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Onshore Advances

US shale drilling positions for survival

As oil prices tumble to stomach-churning lows and E&Ps slash CAPEX budgets one after another, drilling contractors turn their focus to business sustainability in preparation for further drops in the rig count By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shock waves through the industry over the past couple of months. As the global economy ground to a halt, the outlook for US shale and land drilling has become much less certain. Operators and drilling contractors have scrambled to position themselves for the long haul as best as they can. In a market that was already oversupplied, energy demand has now fallen off a cliff, although the full impact will depend on the duration of the pandemic and ...

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At-bit steerable system enables single-trip vertical, curve and lateral drilling in North American shales

Case studies from DJ Basin and Marcellus demonstrate technology’s capability to improve lateral hole quality and ROP for high-DLS wells By Gilles Vié, Schlumberger E&P companies in North American shales face many challenges, including wells with high dogleg severity (DLS) that require high build rates, complex geological formations and wells with increasingly longer laterals. These technical challenges, combined with increased pressure from investors for more capital discipline, have set the stage to really think about how they can align today’s directional drilling (DD) services with their company’s development strategies. With the increased downward pressure on both CAPEX and OPEX costs, these operators must find the optimal balance between the costs of DD service companies and the costs of rig contractors, ...

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