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March/April

VisiTrak services may eliminate need for pilot wells in wellbore placement

As operators continue to target increasingly complex geological formations in deepwater reservoirs, accurate and efficient horizontal wellbore placement has become essential to productivity. Conventional methods for mapping out wellbore placement involve drilling pilot wells, which can cost millions of dollars to drill. Baker Hughes aims to remove the need for such pilot wells, while also improving recovery, with the VisiTrak Geospatial Navigation and Analysis Service, commercially launched in July 2015. “This represents the combination of two decades developing reservoir navigation,” said Jon Skillings, Product Line Manager, Reservoir Navigation Services, Baker Hughes.

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Drilling & Completion News

Chevron subsidiary Unocal East China Sea has begun natural gas production from the first stage of the Chuandongbei Project in the Sichuan Basin of southwest China. Chuandongbei is one of the largest onshore gas projects developed by an international oil company and a national oil company in China.

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Drilling & Completion Tech Digest

Rice University’s Integrated Systems and Circuits (RISC) laboratory has developed a new generation of microchips, approximately the size of a grain of sand, that travels downhole through fracturing fluids to plot the cracks and pores through which oil and gas move to the surface. Activated by electromagnetic signals sent from an aboveground transceiver, the microchips return real-time data to create high-resolution maps of reservoirs and formations formed by hydraulic fracturing.

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Technology champions build up business case for MPD adoption while advancing automation, training

Although managed pressure drilling (MPD) continues to gain traction across the industry, it remains incumbent upon service providers and technology champions to build and prove a business case for MPD. This remains challenging due to the nature of the technology. One of its key benefits is minimizing or eliminating kicks and losses. However, proving that something didn’t happen can be difficult. “How do you quantify non-events? How do you quantify something that didn’t happen?” asked Per Christian Stenshorne, EC-Drill Product Line Manager for Enhanced Drilling.

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Cloud-computing, sophisticated models enhance meaning of downhole drilling data

Collaborative use of real-time telemetry to more effectively utilize the massive amount of data that is now available at the wellsite has been instrumental in taking drilling optimization to a new level in the past five years, according to David Johnson, VP, Research and Innovation for Petrolink. The company provides real-time data infrastructures that help operators and service companies manage and correctly use relevant information to analyze various drilling parameters, such as well hydraulics, torque and drag, vibration, bit selection and drilling fluids and rheology.

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Competition for rig work ratchets up in Asia Pacific

As oil prices fell to less than $30/bbl earlier this year, the associated reduction in rig demand severely stressed drilling contractors worldwide. The Asia Pacific was no exception. “It has been relatively quiet,” said Yun Yun Teo, IHS Petrodata’s Principal Analyst for Rigs, Asia Pacific. “I don’t think we are going to see that 2016 will be much of an improvement over 2015. In fact, it will probably be worse.” For example, although operators in the Asia Pacific normally send out multiple new rig tenders during the winter budget season, this time around drilling contractors saw “only a handful,” Ms Teo said.

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People, Companies, Products

Saudi Aramco and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) have amended an expired memorandum of understanding (MOU) on developing a maritime complex that would provide engineering, manufacturing and repair services for offshore rigs, commercial vessels and offshore service vessels in Saudi Arabia.

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New-design rotary steerable systems target higher doglegs, durability in high-temperature reservoirs, autonomous steering

As operators hunt for reserves in plays with increasingly high pressures and temperatures and where high-dogleg well profiles are needed to access sweet spots, the cost of drilling has continued to grow. To reverse that cost trend, oilfield service companies are working to design and build more reliable and higher-performing rotary steerable systems (RSS). “What we’ve seen here, specifically in the North American land market, is the drive toward factory drilling and automation to decrease costs and an increased focus on improving the quality of wellbore placement to increase reserves,” said Steve Krase, Director of Wellbore Placement at Nabors Drilling Solutions.

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