Well expenditure represents a significant part of Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) business, accounting for around 50% of capital expenditure. There is a significant value creation opportunity through achieving excellence in Well Delivery.

Drilling The Limit* (DTL) a Shell trademark, is an alternative planning methodology through which incredible time gains can be made, by applying resources and significant team effort with high focus on "soft issues". The concept was developed from extensive cross-Shell and cross-industry benchmarking including "Technical Limit Drilling"[1][2] and is based on extreme in-depth challenge of well design to identify what is theoretically possible. This theoretical limit forms a stretched target, representing a perfect world. The difference between historical performance and theoretical limit represents opportunity.

The DTL methodology was first tested in BSP on an offshore horizontal development campaign. These wells were delivered with a 40% time saving compared to historical performance, resulting in a 12% reduction in Unit Technical Cost. All these wells are producing above expectation.

This success delivered a performance "roller coaster", resulting in significant acceleration of subsequent wells, presenting a number of challenges for BSP. Resources required for DTL were under estimated as the accelerated work program resulted in even less time for detailed planning of follow up wells. A corporate study[3] confirmed what impact full implementation of the methodology would have on the organisation and its projected business results. Recognising its potential, BSP has planned for a wider application of the DTL methodology, the lessons learned to date are helping the company to plan for the impact of success.

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