As the search for hydrocarbon offshore runs deeper and farther from land, it is best we gear ourselves to embrace what it takes for delivering highly deviated deepwater development wells to push the frontiers of petroleum extraction. This paper discusses the monitoring and optimizations of deepwater wells operations in Malaysia by the Shell Malaysia Exploration and Production Real Time Operation Centre (SMEP RTOC).

The scopes of monitoring and optimizations discussed in this paper include:

  1. Hydraulics management in narrow pressure margin drilling, including modelling, optimization, measurement and monitoring of equivalent circulating density (ECD).

  2. Engineering support in pre-drill study for Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) application.

  3. Mitigation of drilling vibration in highly deviated wells, especially stick-slip vibration.

  4. Hole cleaning modelling, monitoring and optimization.

  5. Drilling roadmaps and database are archived by RTOC for future wells reference.

  6. Drilling operations performance tracking and benchmarking.

  7. 24/7 Top Tension Riser, Hawser and mooring lines tension monitoring.

Deepwater drilling operation costs are typically significantly higher than shallow water and land rig operations. This is partly due to higher rig rates in deepwater operations. In this case any reduction in Invisible Lost Time (ILT) and Non-Productive Time (NPT) may result in significant cost reduction. Like a safety net that catches anomalies that slipped the first line of defense, RTOC monitoring has the facilities and trained capabilities to oversee and optimize the operations in totality both during real time and post run. An investment in RTOC services in exchange of more cost efficient and safer operations will be justified in the paper.

Real Time Operation Centre (RTOC) is becoming more indispensable over the years. Hawk-eyeing operations in areas where attention is diluted by other tasks on the rig, could probably be the insurance needed in every future oil and gas drilling. The methods, procedures and processes in well operations will definitely advance with time and further developments and innovations in this subject will be closely followed within the industry.

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