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Petronas conducts industry-first MPD project with high-speed drillstring telemetry

Posted on 07 March 2008 in News

To explore the shallow-gas potential of the Nagar prospect offshore southern Myanmar, operator Petronas faced a number of potentially high-risk issues. The prospect lay in 400 m of water. To overcome these difficulties, the operator conducted a milestone managed pressure drilling operation using wired-drill pipe telemetry.

The project was detailed in “Successful Implementation of First Closed Loop, Multiservice Control System for Automated Pressure Management in a Shallow Gas Well Offshore Myanmar” (IADC/SPE 112651), presented on Thursday, 6 March, at the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Orlando, Fla.

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Industry must invest in people, or impact of incompetence could be severe

Posted on 07 March 2008 in News

After the first two plenary sessions of the Drilling Conference explored issues related to rising costs and technology, Thursday’s session – “Roadmap to the Future: People and Processes” – took up the challenges of people, which continues to be one of the industry’s biggest headaches.

When polled, 92% of the session audience agreed that staffing for future drilling activity is a significant problem. Not only that, but 52% of the audience believed the problem is going to get worse. It seems clear that we know there is a problem; it’s just not clear whether the industry is doing enough to resolve it.

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BG Group's Walter Simpson to be 2009 Drilling Conference chairman

Posted on 07 March 2008 in News

2009 ChairmanJust before Thursday’s plenary session, 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference chairman Rodney Eads (right) of Pride International introduced Walter Simpson of BG Group as chairman of the 2009 conference. Mr Simpson is BG’s general manager operations and well engineering.

Walter Simpson, general manager operations and well engineering for BG Group, will serve as chairman for the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, announced Pride International’s Rodney Eads, the 2008 conference chairman. Next year’s event will be held at the Rai Congress Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 17-19 March 2009.

The 2007 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, also held in Amsterdam, drew a record 2,113 people, Mr Simpson said, and he hopes to top that number in 2009. Next year’s conference also will offer 30% more exhibit space to allow more companies to showcase and demonstrate their newest technologies and equipment.

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Challenges outlined in directional drilling through salt in deepwater GOM

Posted on 06 March 2008 in News

With the Lower Tertiary trend continuing to gain prominence, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, associated issues related to the difficulty of drilling through salt layers have surfaced as well. During Wednesday morning’s Deepwater I technical session, Rias Israel of Schlumberger discussed challenges faced and lessons learned by two major deepwater GOM operators, BP and Chevron, in directional salt drilling. Schlumberger provided the directional service.

Salt drilling is problematic for many reasons, one being the salt’s ability to move, or “creep,” into newly drilled wellbore. Therefore, thorough well planning will be a key factor in successfully drilling directionally through difficult salt formations, Mr Israel said. Even the zone above the salt will demand caution. The area is typically stressed due to the way the salt has migrated over time. Risks of wellbore stability issues and losses are always present and must be carefully monitored, he said. Several challenges seen in previous GOM experiences, plus possible solutions, were given:

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New IADC committee to work toward guidelines for rig automation

Posted on 06 March 2008 in News

Advanced Rig Tech CommitteeThe IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee held its inaugural meeting on Wednesday during the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. One of the group’s goals is to develop guidelines/best practices for automated drilling systems.

The new IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee plans to work toward guidelines and best practices for automated drilling systems, as well as examine standard methods of reporting reliability problems with advanced rig equipment. The committee held its inaugural meeting during the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Orlando on 5 March.

Automated drilling systems are increasingly common, though hardly universal, in today’s rig fleet. However, reliability can be problematic, due to human, mechanical and electrical issues.

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Norman Warpinski named 2008 SPE Drilling and Completion Award winner

Posted on 06 March 2008 in News

Warpinski AwardFord Brett, SPE technical director – drilling and completions, presents the 2008 Drilling and Completion Award to Norman R. Warpinski, chief technology officer, Pinnacle, on Wednesday at the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Orlando, Fla.

Norman R. Warpinski, chief technology officer, Pinnacle, was awarded the SPE Drilling and Completion Award on Wednesday, 5 March, at the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference.

“Norm is a known pioneer in the advancement of hydraulic fracturing through the development of fracture diagnostic technologies, including micro-seismic mapping, which has really changed the way that people understand how fractures work,” said Ford Brett, SPE technical director-drilling and completions, in bestowing the award. “And it’s very important, because over half the wells in the world are fracced.”

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Plenary panelists call for simplification in drilling, completions

Posted on 06 March 2008 in News

Opening Wednesday’s plenary session, “Technology: The Key to Finding and Producing Difficult Hydrocarbons,” session moderator Charlie Williams of Shell International E&P Technology noted that the industry is facing two types of “difficulties” in difficult hydrocarbons. One is the physical location of the remaining hydrocarbons – whether in ultra-deepwater, in HPHT environments or the Arctic. The other is the hydrocarbon’s very nature, and recovery of enhanced and unconventional hydrocarbons still requires improvement, said Mr Williams, Shell chief scientist, well engineering, production technology.

The first panelist, Hesketh Streeter, vice president – energy consulting for Latin America for Wood Mackenzie, examined the risk management aspect of producing difficult hydrocarbons. There’s no doubt the industry has dramatically improved the way it manages risk over the past decade, he said, “but are we doing enough?”

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NOC drilling activities lead to Eastern Hemisphere investments for Varel

Posted on 06 March 2008 in News

Varel International’s Varel Europe subsidiary, the base of the company’s Eastern Hemisphere operations, has announced the expansion of its PDC drill bit manufacturing facility in Tarbes, France, and the addition of applications engineering personnel to regional offices.

The Tarbes facility’s square meterage has been doubled, enabling the implementation of “lean manufacturing” flow lines to reduce the average time required to deliver a PDC bit. Sales in the East have especially fueled Varel’s growth in the last few years — more than half of the company’s total revenue now comes from Eastern Hemisphere sales.

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Thursday plenary session to map industry future on people, processes

Posted on 06 March 2008 in News

On Thursday, 6 March, the plenary session will focus on “Roadmap to the Future: People and Processes.”

Moderated by Ford Brett, president of Petroskills Oil and Gas Consultants International, the session will discuss how the industry can accelerate the competency curve for the thousands of new-hires and what processes and methods will be developed to sustain growth to 2015. Panelists are:

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More than 1,300 pre-registered for 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Orlando

Posted on 05 March 2008 in News

More than 1,500 drilling and completion  professionals had registered for the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Orlando, Fla., by the end of the first day on 4 March. Opening-day technical sessions covered HSE, performance drilling, completions, fluid technology, tubulars and rig equipment.

The kick-off plenary session explored the challenges of managing operating costs for D&C operations. Titled “Operating Costs: Validation, Consequences and Solutions,” the session was moderated by Paul R Goodfellow, regional wells manager-Americas, Shell E&P Americas. (See below article for more information.) 

The 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference continues through Thursday, 6 March. A preview of Wednesday’s program begins below.

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