Albert, Larry (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Booher, Jason (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Wilson, Anthony (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Hamilton, Fraser (Impact Selector International) | Hradecky, Jason (Impact Selector International) | Dunning, Dustin (Wireco WorldGroup) | Pratosov, Vadim (Wireco WorldGroup)
An E&P operator was developing a reservoir and planned a horizontal well in an area where zones above the target cause drilling problems when trying to build angle and land the horizontal lateral. The operator suffered drilling difficulties on offset wells; therefore, it was decided to change the drilling plan for this prospect. The new plan required drilling through the target reservoir, into the formations below and then drill back up dip to the target. After reaching the base at a measured depth of 14,000 ft. the well plan required drilling up at maximum of 114° until reentering the target reservoir. Because of faulting in the area and required well direction, the target reservoir was dipping up at ∼10° laterally in the direction of the horizontal drilling target. To maintain position in the reservoir, the well had to drilled at ∼100° deviation to a measured depth of 21,100 ft.
This wellbore trajectory made normal wireline plug and perforating completion operations extremely difficult. The wellbore trajectory meant high frictions on the wireline when coming off bottom. Also, due to the toe-up trajectory there was risk the wireline tools would slide down the inclined casing during and after plug setting and perforating. If the tool position could not be maintained there was risk the wireline cable could be entangled and a stuck tool could result. If the tools overrun the wireline cable the result could be wireline cable next to the perforating guns when detonated and wireline cable severed. The E&P operator needed to know if this challenge could be met.
Alternatives to pump down plug and perforating could be very expensive (estimated $millions): Abandon acreage, Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target, Reposition surface location and drill down dip, Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target,
Reposition surface location and drill down dip,
Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or
Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
To meet the challenge several new methods and technologies developed for extended laterals were utilized. These products and methods included: advanced risk deployment modeling, jacketed wireline cable, addressable separation tool and downhole tension tool.
Drilling in the Appalachian basin in Pennsylvania has evolved since its inception. Operators have shifted their focus from mere wellbore delivery to delivering wells in the shortest amount of time to reduce risks and costs, as well as drive efficiency. This paper presents a case study in which offline cementing helped improve operation efficiency by reducing drilling times and provided significant cost savings.
Offline cementing is not a new concept. In Q4 2015, an operator drilling in the Eagle Ford shale began the movement of their program toward offline cementing of both the surface and production casings. The operator determined that reducing flat time was crucial to create a cost savings (
The service company was able to cement both the surface and intermediate casing strings offline while the operator skidded to the next well to begin rigging up. All surface casings were drilled and cemented offline and the rig skidded back to drill for the intermediate casings, which were also cemented offline. Approximately 15 hours was saved by skidding between surface strings, and another 16 hours was saved between intermediate casings.
This paper discusses the successful use of offline cementing during drilling operations in northeastern Pennsylvania. The flat time reduction achieved during this drilling program can be quantified into a cost savings of approximately USD 80,000 per well.
Alkinani, Husam H. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Hameedi, Abo Taleb T. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Dunn-Norman, Shari (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Alwani, Mustafa A. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Lian, David (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Bazzaz, Waleed H. (Kuwait Institute For Scientific Research)
It is not easy to obtain an optimal hole cleaning for the drilling operation because of the complicated relationship between the drilling parameters influencing hole cleaning. The two viscosity components (e.g. plastic viscosity (PV) and yield point (YP)) and the flow rate (Q) are essential parameters for effective hole cleaning. Thus, understanding the relationship between those parameters will contribute to efficient hole cleaning. The aim of this paper is to explore those relationships to provide optimal hole cleaning.
Descriptive data analytics was conducted for data of more than 2000 wells drilled in Southern Iraq. The data were first cleansed and outliers were removed using visual inspection and box plots. The Pearson correlation (PC), a widely used method to measure the linear relationship between two parameters, was utilized to access the relationships between PV and Q, YP and Q, and YP/PV and Q. Moreover, a 10% sensitivity analysis was escorted to quantify and comprehend those relationships.
