Posted 16.10.2017 13:04 by Magnus Tvedt
Mother Earth, Madre Tierra, Мать Земля. Three big excuses why drilling and completions are so costly
Mother Earth, Madre Tierra, Мать Земля. Three big excuses why drilling and completions are so costly (thank you Google Translate if I just offended you, dear reader).
This is the fifth blog in a series of six posts on how we can cut the cost and improve the precision in Drilling and Well operations, by the CEO and founder of Pro Well Plan, Magnus Tvedt.
When the drilling started in the North Sea in the late 60's, the soil was all maiden, and the pore pressure gradients were mostly the sum of the overburden, and fracture curves similarly predictable. Depletion wasn't yet invented, but drilling was challenging enough without any experience or reference holes. In fact the Norwegian geologists didn't even think there were oil outside Norway, so mother earth was a big uncertainty to be handled by roughnecks and rolling bits. Today, there is rarely a well drilled without reference and offset wells with detailed logs and experiences.
Depletion and subsidence are new uncertainties of the game, and are for modern technology to handle. But we have a backlog of general drilling problems that still happens today as they did half a century ago. Events like getting stuck in collapsing shales, poor hole cleaning, failing to get down with screens, liners or casings and lost communication with completion solutions - they show up in well reports over and over again.
And the truth is down there, in the mother earth and her children of our production.
We could measure more, log more, analyse more, and plan better. But we are hiding behind the uncertainty of the rocks.
Old excuses should be the first out of the window, not the engineers.
We have the technologies available or in our sheds and those of other industries. But we need to raise awareness of our technology backlog and aim for smarter operations. That we still rely on smoke signal analogs for downhole communication, only measure condition at the bit, and need a big rig or a boat to figure out what is going on in our wells, proves that we are not at peak performance for every inch we drill. The current dip in the oil price is here to get us up on our brave feet again.
In fact, the solution is easy: harvest all the data you can mine, plan with data analysis and smart algorithms, and invest in some new technology from outside the industry. Just say it: I want to deliver wells at half cost, half time, and double precision. It feels good, doesn't it?
The alternative is just as obvious, more expensive mistakes, fewer projects with a positive cash flow, and less jobs.
AT&T just announced every employer should spend a serious share of outside working hours to learn modern it technology, for the company to have a future. I think the drilling industry need to spend most of their working hours on learning modern technology to brighten the future.