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2021

Automated directional drilling gaining trust among industry users

Innovations in software continue to enable better predictive capabilities, helping operators achieve repeatability and consistency in their wellbores By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Unpredictable directional drilling performance can have a significant detriment on a drilling operation, leading to higher costs and potentially missed production. While many directional drillers perform at a high level, the practice of accurately predicting drill bit positioning and trajectory is difficult to master, and the human element means that failure is always a possibility. To address these issues, the industry has increasingly looked to automation of directional drilling. Repeatability and consistency are recognized as the bedrock of the value around these automated systems.  “Drilling a record one day and then falling behind your expected days on ...

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Concave diamond element bits leverage unique geometry cutters to improve ROP, drilling efficiency

Marcellus and Haynesville case studies show how 3D shaped cutters enhance ROP and drill bit durability in medium-strength, interbedded formations By Wiley Long, Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company Innovation of 3D shaped cutters for polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits is evolving as drilling operators desire to drill faster in challenging and complex geologies, including medium-strength and interbedded formations. Because these formations challenge operators to drill more efficiently, improving rate of penetration (ROP) and drill bit durability is key to helping operators reduce rig time and costs. With drill bits, there are two primary ways that they can contribute to reducing drilling costs: first, by increasing ROP to reduce on-bottom drilling time, and secondly, by increasing durability to eliminate costly bit ...

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Proposed sustainability index would use AI, uncertainty modeling to track well throughout its life cycle

Metrics-based methodology can be applied to create a ‘scorecard’ system to quantify progress throughout well planning, engineering and drilling By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor While the digital transformation has led to major advancements in the oil and gas industry, so far technologies such as cloud computing and digital twins have not been heavily leveraged to progress ESG goals. One opportunity, according to Robello Samuel, Chief Technical Advisor and Technology Fellow at Halliburton, is to apply digital technologies to quantify the sustainability of a well, in real time, starting from when it is designed through to its drilling and completion. Speaking at the 2021 IADC Sustainability Conference on 9 February, Dr Samuel presented the concept for an artificial intelligence (AI)-based methodology – ...

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Transparency in disclosures and better power management among industry’s key sustainability efforts

Panel session: Building internal commitment to sustainability is important, but so is the need for outside funding that can support carbon reduction initiatives By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor The world’s intensifying focus on reducing carbon emissions has placed the oil and gas industry under a microscope, with investors, regulators and the public at large all pushing for investments and improvements around sustainability. While many oil and gas companies have set clear carbon reduction targets, translating those ambitions into measurable results will take time. A panel session at the virtually held 2021 IADC Sustainability Conference on 10 February showcased the work that companies are undertaking to contribute to a low-carbon future. This includes instilling sustainability-focused cultures in their organizations, developing innovative ...

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Better understanding of data, physics key to BHA optimization

Companies realizing that a more holistic approach may be needed to enable precise directional control while optimizing ROP By Stephen Forrester, Contributor In an industry that continues to face financial headwinds, it is more important than ever that drilling is a cost-effective endeavor. Solutions over the past decade have achieved some success in the cost per foot of drilling, but those solutions have often focused on optimizing individual items within a given bottomhole assembly (BHA) – for example, implementing a more powerful motor or a more precise rotary steerable system (RSS). Although such pieces of equipment and technology, when incorporated individually into a BHA, can improve some performance metrics, the current market environment demands more holistic BHA optimization to achieve better ...

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Are electrically powered fleets the future of fracking?

E-frac systems tout emissions reductions and lower costs over time, but higher upfront capital requirements and lead times remain barriers By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor As the shale completions industry navigates the current economic and ESG landscape, it continues to be challenged by two significant and growing requirements: to find new cost efficiencies and to reduce its carbon footprint. While there is no magic bullet for either of these challenges, electrically powered fracturing (e-frac) fleets are shaping up to be one solution in the toolbox.  Currently, e-fracs make up only around 10% of the overall US frac market, according to Matthew Moncla, Chief Operating Officer at US Well Services. He estimates there are just 12-13 such fleets currently running in the ...

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Time to shift focus from cost to value, new report says

As this issue of Drilling Contractor went to press in early March, the world was coming up on the anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic and everything shutting down. What followed was a wild year that toppled every oil and gas industry forecast we had going into 2020. It also kicked everyone’s well-laid business plans to the curb – no budget scenarios assumed a negative $37.63 oil price.

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