The main objective of this study is to validate the market variations and the adoption of disruptive technologies effects on Drilling Operations through the analysis of Directional Difficulty Index (DDI) for historical and current wells with a common framework, allowing demonstrating the variations caused by the deployment of disruptive technologies as well as the impact of the market behavior.

The methodology used here is predicated upon three main steps:

First, historical drilling data for exploration and development wells for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Offshore has been evaluated using the Definitive Survey listings.

Second, this data has been correlated against the market historical data and with the introduction of disruptive new technologies that have dramatically changed the technical limit as well as in the standard operational practices has been observed.

Third, a detailed analysis has been made of the correlations of market and introduction of technologies with their impact in the complexity of the wells.

The study is an attempt to document correlation of the following elements to the main parameter analysed i.e. the directional difficulty index:

  • Oil and gas market behaviour towards a direct impact in the complexity of the wells drilled:

    •   During market downturn, the complexity of the wells is reduced

    •   During the market uptick, the complexity of the wells increased

  • Introduction of new disruptive technologies have a direct impact in the complexity of the wells, we focused on three technologies that changed the traditional practices increasing the technical limit, and its effect on the directional difficulty index

  • Two additional observations were considered relating to the directional complexity index:

    •   The development stage of the field: green or mature and its effect on the complexity of the wells

    •   The field structure which determine the development strategy: i.e. drive line or rim developments and its effect on the complexity of the wells

This study involving market behaviour, the introduction of new technologies and how they affect the directional difficulty index is a maiden attempt in its league; determining this correlation helps to better address the influence of these elements in long term strategic planning and predict change.

In addition, if the findings associate the development stage of the field and the field structure with the directional difficulty index, this opens the door for future studies to better determine their influence.

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