As the oil and gas industry expands into evermore challenging environments with more complicated processes and designs, minimizing well cost and ensuring the best use of resources has resulted in an increase in the engineering planning and field-execution requirements. Drilling optimization has changed from simply improving the rate of penetration (ROP) to analyzing all aspects of the drilling process by establishing an integrated workflow that enables different engineering departments to plan and execute the well.
In this case history, the operator’s challenges included vibration in horizontal sections, hydraulics, and wellbore integrity concerns resulting from narrow mud weights available to minimize reservoir damage and to control pore pressure.
Drilling optimization also includes measuring and improving operational efficiency and consistency. Many activities are required in a drilling operation, and the inefficiency of these activities increases well costs. This inefficiency can be described as invisible lost time (ILT), which has been shown to contribute to up to 15% of total well cost. It exposes open holes to longer elapsed times which causes hole problems, especially in reactive formations.
This case study takes a holistic look at the drilling performance and efficiency improvements that can be made by planning, modeling, and introducing a collaborative drilling engineering team with a real-time field execution team to analyze drilling challenges and address those challenges for future developments.