Drilling automation differs from rig automation. Instead of mechanized or automated machinery that deals with surface processes, drilling automation is centered on the downhole activities necessary in the actual drilling of an oil or gas well. Today, this involves the linking of surface and downhole measurements with near real-time predictive models to improve the safety and efficiency of the drilling process. SPE volunteers formed the Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) in 2008. The purpose of DSATS is to accelerate the development and implementation of drilling systems automation in well construction by supporting initiatives which communicate the technology, recommend best practices, standardize nomenclature and help define the value of drilling systems automation.
This page provides SPE members access to the June 2021 issue -- digital, pdf, and online. Digital archive of issues back to January 2020 is available – scroll down from the current issue cover. These are the papers synopsized in JPT this month. They are available to SPE members only through 31 July 2021. There are also links to them at the bottom of each related synopsis.
The reservoir upon which this case study is focused is a tight, low-permeability carbonate reservoir with thin layers. The objective of the field case was to increase and sustain productivity of a pilot well consisting of an openhole completion. The complete paper summarizes the design processes, selection criteria, challenges, and lessons learned during design and execution phases. The study may provide a potential approach for selecting the proper hydraulic fracturing method and technique in similar cases. Reservoir X is divided into six layers.
This paper presents a case study of fracture interaction mitigation in a multistage horizontal stimulation of an offshore Black Sea well. The authors discuss a multifaceted approach in applying lessons learned and pre-job geomechanical analysis of depletion-induced stress differential and its effects on fracture interactions. Intrastage fracture interference presents unique challenges that typically are managed on a case-by-case basis. This study aims to present critical analyses that are paramount to planning stimulation treatments in highly depleted segments and reservoirs with close-proximity wells. The operating company began a field redevelopment project in 2013 for a field in the Black Sea that was already producing from horizontal wells with multistaged fractured wells.
Nunez, Ygnacio Jesus (ADNOC Onshore) | Sameer, Mohamed (ADNOC HQ) | Ruiz, Fernando (ADNOC Onshore) | Al Mutawa, Ahmed Abdulla (ADNOC Onshore) | Al Shamisi, Eisa Daban (ADNOC Onshore) | Hamdy, Ibrahim (ADNOC Onshore) | Al Hendi, Mohamed (ADNOC Onshore) | Al Dhaheri, Khaled Hamad (ADNOC Onshore) | Torres, Javier (ADNOC Onshore)
Abstract Over the last 60 years, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been producing oil and gas from different conventional fields. Nowadays, and as part of the State long-term strategy to achieve the nation objective of gas self-sufficiency, it has been decided to explore, appraise and develop unconventional plays in the Northern area including the construction of early production facilities to supply the gas power plants. Three wells were drilled as part of the first phase of the project; consisting of a pilot hole into an extremely heterogeneous formation; two of them were horizontalized into the targeted formations. The first well across the salt represented a tremendous challenge due to limited rig capacity generating hole stability issues that required unplanned remedial jobs. The second well was deviated across the salt as pilot hole, then side-tracked and horizontalized in the targeted reservoirs. The third well was drilled directly as horizontal lateral based on previous lessons learned validating the horizontal concept for the future field development plan. The exploration phase constituted by these three wells, were drilled and completed successfully. A detailed data gathering program was executed allowing mapping of the area validating the presence of gas. The drilling parameters, such as rate of penetration (ROP) for the horizontal section was enhanced by optimizing the drilling Bit design. The mud logging results have confirmed the extremely heterogeneous formations across this section allowing determining the most fit for purpose bottom hole assembly (BHA); obtained after a detailed optimization process. Multiple lessons learned were captured and immediately applied leading to a significant reduction on total days per well that reflected on an outstanding cost reduction including rig move optimization, incrementing the overall efficiency of the operations. This project has proven the potential of unlocking the development of this field focusing on the targeted untapped reservoirs. Key unprecedented achievements have been fulfilled during the execution of this phase of the project: 1. First time to drill across a salt dome in Abu Dhabi Emirate 2. First time that horizontalization has been applied to the targeted formations. In addition, a better understanding of the optimum drilling parameters for future phases has been obtained.
