Since the drilling started on the remote artificial islands located in UAE the operator used multiple initiatives to enhance the performance. One of them was the development of Operational Performance Improvement Plan(OPIP) targeting key aspects of the well planning and construction with an aim to improve the performance and reduce cost. The paper describes the thought process and steps taken to implement the OPIP and bring the performance to the new level for the operator.

The main objective in harsh economic conditions was to construct the wells safer, with less cost and more efficiently. To achieve the goal, several well construction optimization workshops were organized aiming to change the drilling processes, operations procedures, tools, equipment and well design, as well as to have a clear plan on smooth expanding the extended reach drilling envelop. As a result, the operational performance improvement planwas developed and joint well engineering, subsurface and operations team was set to ensure the implementation.

The main purpose of the plan was the standardization of all processes between few rigs, elimination of non-necessary activities and utilization of fit-for-purpose tools during execution phase. The OPIP had over80 items, and everyone of them was targeting specific drilling / completion activities. As part of the implementation, the process required a multi-discipline approach including but not limited to drilling, completions, equipment, subsurface, production, rig and service contractors with subsequent small task forces and focal point assigned to each individual action for time delivery, follow up and closure. At the same time not all the initiatives were implemented – some were rejected due to significant increase of operational risks and / or due to HSE associated risks.

The process uses a live tracker and it resulted in significant performance improvements, when time for some operations decreased by 25%(i.e. blow out preventer test time), some activities were eliminated (i.e. wiper trips), drilling practices were completely changed (i.e. use of integral packer) and as a result, the project duration was reduced by one year as of to date.

The manuscript describes a structural approach to the optimization of the well construction process with an objective to improve time and cost associated. The proposed ideas can be used at any project worldwide, especially on high cost, extended reach wells drilling projects.

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