optimized cutter placement and exposure of diamond impregnated mix applied in critical areas of the bit.


SPE/IADC 163560

A Summary Of Wired Drill Pipe (IntelliPipe) Field Trials And Deployment in BP, S.T. Edwards, C.J. Coley, BP

The first use of IntelliPipe in BP was in early pre-commercial field trials in seven Oklahoma wells in 2004 to 2005. This paper includes a discussion of the challenges and solutions in areas, such as hardware modifications (e.g. wiring top drives, reamers, jars), deployment, logistics, reliability, pipe handling and other operational modifications, surface connectivity and dataflow to shore. The bulk of this paper discusses wired pipe enabled applications and explores some of the opportunities for using wired pipe in the pursuit of safe and reliable wells.

SPE/IADC 163557

Annular Pressure Build-up Analysis and Methodology with Examples from Multifrac Horizontal Wells and HPHT Reservoirs, J.E. Bellarby, Canmore Consulting; S.S. Kofoed, Maersk Olie og Gas AS – Maersk Oil; F. Marketz, Shell

Annulus pressure build-up (APB) remains an important design consideration for many wells, not just deepwater or subsea wells. This paper outlines a step-by-step methodology for analyzing APB issues applicable to any type of well. Analyses of APB scenarios for horizontal wells in both a tight chalk oil reservoir and an HPHT gas-condensate reservoir in the Danish Sector of the North Sea are used to demonstrate the methodology.

SPE/IADC 163438

Analysis of Bridging Scenarios During Blowout Events, S.M. Willson, Apache Corp

In this paper the analysis methodology presented in SPE 156330 “A Wellbore Stability Approach For Self-Killing Blowout Assessment” is applied to realistic blowout scenarios. The paper demonstrates how analyses of borehole stability and solids transport can be applied to the problem of blowout risk assessment. This is a technology area that has been previously neglected by petroleum geomechanics practitioners.

SPE/IADC 163424

Comparing Soft-String and Stiff-String Methods Used to Compute Casing Centralization, L. Gorokhova, A.J. Parry, N.C. Flamant, Schlumberger

A comparison between measured and calculated casing centralization in several field cases is presented. The casing eccentricity was measured after the cement placement using recently developed ultra-sonic logging tools and diagnostics. Discrepancies between analytical and numerical calculation methods are analyzed, then advantages and disadvantages to each method are discussed. Based on the results of the calculation methods, an optimal approach to centralize casing can be proposed.

SPE/IADC 163437

Multiwell Thermal Interaction: Field Data Validation of Transient Model for Closely Spaced Wells, A.R. McSpadden, Altus Well Experts; A.J. Gunn, C. Dunagan, ConocoPhillips UK

Wellbore temperature logs and associated field history from an HPHT condensate North Sea platform are presented, which validate accuracy of a transient multiwell thermal interaction model.

Empirical data including field history presents an opportunity to understand this important topic. Prior to this current work, industry discussion of multiwell thermal interaction or cross-heating has been largely anecdotal. Model validation against field data is necessary to achieve full understanding of the physical system and provide confidence in predictive capability.

SPE/IADC 163563

Obtaining Both Horizontal Stresses from Wellbore Collapse, B.S. Aadnoy, E. Kaarstad, University of Stavanger

A wellbore that collapses during drilling or during production usually assumes an elliptical shape because of anisotropic stress loading. Recently an exact solution for tangential stress of an elliptic wellbore was derived. This model couples the ovality of the wellbore to the stress anisotropy. The rock strength plays an important role, such that a strong consolidated rock will have less ovality than a less consolidated rock.

This new solution has many practical applications, first of all to develop fracture and collapse curves for deviated wells, but also for sand production, well stimulation and reservoir subsidence. The paper will present several field cases, both from Brazil and Norway, demonstrating improvements in practical wellbore stability analysis.


SPE/IADC 163403

Living the HSE Vision & Values – Delivering Success in an Environment of Significant Change; Inside and Outside the Organization, G.P. Siokos, George Siokos Consulting; J.M. Karish, Ensco

Ensco is an international drilling contractor which has experienced significant growth since its creation only 25 years ago to its current position as the second largest offshore drilling organization worldwide.

