The drilling industry continually seeks enhanced technologies and processes that reduce time spent drilling and completing a well while maintaining well bore integrity, particularly with the installation of casing and tubing and the handling of tubulars in general. Over the years, major focus has been placed on the handling of tubulars and efforts to handle most preparatory functions offline rather than on the rig itself, thus generating greater efficiency and improving health, safety and environmental (HSE) conditions.
Many newly constructed rigs are equipped with auxiliary pipe makeup stations and racking systems for offline makeup and racking and installation of casing and tubing in stands. As a result, run times have improved at well centers by as much as 100% while reducing risk exposure to personnel. But the vast majority of existing rigs is not equipped to handle pre-made stands of casing and tubing and therefore is unable to take full advantage of these potential efficiency gains. One option for enhancing rigs without offline makeup and racking capability is to prepare and pre-assemble the casing or tubing into stands at a pipe handling yard and subsequently ship them to the rig to be picked up and run as stands at well centers on the critical path.
In this paper the authors will review the use of tubular management facilities for offline preparation of tubing and casing. We also assess the savings potential associated with moving makeup and breakdown operations from the drilling rig critical path. We will document recent projects in Australia, Asia and the Gulf of Mexico in which the tubular running service company improved efficiency by managing logistics, preparation and preassembly of tubular stands, safe installation and shipment to the operational rig.