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New central GOM lease sale a far cry from 2008 record-breaker

Posted on 20 March 2009 in News

 The Central Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 208, held this week in New Orleans, attracted more than $703 million in high bids. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) said that 70 companies submitted 476 bids on 348 tracts comprising over 1.9 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

This is significantly lower than 2008’s record-breaking Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 206, which netted $3.67 billion in high bids. In that sale, 85 companies submitted 1,057 bids on 615 tracts.

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New rotary steerable system, telemetry platform announced from Amsterdam

Posted on 20 March 2009 in News

 Schlumberger this week announced the release of its new PowerDrive vorteX RT powered rotary steerable system (RSS) with wireless communicator, and its new Orion II telemetry platform, which enables reliable communication with bottomhole assemblies whether drilling at high penetration rates or longer boreholes.

The new RSS allows near-bit information above and below BHA components, so accurate targets can be reached in less time. It uses induction propagation antenna coils to generate and detect an electromagnetic field. The bi-directional, half-duplex communication runs in all formation types, jumping up to 20 m of BHA, and includes real-time gamma ray, resistivity, and neutron density information.

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Landmark previews new Drillworks software suite

Posted on 20 March 2009 in News

 A new software suite exhibited at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, 17-19 March in Amsterdam, is offering operators a solution that streamlines workflows to help reduce drilling costs and improve safety performance.

By enabling geoscientists and engineers to more effectively share their data and resulting analyses, Landmark’s new Drillworks software suite, integrated with Pressworks relational database, helps enable operators to create more precise well models and update them in real time during drilling. This solution integrates with Landmark’s other databases to provide operators with a complete well planning, delivery and monitoring workflow.

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Sneak Preview: March/April DC takes operator MWD/LWD criticism, challenges to service companies

Posted on 20 March 2009 in News

 This new tool will measure formation pressure and fluid temperature, as well as support real-time identification of reservoir fluid properties and recover fluid samples. Read about it in the March/April DC.

In an article in the forthcoming March/April DC, assistant managing editor Linda Hsieh brings operator criticisms of current MWD & LWD systems to two service companies. DC surveyed several operators and reports their anonymous challenges of these systems, some of the most advanced in the drilling industry.

Several trends emerged. Downhole vibration and shock topped the list, operators noting that ultra-ERD and deepwater operations exacerbate the issue. Real-time vibration and bending monitoring is a real need the industry must address.

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Evolutionary advances driving revolutionary changes for drilling industry

Posted on 19 March 2009 in News

 After focusing on “people” during Tuesday’s plenary session at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam, the Wednesday session turned to another critical element: technology. The goal of the discussion – titled “Technology – Evolution or Revolution?” – was to look back on our historical journey at technology delivered by both evolution and revolution and to discuss opportunities for such technologies in the future.

Moderator Lance Cook of Shell began the session by reminding everyone that “the easy oil is gone,” and industry will need every innovation possible in order “to get hydrocarbons into the pipeline at the rates we need”.

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Wired pipe telemetry provides step-change improvements

Posted on 19 March 2009 in News

 A wired pipe telemetry system helped reduce drilling time by 10% in an onshore project for Occidental Petroleum.

Wired pipe technology is here, said Chris McCartney with Occidental Petroleum, “and I’m here to tell you, get ready for it.”

In a presentation during the drilling automation session at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam on 18 March, Mr McCartney described how the use of wired pipe telemetry strings at Occidental of Elk Hills Inc (OEHI) in California helped to deliver an average 10% reduction in drilling time.

With mud pulse telemetry or electromagnetic data transmission, the process of receiving and processing the downhole measurements means there’s lag time. The data density of mud pulse telemetry points transmitted to surface is also reduced, with downhole measurements improving and requiring additional bandwidth.

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IADC Advanced Rig Tech Committee looks at today's reliability, tomorrow's technology

Posted on 19 March 2009 in News

 IADC vice president-drilling & well services division David Reid of NOV detailed work by the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee to study top-drive reliability and survey tech trends for the future. Mr Reid made his remarks during the opening of the Wednesday, 18 March, plenary session at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam. Mr Reid is also chairman of the IADC ART Committee.

The group, he noted, has five subcommittees. The Future Technology Subcommittee, under the leadership of vice chairman Frank Springett, NOV, has nearly completed development of an extensive survey on performance and future development for a host of drilling and completion technologies, covering both rig and downhole equipment. The survey will be made available to the industry soon.

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Regulator: Industry must not get complacent about UKCS well control

Posted on 19 March 2009 in News

 According to a study of well incidents on the UK continental shelf from 1999 to 2008, the majority of those incidents were due to geological factors and not readily preventable. Most were also efficiently handled, said Donald Dobson of the UK regulatory agency Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Yet that’s no reason for the industry to settle into complacency, he added, during a presentation at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference on 18 March in Amsterdam.

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RigPass curriculum changes approved

Posted on 19 March 2009 in News

 To ensure continued relevance to new-hires in the petroleum industry, IADC’s RigPass Review Panel has revised the RigPass Accreditation Program curriculum. Specifically, modules for general safety principles, material handling and first aid were expanded, while a new wellsite environmental protection module was added. Additionally, an optional land endorsement module was created.

Emphasis on the employee’s responsibility for his/her own safety and the safety of co-workers permeates the entire revised curriculum, said Brenda Kelly, director of the IADC accreditation & certification department (ACD).

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Sneak Preview: Hercules & Maersk share stories of HSE innovation in March/April DC

Posted on 19 March 2009 in News

 Image courtesy of Hercules Offshore

In the March/April issue of DC, Hercules Offshore and Maersk Drilling spell out innovative strategies that make a difference in HSE results, Maersk through a systems approach to improving environmental performance and Hercules through empowering personnel as “safety heroes.”

Early in 2008, Maersk launched its “Green Rig” project to improve its fleet’s environmental impact. The focus was fourfold – energy efficiency and emissions, discharges, accidental spills, and waste management.

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