Effective optimization of a drilling plan requires the interaction of many different technical specializations, including geology, bit design, fluids design, well trajectory planning, drilling equipment design, and directional and formation evaluation tool selection. For maximum operational and economic performance, these diverse and specialized disciplines must be able to interact effectively and efficiently, which becomes increasingly critical when exploiting complex, unconventional plays, such as shales with their different geological, geophysical, and petrophysical requirements


This paper discusses the development and deployment of a drilling performance methodology that allows teams to create an integrated drilling plan by connecting the many technical disciplines and providing a framework to guide their interactions. The methodology has been developed and applied by a major service provider in different locations globally and in many diverse drilling environments. Discussion of the practical application focuses on the methodology's ability to facilitate the rapid assessment of the drilling system as a whole. Having this ability allows true optimization to occur because all the requirements and limitations can be optimally balanced. Implementation and organizational change management requirements are also discussed with a specific focus on application to different types of unconventional reservoirs. Field examples illustrate theory, implementation, and results.

Previous work in this area focused more on optimizing real-time behavior to respond to conditions encountered, the use of reservoir simulators to plan developments, or has been limited to collaboration among only two or three disciplines. This work integrates seven engineering domains and up to 20 specific technical specializations and is unique in the industry because, in addition to creating a plan to meet the well objectives, it includes the ability to design equipment and fluids to a specific application.

Creation and implementation of the methodology has led to significant improvements in internal efficiency derived from all members of the team understanding the requirements of the overall design and how their contribution affects and is affected by other components of the drilling system. It has led to improvements in overall drilling performance as the optimized plan is executed and performance barriers are overcome.

URTeC 1559350

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