Despite this growth, and while being challenged by many issues from inside, such as integration, and from the outside, such as having to do business in a difficult market and in many different national cultures, it has achieved acknowledged excellent performance.

This paper and presentation will describe the processes and the leadership that has driven this success.

SPE/IADC 163527

Pore Pressure Evolution, Core Damage and Tripping Out Schedules: A Computational Fluid Dynamics Approach, I. Zubizarreta, M. Byrne, Y. Sorrentino, E. Rojas, Senergy Ltd

There is a lack of clarity and consensus regarding tripping schedules impacting on both the integrity of the core and the economics of coring/drilling operations.

With this high daily rig costs, a more scientific and quantitative approach, tailored to each case is required. The application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is described to model transient pressure differentials in a gas reservoir core during retrieval.

This study demonstrates that CFD can accurately predict the pressure differentials created in a core during retrieval to surface and enables proper planning of tripping times based on the assessment of potential damage by pressure release.


SPE/IADC 163526

Drilling Unconventional Shale Wells Remotely, C. Gongora, O. Awan, J.F. Mota, Shell; E. van Oort, University of Texas Austin

After a successful pilot application in the Haynesville Shale, Shell Upstream Americas is currently transferring all of its directional drilling, MWD/LWD and geosteering operations in the Americas to remote drilling centers. In this paper, we provide all the learnings and best practices associated with the implementation of the remote drilling centers for unconventional shale drilling operations.

This includes a review of the technologies involved, the new workflows that were implemented and changes that were managed, how the “people issues” were addressed, and what results – including a three-fold reduction in staff at the rigsite and 90% improvement in the speed of decision making – were obtained. In addition, we will comment on the potential to broaden the approach to other drilling and completion operations (e.g. frac jobs, offshore drilling, etc).

SPE/IADC 163534

Innovative Drilling System with a Built-In Kick-Off Ramp Allows Dependable Curve Building in Granite Wash Formation, P.C. Desai, S.N. Swadi, A.J. Klassen, Schlumberger; G.A. Bruton, J. Talkington, Chesapeake Operating

Granite Wash formation in Beckham County, Oklahoma and surrounding areas presents a number of challenges in drilling build section from a vertical openhole to form a horizontal lateral in the productive zone. The formation is hard and abrasive and it is difficult to anticipate rock properties downhole from one well to the next. This erratic nature of the formation results in unpredictable performance by the steerable drilling assembly and drill bits particularly in the build section below 12,000 ft.

To remedy the issue, an innovative drilling system was developed, which provides a dependable kick-off ramp and a firm beginning in initiating the build section without having to rely on the drilling BHA’s fulcrum point.

The authors will describe in detail the system components and the running procedure. They will also discuss system performance in the field along with realized benefits to the customer, lesson learned, planned improvements and the way forward activities.

SPE/IADC 163430

Automated Decision Support to Enhance While-Drilling Decision Making: Where Does it Fit within Drilling Automation?, A.G. Sadlier, I.P. Says, Baker Hughes; J.E. Webster, Verdande Technology

A case history is presented on the use of case-based reasoning to enhance automated advice by identifying hazardous situations in advance that enabled successful corrective action implementation.

SPE/IADC 163463

Extended Reach Drilling – New Solution with a Unique Potential, O.M. Vestavik, Reelwell

The Reelwell Drilling Method (RDM) is a multi-purpose drilling method with a unique flow arrangement. RDM enables improved hole cleaning and improved downhole pressure control and has features for extended reach drilling (ERD). The development of RDM started in 2004 and was qualified for commercial use following the successful pilot well for Shell and Statoil.

In January 2011, Reelwell started a large joint industry project called “ERD beyond 20 km,” supported by Shell, TOTAL, Petrobras and RWE Dea and the Research Council of Norway. The project goal is to verify the extreme ERD capability, beyond conventional reach.

