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2016

News Cuttings

On 23 September, the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (ONG-SCC) hosted a 2-hr educational session for the US Department of Energy and other agency staff who are involved or interested in how the oil and natural gas industry works and how it prepares for and responds to weather-related events.

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D&C News

Drilling of the first production well has begun on the Maersk Oil-operated Culzean field in the UK. The well is the first of six production wells to be drilled on the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) field, with continuous drilling activity planned over the next five years. First gas is expected to be produced from Culzean in 2019.

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D&C Tech Digest

An operator in the Permian Basin recently ran two Halliburton RapidStart Initiator sleeves, designed for selective multistage frac and plug-and-perf operations, in a cemented long-string horizontal application. The operator, working out of Midland, Texas, needed a pressure-operated toe sleeve that could run in a cemented long-string horizontal application. To ensure well integrity, they wanted to perform a casing test prior to opening the sleeve. From there, they would establish a flow path from the casing ID to the formation, allowing them to pump the first stage of the frac job, then pump down the frac plug and perforating guns for the second stage.

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‘Permian Panic’ draws operators, boosts US onshore rig count

Low oil prices may be leaving the global drilling industry cold, but right now the Permian Basin is red hot. It’s so hot that people are calling it the “Permian Panic” – companies are rushing to snap up acreage because it is considered the lowest-cost US tight oil play with the best producing rock in North America. “The Permian is the key of all the tight oil plays,” said Skip York, VP Integrated Energy at Wood Mackenzie. The firm estimates that approximately a quarter of global oil and gas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) this year have taken place in the Permian.

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2015 ISP: Fatalities fall from 21 to 8; LTI, recordable incidence rates both down by approximately 20%

The global drilling industry reported eight fatalities in 2015, according to the most recent report from the IADC Incident Statistics Program (ISP). That is a significant improvement over the 21 fatal incidents reported in 2014. In particular, ISP data showed that – for the first time since the program started in 1962 – US onshore drilling contractors reported zero fatalities. “It’s an achievement worth celebrating and shows that all the efforts that onshore drillers have been putting in to improve safety are paying off,” Rhett Winter, IADC Director of Onshore Operations, said.

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Wirelines

On 14 July, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5538, the Interior Appropriations Act. In response, IADC President Jason McFarland said, “The passage of the Interior Appropriations Act with robust support for oil and gas provisions indicates that House members recognize the tremendous role the energy sector plays in ensuring America’s economic stability. IADC is pleased that the $32 billion measure, which will fund the Interior Department, EPA and other related agencies in fiscal year 2017, contains language that is supportive of oil and gas activities.

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Exception-based remote monitoring incorporates intelligence to enable early detection of well control events

Industry statistics suggest that the majority of well control incidents and near-misses occur during well construction operations. To address this issue, the industry has focused on stringent well design and casing standards, blowout prevention equipment, safe drilling practices and multiple layers of workflows and controls. However, the data also shows that most well control incidents occur as a result of human factors – misinterpretation of data, delayed response to abnormal well conditions, drilling crew inexperience and physical fatigue – that are not addressed by hydraulics and mechanical well control mechanisms.

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Troubled Brazil works to open pre-salt, ease regulatory restrictions

As of July, Petrobras had 39 floating rigs on contract in Brazil. That compares with 60 at the beginning of 2015 and 42 at the end of that year, according to Rudimar Lorenzatto, E&P Executive Manager for the Brazilian national oil company. Despite this fall in activity, Petrobras remains heavily focused on the pre-salt. Of the 60 wells planned for 2016 and another 60 planned for 2017, 60% are expected to be in the pre-salt areas. “Pre-salt is the main focus in the future for Petrobras’ business plans,” Mr Lorenzatto said.

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