Khan, Muhammad Zafar (Wellbore Integrity Solutions) | Swadi, Shantanu (Wellbore Integrity Solutions) | Caminari, Richard T (Wellbore Integrity Solutions) | Burdett, Timothy A (Wellbore Integrity Solutions) | Stronach, Graham (Wellbore Integrity Solutions)
Abstract The Plug and Abandonment (P&A) requirement stipulates a permanent barrier to be placed for restoring the cap rock during well abandonment. For a single casing, section milling has been successfully implemented and widely used for a number of years. For a dual casing string, this becomes particularly challenging when both casing strings are cemented. Conventional techniques require milling the entire inner casing from the top of cement followed by section milling the outer casing. This could require milling up thousands of feet on of the inner string and is not a cost-efficient solution. The service company has been heavily involved in a number of P&A campaigns, where the requirement was to come up with a solution for dual casing section milling. This paper discusses the design, technology, field runs and best practices developed to overcome this operational and economic challenge and save rig time in P&A operations. The challenge was to design a robust section mill that can drift through the inner casing restriction and expand to a high ratio to mill the outer casing. It was equally critical to manage shock and vibrations during the milling operation, ensure stability and, competitive ROP without incurring tool damage. To solve the operational and economic challenges, a unique system was developed to reduce the rig time. The system is a combination of the newly engineered high-ratio hydraulic section mill, with a 180% expansion ratio and a precisely oriented hydraulic stabilizer below it. This creates a unique 6-point stabilization system that helps to maintain the dynamic loads and vibrations to a manageable level. The system allows for a dual casing section window in few trips as compared to conventional techniques. In the first run, a window in the inner casing is milled by a section mill. During the second run, the High-Expansion Ratio Section Mill (HRSM) is run through the restriction, and mill the entire casing. A high ratio under reamer can be included in the bottom hole assembly to clean the section and expose the formation prior to the cementing operation. This completes achieving a rock-to-rock barrier in a dual cemented casing application. The new HRSM system has so far been 100% successful on the five challenging jobs completed in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, resulted in significant rig-time savings along with the added benefits of fewer trips and less swarf at the surface. Two sizes have been developed and tested for 7"x9-5/8" and 9-5/8"x13-3/8" applications. The success during the early jobs is largely due to the robustness of the mill design, proper pre-job planning, meticulous execution, and implementation of key learnings from in-house and prior field tests.
Goodkey, Brennanl (Schlumberger) | Carvalho, Rafael (Schlumberger) | Nunez Davila, Andres (Schlumberger) | Hernandez, Gerardo (Schlumberger) | Corona, Mauricio (Schlumberger) | Atriby, Kamal (Schlumberger) | Herrera, Carlos (Schlumberger)
Abstract As margins tighten, players in the modern O&G landscape are being forced to reimagine their business models and re-evaluate their strategic direction to maintain a competitive edge. This often means doing more with less and spreading ever slimmer margins across increasingly complex well operations. Fortunately, with the wave of digital innovations that are sweeping the industry, most E&P organizations have a wealth of opportunities to streamline activity and increase efficiency while reducing the resources required. However, with the increasing array of digital opportunities, the gauntlet is set: those who adopt quickly and reap early benefits will undoubtedly be tomorrow's leaders. Laggards slow to adapt will fall progressively further behind as leaders successfully navigate through the learning phase and accelerate into new standards of efficiency. This combination of urgency and opportunity will undoubtedly be the force that propels the industry into the fourth great revolution; digital transformation. As observed in a variety of industries, automation has proven to be one of these instrumental digital levers to unlocking the next level of efficiency. Across the O&G industry, we are beginning to see a number of applications in which tasks are not only becoming less labor-intensive but also faster, safer and with increased levels of precision. This ensures that repetitive tasks which often drain and distract workers are re-allocated to automated processes while ensuring that employees remain concentrated on prioritizing safety and operations integrity. The value proposition for automation in drilling is especially compelling as human operators can easily become overwhelmed with the volume of competing priorities and the pressure to make immediate decisions. By carefully delegating some of the decision-making to an intelligent drilling system, the cognitive burden on human operators is reduced resulting in a safer working environment conducive to increased performance and engagement. In this paper, a detailed case study is presented to document the effort of a major service company to deploy a full drilling automation system in the Middle East implemented to autonomously operate rig surface equipment. A detailed description of the system's intelligent management system will be provided to communicate its capacity to interpret and autonomously respond to changing well conditions. A case study approach will be used in attempt to specifically identify the areas where automation delivers a step change in results compared to manual operations. Additionally, given the complexity inherent to executing a digitalization project in drilling, insight will be shared on the strategies leveraged to navigate the intricacies of deployment and adoption. Throughout this paper, it will become evident that automation is quickly becoming a reliable solution for the consistent delivery of top quartile performance by unlocking new levels of consistency and procedural adherence.
