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Innovating While Drilling®

IADC operations push forward with focus on improving drilling efficiency worldwide

It’s been another exciting and challenging year as IADC strives to fulfill the needs of an intensely demanding and always-evolving industry. In government affairs, for example, we continue to provide critical input on the EU’s Working Time Directive and critical court appeals that will impact day-to-day drilling operations. Our accreditation & certification department is further expanding its portfolio of services as the wider industry works to ensure the competency of our workers. Regulatory issues – such as the emerging biofouling challenge in Australia – have been closely monitored so that members won’t be caught short by unfair or unreasonable rules. We’re also pushing ahead with vital initiatives such as Career Connection, the Environmental Policy Advisory Panel and the newly set-up ...

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MPD planning: How much is enough?

By Paul Spriggs, Philip J Frink, Blade Energy Partners This article addresses the key drivers and risks associated with the use of applied backpressure managed pressure drilling. One of the two key issues that must be understood early on is whether the well can be drilled statically overbalanced or if it needs to be drilled with a statically underbalanced fluid. The second issue to comprehend is the level of service needed to avoid compromising safety and well objectives. Answering these two questions defines the path to be followed for adequate planning. Detailed planning aspects, such as flow modeling, crew training, operational procedures, process flow diagrams and HAZID/HAZOP meetings are also described here. By asking the “what if” questions prior to ...

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Defining drillstring specifications to maximize safety, performance in sour service environments

By Anne Sevignon and William Gamisans, VAM Drilling The evolution of drilling programs has driven the industry to develop more suitable solutions adapted to extreme and aggressive environments such as sour service. High-strength drill pipe is necessary to achieve deeper drilling objectives, even if the sulfide stress cracking susceptibility is an acknowledged concern starting with minimal partial pressure of H2S. Due to the astringency of the sour environment, particular attention must be paid to the drillstring design, which includes the sour service steel grade. This article summarizes current knowledge about the sulfide stress cracking phenomenon, recommended practices and material trends for drill stem components. Introduction “Sour service” refers to a well environment containing hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is naturally associated ...

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Service company geomechanics group: Knowledge integration is our objective

In today’s high-cost drilling environment, the lack of integration of valuable pore pressure or other reservoir information can cost a company millions of dollars, said Colin Sayers, scientific advisor for Schlumberger’s geomechanics group. He cited an example of one oil company where the geophysics department never told the drilling department about a small fault above the reservoir, ultimately leading to a costly loss of well. To avoid such disasters, Dr Sayers said, integration is essential. At Schlumberger, the geomechanics team is an interdisciplinary group including geophysicists, drilling engineers, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers and geologists. These experts from different disciplines typically work in close proximity to one another, often on the same floor of an office building. And because they’re all located ...

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Working the pore pressure puzzle: Different Languages, same goal

Pore pressure knowledge is critical when designing a well. It’s unlikely that anyone in this industry would argue with that. Pore pressure drives the casing design, which drives the well plan, including hole sizes and mud weight. An inaccurate pore pressure model could even lead to a well control event, causing financial losses or, worse, injuries or fatalities. This is an industry that respects pore pressure, as well it should. However, if you ask how pore pressure data should be collected and interpreted when designing a well, your chances of finding an argument will go up considerably. Geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, geomechanicists, drilling engineers – they all have a stake in the pore pressure model. Yet sharing their piece of the ...

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Case study: new concentric expandable reamer tool used in Gulf of Mexico

By Steven Radford, Will Thompson, Hughes Christensen; Mark Jenkins, INTEQ In the deepwater Green Canyon section of the Gulf of Mexico, an operator lost 10,000 bbl of synthetic oil-base drilling mud in one well before finally abandoning the project. In cooperation with two Baker Hughes companies – Hughes Christensen and INTEQ – the operator began a drilling improvement project in a new well adjacent to the previous one. On this new well, water-base mud was to be used with an additive to reduce shale balling. The operator realized that the very reactive gumbo shale would be a risk and that hole swabbing may occur. One objective was to complete the well without excessive mud losses. A second but overriding objective ...

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Top drives have transformed drilling: Now, new design targets ultra-deep, ERD

By David Reid, Larry Wells and Jeremy Ogg, National Oilwell Varco In 1982, a radically new drilling system appeared in the oil patch, one that would ultimately allow tremendous advances in the oil and gas industry’s well construction capabilities. The advent of the original Top Drive System (TDS) foreshadowed the development of reservoirs that were otherwise considered to be commercially impractical, and greatly improved the net cost, time-to-market and production of many others. Now, in 2008, a fourth generation of top drives from National Oilwell Varco (NOV) aims to continue extending the horizon of reservoir exploitation possibilities. Initially aimed at reducing the costs and risks associated with ultra-deep offshore development projects, the TDX series of top drives is also being ...

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Geothermal drilling market heats up

by Linda Hsieh, Assistant Managing Editor As oil prices reach unheard-of highs in the $140/bbl range, energy sources that have historically been considered too expensive to produce economically are getting new leases on life. Many such energy sources, like wind and solar, tend to reside far outside the realm of the oil and gas drilling industry. Geothermal energy, however, stands as one resource that holds potential opportunities for drilling contractors, especially as that industry continues to undergo a significant expansion. Geothermal produces energy off of heated fluids that reside deep inside the Earth. Just as wells must be drilled to reach oil or natural gas, geothermal wells must be drilled to reach heated fluids. As it turns out, the rigs ...

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