The paper will cover the current status of the RDM from this development and present simulation and test results to verify the ERD potential. Further, an outlook for the extreme ERD capability of the RDM technology will be presented.

SPE/IADC 163405

Novel Technique to Drill Horizontal Laterals Revitalizes Aging Field, S.D. Cinelli, A.H. Ahmed Kamel, University of Alaska Fairbanks

This paper outlines the recompletion of a portion of a 40-year old field using radial jet drilling. It is a carbonate reservoir with low permeability. The combination of low permeability, low productivity of traditional vertical completions in thin net pay and lack of low cost techniques to increase production caused production to dwindle.

After acquiring the lease in late 2010, the operator implemented a program of radial jet drilling and acid/nitrogen fracturing to increase field production. The operator was able to realize nearly a five-fold production increase after the work was complete.

SPE/IADC 163485

Offshore Angola Deepwater ERD: Drilling Optimization Case History, H. Jerez, R. Dias, J.D. Tilley, Halliburton

Extended reach step-out wells provide challenging opportunities for the drilling team. A deepwater extended reach well for a major operator in Angola required a tangent section in a soft formation maintaining a 70° drift angle for 11,000 ft in a single hole interval. The production hole section required steering the well into the best section of the pay-zone. To accomplish the drilling objectives, an exhaustive, detailed plan with multiple scenarios was required before the well was drilled.


SPE/IADC 163428

Torsional Resonance – An Understanding Based on Field and Laboratory Tests with Latest Generation Point-the-Bit Rotary Steerable System, L.A. Lines, D.R. Stroud, V. Coveney, Weatherford

The paper describes a high frequency, high amplitude type of torsional vibration not previously observed with point-the-bit rotary steerable systems. This particular type of torsional vibration is of such high frequency that conventional logging rates are insufficient to detect it. The phenomena could be much more widespread than currently recognized.

SPE/IADC 163529

Pivot Stabilizer Innovations for Point the Bit Rotary Steerable Systems Result in Improved Drilling Performance for Specific Applications, C. Jeffery, M. Bailey, R. Rivera, M. Coss, National Oilwell Varco

To achieve optimal directional response and maintain superior stability in specific applications, pivot stabilizer design, selection and evaluation are crucial when used as a near-bit pivot on point the bit rotary steerable systems. This paper describes the progression of stabilizer design through simulations, facility testing, field testing and in-service performance tracking. Extensive testing and performance evaluation has allowed development of predictable directional response, bit/drill string stability, and other drilling performance metrics of specific stabilizer designs to be rationally chronicled for continual innovation in pivot stabilizer design.

SPE/IADC 163572

A New Measurement-While-Drilling System Designed Specifically for Drilling Unconventional Wells, S.J. Krase, Navigate Energy Service

The recent drilling explosion targeting unconventional reservoirs has created extraordinary opportunities for growth in the oil industry and has also presented many challenges for the MWD industry.

A new generation of MWD systems has been created specifically for the unconventional drilling environment. Starting with a blank sheet of paper enabled the development of a fit-for-purpose MWD system that meets the technical and financial requirements for drilling these unconventional reservoirs.

SPE/IADC 163538

The Combined Application of Azimuthal Deep Resistivity and Multilateral Technologies Maximizes Extra-Heavy Oil Recovery and Improves Production Rates in Junin Block of the Orinoco Oil Belt, O. Mendez, Halliburton

PDVSA Petrocedeño has encountered challenges in achieving higher production rates and maximizing extra-heavy oil recovery from complex reservoirs in Junin block of the Orinoco Oil Belt of Venezuela. Horizontal wells in this area show poor production results.

The YC36 well plan included drilling two laterals with the geosteering technique, which would improve the production rate to an estimated 343 BPD. This paper describes the combined application of multilateral and geosteering technologies in the YC36 well, as well as details about the results of the application.

