Extension of Gauge Length to Reduce Vibrations and Improve Drilling Performance
- Gregory F. Smyth (Hibernia Management and Development Co. Ltd.) | Andrew M. Evans (ExxonMobil Development Co.) | Jonathan Babb (Hibernia Management and Development Co. Ltd.) | Neil Bolivar (Exxon Mobil Corporation)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition, 1-3 March, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2011. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.4.1 BHA Design, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.5.1 Bit Design, 1.5 Drill Bits, 1.6.2 Technical Limit Drilling, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management
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During extended reach drilling operations at the Hibernia Platform, operated by Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. utilizing ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. resources, bit gauge length and profile have been systematically varied to improve drilling performance while using a standard bottomhole assembly (BHA) and bit design. Prior to developing the standard BHA design and implementing a global performance management process, the ExxonMobil Fast Drill Process, multiple bit runs were required to drill a typical high angle, 10,000-ft interval of 12¼-in. hole. Tool failure and bit damage caused by vibration resulted in multiple bit runs. In order to reduce vibrations and improve drilling performance, bit gauge length has been systematically increased in 1-in. increments while utilizing a standard BHA. Partially tapered gauge was used in conjunction with the increased gauge length to allow directional control.
This paper presents the results of progressing from a 4-in. non-tapered gauge bit to a 5-, 6-, and 7-in. partially tapered gauge bit from 2005 to 2009. Mechanical specific energy (MSE), vibration, rotary steerable wear, and directional response data is presented to show the impact of the incremental changes in gauge length over a group of seven wells. The tapered profile and increased gauge length provided comparable directional response with significantly improved drilling performance, resulting in multiple field record rates of penetration (ROPs) and bit run lengths.
The Hibernia Platform (Fig. 1) is a Gravity Based Structure (GBS) located in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada (Fig. 2). The GBS accesses two oil reservoirs, Hibernia and Ben Nevis-Avalon (BNA), through extended reach drilling (Fig. 3). Drilling begins at the base of the platform and continues to measured depths as far as 33,000-ft MD accessing the Hibernia and BNA reservoirs at approximately 12,100-ft TVD and 7,900-ft TVD, respectively.
Wells drilled from the platform are typically S-shaped and have three dimensional trajectories with 12¼-in. tangent sections as long as 16,500-ft MD and sail angles between 35 and 84° (Fig. 4).
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