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March/April

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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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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Killalea retires from IADC with legacy of leadership and innovation

Achievements over 28 years include pioneering of World Drilling, ART Committee and leadership of Drilling Contractor magazine, multimedia growth By Sarah Junek, Associate Editor After 28 years with IADC, Mike Killalea is retiring in March, leaving a legacy of mentorship and innovation. Mr Killalea joined the association in 1991 as Associate Editor of Drilling Contractor magazine and retires as Group Vice President and Editor/Publisher. His years at IADC reflect an unending energy for chasing good opportunities and trusting one’s instincts. Mr Killalea’s life has been marked by combined passions for science and the written word. After his service in the US Navy, Mr Killalea earned a degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1980. A ...

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Human factors integration puts spotlight on context first, the individual second

By Sarah Junek, Associate Editor Human performance is an outcome of what someone does, which is influenced by not just one human factor but many. An integration of the factors of human error – plant, process and people – will determine a particular outcome. Equipment might have a good/bad design feature, a procedure might not be explained or hidden in a manual that is too thick, and fatigue or organizational culture might influence the final result. Every situation and job site is different, so it’s important to look at how human factors can be integrated and determine how they influence each other in a particular decision, Sandra Adkins, Global Wells Organization Safety Advisor for Human Performance at BP, said at ...

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Industry must commit to next generation just as it’s committed to innovation, safety

By Jason McFarland, IADC President The beginning of the year represents a fresh start, a time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. At IADC, this is exactly the approach that we take at the start of each new year; constantly evaluating what we offer to our members to ensure that it works for their needs and delivers value. As we look forward into 2019, I see a lot of opportunities for IADC. Specifically, we are contemplating ways to reach the next generation of oilfield workers and get them involved in IADC early in their careers. The prolonged downturn has a way of making those who would consider a career in oil and gas think ...

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In skills shortage, if we fail to prepare, we’re preparing to fail

By Linda Hsieh, Editor & Publisher The drilling industry has been talking about the Big Crew Change as far back as the early to mid-2000s. And for a few years it seemed like the industry was truly feeling the gravity of the situation and was taking substantial steps to prepare itself for the future by building pipelines of talent. But then the downturn hit in 2014, companies kicked over to survival mode, and the people challenge was – perhaps out of necessity – shifted to the backburner. Fast-forward a few years, and the industry is readjusting its priorities again and putting the spotlight back on the skills shortage. Over the past year, the Big Crew Change has been finding its ...

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New data transfer protocol aims to bring Netflix streaming speeds to offshore drilling operations

Equinor set to commercially deploy Energistics Transfer Protocol with 2 new monitoring centers opening this year By Sarah Junek, Associate Editor Imagine driving your car using only the rearview mirror for steering. Similarly in drilling, large amounts of data are being collected at the rig site, and experts in onshore offices are assigned to analyze that data and assist in deciding what happens next. Yet, data transfer from offshore rigs to shore can be delayed anywhere from tens of seconds to tens of minutes. This lag is due to the commonly used data transfer method for drilling measurement data, known as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). It inherently acts as a bottleneck by its use of server relays that have ...

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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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