SPE/IADC 163562

New Technology Enhances Rotary Steerable System Performance and Provides Superior Borehole Quality and Reduces Vibration in Rotary Steerable Applications, D. Herrington, National Oilwell Varco; S.P. Barton, NOV Downhole Tools and Pumping

Rotary steerable systems (RSS) have become a standard technology in today’s drilling industry. With the advent of the RSS, have come new challenges associated with well bore quality, steerability and vibration mitigation. The need for technology that supports and compliments RSS operations is the next logical step in providing optimized RSS drilling services.

This paper provides supporting documentation that a technology proven to improve lateral stability while mitigating damaging downhole vibrations is assisting a major operator in maximizing the performance of their RSS operations and allowing operators a new level of performance and cost savings.


SPE/IADC 163567

The Use of IntelliPipe Conveyed Along String Annular Pressure Measurements While Drilling High-Angle Offshore Wells in Trinidad, C.J. Coley, S.T. Edwards, BP

This paper discusses the use of annulus pressure measurements taken at multiple points along the drill string as an enabling technology for monitoring the transport of drilled solids in near real time. Techniques developed internally to convert the significantly increased quantity of data into information (including methods for the processing and analysis of measurements taken during high-density sweeps and ECD fingerprinting) are presented. Other practical concerns, such as sensor placement, sensor accuracy and the importance of a robust IT network to handle the flow of data, are also discussed.

SPE/IADC 163502

High Performance Water-Based Drilling Fluids – An Environmentally Friendly Fluid System Achieving Superior Shale Stabilization While Meeting Discharge Requirement Offshore Cameroon, A. Witthayapanyanon, A. Denax, R.G. Bland, Baker Hughes; J. Leleux, R. Morvan, A. Pomian, J. Segouffin, Perenco

With a regulatory environment moving toward zero discharge, the cost of the waste management with invert emulsion drilling fluids is diminishing their attractiveness. Therefore, when the operator was planning to drill their first well offshore Cameroon in the BAF field, they evaluated high performance water-based mud system (HPWBM) alternatives as these offered the potential advantage of offshore discharge of drilled cuttings and effluents due to absence of oil contamination and lowered waste management costs.

This paper documents the advantages of the HPWBM chosen, its design and performance characteristics in stabilizing reactive clays/shale.

SPE/IADC 163522

A New Fluid Management System and Methods for Improving Filtration and Reducing Waste Volume, Introducing a Step Change in Health and Safety in the Mud Processing Area, A. Kroken, J.K. Vasshus, Cubility AS; T. Omland, B. Aase, Statoil

Effective removal of contaminants from drilling fluids is widely accepted as a key factor in achieving best-in-class drilling performance and reducing fluid cost. Current shaker technology reflects incremental advances in functionality related to size, g-forces and screen technologies. This paper describes the development, qualification and field testing of an alternative solids control solution that provides advances on several aspects that conventional equipment is infested with. The findings presented are based on results obtained both during the qualification process and field testing.

SPE/IADC 163492

Real-Time Evaluation of Hole Cleaning Conditions Using a Transient Cuttings Transport Model, E. Cayeux, Intl Research Inst of Stavanger; T. Mesagan, S. Tanripada, M. Zidan, Statoil; K. Fjelde, University of Stavanger

During a drilling operation, the real-time analysis of surface and downhole measurements can give indications of poor hole cleaning. Nevertheless, it is not always intuitive to understand how and where the cuttings are settling in the borehole, because the transportation of cuttings and the formation of cuttings beds is largely influenced by the consecutive series of actions performed during the operation. Using a transient cuttings transport model, it is possible to get a continuously updated prognosis of the distribution of cuttings in suspension and in beds along the annulus.

This information can be of prime importance for taking decisions to cure and prevent poor hole cleaning conditions. This paper presents how this model has been used to monitor two different drilling operations in the North Sea.

SPE/IADC 163460

Novel Drilling Fluid Design Enables Successful Drilling of Depleted Carbonate Reservoirs Offshore Republic of Congo, A.A. Thomas, M-I SWACO; J. Leleux, Perenco

This paper details case histories from the Emeraude field 13-well drilling program, focusing on the design elements of the novel drilling fluid. An air-energized drilling fluid was developed that enabled all 13 wells in the development program of the Emeraude field, offshore Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo to be drilled with only 19-bbl downhole losses and zero non-productive time. The energized air-surfactant polymer drilling fluid used on the Emeraude field has potential for drilling similar depleted carbonate reservoirs in West Africa.

