Benchmarking Drilling Performance: Achieving Excellence in MODU's Operating Practices for Deepwater Drilling
- Hugo Valdez (Transocean) | Jurgen Sager (Transocean)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, 23-25 February, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2005. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference
- 4.2.4 Risers, 2.1.7 Deepwater Completions Design, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 7.3.3 Project Management, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.7.5 Well Control, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.7 Pressure Management, 1.10.4 Onshore Drilling Units, 1.6.5 Drilling Time Analysis, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 2 Well Completion, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 1.6.10 Running and Setting Casing, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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Practical and straightforward application of continuous improvement and benchmarking techniques to monitor, document, analyze and detect best practices during the drilling process can improve operational efficiency and reduce well costs significantly.
Since the early days of offshore drilling when operators first mounted land rigs on piers, mechanization and automation have gradually changed the way oil wells are drilled.
When the rotary table, kelly and rig tongs constituted the basic equipment on the rig floor and all rigs were essentially the same, efficiencies were driven more by human factors than by equipment.
As the Industry began moving into deeper waters, while continuously targeting even deeper pay zones and requiring large wellbores to achieve the production rates to support costly projects, drill pipe, casing and risers sizes and weights continually to increase. Safety considerations thus drove a need to further mechanize pipe handling and minimize manual intervention.
Consequently, drilling rig technology evolved from the traditional rig floor configuration of slips and tongs to the highly sophisticated mechanized multi-activity designs found on the latest generation of semisubmersibles and drillships1.
While we have achieved significant improvements in safety by using more mechanized and automated equipment (coupled with a better trained work force) we noticed that some critical path operations, particularly those involving the moving of drill pipe, casing, and tubing into and out of the wellbore, were slower than expected.
After studying this experience, we noted that rigs with exactly the same capabilities performed differently when operating under similar conditions. As a result, we launched an internal benchmarking program to continuously identify, understand, compare, measure, and adapt best practices from our top performing MODUs to help a particular drilling rig improve performance.
This paper describes how a rigorous approach to performance benchmarking, with documented target objectives, user-friendly and meaningful reports, and critical process and task analysis can help identify non-value added activities and performance gaps within the well construction process. As a result proper action can be taken in order to improve the operational efficiency of a particular drilling rig.
Benchmarking is a process of continuously comparing ones own performance against recognized leaders2-3. It is a business practice that leads to increased competitiveness because as soon as one individual or organization realizes there is someone else doing the same thing but better, it becomes a "competitive necessity for survival" to learn ‘why' and ‘how' and then take steps to improve.
After a thorough analysis of 25 wells drilled in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico, we separated, classified and analyzed several variables in the well construction process in order to detect the degree of influence each had in the overall well construction time. We further identified who between the operator and the contractor had the responsibility for its individual performance (See Table 1).
We defined the activities controlled solely by the drilling contractor as "Key Steps". Key Steps include such activities as unrestricted tripping of drillpipe, running and retrieving riser, running casing, and testing blowout preventer (BOP) and surface equipment. The Key Step activities represented more than 30% of the well construction time on the wells studied4. Therefore, material improvement in any of the Key Steps represents an opportunity to reduce critical path timelines and total well costs to the operator (See Figure 1).
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