Woodside Offshore Petroleum has taken advantage of state of the art drilling technology to construct extended reach wells from fixed platforms to access more distant sections of reservoir. Well design has been optimised to reduce friction forces; strength and power of rig equipment and tools have been increased to handle higher design loads; drilling techniques have been adopted or developed which allow better control of the drilling process; and training has been used to prepare personnel for the changes, enhancing safety and efficiency.

The changes made to one platform were constrained by existing rig design making compromises necessary. The other rig was purpose designed to drill extended reach wells and is presently under construction. Its capability will be significantly greater.

Drilling and completion times on extended reach wells drilled to date have been shortened, thereby lowering well costs.

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