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September/October

HSE&T Corner – Renewed focus on dropped object prevention needed as cost pressures, rig reactivations and personnel turnover amplify risks

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By Mike Rice, Dropsafe According to industry body DROPS, dropped objects are among the top 10 causes of injury and fatality in oil and gas operations. Yet, dropped objects are also one of the only HSE areas without standardized legislation. This leaves individual project management teams solely responsible for ensuring the integrity of operational sites. This discrepancy has contributed to an increase, in real terms, of dropped object incidents in recent years. While oil and gas activity levels have declined with the fall in oil prices, the numbers of incidents have not decreased accordingly. However, the industry – including drilling contractors – has recently renewed its focus on drops prevention. For example, one major international drilling contractor recently issued a fleetwide ...

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Mud pump cavitation: Routine inspections, maintenance can prevent ‘silent killer’ from reducing rig efficiency, equipment reliability

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With pumps being run at max horsepower at today’s well sites, best practices can help contractors to avoid premature damage, extend consumables life By Adam Avey, Gardner Denver Cavitation is an undesirable condition that reduces pump efficiency and leads to excessive wear and damage to pump components. Factors that can contribute to cavitation, such as fluid velocity and pressure, can sometimes be attributed to an inadequate mud system design and/or the diminishing performance of the mud pump’s feed system. Other factors that contribute to cavitation include: • Improper sizing of charge pump; • Improper maintenance of charge pump impellers – worn impellers cause a reduction of fluid pressure; • Dirty or clogged charge pump feed and discharge lines; • Improper size ...

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People, Companies & Products September/October 2018

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Independence Contract Drilling, Sidewinder to merge Independence Contract Drilling (ICD) and Sidewinder Drilling have announced their entry into a merger agreement in which ICD will acquire all outstanding equity interests in Sidewinder. The merger will combine two pad-optimal drilling fleets and operations focused on the Permian and other basins in Texas and its contiguous states. Upon closing of the transaction, ICD will more than double the size of its pad-optimal rig fleet to 34, following modest upgrades to five Sidewinder rigs.  The combined company’s board of directors will consist of four existing ICD board members, including ICD’s Chairman of the Board, Thomas R. Bates, as well as two members appointed by the controlling owners of Sidewinder. The combined company’s management ...

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Drilling and Completion Tech Digest

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Diamond Offshore launching new Blockchain Drilling Service across its rig fleet Diamond Offshore Drilling has launched its Blockchain Drilling service to drive efficiencies and enable oil and gas operators to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO). The service provides an immutable platform for the optimization of well construction activities, including drilling-related services, material and the supply chain, both shore-based and offshore. Users can access and analyze performance from any web-accessible device for near real-time TCO management. The cloud-based platform is scalable, and the baseline system consists of five modules to drive efficiencies and eliminate waste: • The Supply Chain & Logistics Manager provides transparency, provenance and immutability across the entire supply chain; • The Well Planner displays actual vs ...

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Pursuit of life-of-well integrity propels zonal isolation evolution

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Increasingly harsh downhole conditions necessitate advances in cement spacers, packers and elastomers, boost use of barrier diagnostics By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor, and Katie Mazerov, Contributing Editor Longer, deeper and hotter wells are upping the stakes for well integrity, driving an evolution in zonal isolation methods that give operators the assurance their completions endure for the life of the well. Research and development efforts for mechanical, fluid-activated and chemical solutions are ongoing to meet the rising challenges of these harsher downhole conditions that impact everything from elastomers to packers to cement. At the same time, the use of diagnostic tools to detect problems before they become problematic is growing.  Cement coverage is especially challenging in wells with low-pressure conditions or a ...

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Wirelines

Independence Contract Drilling’s ShaleDriller 211 rig works on a multiwell pad in Washington County, Texas. The ShaleDriller rigs all feature super-spec attributes, including omnidirectional walking capabilities to move easily from well to well and pad to pad.

US Department of Interior Issues Proposed Draft of Unified Regional Boundaries In accordance with Executive Order 13781, the US Department of Interior (DOI) recently submitted reorganization proposals that include establishing 12 unified regional boundaries across all DOI bureaus. Currently, DOI has 10 bureaus and 49 regions, each operating with unique regional boundaries. This has inhibited the sharing of resources and discourages a shared frame of geographic reference, resulting in operational and administrative inefficiencies. The new draft identifies 12 common regions, which will enable better management of watersheds, wildlife corridors and trail systems. Indian reservations, national parks and other significant DOI land management units that cross watersheds and county lines were kept in the same region to promote efficiency. The 12 ...

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News Cuttings

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IADC Supply Chain Committee releases Metrics, Scorecard The IADC Supply Chain Committee has developed standard supplier metrics and a scorecard. The supplier metrics were evaluated on impact to the supply chain process and the measurability by both suppliers and drilling contractors. These metrics are considered to provide the highest impact to the procurement process and considers safety, quality, delivery and service metrics. The IADC supplier standard metrics are service safety performance; revenue impact due to poor quality; non-conformances; on-time delivery; percentage late (of current orders); aged overdue open PO lines; invoice accuracy; and price variance. The standard metrics will be used to create a balanced scorecard that drillers can share with suppliers so they understand the driller’s priorities and expectations. ...

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Land drillers usher in era of super-spec rigs

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Operator demands for repeatability, predictability lead contractors to push ahead on horsepower pressure ratings, hookload and pipe-racing capacity while adding smart, data-analytic functions to control systems By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor, and Katie Mazerov, Contributing Editor With the industry’s steady, albeit gradual, emergence from the dark days of the downturn, onshore drilling contractors are seeing rig counts rise and dayrates climb. Increasingly, drilling companies are deploying fleets of upgraded rigs to meet operators’ demands to achieve more reservoir contact with longer laterals from bigger pads. Today’s unconventional challenges are a far cry from those of less than a decade ago, when a single shale well might have a 1,000-ft lateral and a few stages. Back then, the talk was all about ...

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Modularity, scalability prioritized in automated pipe-handling systems as industry charts path to fully autonomous, hands-free drill floor

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OEMs look to advanced algorithms, industrial robotics technologies from outside industries for next advances By Karen Boman, Associate Editor Although improved safety is still perceived as the primary benefit of today’s automated pipe-handling technologies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are moving to challenge the status quo. By looking to advanced algorithms and industrial robotics technologies, companies are developing new solutions that are taking drilling contractors closer to fully autonomous rig floor operations. The recognition is that automated operations equal consistent operations, which in turn equal predictable operations. That’s where additional efficiencies can be found. OEMs recognize that, at current rig dayrates, they can’t push out new technologies that will require costly rig modifications. Further, the diversity of rig designs in the marketplace ...

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Automation of directional drilling system with remote supervisory control allows mile-a-day wells to be achieved in Appalachian Basin

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Robust digital network enables reliable, real-time data transfer, allows experts to guide geosteering of horizontal wells from off the rig   By John Macpherson and Sheldon Knight, Baker Hughes, a GE Company; and John Dewardt, Dewardt & Company Drilling is a highly dynamic process. Interrelated wellsite systems; geologic conditions that can deviate from expectations; operational variables that require continual adjustments, such as weight-on-bit and rotating speed; and the time lag between near-bit sensors in the subsurface and drilling control systems at surface all make automating a drilling operation as challenging as automating space flight. But driven by the promise of improved efficiencies, higher-quality wellbores, economics and safety, the development and adoption of systems automation is accelerating within the industry. The next ...

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