During the last two years, BP Exploration developed a plan to assure all aspects of Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) opportunities were understood by business units (Assets). A global network of personnel involved in both ERD operations and technology support pursued a structured approach to enhance ERD option selection, well planning, well construction, and performance measures. This led to a successful initiative to develop a comprehensive set of ERD "Guidelines". Experiences from operations worldwide are included in sections ranging from drilling fluids to stuck pipe prevention. The versatility of the Guidelines was in part attributed to its electronic distribution, available either through local network servers or through the company's intranet.

The ERD guidelines focus on well design, planning, and operations. For engineers in the Assets, the guidelines and information provide a basis for determining "what is possible". Well planning is an iterative process to determine the optimal mix of rig equipment, fluid and tubular requirements, drillstring design, and so on. The strategy behind the information in the Guidelines and the transfer of "best practices" by the BP Exploration ERD Network was to support an iterative process by which learning would take place and performance improved. Thus the Extended Reach Drilling Network has provided a method by which ERD achievements and lessons learned are consolidated, and the information necessary for Assets to identify opportunities are available.


In 1995, the ERD Network initiated a plan to develop the technical aspects of ERD opportunities for the company. The plan objectives were:

  • To extend the ERD envelope through the introduction of new practices, tools and taking an active role in the direction and development of new industry technologies.

  • To transfer technology from ERD active Assets (e.g. Wytch Farm) to Assets where ERD is seen to improve net value.

  • To provide technical support and learning tools and practices to reduce failures, thus leading to increased confidence in ERD as a development option.

The Network recognized that while people are essential to knowledge transfer, it is also important to capture this knowledge and keep it alive. To achieve this an electronic ERD Guidelines document was developed with a continuous learning loop to provide Assets with means to access all relevant experiences and technologies, and enhance the ERD option by moving it from an emerging technical capability to routine use. As such ERD is now accepted across BP as a feasible and key option for reservoir access and development. Value to the business

The prudent application of ERD technology provides an opportunity for Assets to add value beyond what would be possible through conventional drilling. This is possible because there is:

  • Recognition that ERD that can reduce the total cycle time to production sales through utilization of existing infrastructure (e.g. platforms), extended field drainage radii, increased production rates, improved reservoir management and ultimate field recovery, and

  • ERD is presenting opportunities to acquire resources that remained inaccessible before due to high development cost or environmental, technical and location constraints. Maintenance and growth of this capability Advances in ERD techniques will continue.

Thus, - Businesses will most likely contribute financial, technical and human resources for the development of ERD capability. The ERD Network has acted as a focus for this development and will continue to expand applications.

P. 37^

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.