Best engineering practices adopted to drill these challenging wells also are described in detail.

SPE/IADC 163519

Evaluated of Filter Cake Mineralogy in Extended Reach and Maximum Reservoir Contact Wells in Sandstone Reservoirs, B.S. Bageri, A. Al-Majed,  A. Ul-Hamid, A. Sultan, King Fahd University of Petr and Min; S.H. Al-Mutairi, Saudi Aramco

This study will focus on an aspect which was not fully covered in the literature: the chemical characteristics of filter cake formed in the horizontal section, from its heel to its toe. High pressure fluid loss test were performed using real drilling fluid samples from the field which were collected during drilling horizontal section of sandstone formation. The mineralogy of the external filter cake formed by fluid loss test is described in detail using both scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction.


SPE/IADC 163508

Drilling Fluid Selection Methodology For Environmentally Sensitive Areas, K. Dimitriadis, P. Burden, Tullow Oil; S. Thomas, T. Staples, C. Nguyen, K. Clements, M-I Swaco

Tullow operates in areas of Africa which are particularly environmentally sensitive. Selection of drilling fluids in such cases should take into account both technical and environmental criteria in regards to the treatment and disposal of the cuttings and excess fluids.

A thorough study was performed, which comprised shale characterization and inhibition testing on core samples and drill cuttings. Seven drilling fluid compositions were tested, six water based and one synthetic based. A simple rating method was devised for ranking technical and environmental performance or treatment and disposal options for each fluid.

In this particular case, Tullow’s choice of drilling fluid during its exploration and appraisal campaign was driven primarily by the need to use fluids with green credentials and the fact the exploration wells were not particularly demanding from a technical point of view. However, it was recognized the that a system with improved technical performance would be required when drilling the anticipated, more demanding, high angle and extended reach wells during the development drilling.


SPE/IADC 163566

Dynamic Model for Stiff String Torque and Drag, V. Tikhonov, K. Valiullin, Aquatic Company; A. Nurgaliev, R.A. Gandikota, L. Ring, P. Chaguine, C.A. Cheatham, Weatherford International

A stiff string torque and drag model is presented that uses steady state dynamic equilibrium of the drill string as its basis for calculations. Results are compared to previously published torque and drag models that are based on static equilibrium. The novelty of the new dynamic model is in the ability to solve torque and drag operations of the entire drill string in reasonable time using standard engineering computers. The new approach is based on a 3D-transient dynamic model of drill string and BHA in an elastic borehole.

SPE/IADC 163518

Safely Exceeding Buckling Loads in Long Horizontal Wells: Case Study in Shale Plays, S. Menand, Drillscan; D. Chen, Hess Corp

This paper shows a case study in shale gas wells for which helical buckling load has been exceeded without compromising the success of the operations.

Drilling data from long horizontal wells in US shale plays have been gathered, analyzed and compared to an advanced drill string mechanics model that enables to calculate simultaneously torque, drag and buckling.

SPE/IADC 163407

Drill Pipe Riser Intervention System Successful Experience in Offshore West Africa, C. Rohart, H. De Fonvielle, VAM Drilling; W. Campbell, TOTAL

While offshore intervention on subsea equipment is quite common, the increasingly deeper water operations require light weight intervention systems, while meeting safe and stringent operating specifications. For these new deep offshore challenges, the conventional risers are becoming a more costly and less desirable solution.

The solutions that were used by TOTAL in Angola are drill pipe risers with a proprietary double shoulder connection and featuring a Teflon seal ring close to the external shoulder. Intensively used in West Africa since 1999, the solution has shown robustness and reliability on several projects such as Girrasol and Rosa and now GirRI. The paper draws a summary of these operations and field use feedback, as well as maintenance costs and the financial benefits of using this product.

