Technology Focus: Offshore Drilling and Completion (April 2008)
- Jean-Louis Jousseaume (Total)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 54 - 54
- 2008. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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I do not yet consider myself an old-timer. However, I remember when I started studying petroleum engineering; our teacher was telling us that drilling was a technology that had not progressed in years, not since its last revolution—the introduction of rotary drilling. The word “revolution” here definitely seems the right one.
Since those days, we have seen the introduction of new technologies, such as measurement while drilling, steerable systems, top drives, more-reliable dynamic-positioning systems, dual handling, smart completions, new equipment, new chemicals, new metallurgy, and an exhaustive list of others. These advances enabled success of wells that were increasingly difficult, and we now are drilling horizontally (again, I remember: “It is impossible to drill horizontally, because it is impossible to transmit weight on bit horizontally”) and underbalanced, we are drilling high-pressure/high-temperature (and soon very-high-pressure/very-high-temperature) reservoirs and in deep and ultradeep waters, and we are drilling slim or ultraslim wellbores, multilateral and extended-reach wellbores, and combinations of these. Future wellbores will be even more exotic.
We complete wells with smart technology or sophisticated multilateral connections, produce gas from tight or ultratight sands, and heat silts in-situ to produce heavy bitumen. Simultaneously, we are making tremendous progress to protect people from incidents and diseases and our environment from unbearable or irreversible damages, especially when using nonaqueous-based mud.
Again, this list of recent advances is not complete, but it gives the strong feeling that all of us are engineers dealing with a moving and expanding technology. Actually, it gives me the strong belief that we will overcome new challenges and that, peak oil or not (whenever it may happen), there still is a lot to engineer, a lot to invent, and a lot to progress to move the limits of feasibility in drilling and well engineering further and further.
Offshore Drilling and Completion additional reading available at the SPE eLibrary: www.spe.org
SPE 105212 • “Deployment of a Riserless Mud-Recovery System Offshore Sakhalin Island” by J.D. Brown, CJSC Elvary Neftegaz, et al.
SPE 110359 • “Subsea Slimhole Completions in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico: Case Histories” by J.R. Sanford, Eni Petroleum, et al.
Additional reading available at the OTC Library: www.otcnet.org
OTC 19077 • “First Jackup Drilling Operation on Grand Banks of Newfoundland—Lessons Learned” by G.C. Bagnell, Rowan Companies
OTC 18496 • “2-Million-lbm Slip-Based Landing-String System Pushes the Limit of Deepwater Casing Running” by James N. Brock, Grant Prideco, et al.
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