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March/April

Hybrid system taps benefits of both MPD, underbalanced drilling, opens new horizons in southern Pakistan

Application of hybrid system allows operator to drill through, case off complicated sequence of formations without need for additional casing string By Qasim Ashraf, Weatherford International The northern Pothohar plateau of Pakistan is known to bear significant oil and gas reserves. Due to severe geological uncertainties, the area exhibits the most challenging drilling conditions in the region. The subject field is located in the southern part of the Pothohar plateau. Drilling challenges of severe loss circulation, high-pressure water influxes, low rate of penetration (ROP), simultaneous loss/gain issues and depleted reservoir formations are the most common problems experienced in the area. The subject well was a reentry well where the objective of the operator was to drill and produce the deeper ...

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North Sea HPHT case study: Monitoring of underreamer function status confirms in-gauge hole

Monitoring system helps Total to improve certainty around underreamed hole diameter By Tom Huggett, National Oilwell Varco; Mohammad Alahmad and Oliver Eatough, Total Underreaming tools are frequently needed in challenging applications, such as to facilitate running expandable liners, but underreaming operations can frequently leave uncertainty on final hole diameter. National Oilwell Varco (NOV) developed the IQ underreamer monitoring system to remove this uncertainty by monitoring cutter block position, wear and vibration, data that could be used in post-run drilling analyses as part of an optimization plan for future wells. The system also records downhole drilling dynamics at the underreamer, which means the system can determine, via memory data, the actual underreamer expansion size at any point during the run, allowing ...

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Intervention equipment, planning can mitigate complexities that come with multiwell pad spacing

With high-density well spacing, additional considerations are needed around equipment placement and how one well affects other wells on the same pad By Joe Coleman and Cliff Meade, Wild Well Control An intervention operation on one well that goes poorly can affect adjacent wells and cause an even greater problem. Well spacing on multiwell pads becomes an issue that concerns equipment placement footprints. Hot Tap, Valve Drilling and Freeze services can be used for gaining well access and placing temporary mechanical barriers when circumstances do not allow for conventional intervention methods. Freeze Operations Freeze operations can be used in compact spaces and are beneficial for use on multiwell pads. Freeze services have been used for many years to place a ...

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New-generation shaped cutter elements expand capabilities of PDC bits to boost ROP, efficiency

Performance proven through case studies spanning Russia, Colorado’s DJ Basin, Marcellus and Colombia By Wiley Long, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company Since it was introduced to the oilfield more than 40 years ago, the polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit has emerged as one of the most significant step-changes in drilling tool technology. Continuing advances in the material properties and manufacturing processes used to fabricate the cutting structures of the bit have enabled the industry to tap into formations once deemed drillable only with roller cone bits, simultaneously improving average rates of penetration (ROP) by 60%. This evolution in performance has elevated the PDC bit to a position of global dominance, giving operators the ability to expand into new frontiers, including ...

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Rethinking approach to testing, design of MPD choke control systems may lead to simplification

Industry also would benefit from standardizing, benchmarking choke control systems for choke characteristic response with two-phase flow By Babak Akbari, Louisiana State University As Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) techniques start to mature, systems developed to control one of the most important components of the system – the choke valve – become the leading edge insofar as the ability to control the annulus pressure profile. Given the increasingly narrow and challenging pressure windows, particularly those encountered in deepwater, the importance of precise and repeatable control of annulus pressure becomes paramount. Figure 1 illustrates a general paradigm for MPD choke control. Choke control systems, basically process control valves, have been around for some time, especially in the downstream segment. However, depending on ...

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Wirelines

API Publishes newly revised RP 54 API recently released the fourth edition of Recommended Practice (RP) 54, Occupational Safety and Health for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations. RP 54 provides procedures for promoting and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations. Industry leaders, including IADC, participated in the lengthy revision process of the document, which applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs and special services as they related to operations on location. First published in 1981, significant revisions in the latest edition include a new section on flowback operations, which is key for safe well testing, revised requirements for facility and site process hazard assessment and mitigation, and introduction ...

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Drilling & Completion Tech Digest

Transocean set to upgrade 5 additional floating rigs with Automated Drilling Control systems Transocean has entered into an agreement with Equinor to license and install Automated Drilling Control (ADC) systems on four high-specification, harsh-environment rigs on contract in Norway and a fifth semisubmersible that is expected to commence operations in the Norwegian sea this summer. The Transocean Enabler was previously equipped with the ADC system in 2017 and has delivered tangible improvements in overall drilling efficiency that have led to more cost-effective wells for Equinor. Further, the system has demonstrated improvements in well integrity, while enhancing safety and operations assurance. In addition to the Transocean Enabler, the upgraded floaters in Transocean’s fleet will include the Transocean Spitsbergen, Transocean Norge, Transocean ...

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Well maintained

Automated, integrated equipment, more powerful diagnostics and wireline renaissance boost intervention efficiency By Katie Mazerov, Contributing Editor As sure as the sun rises and sets each day, all oil and gas wells will, at some point, need an intervention to maintain or boost production. From basic drill-out and cleanout operations using wireline, coiled tubing or a snubbing unit, to full-scale workovers to remove and reinstall the wellhead to replace downhole equipment, well intervention is a fact of life in the oilfield. It is also becoming more critical as operators drill deeper and longer in hotter and more pressurized environments. Equipment that is often automated and integrated, specialty services to meet the rigor of today’s well environments, new wireline applications, and ...

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News Cuttings

IADC WellSharp Plus to integrate human factors into technical well control training IADC is preparing to launch WellSharp Plus, a new accreditation program that fully integrates human factors (i.e., crew resource management) into technical well control training and specifically targets experienced personnel. The primary goals of this new program are to reduce the potential for human error and to contribute to the competence of personnel during drilling operations. Throughout 2018, a workgroup comprising course designers, human factors experts and other stakeholders worked together to develop a human factors curriculum, program and course requirements, as well as a new “train-the-trainer” course for human factors instructors. Rather than creating an isolated human factors course or training module, course designers recognized the value ...

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Drilling & Completion News

Noble to buy newbuild jackup to work for Aramco Noble Corp has exercised an option for the purchase of a second newbuild Gusto MSC CJ46 design jackup from PaxOcean for $83.75 million. Like the Noble Johnny Whitstine jackup, which was purchased in September 2018 in connection with a Saudi Aramco contract, this newbuild, to be named the Noble Joe Knight, was built at the PaxOcean Graha shipyard in Batam, Indonesia. The rig is built for operations in moderate drilling environments and is capable of operating in water depths of up to 375 ft, with well depths of 30,000 ft. Enhanced drilling capabilities are supported by a modern drilling control system, along with a versatile cantilever skidding system and two blowout ...

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