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2017

Automation of surface equipment, dissolvable and shorter plugs push efficiency of fracturing operations

Increasing use of water due to longer laterals and higher stage counts are also driving demand for more cost-effective water management solutions By Kelli Ainsworth, Associate Editor As operators push the number of stages per well to upwards of 75 or even 100 in some plays, they’re also demanding step-changes in the efficiency of hydraulic fracturing technologies and equipment, including associated technologies like water management systems. A significant area of focus has been on reducing plug mill-out time, with more dissolvable technologies coming to the market, as well as the development of shorter plugs with less material to mill through. Technologies are also emerging to automate the surface operations of hydraulic fracturing. While the industry has made significant progress in ...

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Drill bit adapts depth-of-cut control to mitigate stick-slip, enhance ROP

Mitigating vibrations during drilling remains a challenge for many fixed polycrystalline-diamond-compact (PDC) bits, particularly as drillers attempt to drill longer sections in a single bit run. Vibration arising from torsional stick-slip and impact loading in interbedded formation and transition can cause premature damage to a drill bit and other components in the bottomhole assembly (BHA) – ultimately hindering drilling performance....

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Selective standardization approach could help industry sidestep market barriers, achieve full automation

Drilling standardization, collaboration and automation have become major buzzwords in the industry in recent years, promising higher reliability, improved safety, increased efficiency and decreased costs. Due to the complexity associated with the automation of rig floor equipment, however, full automation of processes and equipment will not be possible until there is a higher level of collaboration and standardization...

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Evolution of intelligent coiled-tubing technologies drives need for better sensors, data interpretation tools to aid real-time decision-making

Coiled-tubing interventions, like everything else in the upstream sector, have taken a hit since oil prices tumbled in 2014. In fact, the coiled-tubing industry declined by 41% from 2014 to 2015 and by an additional 39% from 2015 to year-end 2016, according to data from Spears and Associates...

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UT Austin-based drilling automation consortium builds data visualization templates, develops data-driven top drive monitoring techniques

Although automated drilling has been a popular discussion topic among drilling engineers for much of the past decade, practical solutions have been slow to emerge. Since its launch in May 2015, the University of Texas-based Rig Automation and Performance Improvement in Drilling (RAPID) consortium has worked to speed the pace of automated drilling innovations by delivering pragmatic and immediately applicable solutions to some of the drilling industry’s most pressing issues...

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Extended life, quicker make-up and gas tightness among key innovation areas as operators seek larger tubulars, lower costs of ownership

In a market where operators and drilling contractors alike are analyzing every nickel and dime in their operations, drill pipe manufacturers must ensure tubular technologies are providing the required performance at an accessible cost. “What we’re doing right now is helping companies to reduce their cost of ownership,” said Guillaume Plessis, Director of Global Marketing for Grant Prideco, a National Oilwell Varco (NOV) company. “We will still see optimization of the product, but we also want to make it a very affordable possibility.”

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Big data brings insights but also cybersecurity exposure

A critical theme that ran throughout our Critical Issues in Drilling and Completions Q&A’s in the last issue of DC was around data and how that’s taking center stage in the digital oilfield. That theme continues in this issue, where you can read about the latest evolution in intelligent coiled-tubing technologies (Page 42). Even in this hard-hit segment of the market – down by a whopping 41% from 2014 to 2015, then by an additional 39% in the year that followed – companies are looking toward data as the next step for advancing efficiency and cost effectiveness.

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