SPE/IADC 163441

Brittle Failures of Oilfield Components Due to Improper Testing Methods, S.R. Koneti, S.R. Gokhale, T.H. Hill Associates

Oilfield tubular components can fail through brittle cracking due to poor fracture toughness of the material. For heat treated material, most vendor and user manufacturing specifications, including API, require the mechanical test specimen to be removed from either a sacrificial production part, a prolongation removed from a production part, or from a quality test coupon (QTC) from the same heat.

In certain cases, manufacturers prefer to perform all mechanical testing on a QTC. However, case studies indicate that material test results on the QTC, especially Charpy V-notch impact energy values, which point to the fracture toughness of the material, may not accurately represent the material properties of the actual component.

This paper presents case studies and lessons learned from the analysis of failures that were found to be related to this discrepancy.

SPE/IADC 163535

The Stability of a Pipe Stand Racked in a Derrick, Part 2 – A General Pipe Stand Model, S.J. Sawaryn, P. Pattillo, BP Exploration

This paper builds on the information contained in Part 1 and presents a general pipe-stand model. The model is based on the Fourier series solution of the energy equation for calculating the deflection and buckling condition of an inclined, non-uniform pipe stand with an arbitrary number of intermediate loads and stick-up above the top racking board. Full details of the derivation and algorithms are included in the paper. This flexible approach is used to examine more complex, practical situations, including the buckling sensitivity to the position of the upper support and added loads, such as tool joints or running tools racked with the stand.

SPE/IADC 163478

Analysis of Torsional Shock During Drilling, T. Collins, E.M. Elhassan, Schlumberger

Recent developments in drilling techniques such as rotary steerable tools, aggressive diamond drill bits and dual-diameter drilling tools have greatly improved the speed of drilling wells and have allowed efficient drilling in very difficult environments. These have created a new set of conditions that the bottomhole assembly must withstand: a combination of high rotary speed and high, unsteady reactive torque, which have given new importance to an understanding of drill string dynamics.

Dynamic loading of drill strings has previously been studied using application-specific models and numerical methods. This paper demonstrates the application of some simple methods borrowed from acoustics, which allow approximate but very general solutions to the dynamic effects of torsional shock loading.

The results are illustrated with a case study from a well where unexpected geological features led to very high torsional shock, which caused severe equipment damage. The dynamic loading was shown to be well beyond the accepted design parameters. The new methodology can account for this loading as well as providing the design tools to withstand it.


SPE/IADC 163484

The Stability of a Pipe Stand Racked in a Derrick, Part 1 – Foundation, S.J. Sawaryn, BP Exploration

The paper presents an exact analytical solution using higher order functions for the deflection and buckling of a simple pipe stand in a derrick, modeled as an inclined slender column, with self-weight and pinned at both ends.

The results are consistent with industry practice where an intermediate finger board is used to support 93 ft stands of both 2 3/8-in. and 2 7/8-in. steel pipe but is not required for 3 ½-in. pipe. These observations suggest a suitable safety factor for application in other cases.

SPE/IADC 163480

Analytical Model to Estimate the Drag Forces for Micro-hole Coiled-Tubing Drilling, Y. Zhang, Y. Hao, University of Houston; R. Samuel, Halliburton

Micro-hole coiled-tubing drilling is a new technology that provides added advantages while posing numerous operational challenges. This manifests in a number of ways, all adversely affecting the efficiency of the drilling process.

The problems include increased wellbore friction, poor hole cleaning, tubular failures and associated problems during tripping operations. Presently, conventional torque-and-drag models are used to calculate the drag forces and surface loads. Estimates of surface loads predicted using conventional torque-and-drag models are under-conservative as a result of the residual bend in the small-size coiled tubing on the reel and gooseneck. In such circumstances, an improved model and more comprehensive analysis is required.

This paper documents the comparison between the predicted mathematical simulation results with the actual well data from wells describing the accuracy and applicability of the model. The analysis results and comparison are presented along with three examples.

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