Increases in recent and projected rig activity are putting tremendous strains on current inventories of drilling tools and on the industry supply chain attempting to bolster those inventories. Additionally, while much of the new activity is centered in established oil provinces and using established technologies, many projects are on the frontier, both in terms of their graphical location and their technology applications. The frontier projects often must deal with strained supply lines and makeshift local infrastructure as well as down hole tool stresses which were never envisioned when the tools were first introduced.

The linkage of high demand with limited supply can result in a tendency to accept lower quality materials to increase availability and meet drilling schedules. This often increases the risk of drill string failures and associated cost overruns due to lost time, lost hole, lost tools, fishing and sidetracks.

This paper will explore how drill string management techniques have addressed these inventory and infrastructure issues with the objective of mitigating drilling risks. Case histories are reviewed where various actions have been formulated to meet the specific demands of frontier drilling projects and the drilling cost savings that have resulted.

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