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As industry buzzwords go, "automation" has spent its time in oilfield vernacular climbing the ranks of widely used terms. It now resides as one of the go-to designations for signs of advancement in any number of disciplines. Its use has been tied most frequently with drilling operations as contractors look to keep employees out of harm's way via a robotic takeover of most motion-intensive jobs on the rig's drill floor--basically anything that grips, clamps, or spins. More recently, the term has moved away from the drill floor and into other well construction operations allowing for things such as remote, real-time measurements without the need for boots on the ground. For areas like west Texas and the Permian Basin shales, having the option for remote readouts and a component of automation that can allow for corrective actions should the need arise can go a long way in terms of safety and efficiency gains as well as better manpower application.
Pernites, Roderick (BJ Services) | Brady, Jason (BJ Services) | Padilla, Felipe (BJ Services) | Clark, Jordan (BJ Services) | Ramos, Gladyss (BJ Services) | Callahan, Jaron (BJ Services) | Garzon, Ricardo (BJ Services) | Sama, Raymond (BJ Services) | Embrey, Mark (BJ Services) | Fu, Diankui (BJ Services) | Johnson, David (Independent Resources Management) | Richey, Nicolas (Independent Resources Management)
Abstract Increasing horizontals, narrowing annular gaps, more stringent cement regulations, fracturing with more stages and high pumping rates on top of more cost-efficient well completion are raising demand for lightweight cements, which are designed to prevent damage and lost circulation problems in weaker formations. However, many alternative lightweight materials that are more cost effective than glass beads, which are known to provide superior strength, are increasing waiting-on-cement time, thus delaying further drilling. They also struggle to deliver the required compressive strengths. This paper presents (1) recent case histories of successful field applications of new stronger non-beaded lightweight cement, (2) extensive laboratory data of various field designs with new lightweight cement versus premium commercial lightweight cements, and (3) detailed scientific study explaining how the innovative lightweight cement has provided superior fluid stability and set cement mechanical properties. The successful field trials occurred in the Permian basin for all four wells on the same pad. About 400 bbl of the new lightweight cement at 10.5 lbm/gal density was delivered to complete each cementing job with 134°F BHST and 6,000-ft measured depth. The four wells were completed with the new lightweight cement, remarkably having no glass beads despite the extremely low density. Unlike the previous job designed with commercial lightweight cement, the new cement has provided far greater compressive strength and has shown faster (18 to 24 hr) strength development. During placement, the new lightweight cement slurry has demonstrated exceptional stability with fewer additives than the previous design, thus simplifying field operations. Multiple laboratory test data at different cement densities (10.5 to 14.5 lbm/gal) for other regions confirmed the enhanced performance of the new lightweight cement in both slurry form and set cement over conventional lightweight technologies. Detailed scientific study via X- ray Diffraction (XRD) explained how the new lightweight cement provided superior set cement performance. The novelty of this work and invaluable contribution to the industry is the first successful field application of a newly developed micromaterial that provided a lighter, stronger, low-permeability, non-beaded cement that enhances wellbore integrity and provides better zonal isolation. New findings from XRD and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) imaging techniques about the new micromaterial lightweight additive may provide insights for improving the performance of traditional materials.
ABSTRACT Permian Basin drilling problems and drilling-cost trends are discussed. Drilling costs in the area are reported to have increased more than 100 per cent from 1939 to 1946 During 1946 drilling-operating costs have continued to increase, but reductions in drilling time have reduced total well costs below the 1945 average. The changes in drilling practices which brought this time reduction are illustrated. These changes are the use of increase weight on bits with slower rotating speed, mud control designed for hole conditions actually encountered, an improvement in the quality and quantity of drilling labor, and a high percentage of new equipment. Possible future changes in drilling equipment and drilling practices are outlined. Future practices and equipment must continue to reduce drilling costs, or the expense of replacement of reserves in the Permian Basin will be excessive INTRODUCTION It has been reported that the Permian Basin area of West Texas and New Mexico has larger proved petroleum reserves than any other area of similar size in the United States The newer reserves have been discovered, and are being developed primarily In fields deeper than the Permian formations from which the area takes its name Many fields are now producing from six or seven formations of three or four geologic ages This diversity of producing horizons provides a great variation In drilling problems Permian Basin Geology and Drilling Problems Fig 1 represents a typical columnar section of the Permian Basin formations The upper Permian zone contains surface sands, the Permian "red beds," a salt section up to 1,500 ft thick, sandstone, anhydrite, and, finally, limestone These upper Permian limestone beds have produced most of the oil in the area for many years Drilling problems In the section are not difficult The zone sometimes does contain high-pressure low-volume gas, or air pockets which blow out Lost circulation is frequent, and the salt section presents a mud-control problem, but a 4,500-ft upper Permian well should be completed in 15 to 25 days under normal circumstances From the lower Permian to the Ordovician, drilling problems are mole difficult in all zones lost returns may be expected Abnormal pressures are occasionally found The limestones and dolomites are extremely hard and, when associated with chert or flint, drilling rates in the past have been as low as G in In 24 hours Formations are often faulted and folded, and drilling a straight hole 1s frequently difficult and expensive The lower Permian, Pennsylvanian, and Mississippian shales, when present, may slough badly and interfere with drilling This 1s true a t times of the Simpson shales of the upper Ordovician