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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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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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Rig briefs: Robotic arm for automated pipe handling, 20,000-psi riser system, ergonomic driller’s station among industry innovations

Tripping speeds for MHWirth’s QRT 4000 LS drilling riser system have been reported at up to 12 joints per hour. The company designed the system without high-strength bolts, which removes the risk for hydrogen-induced corrosion. Further, the spider and gimbal have been integrated into one unit without any critical welding. This reduces inspection requirements and increases the possibility to conduct maintenance and repair offshore.

The best derrickmen in the drilling business can rack a stand of pipe at an approximate rate of about 20 seconds per pipe at the start of a tour, according to RigArm, a Calgary-based drilling equipment manufacturer. However, fatigue then begins to set in and can affect performance.

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Exception-based remote monitoring incorporates intelligence to enable early detection of well control events

Figure 1: Data shows that most well control incidents are the result of human factors, such as misinterpretation of data, delayed response to abnormal well conditions, inexperience or physical fatigue. Exception-based monitoring of real-time data by remote operators can help reduce the risk of well control incidents resulting from human factors by increasing the operational awareness of drilling crews.

Industry statistics suggest that the majority of well control incidents and near-misses occur during well construction operations. To address this issue, the industry has focused on stringent well design and casing standards, blowout prevention equipment, safe drilling practices and multiple layers of workflows and controls. However, the data also shows that most well control incidents occur as a result of human factors – misinterpretation of data, delayed response to abnormal well conditions, drilling crew inexperience and physical fatigue – that are not addressed by hydraulics and mechanical well control mechanisms.

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Troubled Brazil works to open pre-salt, ease regulatory restrictions

The Brava Star, QGOG Constellation’s ultra-deepwater drillship, can drill in waters as deep as 12,000 ft. The rig was delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in 2015.

As of July, Petrobras had 39 floating rigs on contract in Brazil. That compares with 60 at the beginning of 2015 and 42 at the end of that year, according to Rudimar Lorenzatto, E&P Executive Manager for the Brazilian national oil company. Despite this fall in activity, Petrobras remains heavily focused on the pre-salt. Of the 60 wells planned for 2016 and another 60 planned for 2017, 60% are expected to be in the pre-salt areas. “Pre-salt is the main focus in the future for Petrobras’ business plans,” Mr Lorenzatto said.

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HSE&T Corner: Hard hat uses transparent visor to increase workers’ peripheral vision

National Oilwell Varco estimates the AboveView Hard Hat could increase workers’ upper peripheral vision by about 50%. The idea for the hat was hatched during a rig tour in 2009 when an NOV employee was climbing a ladder and bumped into a colleague above him, nearly causing both to fall from 20 ft above the ground.

With the multitude of safety-related challenges that workers face in the upstream oil and gas industry, any improvement in a worker’s ability to be aware of their surroundings can make a difference when it comes to keeping themselves and others out of harm’s way. To address this, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Bullard are introducing a hard hat designed to increase workers’ upper peripheral vision.

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Be a safety hero: Join the IADC HSE Case rewrite

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Even in these uncertain times, safety is the bottom line, and the folks who help us save lives at work, play and home are my safety heroes. Industry deserves kudos for advancing personal safety, and for the changes in safety culture that have saved life and limb. Check the latest stats from the IADC ISP program. 2015 struck a milestone as the first year with zero US onshore fatalities since the voluntary reporting program kicked off in 1962 (p 66).

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Enhanced well control course integrates technical training with simulator exercises, human factors

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IADC is developing a new accreditation program for enhanced well control training that emphasizes human factors and enhanced simulation-based exercises. Between January and July of this year, Rowan Companies and Maersk Training piloted a course that could serve as a basis for this program.

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ABS, partners test Polar Code requirements through search and rescue exercise offshore Norway

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In April, ABS partnered with the Norwegian coast guard, academic institutions and other stakeholder companies to perform a search and rescue exercise in Svalbard, Norway. The University of Stavanger, Company GMC and the Norwegian Coast Guard organized the exercise, which took place on the K V Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel. The exercise was conducted to gain a better understanding of the IMO Polar Code’s requirements, which many in the industry regard as vague, according to ABS. For example, the code requires the crews of maritime vessels, including drilling rigs, to be equipped be able to survive five days in polar waters while awaiting rescue. There was concern about whether this was even possible with existing equipment, said ABS ...

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