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Liam Mallon, ExxonMobil: Lower-for-longer environment has transformed industry’s mindset on innovation, collaboration

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The lower-for-longer price environment has forced oil and gas companies to change their mindsets, resulting in innovation, collaboration and standardization that have cut cycle times in half. The result is that new frontier projects, like ExxonMobil’s Liza development offshore Guyana, have become economic once again. While no one knows when, if ever, oil prices will return to pre-downturn levels, what’s certain is that the industry cannot afford to revert to old ways of doing business even if prices do improve in the future, Liam Mallon, President of ExxonMobil Development Co, said in a keynote session on 6 March at the 2018 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Fort Worth, Texas...

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Moving from surface readouts to real-time data reduces guesswork to improve intervention efficiencies

The xSight Smart Intervention Service consists of a BHA deployed on drill pipe that is outfitted with sensors measuring torque, WOB, pressure, vibration, toolface orientation and temperature. Data is transmitted wirelessly via mud-pulse telemetry to the surface. The data is fed into a software program for interpretation, then presented as a visualization.

As oilfield sensors and digital technologies grow more sophisticated, the industry is increasingly relying on real-time data to optimize the well intervention process. In today’s intervention operations, downhole data can make the difference between success and failure – and we know that operators can’t afford failures in this low-price environment...

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Multistage fracturing sleeve system developed for North American shales deployed in Saudi Arabia to complete record horizontal well

This graph shows the average treating pressure of all the stages in the well.

Multistage completions using sliding sleeves that allow one-stage, multi-clustered implementation with variable or consistent nozzle sizes were introduced for acidizing completions in the North Sea in the late 2000s. As the practice evolved, it became clear that North American shale projects would be more difficult. Although drilling and completion of extended horizontal wells remained more economical than drilling new wells for further access to the pay zone, there were challenges with perforating the extended section. Open-hole completion had been practiced as a solution but was not ideal for use in shale. Injected fluid took the path of least resistance to the formation, rarely covering the entire payzone accurately or efficiently...

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From the President: Commitment to safety must not waver as industry works toward zero incidents

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At IADC conferences, chapter meetings and meetings with individual IADC members, I often talk about the association’s commitment to serving as a valuable resource for our membership. And here, still at the beginning of a new year, it bears repeating. I’ve learned a lot in my 20-plus years with this association, and chief among what I’ve learned is that IADC is only successful if our membership believes in our mission and is willing to volunteer their time and expertise in support of that mission. I’m proud of the legacy that we’ve built and continue to build, and prouder still that our members share the belief that our industry is better because it has an association that advocates for the interests of its members...

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IADC launches WellSharp Well Servicing accreditation program

Mr Venettozzi reviews the database of WellSharp Well Servicing test questions, as well as well servicing simulations, with Brooke Polk, IADC Director of Program Development and Technology.

To instigate a step-change in the prevention of well control events during well servicing operations, IADC is launching the WellSharp Well Servicing accreditation program to replace the legacy WellCAP Well Servicing program. The new program will go live on 1 April after more than two years in development. “By 1 April, training providers will stop teaching WellCAP Well Servicing,” Mark Denkowski, IADC VP of Accreditation Operations, said. So far, close to half of all training providers who are accredited under WellCAP have either already converted to or started the application process with WellSharp...

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HSE&T Corner: Interviewing front-line employees can help identify, eliminate system weaknesses before they manifest as human error

To identify and eliminate system weaknesses, companies should proactively interview front-line employees about incidents, Sandra Adkins, BP’s Global Wells Organization Safety Advisor for Human Performance, said. These employees are important sources of information because they work at the intersection of people, processes and the plant. Ms Adkins was speaking at the 2018 IADC Health, Safety Environment and Training Conference in Houston on 6 February.

Research shows that human error and nonconformance can account for up to 80% of incidents. Of that 80%, up to 70% of incidents can then be attributed to system weaknesses, or conditions that allow an error to occur, said Sandra Adkins, Global Wells Organization Safety Advisor for Human Performance at BP. That means only 30% are related to individual mistakes. And yet, most incident investigations rely on traditional methods, such as near-miss reporting and observation programs, that tend to focus on proximal causes, such as human error. They rarely delve into system weaknesses...

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Integration enables deepwater MPD solution with a single control system

The industry’s first complete deepwater MPD solution, from reservoir to flare stack, effectively minimizes rig footprint while maximizing drilling efficiency and versatility. Image courtesy of Stena Drilling and Schlumberger.

Schlumberger has introduced the industry’s first complete deepwater MPD integrated solution that uses only one control system and requires fewer personnel to operate. The system features a riser joint – including a rotating control device (RCD), a slim-line annular blowout preventer and flow spool – that weighs just over 80,000 lb and measures 40-ft long, making it the shortest and lightest available on the market, according to Bas Liezenberg, DPM Deepwater Product Champion, M-I SWACO, a Schlumberger company. “Our goal was to reduce the total cost of ownership,” he said...

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Shell addresses human factors, technology limits to deploy MPD on exploratory HPHT campaign

A first attempt to deploy MPD in the exploratory HPHT drilling campaign ended with a significant kick incident.

The first deployment of a managed pressure drilling (MPD) application in an exploratory high-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) drilling campaign in the Niger Delta was truncated by a significant kick incident. The plan for the MPD deployment entailed drilling the HP interval with a bottomhole pressure (BHP) or set point that is equivalent to the maximum pore pressure prognosis...

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Asia Pacific: Utilization on the rise but dayrates still refuse to budge

UMW’s NAGA 8, like the company’s other six jackups, is working in Malaysia. Over the past year, the company has reactivated five of its seven rigs, demonstrating an increase in rig demand. Compared with the approximately 20% utilization UMW saw in 2016, utilization in 2017 topped 90% and is expected to remain relatively unchanged this year.

In the Asia Pacific drilling market, rig dayrates are still down near OPEX levels. Demand for rigs, while improving, can’t exactly be described as high either. And yet, looking to the next couple of years, there is a growing sense of optimism among drilling contractors here. “I believe 2018 is going to be a very busy year,” said Izwan Megat, Head of Operations at Malaysia-based UMW Oil & Gas, which owns and operates seven jackups. “2017 was about ‘can you survive this?’ and in 2018 it’s more about, ‘we survived, and we’re going out to work, but how can we make healthy returns for the company?’”...

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