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Drill bit innovations target major barriers to ROP, durability

Although a drill bit is but one component of a large and complex drilling system, it can have an outsized impact on the efficiency of a drilling operation. “While the amount of money spent on drill bits may be less than 1% of the total cost of the well, it can really be argued that no single component contributes more to the overall drilling performance,” said Wiley Long, Bits and Drilling Tools Product Champion at Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company...

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Digital solutions guide path to better accuracy in directional drilling

The global directional drilling services market has taken a big hit during this downturn. In terms of market value, directional drilling fell from $16.55 billion in 2014 to $10.95 billion in 2015, then shrank further in 2016 to just $6.71 billion. Most of these reductions were brought about by project cancellations in the low oil price environment, according to Rajashekar Lokam, Research Analyst at Mordor Intelligence...

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Workforce outlook: Industry must consider new strategies to attract, retain next-generation employees

The oil and gas workforce has shrunken considerably as a result of the global downturn. An April 2017 Rystad Energy report found that the top 50 oilfield service companies, including drilling contractors, had eliminated 300,000 upstream jobs worldwide since 2014. This represented a devastating 35% of the total workforce at these 50 companies...

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Global land rig demand recovers, offshore still seeking inflection point

One year after setting record lows for utilization, the land rig markets in North America have seen a remarkable recovery. In the US, onshore rig demand surged by 105% to 976 active units, compared with 476 in the previous year. In Canada, there were 155 active land rigs during the census period, an increase of 65% over last year’s 94 units. Nevertheless, fleet utilization in both countries remain below normal at 46% (US) and 24% (Canada). Many lower-spec rigs are expected to exit the available fleet next year, as operators continue to give preference to higher-specification pad-capable rigs for development of onshore unconventional resources...

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No quick recovery in the cards for 2018

Most forecasts call for oil prices to stay within the $45-$55 range next year as global oil production stays high despite OPEC’s agreed cuts By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor Stability, not a quick recovery, may be where the drilling industry has to turn for comfort in 2018. Oil prices, which will likely average around $50 this year, are mostly forecast to stay within the $45 to $55 range next year. It isn’t until at least the second half of 2018 or perhaps 2019 that some upward price pressures may enter the market. Oil inventories, global energy consumption and OPEC’s decision on whether to extend its production cuts beyond March 2018 are all being closely watched. For the drilling sector specifically, ...

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In Brazil, it’s two steps forward, one step back

Even as progress is made in opening the presalt and reducing local content requirements, new corruption charges embroil the president, threatening to slow ongoing reforms related to taxes, environmental licensing By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor The near-term outlook for the Brazilian drilling market is bleak. As of August, there were only 29 offshore drilling rigs contracted to Petrobras – currently still the only operator with active offshore rigs in the country. That number compares with 36 offshore rigs last year, 52 in 2015 and 67 in 2014, said Liz Tysall, Senior Offshore Rig Analyst for consulting firm Rystad Energy. The near-term outlook for the Brazilian drilling market is bleak. As of August, there were only 29 offshore drilling rigs contracted ...

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Small signs hint at possible recovery in still-sluggish North Sea

Although the North Sea drilling market is still quite a ways from what one might call healthy, small signs of recovery are starting to sprout. Several operators, for example, have publicly touted significant reductions in their breakeven costs for offshore projects – from Maersk Oil’s $40-45 range for pre-FID projects to Statoil’s $27 for pre-FID Norwegian Shelf projects...

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