The PCs were calculated to be 0.5, 0.076, and 0.22 for the relationships between YP, PV, and YP/PV with Q, respectively. YP had the highest direct relationship with Q, while PV had the lowest. When the YP increases, a sufficient Q has to be provided to initiate the flow and maintain the mud cycle. In addition, to prevent large solid particles from settling due to the slip velocity, sufficient annular and particle velocities have to be achieved. After initiating the flow, an increase in flow rate to overcome resistance due to PV will not be significant. Therefore, YP has more effect on Q than PV. To maximize hole cleaning, thickening ratio (YP/PV) should be increased. This requires an increase in flow rate, which can be quantified by using the sensitivity analysis provided to achieve the required Q for any increase in YP/PV.
This paper presents a method for pinpointing intervals for fracture stimulation in horizontal wells targeting unconventional oil plays. The observation of crossflow among fractures has been of great concern as this phenomenon affects the productivity of producing wells. The cause is related to the effectiveness of fracturing stages, which by itself depends on the rock lithology. We identified interaction among fractured intervals from diagnostic modeling of performance data that exhibited cross flows in the wellbore. On wells exhibiting the most prolonged duration of crossflow, we noted the disadvantages of equal space fracturing. We then used the drilling parameters from MWD data for individual wells and computed the d-exponent profiles and noted significant differences in rock brittleness as characterized by their d-exponent data. Out of the more than 60 wells studied, wells exhibiting minor changes in the d-exponent showed the least indications of cross flows from performance data while in wells with significant cross flows we see the nonuniformity of the d-exponent profile and the negative impact of equal space fracturing.
The artificial lift system (AL) is the most efficient production technique in optimizing production from unconventional horizontal oil and gas wells. Nonetheless, due to declining reservoir pressure during the production life of a well, artificial lifting of oil and gas remains a critical issue. Notwithstanding the attempt by several studies in the past few decades to understand and develop cutting-edge technologies to optimize the application of artificial lift in tight formations, there remains differing assessments of the best approach, AL type, optimum time and conditions to install artificial lift during the life of a well. This report presents a comprehensive review of artificial lift systems application with specific focus on tight oil and gas formations across the world. The review focuses on thirty-three (33) successful and unsuccessful fieldtests in unconventional horizontal wells over the past few decades. The purpose is to apprise the industry and academic researchers on the various AL optimization approaches that have been used and suggest AL optimization areas where new technologies can be developed.
Research and development drives success in shale plays throughout the world, enabling operators to deploy new drilling, completions, and production technologies to reach more reservoir area and extend the life of production wells. This work demonstrates the development, validation, and deployment of an extreme torque casing connection addressing technical challenges of tubulars in unconventionals.
Throughout the well lifetime, Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) experience various loads during the installation, stimulation, and production phases. Some of the challenges experienced during the stimulation and production phases relate to internal and external pressure resistance, sealability, corrosion and cracking, erosion, and wear. Furthermore, with the increase in lateral length and the more demanding well geometries, the OCTG capabilities related to high cycle fatigue, connection runability, and torque limits become more important to safely and efficiently reach the total depth of the well and ensure integrity throughout well life. Another scenario in which the torque limit of an OCTG connection is important is rotating while cementing, a practice undertaken to mitigate sustained casing pressure, improve well integrity, and completion efficiency.
We present the key elements in the development of a casing connection that overcomes these challenges and the decision process leading to a prototype. To prove the design concept, a fit-for-purpose testing protocol was adopted to validate its performance, replicating the installation, stimulation, and production phases under the expected loads. Once validated, a pilot involving casing installation, rotation while cementing and stimulation was completed in two wells, and its outcomes will be discussed in this work.
This novel casing extreme torque connection, designed to overcome the application challenges, enables the installation of casing in longer laterals, together with the improvement of well integrity through rotation while cementing.