Abstract Objectives/Scope A case study is presented detailing the methodology used to place a non-damaging temporary isolation barrier in a group of naturally fractured, prolific gas wells in a field in Kurdistan. The temporary isolation facilitated removal of the original completion string and installation of the redesign. Wells were returned to production with-out the need to stimulate proving success of the non-damaging methodology employed. Methods, Procedures, Process The operator had 4 wells with OH sections ranging from 33-181m which were completed in the 1980’s - 1990's with no production packer. In order to preserve well bore integrity the completion string needed to be pulled and replaced by a string with production packer and DH gauges. A procedure was developed to fill the highly fractured OH with a mixed particle size CaCO3 carried into the wellbore by a non-damaging surfactant based gel. Caliper logs were not available and the presence of natural fractures posed a challenge to calculating the actual OH volume. A system was developed to carry the CaCO3 into the wellbore in stages and slickline was employed to measure fill after each stage. Once the OH was filled with CaCO3 and well would support a fluid column coil tubing was used to place an acid soluble cement plug in the short interval between casing shoe and end of tubing (8-10m) Results, Observations, Conclusions The first well in the campaign required more than 10 times the theoretical volume of CaCO3 to fill the open hole. It was concluded the surfactant gel was likely carrying the CaCO3 into the fractures. The procedure was modified to tie in a line of breaker solution to the well head allowing sufficient viscosity of the fluid to carry the CaCO3 from surface but immediately lose viscosity and allow the CaCO3 to settle in the wellbore without being carried into the formation. Specific coil tubing procedures were employed to allow the setting of ultra-short acid soluble cement plugs (<10m). All wells were successfully isolated to allow the safe workover of the completion string and returned to production with no loss of gas flow, with-out the need to stimulate after the work over. Novel/Additive Information The campaign exhibited a new method of employing existing technologies to achieve the objective in a highly challenging and relatively new oilfield of Kurdistan. The campaign also demonstrated the benefit of the operator and service company closely collaborating on each step of a novel process. The workovers would not have been successful with-out the close collaboration of the two companies.
