Technology Focus: Horizontal and Complex-Trajectory Wells (November 2008)
- Greg Conran (Schlumberger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 64 - 64
- 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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The last 12 months have seen the industry deliver further remarkable achievements in directional and horizontal wells. A new record was set with a measured depth of 40,320 ft, a 37,956-ft stepout, and a 10.485 horizontal-displacement/true-vertical-depth ratio.
With projected growth and the associated increase in the number of horizontal and complex wells, the operating limits of many drilling units could be reached, requiring alternative methods, practices, or technology to help deliver results. Technological developments continue on a regular basis, which is excellent for the industry; but in isolation, they may not address all the perceived challenges. Applying, embracing, and adapting technological advances are essential to move forward with consistent service delivery on complex wells.
Whether it is delivering world-record achievements or delivering conventional directional wells, there will always be the need to address or challenge basic processes and operational practices. Management and reduction of operating costs appear topical within many recent keynote speeches. This message should lead to continued focus on delivery of improved efficiency in all aspects of planning and operations: to get it right the first time.
The investment and training focus within the industry over the last 25 years is well recognized. If we are committed to providing improved performance and improved service delivery, continued review of and improvement in basic operational practices require further research, focus, and communication between all sectors of the industry. Drilling topics that keep our continued attention include hole cleaning, management of equivalent circulating density, and torque and drag along with addressing downhole vibrations and their effect on drillstring and downhole-component failures. In many instances, we pride ourselves that we have adequate processes in place, but today we have the facilities and tools to aid improved interactive planning and greater vigilance in real time. Let’s use them.
By addressing aspects of design, geomechanics, and wellbore monitoring along with greater comprehension and communication of key mechanisms, our ability to interact and react quickly in real time should deliver savings and improved productivity and efficiency to the overall well delivery.
Horizontal and Complex-Trajectory Wells additional reading available at the SPE eLibrary: www.spe.org
SPE 112536 • “Extended-Reach Drilling Offshore California: An Operator’s Experience With Drilling a Record Extended-Reach Well” by Michael W. Walker, SPE, ExxonMobil. See JPT May 2008, page 78.
SPE 112740 • “Evolution of Drilling Programs and Complex Well Profiles Drive Development of Fourth-Generation Hardband Technology” by Alvaro Chan, SPE, Grant Prideco, et al.
SPE 113487 • “Optimizing Horizontal Completions in the Cleveland Tight Gas Sand” by M.L. Samuelson, SPE, Schlumberger, et al.
SPE 105839 • “Flotation of 103/4-in. Liner—A Method Used To Reach Beyond 10 km” by Johan Eck-Olsen, StatoilHydro, et al.
SPE 113866 • “Impact of Multilateral Wells on Oil Recovery in an Oil-Rim Field Development Using Multilateral Wells With Natural-Gas Lift and Inflow-Control Devices in a Fractured Carbonate Reservoir” by O. Iyamu, ETAP, et al.
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