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2017

15K-rated rig modified to meet 20K exploration challenge in Norway

Technical challenges are becoming increasingly frequent as the industry explores the frontiers of offshore drilling. One such recent challenge was the Solaris ultra high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) exploration well, operated by Total Norge, on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The well was successfully drilled in 2016 by Maersk Drilling’s Mærsk Gallant. The rig, an MSC CJ62-120S design jackup, broke a line of records in the process...

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Perspectives: Stacey Earley, Transocean: Flexibility, prioritization of risks helping contractors to keep offshore drilling economically viable

By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor From an early age, Stacey Earley loved math and figuring out the mechanics of how things were built. It was a natural affinity. “My mother used to say that while other kids were playing on the playground, I was underneath the playground figuring out how it was constructed,” recalled Ms Earley, now Director of Marketing Contracts and Proposals at Transocean. “That curiosity really carried out throughout my youth and continues today in my current role seeking creative ways to address contract mechanics.” After high school, Ms Earley initially pursued civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – it seemed like an obvious choice for a budding engineer. But this was the early 1980s, and ...

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Digital twins help to predict failures, create blueprint for ideal asset performance

The concept of digital twins – a dynamic digital representation of an industrial asset – is increasingly being adopted in the drilling industry. At BHGE, digital twins are being used not only to understand the current state and condition of an asset but also to predict future maintenance issues and determine how issues can be avoided. “Digital twins combine our understanding of the physics of the equipment, as well as where the equipment is deployed – for example, reservoir location, morphology, etc – along with modern machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies,” said Dr Arun Subramaniyan, VP Data Science & Analytics at BHGE...

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To get the most out of drilling simulators, follow these 5 principles for designing training exercises

As drilling simulators become increasingly more sophisticated and available, organizations are increasingly exploring the possibility of enhancing safety and team performance by carrying out exercises on full-scale high-fidelity drill floor simulators. The amount of effort being put in by companies and trainers is impressive. However, based on more than 200 observations of teams taking part in exercises on drilling simulators, it’s also been observed that organizations are not investing sufficiently in the design of simulator-based exercises that would provide the maximum benefit for the team and organization...

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Dalma Energy adopts new work management system on Omani rigs to address ‘last mile’ challenge

Internet, phone and TV companies have what’s called a “last mile” problem: These companies spend billions of dollars in satellites, cables, towers and other technology, but until their service goes the “last mile” and is accessible by their customers, it creates no value for the company or their customers. All the infrastructure in the world doesn’t matter until the companies go that final distance to their customer’s homes and offices...

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Intelligent completion advances target improved reliability in HPHT conditions, simplified deployment

New technologies helping to provide real-time fluid characteristics, faster or remote actuations and optimized production over life of the well By Kelli Ainsworth, Associate Editor Higher-cost intelligent completion systems face obvious challenges in the current low oil price environment, with all sectors pushing for cost reductions. However, operators continue to show interest in these completion systems – and their remote monitoring and control capabilities – to avoid costly interventions later on and improve recovery over the life of the well and field. “Through the years we’ve had new operators coming to us with interest because they see the benefits and value,” Bruce Gavin, Senior Product Line Manager – Flow Control/Intelligent Completions for Halliburton, said. Particularly for complex deepwater wells, which ...

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Deconstructing invisible lost time: KPIs, analytics, standardization improve well deliveries in Bakken

A data-driven contractor-operator initiative that aimed to mitigate inefficiencies in the well construction process resulted in a “CAPEX-free” opportunity to safely reduce unconventional well delivery times by up to 40%. The joint initiative, which focused on North Dakota’s Bakken Shale play, underscored the tangible benefits of standardizing drilling operations and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) to consistently reduce invisible lost time (ILT). Unlike downtime, ILT never appears in the standard morning report. Rather, it is hidden inefficiencies and inconsistencies in routine drilling operations where performance in standard processes can often swing widely between crews...

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Mechanization, automation guide innovations in advanced robotic technologies for the drill floor

Different approaches being taken by equipment manufacturers to pave path to truly hands-free drill floor By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor The word “robot” can mean different things to different people. For many, the word might conjure images from movies or television shows – perhaps Robby the Robot from the 1960s, C-3PO and R2-D2 from the Star Wars films or, more recently, the animated Wall-E. However, at its core, a robot is simply a machine, and in that sense, robots and robotic technologies are not new to the drilling industry. “Technically, iron roughnecks have been robots from the beginning,” said David Reid, Chief Marketing Officer for National Oilwell Varco (NOV). “Simple robotics is telling a machine to do something and leaving ...

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New section milling technology designed for restricted IDs restores access to leached area of cavern in highly abrasive Texas salt dome

The Stratton Ridge salt dome in Brazoria County, Texas, has been used extensively by the industry for brining operations and for the storage of liquid hydrocarbons, refined products and natural gas. The shape of the dome has been defined by several hundred oil and gas wells drilled over the top of this highly anomalous geologic diapir structure. Cavern operations at Stratton Ridge are known to have experienced multiple problems, including severe lost circulation while drilling through cap-rock, sheared well casings, corrosion, shifting and encountering hydrocarbon products that appear to have escaped from the storage cavern...

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Fire on closely spaced six-well pad illustrates heightened need for well control risk mitigation in pad drilling

Efforts to help reduce environmental footprint, infrastructure and development costs have led to an increased use of pad drilling. However, the close proximity of wells in pad drilling increases the risk of more severe consequences during well control incidents. In the case of a burning well, both radiant and direct heat can potentially ignite adjacent wells, threatening both human life and equipment and detrimentally affecting the immediate environment. This article describes challenges and lessons learned from controlling a multiwell pad blowout...

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