The North Pailin field, located in the Gulf of Thailand (GOT) had been evaluated during 1996–1997 with 15 delineation wells. Risked gas resources of 1,280 BCF (1 January 2002) will be fully developed with a Central Processing Platform (CPP) and a total of 357 development wells on 31 wellhead platforms (WP). However, thanks to a flexible performance-oriented operational philosophy, Unocal Thailand put North Pailin development on a fast track, aggressive timeline that moved the start-up project from well plan to cash flow within 9 months.

Each well of the initial first four-platform drilling program was highly deviated and followed a 3-D design in three sections: 11–3/4", 8–1/2" and 6–1/8". During this drilling campaign, many world class drilling records were achieved:

  1. In February 2002, North Pailin A-05 3D-well was directionally drilled from spud (325-ft mud line) to 11,388 feet TD in 1.9 days at $49.6 per foot.

  2. The 12-well program on North Pailin-A was completed within 34.42 days, 115,103 feet were drilled by average 4,387 SFPD at $64 per foot.

  3. For the entire four-platform, four rigs had drilled 618,786 feet (117 miles) out of 55 wells in the first quarter of 2002, at an average cost of $850K per well or $76 per foot.

  4. Together with those records, 307,140 man-hours were also achieved safely without any lost time incidents.

The records achieved on the North Pailin make it the most efficiently drilled development program so far in the GOT. A brief background of the North Pailin will be presented. However, the main focus is to highlight the key performance statistics and offers insights into the success of the North Pailin drilling campaigns.

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