American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

This paper was prepared for the Deep Drilling and Production Symposium of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Amarillo, Texas, Sept. 8–10, 1974. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.

Abstract

Basic fundamental drilling practices, excellent planning, and effective supervision were combined to break the 1120,000 feet in 100 days" barrier. This was accomplished in the hard-rock country of the Delaware Basin of West Texas.

Adhering to practices, procedures, and techniques used in the above mentioned instance could reduce time and money required in drilling future ultra-deep wells and provide industry the means of drilling a greater number of wells with men and equipment presently available.

Technology and equipment required to achieve this goal on a routine basis are available. It remains for each of us to make use of these techniques on a day-by-day basis when planning or supervising drilling operations.

Introduction

One hundred days drilling time from surface to 20,000 ft in hard-rock country is an accomplished fact. Personnel, tools, equipment, and techniques required to perform this task on a routine basis are available.

Never has the need been greater for industry to look to itself and its abilities to perform than it is now. Shallow structures have been tested, the cheap oil and gas have been found, and what remains in the way of attractive oil and gas-bearing structures are deep, costly, and difficult to drill.

Consumption of oil and gas products continues at a rate that makes it more and more difficult for domestic industry to keep pace with demand. Creating an excess availability of oil or gas appears to be an impossibility. There is little potential that new energy forms not already in an advanced state of development will have a significant impact on energy supply in this century. Meanwhile, prices that this country is forced to pay for imported products add fuel to the fire of inflation and make it more and products add fuel to the fire of inflation and make it more and more difficult to provide mankind with inexpensive energy sources so vital to progress and well-being.

As a segment of our industry, we continue to remind ourselves of the need for improved rig design, tools, and technology. Questions we ask ourselves are as follow: What evolutionary changes will occur in drilling by the 1980's? How can we automate or design a drilling rig to enable us to drill any hole, trouble free, in a predetermined number of days and at a predetermined cost? Are exotic predetermined number of days and at a predetermined cost? Are exotic drilling techniques just around the corner?

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