The Tangguh Project in West Papua Province, Indonesia represents significant challenges in terms of drilling conditions, extreme remoteness, and social and environmental sensitivity. The Tangguh Drilling "Advanced Collaborative Environment" (ACE) was designed to enhance drilling performance and safety. Very positive results were achieved within the first months of the drilling operation. This paper describes the design approach, implementation and subsequent operational experience of the Tangguh Drilling ACE. A number of features of this ACE have since become exemplars for BP's drilling operations globally.

The two-rig Tangguh development drilling campaign of 15 wells faced particularly difficult challenges with total losses, high vibration and the extreme remoteness of a location two timezones ahead of the office. To enhance drilling performance, an ACE was developed based on BP's global design principles covering people, process, technology, physical environment and organisation. The ACE connects each rigsite drilling team to the BP office in Jakarta and the onshore supply base. Real time drilling data in WITSML (Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language) format and high quality video conferencing were essential components to support the Wellsite Leader in the execution of the drilling plan.

Tangguh drilling commenced in May 2007 with a successful 10 months of field operations. The Wells Manager attributed a significant part of this success to ACE and associated working practices. The drilling ACE made a significant contribution towards reducing the recovery period from major non-productive time incidents and has promoted better connectivity between rigsite and office. This has improved teamwork and the sharing of information. It is consistent with BP's goal for Field of the Future™, "Better Decisions Faster".

Critical to the success of the ACE was engagement and ownership by the Wellsite Leaders and drilling operations management. Significant organisational and interface challenges were overcome, including applying vendor neutral data standards between different service companies. This was a first for Indonesia. A number of other firsts were achieved also:-

  • First BP drilling ACE designed specifically for performance enhancement.

  • First BP multi-rig drilling ACE.

  • First drilling ACE in BP using full time high quality video conferencing over satellite and wireless broadband.

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