The performance of the product, tested through a special procedure while ensuring reliability, was confirmed by the case study from the Niobrara shale. A new connection considering the challenges of wells in unconventional plays must account for several aspects from design to installation. We show the process, from the design stage and validation, leading to successful field deployment.
Al-Hameedi, Abo Taleb T. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Alkinani, Husam H. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Dunn-Norman, Shari (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Alwani, Mustafa A. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Lian, David (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
Flow rate (Q) affects many drilling operations and parameters such as equivalent circulation density (ECD), hoisting and lowering the drillstring, and breaking gel strength during circulation. The aim of this work is to understand the relationship between ECD and Q based on flow regimes (e.g. laminar, transitional, and turbulent) to avoid or at least minimize the unwanted consequence during drilling practice.
Field data from over 2000 wells drilled in Iraq were collected and analyzed to identify the physical relationship between flow regimes and ECD to enhance the drilling rates. After visualizing the whole dataset, a decision was made to break down the data into three parts based on flow regimes (e.g. laminar, transitional, and turbulent). Descriptive data mining techniques were utilized to establish the relationship between flow regimes and ECD. By achieving better control of ECD in the well, not only faster and cheaper operations are possible, but also safety will be improved.
Previous studies and literature showed that flow regimes can tremendously affect ECD. Many studies have been conducted to understand the relationship between Q and ECD. Nevertheless, the consideration of flow regimes was not implemented in these studies. Inconsistency in the literature results was identified, some concluded the relationship between Q and ECD to be direct, and others showed it to be inverse. Thus, this paper will eliminate this discrepancy in the literature, and it will show that the flow regimes have a pivotal role in the relationship between Q and ECD.
The results of this paper showed that if the flow regime is laminar, the relationship between ECD and Q is inverse. However, in transitional and turbulent flow regimes, the relationship between ECD and Q is direct. That is because, in the laminar flow regime, the cutting will fall out of suspension due to low Q, which will cause a cutting bed to be built and decreases ECD. As Q increases (entering the transitional and turbulent flows) the cutting bed will be eroded, and most of the cuttings will be suspended in the fluid which will increase ECD.
This study examines and expands the understanding between how the characteristics of flow regimes affect ECD. Additionally, this paper will eliminate the discrepancy in the literature about this relationship between ECD and Q.
Pre-set or off-depth composite plugs can cause significant non-productive time for a well operator. In the past, fracturing operations using a composite frac or bridge plug that has been pre-set or set off depth required a coiled tubing unit or workover rig to drill the plug out. Then, the well operator could resume the fracturing job or access the wellbore below the plug. However, as this paper demonstrates, composite plug milling via wireline using a tractor and a tractor-based milling tool is a faster, safer, and more cost-effective solution.
In a shale well located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, a composite frac plug was set off- depth. Prior to mobilizing the tractor-based solution to location, the operator attempted pumping approximately 60,000 pounds of sand to sand-cut the off-depth frac plug out of the well. The sand cutting, though, did not work because perforations above the frac plug took the sand. Other tubing-based solutions required more mobilization time and complex logistics for rigging down and/or moving equipment on location. Therefore, the operator chose a wireline-based method for ease of operation, reduced HSE risk, and cost savings.
The tractor took 50 minutes to drive down 1718 ft in the lateral to the plug. The milling tool milled the top slips on the frac plug in approximately nine hours, and the tractor then pushed the plug 222 ft downhole on top of the previous frac plug. The total time rigged up on the well was 14 hours, and the total time on location was 18 hours. Although this wireline-based plug-milling method takes several hours to mill a plug, the rig-up and execution is simpler than conventional methods, and associated HSE risks on the wellsite are greatly reduced.
The ability to effectively release plugs via wireline provides well operators with another option to complete their objectives, especially when tubing-based methods often take many days or weeks to mobilize at substantial cost to operators.
