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IADC UBO/MPD Committee to finalize training curriculum, establish categories for MPD-readiness


This year, IADC’s committee for Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) and Underbalanced Operations (UBO) will continue its work on API recommended practices 92M and 92P. The former pertains to MPD with surface backpressure, while the latter relates to pressurized mudcap operations with a subsea BOP. Committee Chairman Andre Alonso Fernandes, Technical Advisor at Petrobras, provided an update on this work, as well as other projects the committee is pursuing, on 18 April at the 2018 SPE/IADC Managed Pressure Drilling and Underbalanced Operations Conference in New Orleans, La. In this interview from the conference, Mr Fernandes discusses the committee’s ongoing work, as well as efforts to develop an MPD training curriculum and to define the readiness of different drilling rigs for MPD functions...

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IADC North Sea Chapter names Annual Safety Award winners

The IADC North Sea Chapter recognized member companies for their safety performance in a ceremony on 20 April in Aberdeen. Back row from left are Ole Maier, Odfjell Drilling; Ally Malcolm, Awilco Drilling; Ed Wheler, KCA Deutag; Jasper Goeting, Paragon Offshore, Bram Leerdam, Paragon Offshore; Julian Hall, Ensco; and Darren Rainnie, Ensco. Front row from left are Paul Ellis, Archer; Clive Tulleth, North Atlantic Drilling; Ian Paterson, Transocean; Pete Wilson, IADC NSC Chairman and Rowan Drilling; Bill Cairns, Diamond Offshore; and Patrick Gardiner, Diamond Offshore.

The IADC North Sea Chapter (NSC) recognized several companies for their safety performance on 20 April at the chapter’s Annual Safety Awards Ceremony in Aberdeen. The award for best safety performance in jackups went to Ensco (over 1 million mahours) and to North Atlantic Drilling (under 1 million manhours). Transocean was the winner in the category of floating rigs with over 1 million manhours and Diamond Offshore in the under 1 million manhours category. The winner for platform drilling was Odfjell Drilling...

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Shell invests in Vito development in Gulf of Mexico


Shell Offshore, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, announced the final investment decision for Vito, a deepwater development in the US Gulf of Mexico with a forward-looking, breakeven price estimated to be less than $35 bbl. This decision sets in motion the construction and fabrication of a new, simplified host design and subsea infrastructure...

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Bonded composite reinforcement technology designed to replace hot work, reduce time, costs and hazards during FPSO repairs

During the installation of ColdShield, an industrial vacuum is used to reduce the humidity under the area to be sealed off down to as low as 1%. Following the dehydration  process, structural polymers are injected. The polymers include a resin that bonds to the base metal of the hull, keeping the pad in place for up to 10 years. The process-controlled injection is performed through an automated skid.

Many floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) operating today were built as early as the 1970s. As these assets age, they experience corrosion on their hulls and decks, which necessitates in situ repairs as most FPSO do not go to drydock. Typically, hull and deck repairs require hot work, including grinding and welding, which can cause fire and explosion hazards and disrupt production...

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Noble drives down completion time for Tamar 8 well by adopting new designs for temporary P&A, BHAs

The first wells on Noble Energy’s Tamar field offshore Israel required six BHA trips before running the open-hole gravel pack. The operator managed to reduce the required number of BHA trips to only three in the Tamar 8 well, Ian Magin, Deepwater Completions Engineer for Noble, said at the 2018 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference.

Since Noble Energy’s Tamar field offshore Israel was brought online in 2013, the natural gas produced from the field has provided 60% of Israel’s electricity. To continue meeting the country’s gas demand, Noble announced in 2016 that it would drill the Tamar 8 well. This provided Noble with an opportunity to optimize the well’s completion design and methodology...

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Noble, GE collaborate to create digital rigs that leverage predictive analytics and digital twins to take maintenance off the critical path

Noble is currently monitoring seven systems onboard the Noble Globetrotter I: the BOP system, power system, drawworks, mud pumps, top drive, thrusters and dynamic positioning system. These systems were selected for monitoring because they had the greatest potential to cause downtime in the event of a failure.

To improve the efficiency of its asset management and operational productivity, Noble Corp announced in February that it had partnered with GE to outfit four of its high-specification rigs with an advanced data analytics system that can detect anomalies and potential failures weeks in advance. Seven key critical systems are now being monitored – the BOP system, power system, drawworks, mud pumps, top drive, thrusters and dynamic positioning system. Noble expects that it can achieve improved reliability and up to a 20% reduction in the maintenance spending on these systems as early as the second half of this year, according to Bernie Wolford, Senior VP Operations...

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State of offshore rig market is all about rig supply – yet nobody knows how many offshore rigs there are in the market anymore

If the market returns to somewhere near its high demand of 397 jackups, then there will need to be 467 rigs in the fleet compared with today’s high supply number of 518, in order to achieve an 85% utilization rate. Bassoe estimates that the jackup fleet will shrink by 90 rigs over the next two years, while estimated attrition for semisubmersibles is 25. To achieve 85% utilization in the drillship segment, only four rigs would have to be removed, after removing the remaining non-competitive units. Bassoe believes that, even while it remains hard to forecast the supply side, scenarios that yield an 85% utilization are feasible.

What’s the state of the offshore rig market today? In four words, it’s not that bad. Sure, rig demand hasn’t risen as much as it was forecasted to do. When rigs do get drilling contracts, they don’t make much money. There are a lot of stacked rigs sitting around. There’s still a need for more contractor consolidation...

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Fracturing innovations target improved equipment durability, optimized proppant placement

PackersPlus’ TREX QuickPORT IV sleeve has been deployed in the Permian Basin to address wireline and coiled-tubing issues in plug-and-perf in well laterals over 20,000 ft.

The oil and gas industry’s goals of reducing nonproductive time (NPT) and increasing production of unconventional resources are driving the evolution of hydraulic fracturing technologies. Especially as operators start to hit the natural physical limits of unconventional production, the need to optimize the fracking process has grown stronger, James West, Senior Managing Director for Oil Services, Equipment and Drilling with EvercoreISI, said. The optimization process differs by play, but overall, companies are looking for better well and fracture placement, as well as different sizing and staging of frac clusters...

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