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May/June

HSE&T Corner – Health risk assessment identifies, remediates potential health hazards

Ensuring a safe workplace is a core priority in the oil and gas industry, but health hazards typically receive less attention than safety hazards do, Fitria Nubaidah, Industrial Hygienist at ApexIndo, said at the 2016 IADC Drilling HSE&T Asia Pacific Conference, held in Kuala Lumpur on 24-25 February. In part, this is because the effects of a health problem caused by workplace conditions may not manifest right away. This makes it difficult to determine cause and effect, while the consequences of a safety failure are generally immediate and easy to see.

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I can tell you when oil prices will rebound…

... but I’ll be wrong like everyone else. Prediction is difficult, especially if it’s about oil futures (apologies to Niels Bohr). In 1998 – not the best year for drilling by a long shot – the Energy Information Administration soberly predicted a nearly linear decline in US production through 2020, ramping down from 6.5 million bbl/day in 1996 to an anemic 4.9 million bbl/day.

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D&C Tech Digest

Weatherford recently completed a drilling and reaming project near Sakhalin Island, Russia, that resulted in a total time savings of 52 hours. The operator contracted Weatherford to enlarge a 3,641-ft hole section from 8 ½ to 9 ½ in. on an offshore development well. Weatherford deployed a dual-reamer bottomhole assembly, including a RipTide drilling reamer and a RipTide Rathole Killer drilling reamer. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags enabled both reamers to be opened and closed remotely and selectively throughout the run. This method allowed the crew to drill and ream the hole section to a total depth of 14,629 ft, eliminate the rathole and clean the wellbore in a single trip.

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Offshore industry, beset by project deferrals, rig contract terminations, looks to standardization, reliability for long-term cost reductions

Throughout 2015, the industry had remained hopeful that the downturn would be short-lived. During the summer, when oil prices temporarily buoyed, some believed that signaled that the market was on its way up again. However, prices trended downward after that, dipping below $40/bbl in the last quarter of the year. Many finally accepted the reality that this downturn would be lower for longer.

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Onshore drillers pull all available cost levers to economize wells

Even at the end of 2015, there had been some small hope that there would be a slight recovery in oil prices by mid-2016, lifting onshore drilling activities somewhat higher later in the year. However, when oil prices sank below $30/bbl in January, such optimism faded. Instead, the fall further motivated cost-reduction efforts across the industry. Operators were pressured to continue cutting back on their rig count and to seek additional ways to enhance efficiency throughout the well construction process. Drilling contractors appear to be ridding themselves of older rigs and directing resources toward maintaining their newer, high-spec assets.

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Reservoir complexity, corrosion, mobility drive innovation in pre-salt completion strategies, design

When Earth’s tectonic plates shifted to break up the ancient super continent of Gondwana 180 million years ago, a deposition of sediment and sea water over a hydrocarbon-rich geological layer created a phenomenon now known as pre-salts. Estimated to be as thick as 6,562 ft (2,000 m) in waters as deep as 20,000 ft (7,000 m), the salt layers overlie geological layers that hold a significant portion of the world’s oil reserves, mostly along the continental shelves of Brazil and West Africa. Other pre-salt basins include the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Norway and the Caspian Sea/Azerbaijan.

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News Cuttings

On 12 April, IADC staff and members hosted an “IADC Onshore Drilling 101” lunch and learn event for more than 60 attendees on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Participating IADC members were Jay Minmier, President, Nomac Drilling; Mike Garvin, Senior Vice President, Operations Support, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company; Joey Husband, Vice President Global Operations, Nabors Drilling Solutions; and Scott McKee, Contracts and Marketing Lead, Cactus Drilling Company.

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