Home / Author Archives: Jay Stracke (page 131)

Author Archives: Jay Stracke

Mud pump cavitation: Routine inspections, maintenance can prevent ‘silent killer’ from reducing rig efficiency, equipment reliability

With pumps being run at max horsepower at today’s well sites, best practices can help contractors to avoid premature damage, extend consumables life By Adam Avey, Gardner Denver Cavitation is an undesirable condition that reduces pump efficiency and leads to excessive wear and damage to pump components. Factors that can contribute to cavitation, such as fluid velocity and pressure, can sometimes be attributed to an inadequate mud system design and/or the diminishing performance of the mud pump’s feed system. Other factors that contribute to cavitation include: • Improper sizing of charge pump; • Improper maintenance of charge pump impellers – worn impellers cause a reduction of fluid pressure; • Dirty or clogged charge pump feed and discharge lines; • Improper size ...

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HSE&T Corner – Renewed focus on dropped object prevention needed as cost pressures, rig reactivations and personnel turnover amplify risks

By Mike Rice, Dropsafe According to industry body DROPS, dropped objects are among the top 10 causes of injury and fatality in oil and gas operations. Yet, dropped objects are also one of the only HSE areas without standardized legislation. This leaves individual project management teams solely responsible for ensuring the integrity of operational sites. This discrepancy has contributed to an increase, in real terms, of dropped object incidents in recent years. While oil and gas activity levels have declined with the fall in oil prices, the numbers of incidents have not decreased accordingly. However, the industry – including drilling contractors – has recently renewed its focus on drops prevention. For example, one major international drilling contractor recently issued a fleetwide ...

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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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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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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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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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André Alonso Fernandes, Petrobras: Collaboration, sharing of lessons learned will be key to creating better MPD solutions

By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor While studying mechanical engineering at the University of São Paulo in his Brazilian hometown, André Alonso Fernandes, currently Technical Advisor at Petrobras, became particularly fascinated with automation and how it can be used for optimization and process control. “That’s one of the things I really enjoy about MPD (managed pressure drilling), which is my current subject,” he said. By the time he graduated in 2001, he knew he wanted a job where he could see the results of his work. “I had an urge to be a field engineer so that I wouldn’t only be in the office but also would get to participate in real construction,” he said. However, this was December 2001 – ...

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Industry/academia collaboration results in rapid development of intelligent, self-learning drilling app

NOVOS system allows UT grad students to easily incorporate complex algorithms into automation application By Claire Kennedy Platt, National Oilwell Varco, and Eric Van Oort, University of Texas at Austin Operators’ increasing demand for consistency with predictability and risk avoidance is enhancing the drilling industry’s need to automate. Continuous academic research can help the industry to meet this challenge, but presenting graduate-level research into the field can be difficult for universities, as finding an operator willing to implement an idea can take as long as five to six years. To shorten this process, collaboration within the industry will be required. This collaboration is now happening between National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Relying on the ...

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Mexican president-elect expected to demonstrate pragmatism around energy reforms despite outspoken opposition, vow to ban fracturing

Campaign promises to fund social programs likely to force López Obrador to stay course By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor, and Karen Boman, Associate Editor Mexico’s newly elected president Andrés Manuel López Obrador – who has been an outspoken opponent of the country’s 2013 energy reform that ended PEMEX’s oil sector monopoly – made a statement at a press conference in early August that he will ban hydraulic fracturing in Mexico. “If such a ban was implemented and includes natural gas production, unconventional gas exploration will go by the wayside, and Mexico will either be forced to import more American gas or seek gas offshore,” said David Goldwyn, Chairman of the Energy Advisory Group and Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic ...

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Editorial – Through international chapters/staff, IADC at work around the clock, around the world

As an international association, IADC takes seriously its mandate to provide representation for the drilling industry in all geographies in which its members operate. The issues and challenges we face vary vastly by region. As Vice President for IADC’s International Division, I work closely with our network of regional representatives to determine how the association can most effectively function as a strong proponent on behalf of member interests on a worldwide scale. With IADC headquarters based in the US, our regional representatives serve as the eyes and ears for the association globally. Working together with member companies and local and regional regulators and legislators, they determine how we can best use IADC’s resources to advocate for fair and transparent industry ...

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