Floating Drilling-Barge Operations
- K.M. Nicolson (Standard Oil Co. of California)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1960
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 18 - 22
- 1960. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.3.2 Subsea Wellheads, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.5.7 Controls and Umbilicals, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.3.1 Surface Wellheads, 2 Well Completion, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.2.4 Risers, 1.14 Casing and Cementing
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The successful operation of floating drilling barges has established that this type equipment will find general acceptance for drilling and completing offshore wells. The floating barge supplements, rather than replaces, the more conventional offshore equipment and allows a much broader scope of operations. The application of floating-barge drilling has been somewhat restricted in the past while equipment development was progressing. The outlook for the future, however, is quite broad. Present stage of development favors exploratory drilling where probability of completion is small. As completion and production techniques are improved, development drilling will become more attractive. Applications will be most favorable for conditions which are expensive with conventional equipment such as deep water or very soft bottom. The inherent economy of the floating-barge method will also bring this equipment into competition with conventional methods in shallow water. Floating-barge drilling operations have been performed by the Standard Oil Co. of California offshore of California, the Gulf Coast, Trinidad and Ecuador. The results have compared favorably with conventional offshore drilling methods, and costs have been lower. The next indicated phase of development is completion and production. The problems here are of greater magnitude than those already solved concerning drilling. The economic incentive demonstrated in past performance, assures that these problems will be attacked and eventually solved.
The increasing number of successful, floating drilling-barge operations has established that this method will find general acceptance for the drilling and completion of offshore wells. The floating drill barge supplements, rather than replaces, conventional offshore equipment and broadens the scope of operations to a considerable degree. It is the purpose of this paper to review the experience of floating drilling-barge operations to date, outline the limitations and advantages associated with this method and indicate the possible future scope of application of this type operation.
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