Underbalanced drilling via air drilling is deeply rooted in the Northeast United States due to its distinct geology, high rates of penetration (ROP) and drilling efficiency, and low cost of circulating material. The active drilling programs of several independent operators in the Marcellus and Utica Basins are well suited for air drilling down to the final kick off point by virtue of competent, stable formations, low static reservoir pressures, and manageable water ingress to the wells. Air drilling provides near-atmospheric pressure at the borehole bottom, since there is no fluid column with resulting hydrostatic pressure. The result is very high ROP with essentially 100% drilling efficiency, allowing the completion of intervals in one or two bit runs. A service company deployed a cross-functional product development team to optimize oilfield air bits for these applications over the last two years, resulting in decreased drilling costs through increased performance and reliability.
The oilfield air drilling environment places unique challenges on drill bit design due to the increased risk of downhole vibrations, corrosion, abrasive wear, heat generation, and seal infiltration of very fine cuttings. The application requirements have increased due to deeper intervals requiring passage through multiple high unconfined compressive strength formations, extended tangent angles, and rising input energy levels. Accordingly, enhancements to both the cutting structures and sealed bearing systems were vigorously pursued. Several cutting structure design iterations were evaluated in both laboratory and field tests. A new sealed bearing system was developed and implemented for increased life and reliability. Modifications to the bit body for stability were included, and the bit hydraulics were further optimized.
Through an understanding of the objectives and application challenges, unique solutions were developed for Northeast oilfield air drilling applications. The optimization process for the new air bit designs is described, and the resulting positive performance metrics are presented. Improvements were observed in distance drilled, ROP, seal effective rate, and dull condition. Lessons learned were also used to refine the recommended drilling parameters and practices through the challenging formations encountered in these tangent sections, which can span in excess of 7000 feet. These enhancements all contributed to reduced drilling cost and days per well, for increased rig productivity.
The natural gas fields throughout the Marcellus and Utica Basins in the Northeast U.S. continue to deliver rising total gas production for the U.S. and the world through increased capacities in pipelines and LNG trains. Improved drilling performance as documented in this paper are driving continuous improvement in the overall upstream drilling economics of the region.
Qureshi, M Fahed (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Ali, Moustafa (Texas A&M University) | Rahman, Mohammad Azizur (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Hassan, Ibrahim (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Rasul, Golam (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Hassan, Rashid (Texas A&M University)
The hole cleaning is considered a key element of drilling operation as it impacts the economics of drilling operations, operational time of operations and the safety of operations. Inadequate hole cleaning can lead to blockages resulting in loss of circulation and premature wear out of the drill pipe. The transport of solids cuttings as a multiphase flow offers a solution to the hole cleaning issue, as it can aid to lower operational cost, reduce operation time, and enhance the quality of overall drilling operations.
Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) is a promising technology to visualize the 3D flow conditions involved in the hole cleaning process. ERT system is utilized to study and analyze the multiphase flow behavior and to provide in situ volume fraction distribution quantitatively through the drilling annulus. The motive of this work is to investigate the effect of different eccentricities (0-50 %), inner pipe rotation speed (0-120 RPM) and liquid flow rates (160-190 Kg/min) on the secondary phase (solids + air) transport across the annulus using the ERT system. The three-phase flow conditions (water, air, and solids) experiments were conducted in the horizontal flow loop with annulus at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) using ERT system. The flow loop annulus line consists of 6.16 m horizontal/inclined line. The inner diameter of the outer acrylic pipe and the outer diameter of the inner stainless steel pipe were 114.3 mm (4.5 in) and 63.5 mm (2.5 in), respectively. The glass beads (2-3 mm) were injected at a concentration of 5 wt%. The experimental results indicate that the ERT sensors have the capability of providing real-time quantitative images of annular multiphase flow regimes and it can be utilized effectively to observe the secondary phase (solids + air) transport across the opaque region of the annulus. It was also observed that the concentration of secondary phase (solids + air) tends to increase with an increase in the eccentricity of the inner pipe and the inner pipe rotation does not have a significant effect on the concentration of secondary phase (solids + air) at selected experimental conditions.