Executive Summary

John Mason, BP Exploration Operating Company

Drilling & Completion / September 2007 Volume 22 Issue No. 3

EE Editorial:

A question I was asked recently is “How do Health, Safety andEnvironmental (HSE) issues fit into technical journals like SPE Drilling &Completion, or into any of the other SPE publications?”

            For manyof us, HSE issues are an important daily focus and year on year they become abigger part of the working day. We see more thorough and systematic incidentinvestigations, wider circulations of workplace incident reports, and there ismore visibility of lessons learned. With HSE being an integral part ofeveryone’s business, how should technical journals like SPEDC embraceHSE issues? The answer, I think, is that almost every paper already doesembrace HSE issues; therefore, the question is more about the individual’sinterpretation of the term “HSE issues”.

            Taking anarrower perspective of HSE, the latest statistics on incidents and nearmisses, safety flashes, investigation reports, wellsite initiatives or changesto competency qualifications do not really fit into a technical journal such asSPEDC. However, a wider (and I think better) perspective is that HSEissues encompass anything we do to improve the efficiency of our drilling andcompletion business. Taking a wider perspective, striving for continuousimprovement in HSE performance can be seen as a foundation for almosteverything we do. Improved efficiency means more accurate and accessibleinformation, fewer people on wellsites, less waste discharged, fewer unplannedevents, fewer equipment failures, fewer and more productive wells, less energyto construct each well, fewer interventions, more reliable completions for lifeof the field and more reliable abandonments for life of the planet.

            Thisedition offers you eight peer-reviewed technical papers, all of which speak toimproved drilling and completion efficiency and so to improved HSEperformance.

            How doesHSE relate to a technical paper about improvements in drilling fluids?Deepwater Drilling Made More Efficient and Cost-Effective Using theMicroflux Control Method and an Ultralow Invasion Fluid to Open the Mud-WeightWindow. A drilling fluid with better fluid loss control and better rheologycontrol will contribute to fewer well control incidents for a narrow pore-fracgradient wellbore. This means improvements in safety.

           Establishing better industry standards to allow more confidence inapples-for-apples comparisons of drilling fluid performance is presented inModernization of the API Recommended Practice on Rheology andHydraulics: Creating Easy Access to Integrated Wellbore FluidsEngineering. Better standards provide a more robust basis for engineeringthe optimum drilling fluids for a well and helping to deliver more productivewells with improved wellsite safety.

           Losing a high cost BHA and then spending the extra rig time for sidetracking iscostly, hazardous, and inefficient. Sidetracking also results in unpleasantproblems like handling swarf from section milling, nuclear sources leftdownhole and high doglegs. Losing a hole section is still too frequent andanything to help reduce well bore problems gives a direct benefit to HSEperformance. A Rapid, Rigsite-Deployable, Electrochemical Test forEvaluating the Membrane Potential of Shales aims to reduce the occurrenceof well bore stability problems.

            Use ofReal-Time Rig Sensor Data to Improve Daily Drilling Reporting, Benchmarking andPlanning—A Case Study looks at improving the value of drilling data tobetter diagnose, understand, and improve drilling performance. The point iswell made that vast amounts of data are available, but typically, little isdone with the data.   Pressure Prediction and Drilling Challenges in aDeepwater Subsalt Well from Offshore Nova Scotia, Canada shows how theunderstanding of uncertainty in key subsurface data has a direct influence onwell design, drilling practices, and well site safety.            

Sandface Completion for a Shallow Laminated Gas Pay with High FinesContent presents techniques that have improved well productivity in achallenging reservoir’s architecture. In such fields, sandface completiondesign can be the most important lever to unlock reserves and so enablecommercial field developments.  

           Optimization of Well Performance in a Selective Subsea Sand-ControlCompletion, Offshore Nigeria provides a second example of understandingwell productivity problems and delivering improvements to commercial value andHSE performance.  

            MarcoPolo Tension Leg Platform: Deepwater Completion Performance presents avariety of best practice activities in the delivery of deepwatercompletions.

            Iencourage you to digest the one or two papers that most interest you, thinkabout how the information might improve the efficiency of your business, anduse the spe.org online discussion forum to ask the authors for anyclarifications or further details. As always, comments are welcome;John.mason2@bp.com.