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2018

Pursuit of life-of-well integrity propels zonal isolation evolution

Increasingly harsh downhole conditions necessitate advances in cement spacers, packers and elastomers, boost use of barrier diagnostics By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor, and Katie Mazerov, Contributing Editor Longer, deeper and hotter wells are upping the stakes for well integrity, driving an evolution in zonal isolation methods that give operators the assurance their completions endure for the life of the well. Research and development efforts for mechanical, fluid-activated and chemical solutions are ongoing to meet the rising challenges of these harsher downhole conditions that impact everything from elastomers to packers to cement. At the same time, the use of diagnostic tools to detect problems before they become problematic is growing.  Cement coverage is especially challenging in wells with low-pressure conditions or a ...

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Wirelines

US Department of Interior Issues Proposed Draft of Unified Regional Boundaries In accordance with Executive Order 13781, the US Department of Interior (DOI) recently submitted reorganization proposals that include establishing 12 unified regional boundaries across all DOI bureaus. Currently, DOI has 10 bureaus and 49 regions, each operating with unique regional boundaries. This has inhibited the sharing of resources and discourages a shared frame of geographic reference, resulting in operational and administrative inefficiencies. The new draft identifies 12 common regions, which will enable better management of watersheds, wildlife corridors and trail systems. Indian reservations, national parks and other significant DOI land management units that cross watersheds and county lines were kept in the same region to promote efficiency. The 12 ...

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News Cuttings

IADC Supply Chain Committee releases Metrics, Scorecard The IADC Supply Chain Committee has developed standard supplier metrics and a scorecard. The supplier metrics were evaluated on impact to the supply chain process and the measurability by both suppliers and drilling contractors. These metrics are considered to provide the highest impact to the procurement process and considers safety, quality, delivery and service metrics. The IADC supplier standard metrics are service safety performance; revenue impact due to poor quality; non-conformances; on-time delivery; percentage late (of current orders); aged overdue open PO lines; invoice accuracy; and price variance. The standard metrics will be used to create a balanced scorecard that drillers can share with suppliers so they understand the driller’s priorities and expectations. ...

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Land drillers usher in era of super-spec rigs

Operator demands for repeatability, predictability lead contractors to push ahead on horsepower pressure ratings, hookload and pipe-racing capacity while adding smart, data-analytic functions to control systems By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor, and Katie Mazerov, Contributing Editor With the industry’s steady, albeit gradual, emergence from the dark days of the downturn, onshore drilling contractors are seeing rig counts rise and dayrates climb. Increasingly, drilling companies are deploying fleets of upgraded rigs to meet operators’ demands to achieve more reservoir contact with longer laterals from bigger pads. Today’s unconventional challenges are a far cry from those of less than a decade ago, when a single shale well might have a 1,000-ft lateral and a few stages. Back then, the talk was all about ...

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Modularity, scalability prioritized in automated pipe-handling systems as industry charts path to fully autonomous, hands-free drill floor

OEMs look to advanced algorithms, industrial robotics technologies from outside industries for next advances By Karen Boman, Associate Editor Although improved safety is still perceived as the primary benefit of today’s automated pipe-handling technologies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are moving to challenge the status quo. By looking to advanced algorithms and industrial robotics technologies, companies are developing new solutions that are taking drilling contractors closer to fully autonomous rig floor operations. The recognition is that automated operations equal consistent operations, which in turn equal predictable operations. That’s where additional efficiencies can be found. OEMs recognize that, at current rig dayrates, they can’t push out new technologies that will require costly rig modifications. Further, the diversity of rig designs in the marketplace ...

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Automation of directional drilling system with remote supervisory control allows mile-a-day wells to be achieved in Appalachian Basin

Robust digital network enables reliable, real-time data transfer, allows experts to guide geosteering of horizontal wells from off the rig By John Macpherson and Sheldon Knight, Baker Hughes, a GE Company; and John Dewardt, Dewardt & Company Drilling is a highly dynamic process. Interrelated wellsite systems; geologic conditions that can deviate from expectations; operational variables that require continual adjustments, such as weight-on-bit and rotating speed; and the time lag between near-bit sensors in the subsurface and drilling control systems at surface all make automating a drilling operation as challenging as automating space flight. But driven by the promise of improved efficiencies, higher-quality wellbores, economics and safety, the development and adoption of systems automation is accelerating within the industry. The next generation ...

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To effectively manage major hazard events, companies must routinely measure key barriers, look beyond corrective actions at the front lines

By Peter Bridle, Pegasus Risk Management The upstream industry must look beyond its traditional focus on personal injury metrics and retool toward a high-reliability organization (HRO) for effective major hazard event (MHE) management. Fact 1: The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has repeatedly stated that although companies can work many years without a personal safety injury, this provides no guarantee that an MHE is any less likely. Fact 2: On the day that control of the Macondo well was lost in 2010, executives from both the operator and drilling contractor were on the drilling rig congratulating the crews on having worked seven years without a lost-time injury (LTI). Fact 3: Focusing on and reducing the number of minor injuries, such as ...

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2017 IADC ISP data show increases in lost-time incidents, recordables, fatalities amid rise in drilling activity

LTI rate up by 23.1% and recordables rate up by 17.4% over 2016 number; number of fatalities also escalates from 9 in 2016 to 10 in 2017 By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor The rapid rise in drilling activity in many sectors of the world is reflected in the newest safety numbers from the IADC Incident Statistics Program (ISP). In 2017, the drilling industry’s worldwide lost-time incidence (LTI) rate increased to 0.16 from 2016’s 0.13, which represents a 23.1% rise. The recordable incidence rate also went up, from 0.46 in 2016 to 0.54 in 2017, a 17.4% increase. The industry also lost ground with fatalities, with 10 fatal incidents reported in 2017 versus nine in 2016. Four fatalities each occurred in the ...

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Application of digital checklists helps KCA Deutag to drive culture of procedural compliance at rig site

Adoption of tablets, mobile devices was rolled across the rig fleet in late 2017 after iterative development process By Annejifke Andrew and Adebayo Aremu, KCA Deutag The industry strives to build a culture where everyone consistently adheres to defined procedures. It works to ensure that all procedures are clear, concise, correct and easy to understand, so that people think before they act. When a better way of doing a job is identified, the process is reviewed, vetted, documented and approved before any changes are made. Additionally, procedural discipline must be measured, recorded and reported in a simple and robust manner. The above words, paraphrased from the Well Control Institute, reflect what the drilling industry is trying to achieve on every shift, on ...

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BP, partners develop guidelines, scenarios for activation of diverter, EDS in deepwater operations

Joint effort with Seadrill, Maersk Training grew out of ‘complexity’ drills created to improve crew response to well control complications By Alex Parmenter, BP; Matias Machum, Seadrill; and Evelyn Baldwin, Maersk Training In deepwater drilling operations, the initial response to any well control event is critical because prompt and informed decision making is required to minimize escalation. Experience has shown that, in the face of an escalating well control scenario that requires the activation of the diverter and/or the emergency disconnect sequence (EDS), there is a risk that critical decisions may be delayed. Recognizing that rig crews need to respond quickly and that decisions about how to proceed need to be clear before an incident occurs, BP, Seadrill and Maersk Training ...

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