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Innovating While Drilling

Remove the barriers to automated MPD to enable automated well control

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Automated MPD can enable automated well control, making for a generally safer and more efficient drilling operation. However, barriers remain that obstruct industry’s implementation of automated MPD, including liability and traditional roles and responsibilities. Drilling contractors are typically responsible for equipment integrity on the rig, but during MPD...

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Remote directional drilling sets roadmap to industrialization

Using Schlumberger’s drilling advisor service, drillers on Precision rigs receive real-time steering recommendations when drilling directional wells. So far, Precision Drilling has drilled two wells with this service, each with only one directional driller on the rig. For Precision’s turnkey operations, all directional driller expertise will eventually transition off site, with the driller following the instructions generated by the software and supported by the directional drillers in the remote operations center.

In 2014, Precision Drilling, Schlumberger and Pason Systems launched an initiative with the aim of industrializing unconventional drilling in North America. Specifically, the companies set out to transform directional drilling by increasing repeatable high-quality results while simultaneously reducing the manpower and time required to drill a well. This collaboration is now coming to fruition, resulting in a remote directional drilling service that uses Precision’s drilling rigs and Schlumberger’s abbl drilling operations adviser service.

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D&C Tech Digest

TGS and Schlumberger are commencing surveys in 306 blocks in the US GOM. Final processed data is expected to be available by early 2018.

When applying new hardbanding on top of worn and cracked hardbanding, there is a risk of incurring additional durability problems. Recently, a Russian offshore drilling contractor’s drill pipe showed signs of wear and traverse cracking with a titanium hardbanding product. Duraband non-cracking (NC) hardband was chosen for re-application, and Hardbanding Solutions Europe was asked to oversee the work of removal, repair of the tool joints and application of Postalloy Duraband NC.

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Petronas implements enterprise-level real-time data management infrastructure

Petronas implemented the Real Time Well Solution, an enterprise real-time data management solution with web-based delivery, in 2014. The data management infrastructure is helping the operator to better manage its rig-site drilling operations from remote locations.

Although Petronas had established its Smart Drilling Optimization Monitoring Centre (Smart DOMC) in 2010, the operator decided in 2014 to change its approach to rig-site monitoring. “At that time, the environment of the real-time (monitoring) was fully managed by a service company, so we felt that we didn’t have control,” Noorazmah Yusoff with Petronas said in a presentation at the 2016 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference, held 22-24 August in Singapore. “We wanted to have more control of the data, from the location portion up to the integration portion of it.”

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Studies confirm performance of salt-free non-aqueous drilling fluid, bioremediation potential of cuttings

Figure 1 depicts the growth of plants in varying ratios of top soil to salt-free NAF cuttings blend. From left are: 100% top soil, 5:1, 3:1, 1:1 and 100% cuttings blend.

Disposal of cuttings from nonaqueous drilling fluids (NAF) can be a significant expense and logistical issue for the operator of a drilling rig. NAFs typically contain high levels of salts, commonly calcium chloride or sodium chloride, in the internal phase of the emulsion. These salts are beneficial for wellbore stabilization but pose issues for cuttings disposal because the salts don’t biodegrade and can accumulate in high concentrations in soil. A salt-free NAF has been developed and field-validated in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta, Canada. The system uses a biodegradable organic to provide an internal phase with equivalent water activity to traditional salt-containing systems. This results in a fluid system with the performance and benefits of a conventional NAF while potentially allowing for greater cuttings disposal options. Depending on local regulations, the system has the potential to reduce environmental and long-term liability concerns by being able to land-farm drilled cuttings without hindering plant growth.

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Dual cutting structure on hybrid roller cone bit increases efficiency of bridge, frac plug drill-outs

SlipStream-Bit-v1.0

Drilling out bridge and frac plugs is a regular and inefficient task in multi-zone completions. The job is commonly done using a variety of standard drill bits. However, removing between 15 and 40 plugs comprised of hard outer slips surrounded by ductile composites and elastomer materials presents several challenges to bit performance. Like drilling operations, the completion objective is to efficiently drill as much as possible before having to pull out of hole to replace the bit. The plug’s hard outer slips can quickly wear steel tooth cutting structures so that the bit is increasingly less effective with each plug it drills. It is also difficult to achieve small cuttings across the various plug materials in use, which can limit hole-cleaning efficiency. In addition, the fluid pressure behind isolated completion zones can result in pressure spikes that reduce bearing life.

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