Technology Focus: Drilling Management (September 2012)
- J.C. Cunha (Ecopetrol America)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 112 - 112
- 2012. 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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At the very beginning of my career, as a young drilling engineer in South America, I used to work in a company where, as far as drilling activity was concerned, we would do (almost) everything by ourselves. We had our own rig and everybody on the location was a company employee. We had our own mud technician, who would, with the help of almost everybody on site, mix the chemicals and prepare our own drilling fluid, sometimes with formulations being decided on the go, depending on the formations we would encounter or on the mechanical problems we faced. We had our own cement unit, and, of course, we would decide on the cement-job specifications and then mix and pump/displace our own cement slurry.
No, I am not bragging. This was not a good thing and, actually, I do not want the industry to ever return to that primitive stage. I am certain that, even for those simple wells, we positively could have done a better job if we had had the help of specialists in drilling fluids, cementing, directional drilling, geomechanics, and other areas. Additionally, we definitely would have had a more-reliable drilling rig if we were not performing the maintenance, welding, and repairs ourselves.
On the other hand, in today’s operational environment, with so many companies on board, so much expertise, so much equipment, and so many parameters to check and control, it may be a real challenge to have a smooth operation, where all pieces are placed in the right place at the right time. Managing such complex drilling operations requires, besides experienced managers, a very well-trained team. A flawless operation is a result of good management and careful planning. Integration of the many disciplines is a must. No one is there to do a single, isolated job. Everybody should be aware of each other’s tasks and responsibilities and of which role these play in achieving the final common objective. As in an orchestra, the final result will depend as much on a good conductor as on capable and integrated musicians. They may be playing different instruments, but they are playing the same music.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
SPE 150422 Early Symptom Detection Based on Real-Time Evaluation of Downhole Conditions: Principles and Results From Several North Sea Drilling Operations by Eric Cayeux, SPE, IRIS, et al.
SPE 150201 Improving Management and Control of Drilling Operations With Artificial Intelligence by Giulio Gola, Institute for Energy Technology, et al.
SPE 150069 Real-Time Drilling Engineering: Hydraulics and T&D Modeling for Predictive Interpretation While Drilling by Ricardo Borjas, SPE, Schlumberger, et al.
SPE 149906 Advanced Predrill Simulations for Safer and More Cost-Effective Drilling by Dan Sui, Sintef Petroleum Research, et al.
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