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New section milling technology designed for restricted IDs restores access to leached area of cavern in highly abrasive Texas salt dome

Figure 1 shows types of underground hydrocarbon storage facilities, including depleted reservoirs, aquifers and salt cavern formations. Significant features of an underground storage reservoir include its capacity to hold natural gas for future use and the rate at which gas inventory can be withdrawn, described as its deliverability rate.

The Stratton Ridge salt dome in Brazoria County, Texas, has been used extensively by the industry for brining operations and for the storage of liquid hydrocarbons, refined products and natural gas. The shape of the dome has been defined by several hundred oil and gas wells drilled over the top of this highly anomalous geologic diapir structure. Cavern operations at Stratton Ridge are known to have experienced multiple problems, including severe lost circulation while drilling through cap-rock, sheared well casings, corrosion, shifting and encountering hydrocarbon products that appear to have escaped from the storage cavern...

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Fire on closely spaced six-well pad illustrates heightened need for well control risk mitigation in pad drilling

Figure 3 (left): Cross-fire from failed valves intensified the complexity of source control planning and operation.

Efforts to help reduce environmental footprint, infrastructure and development costs have led to an increased use of pad drilling. However, the close proximity of wells in pad drilling increases the risk of more severe consequences during well control incidents. In the case of a burning well, both radiant and direct heat can potentially ignite adjacent wells, threatening both human life and equipment and detrimentally affecting the immediate environment. This article describes challenges and lessons learned from controlling a multiwell pad blowout...

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IADC President Jason McFarland (right) and IBP Secretary-General Milton Costa Filho signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 4 May at the 2017 OTC in Houston. The MOU establishes a framework through which the organizations will cooperate to improve the upstream oil and gas industry in Brazil.

On 10 May, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it had withdrawn its proposed action relating to modifications and revision of the Jones Act rulings. In response, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:...

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People, Companies and Products July/August 2017


Ensco and Atwood Oceanics have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Ensco will acquire Atwood in an all-stock transaction. The definitive merger agreement was unanimously approved by each company’s Board of Directors. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Atwood shareholders will receive 1.60 shares of Ensco for each share of Atwood common stock, for a total value of $10.72 per Atwood share, based on Ensco’s closing share price of $6.70 on 26 May 2017. This represents a premium of approximately 33% to Atwood’s closing price on the same date. Upon close of the transaction, Ensco and Atwood shareholders will own approximately 69% and 31%, respectively, of the outstanding shares of Ensco...

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Perspectives: Harris Reynolds, Diamond Offshore Drilling: Boom or bust, offshore industry must focus on innovations to drive down costs


In an industry downturn, especially one as severe as the one currently plaguing the oil and gas business, it can be instinctive for companies to postpone investments in technical innovations. But Harris Reynolds, Director of R&D at Diamond Offshore Drilling, believes that would be a short-sighted approach. “We have to bring the cost of exploration and production down radically,” said Mr Reynolds, who also serves as Chairman of the IADC Future Technology Subcommittee. “There has to be a paradigm shift to get costs down for offshore.”...

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Trial well onshore Canada verifies dual drill string drilling method, enables managed gradient drilling

Figure 1 presents a schematic of the drilling fluid flow with the dual drill string configuration. The dual drill string allows drilling mud to be pumped down the annulus inside the drill pipe, with the return flow up the concentric inner pipe. A top drive adapter connects the rig’s top drive to the top of the dual drill string. The flow control unit is positioned near the rig and remotely controlled from the driller’s cabin.

New heavy-over-light drilling fluid solution was also incorporated to solve torque, drag, hole cleaning and ECD control problems By Ola M. Vestavik and John Thorogood, Reelwell; Etienne Bourdelet, Total; Bernd Schmalhorst and Jan Petter Roed, DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG A shallow horizontal trial well was drilled onshore Alberta, Canada, in March 2016 to verify a new drilling method that incorporates a dual drill string, with a separate channel for the return fluid from the well. This arrangement enables managed gradient drilling, i.e. drilling with a constant downhole pressure gradient that can be controlled to be nearly independent of the flow rate. The solution is similar to managed pressure drilling (MPD). It differs in that the downhole pressure gradient is managed ...

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New digital age may disrupt traditional business models


By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor The length and severity of this downturn have triggered a lot of discussion around the industry’s business model. Much of the discussion has centered around revising the traditional dayrate model to incentivize performance, but do such bonus schemes go far enough? The drilling industry is at the cusp of an inflection point in its digital revolution. From automation to robotics, from data analytics to artificial intelligence (AI) – every day new technologies are pushing the industry ever closer toward changes that could significantly disrupt the business model as we know it. Numerous other industries have already undergone such disruptions, typically with new-to-industry “disruptor” companies coming out on top. “Uber is the world’s largest taxi company, ...

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Drilling & Completion News


Bentec and CAN Global USA have reached an agreement with Xtreme Drilling Corp to supply major drilling components for the upgrade of three of Xtreme’s new 850XE land rigs. These 1,800-hp AC rigs were built for pad drilling and will commence operations later this year....

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