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July/August

High-cost subsea sector faces test of economics

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Risk, cost and safety and environmental concerns impact every aspect of oil and gas recovery, but these challenges are especially daunting in the subsea sector. Here, as operators drive into increasingly deeper reservoirs and high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) fields, a single failure can be catastrophic.

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PDC bit uses staggered cutter configuration to take energy from vibrations to drill ahead

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Excessive vibration caused by unrestrained lateral forces in directional wells can wreak havoc on drilling operations. In addition to reducing ROP, directional control (i.e., steerability) and overall drilling efficiency, torsional vibration at the bottomhole assembly (BHA) is often pegged as the source of a number of costly issues, including broken cutters, dull bits, trips and even damaged formations. To address such vibration-related problems, Ulterra Drilling Technologies has developed CounterForce, a patent-pending technology with a cutter orientation design inspired by the machining industry. It features a staggered cutter configuration capable of improving mechanical specific energy by dampening vibration, reducing bit reactive torque and redirecting force back into the rock. The cutting structure features pairs of cutters with opposing side rakes (angles), which allows the bit to harness reactive forces from the formation to counter the lateral forces from the drillstring.

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From the President/CEO: Through tough times, IADC will maintain focus on safety, crew competence, cost reductions

Stephen Colville, IADC President/CEO

Our industry is facing the most difficult of times. Internally within your companies, shareholders, executive boards and senior leadership are asking you to do more with less. Outside, customers are beating you over the head on costs and performance metrics, while competitors are nipping at your heels and regulators continue to crack the safety whip.

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Deepwater, high-pressure completion tubular maximizes combined-load capabilities

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This article discusses a two-year comprehensive effort to design, test, manufacture and deploy a new high-pressure completion tubular for Chevron’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico operations. The major challenge was to design, test and manufacture a subsea completion string that would provide efficient hydraulics during the fracturing operations while ensuring mechanical and pressure integrity.

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On-command reamer allows for digital confirmation of multiple activations, blade status

The GaugePro Echo on-command digital reamer is downlink-activated and can be activated and reactivated as many times as necessary. This enables selective reaming of problem formations and sidetrack windows to facilitate open-hole sidetracks. The reamer also provides real-time confirmation of blade status and position.

Expandable reamers were developed to improve efficiencies and reduce risk when drilling through problematic formations in deepwater and other offshore wells. While mechanical and hybrid expandable underreamers have been used for some time in offshore applications, they have not provided the communication, operational reliability and flexibility that operators desire in high cost-per-foot drilling applications.

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