The history of integrated services is a decade old, yet the concept has found new application. A new contract model whereby certain services were contracted to drill horizontal wells on a lump-sum fee basis enhanced the existing relationship between operator and service company. The workscope covered provision of downhole drilling services, tools, and equipment to a maximum total measured depth. Conventional and slim design well options were considered, and equipment specifications were decided to provide flexibility, depending on ongoing reservoir modeling results and production forecasts.

A joint project team consisting of the operator and three principal contractors (namely integrated drilling services, drilling fluids, and rig) spudded the first well in January 2003 with a heavy land rig in the arctic drilling environment. Drilling of the first well with a conventional well design (8 1/2-in. horizontal drain) took longer than initially planned, partly because of high nonproductive time (NPT) that was related to harsh winter conditions, and partly because of workscope changes. However, the second well was finished as the fastest horizontal well drilled to date by the operator, in two-thirds of the scheduled time. Slim-well design, fit-for-purpose equipment and technology selection, improved mud system for intermediate hole sections, and close operational coordination among four participating companies were among the factors resulting in the benchmark performance.

Another key component of the success has been setting of project objectives and targets for quality, health, safety, and environment (QHSE) issues, which were also reviewed by an experienced project startup audit. The review identified critical areas for improvement and thereby facilitated the project's success. The remedial work plan based on the review contributed to the performance improvement in a short time.

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