Kuyken, Chris Wilhelm (AlMansoori Specialized Engineering) | Elkasrawy, Mohamed Elsaied (AlMansoori Specialized Engineering) | Al Breiki, Ali Mubarak Saeed (ADNOC Onshore) | Elgendy, Yahia Abdelfattah Mahmoud (Schlumberger) | Abdelaal, Ahmed Gamal (AlMansoori Specialized Engineering)
Abstract High performance drilling is an approach applied in the drilling of hole sections that are not primarily benefitting from data acquisition except the minimum like gamma ray and directional. Therefore these sections are drilled with high ROP and subsequently cased in support of reducing well costs. High performance drilling leading to continuous ROP optimization has been proven a key enabler for invisible lost time reduction (ILT), being one of the current regional well delivery challenges. In this paper we explain the approach followed by the team comprising of operator, service provider and equipment provider in reducing the impact of ILT during the actual drilling phase. We learnt that creating a performance culture based on rigorously applying of best practices and the eagerness to continuously improve on past performance as a first strategy and the application of novel directional drilling motor technology as the second resulted in ROP performance records. For example in one field an average ROP record was achieved of 188 ft / hour a 15 % improvement from the previous record. We learnt that in particular the communication between all parties i.e. the client office, the service provider and the team on the rig was the most important factor in order to create a shared vision on the need to improve the ROP based on the last ROP performance benchmark. Secondly the latest motor technology and the way of how it gets deployed, available to the team played a major role, and brought the performance level to a new dimension whereby the ROP was targeted to be optimum instead of maximum thereby reducing the risk for NPT related incidents (hole problems, equipment break-down) and repair and maintenance cost becoming cost prohibitive. This paper is specifically meant to share best practices from the last 10 years with the larger UAE drilling community. It is service provider contribution to provide insights for the new generation drilling engineers and directional drillers in safely pushing the drilling performance to higher levels all the time targeting the ILT in hole making. The work has proved that a combination of low torque high speed and high torque low speed can successfully performance drill all vertical hole sizes in the UAE on-shore fields either using tri-cone or PDC bits.Figure 1: High performance motor
Nafikova, Svetlana (Schlumberger) | Ramazanova, Yulia (Schlumberger) | Muslimov, Alexander (Schlumberger) | Akhmetzianov, Ilshat (Schlumberger) | Jain, Bipin (Schlumberger) | Kim, Alexander (Lukoil) | Zvyagin, Vasily (Lukoil)
Abstract Achieving zonal isolation for the lifetime of oil and gas wells is crucial for well integrity. Poor zonal isolation can detrimentally affect well economics and increase safety-related risks because of pressure buildup with unpredictable consequences. Additional local regulations prohibiting production of a well with positive pressure in the annulus made sustained casing pressure a major challenge for operators in the North Caspian Sea. An innovative cost-effective solution was required to resolve this challenge. Historical well analysis proved that previously applied cementing approaches were ineffective. Several modifications were required to define the effective solution. Implemented changes included revision of the casing setting depth, optimization of the drilling fluids and spacer formulations, and implementation of the self-healing expanding cement. Carefully engineered placement of the self-healing cement system was the key to success. If cracks or microannuli occur and hydrocarbons reach the cement and flow through the cracks, the system has the capability to repair itself, thus restoring integrity of the cement sheath without external intervention. This technology has been used in 11 extended reach wells in two fields with excellent results. The collaborative approach with drilling engineers eliminated the challenging sustained casing pressure issue in two major offshore fields in North Caspian Sea. In addition to the existing cementing best practices available in industry for mud removal efficiency enhancement and successful cement placement, the newly implemented methodology included potential requirements for well trajectory adjustments, implementation of the real-time control during cementing job execution, engineered placement and optimization of the self-healing expanding cement system formulation, and a specifically developed "initially required" bleedoff schedule that allows acceleration of the self-remediation cement capability. The self-healing cement was designed with low Young's modulus for maximum flexibility. Expanding additives were also incorporated into the design to minimize the risk of set cement integrity failure due to microdebonding from bulk shrinkage after setting. Adherence to the mutually developed flowchart for the drilling and cementing stages improved the zonal isolation of the critical hydrocarbon zones in the extended reach wells and increased the success ratio of the wells with no pressure buildup from 30% to almost 100% within the last 5 years. As a result, the self-healing cement technology and developed approach, which is discussed in this paper, have become the standard for both fields for all future wells. The complex engineering approach described in this paper expands the existing best practices in the industry for zonal isolation improvement of the extended reach wells and provides a new effective solution for eliminating sustained casing pressure problems. The design strategy, execution, evaluation, and results for two sample wells are discussed in detail to help to guide future engineering and operational activities around the world.