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March/April

In skills shortage, if we fail to prepare, we’re preparing to fail

By Linda Hsieh, Editor & Publisher The drilling industry has been talking about the Big Crew Change as far back as the early to mid-2000s. And for a few years it seemed like the industry was truly feeling the gravity of the situation and was taking substantial steps to prepare itself for the future by building pipelines of talent. But then the downturn hit in 2014, companies kicked over to survival mode, and the people challenge was – perhaps out of necessity – shifted to the backburner. Fast-forward a few years, and the industry is readjusting its priorities again and putting the spotlight back on the skills shortage. Over the past year, the Big Crew Change has been finding its ...

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New data transfer protocol aims to bring Netflix streaming speeds to offshore drilling operations

Equinor set to commercially deploy Energistics Transfer Protocol with 2 new monitoring centers opening this year By Sarah Junek, Associate Editor Imagine driving your car using only the rearview mirror for steering. Similarly in drilling, large amounts of data are being collected at the rig site, and experts in onshore offices are assigned to analyze that data and assist in deciding what happens next. Yet, data transfer from offshore rigs to shore can be delayed anywhere from tens of seconds to tens of minutes. This lag is due to the commonly used data transfer method for drilling measurement data, known as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). It inherently acts as a bottleneck by its use of server relays that have ...

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New-generation shaped cutter elements expand capabilities of PDC bits to boost ROP, efficiency

Performance proven through case studies spanning Russia, Colorado’s DJ Basin, Marcellus and Colombia By Wiley Long, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company Since it was introduced to the oilfield more than 40 years ago, the polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit has emerged as one of the most significant step-changes in drilling tool technology. Continuing advances in the material properties and manufacturing processes used to fabricate the cutting structures of the bit have enabled the industry to tap into formations once deemed drillable only with roller cone bits, simultaneously improving average rates of penetration (ROP) by 60%. This evolution in performance has elevated the PDC bit to a position of global dominance, giving operators the ability to expand into new frontiers, including ...

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Rethinking approach to testing, design of MPD choke control systems may lead to simplification

Industry also would benefit from standardizing, benchmarking choke control systems for choke characteristic response with two-phase flow By Babak Akbari, Louisiana State University As Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) techniques start to mature, systems developed to control one of the most important components of the system – the choke valve – become the leading edge insofar as the ability to control the annulus pressure profile. Given the increasingly narrow and challenging pressure windows, particularly those encountered in deepwater, the importance of precise and repeatable control of annulus pressure becomes paramount. Figure 1 illustrates a general paradigm for MPD choke control. Choke control systems, basically process control valves, have been around for some time, especially in the downstream segment. However, depending on ...

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Wirelines

API Publishes newly revised RP 54 API recently released the fourth edition of Recommended Practice (RP) 54, Occupational Safety and Health for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations. RP 54 provides procedures for promoting and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations. Industry leaders, including IADC, participated in the lengthy revision process of the document, which applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs and special services as they related to operations on location. First published in 1981, significant revisions in the latest edition include a new section on flowback operations, which is key for safe well testing, revised requirements for facility and site process hazard assessment and mitigation, and introduction ...

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Eamonn Young, Young Co Trucking: Good communication is key to achieve rig move efficiency in a fast-paced, 24-hour cycle

By Sarah Junek, Associate Editor Early on as a lifting and hoisting specialist, Eamonn Young’s skills stood out. He could identify efficiency problems, but more importantly, he effectively communicated them to his team. After a decade of planning and overseeing rig moves as a specialist with Shell, Mr Young now operates Young Co Trucking, a trucking and rig move services company. He’s also held a seat at the IADC Rig Moving Committee for multiple terms, serving the 2016-2018 term as Chairman. In that role, he’s seen and led the discussion on some of the biggest challenges around moving land rigs. Every second that can be shaved off of a rig move, especially in North America unconventionals’ fast-paced, 24-hour cycle, represents ...

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IADC launches DDR Plus to enable more granular data collection, support industry’s digital revolution

Revamped IADC tour sheet retains original 28 codes, adds 6 new operational codes By Mike Killalea, Adviser The drilling industry is undergoing sweeping change, driven by advances in digital technology. These advances support growth of data analytics and set forth the tantalizing prospects offered from developing automated drilling systems. However, increased data analytics and automation means that rig and downhole data had better be accurate and of known quality. To ensure improved and more granular drilling data collection, the IADC Drilling Control Systems (DCS) Subcommittee has completed a sweeping revamp of the IADC Daily Drilling Report (DDR), known also as the tour sheet. The DCS works under the purview of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee. The new version, ...

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Modest signs indicate a comeback may be in the offing for Brazil

Industry remains in survival mode, but regulatory reforms and technical innovations are setting the stage for transition toward a brighter future By Jessica Whiteside, Contributor On paper, things look grim in Brazil’s offshore drilling market. Last year’s low rig activity has drifted into 2019, reflecting the slowdown that’s plagued the sector since oil prices tanked and a corruption crisis humbled national oil giant Petrobras. However, industry observers see modest signs the sector is heading for a comeback in the long term, thanks to the country’s ongoing efforts to expand exploration and production opportunities in the pre-salt and beyond. But, first, there will be continuing pain for drilling contractors before the gap closes between the time operators begin assessing their newly ...

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People, Companies & Products

ExxonMobil streamlining upstream organization ExxonMobil announced it will streamline its upstream organization and centralize project delivery across the company to support previously announced plans to double operating cash flow and earnings by 2025. The reorganization will be effective 1 April 2019 and involve the creation of three new upstream companies – ExxonMobil Upstream Oil & Gas Co, ExxonMobil Upstream Business Development Co and ExxonMobil Upstream Integrated Solutions Co. Project-delivery capability will be enhanced through a single organization – ExxonMobil Global Projects Co – which will centralize major capital project planning and execution expertise into a single organization that will support all three business segments – upstream, downstream and chemical. Deep Sea Mooring wins contract from Diamond Offshore Vryhof and its mooring ...

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