The past few years have seen many experienced drilling operations personnel retire. Coincidently, the industry saw an increase in the number of drillstring failures, some of which could have potentially been avoided. These failures can result in non-productive time (NPT) like fishing trips, side tracking, or exorbitant repair bills, all of which can be costly. The consequence of these failures can be steep, and the objective of this paper is to assist with recognition and prevention of these failures. The number and type of field failures allow us to identify areas of neglect in which shared best practices may have been forgotten or not passed on. A renewed advocation of these essential drillstring running practices will help to mitigate issues before they cause operation disruption and budget overage.

In identifying issues, our intent is to recognize observed variances in running and handling practices that have potential to add complications to well construction, exacerbate budgets, and/or possibly create unsafe working environments. The solutions presented are based on actual field cases and have proven effective. More than ever, variances in best operational practices when running the string have immediate or long-term consequences. Whether the task is slips setting, connection makeup or breakout, elevator positioning, thread compound application, etc., all operations can be poorly executed when adequate information/education is not shared/passed on. As a result, over-torquing (uncontrolled down hole make-up) or, on the flipside, loosening of connections (reactive torque) is far too common and is intensified by the increase of laterals lengths.

One cannot ignore our industry's extreme drive on operation efficiency and cost reduction. Unfortunately, ignoring best practices or minimizing proven steps can be counterproductive, especially in today's more complex wellbore trajectories and demanding drilling programs. The expected outcome of this paper is to identify poor procedural conduct, explain consequences of the same, and inform drilling operations personnel with operational alternatives that will yield results. Explaining the importance and value of these best practices can renew an industry culture driven by safety and performance. Knowing and, more importantly, understanding why procedures require improvement will promote a virtuous behavior. This includes understanding the touch points and critical interfaces that the string has with the rig surface pipe handling equipment, in particular the iron roughneck and the top drive.

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