Category Archives: Blog
Spotlight on HXR’s Geomechanics Team
We at HXR have been staying busy during the current slowdown in drilling activity by continuing to build up our Geomechanics Team, composed of pre-drill and real-time pore pressure, fracture gradient and wellbore stability experts. We have 10 Geomechanics Consultants and 3 Senior Technical Advisors, and we partner with specialized companies, on an as-needed basis to solve unique reservoir problems for our customers. Combined, our team has nearly 200 years of industry experience in various areas around the globe, including the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, the North Sea and the Middle East.
Good drilling practices alone won’t save wells experiencing collapse issues, but creating accurate Geomechanics models, and continuously upgrading those models, will.
Regardless of where in the world a client’s drilling operations are, it is critical to design a drilling program that matches the rock. That’s seems pretty simple, but the truth of it is, it is not uncommon for some operators to plan their drill sites solely off of topography, and not off of downhole rock mechanics. That is not an indictment of the drilling team – in many cases, they get handed the location and are forced to begin planning wells before the geomechanics studies are even complete, and by the time they are, they are so far down the road with AFE’s and site plans and even roads, they really can’t back out and move the pad two miles in the opposite direction. They are forced to drill at whatever angle and azimuth will hit the target.
In a Downturn Market….
In today’s market of ultra-low oil prices, if you are still drilling, optimization of your drilling program should be/could be your missing link. We are now in a time of uncertainty that is setting records, and they aren’t good records. Rig counts are at all-time lows. If you are one of the few brave companies gutting it out during the slump and still drilling ahead, you are faced with some difficult decisions. Where do I cut cost? What cost can I cut without sacrificing performance? Do we even continue the drilling program? One option that few companies even ponder is spending money! How can you safely spend money and take on a new addition to overhead in such a market? Honestly, it’s quite simple. You should be focused and or have someone solely focused on drilling optimization from head to toe.
Since the last issue of ERD Magazine, our friends at OPEC have started making some very subtle noises that they may be just about done trying to bankrupt themselves (and everyone else in the process…), and IF that is the case, it may be time for our clients to dust off all of those projects that have been on a shelf since the end of 2014, and take another look at them. I can’t speak for everyone in the Horizontal/ERD, wellbore stability/geomechanics or deepwater drilling fraternities, but I can say that many of us aren’t expecting too much for the remainder of the year; maybe Q4(?). If we do get back to drilling, who’s going to actually do it? We’ve laid off half of Houston, it seems, and I’m hearing Aberdeen isn’t much better off… I know I’ve had to lay off, folks – nothing for it, to be honest. Luckily, they were top-notch ERD hands, and were able to, unbelievably, find something IN THE INDUSTRY, when many others were cleaning out their desks and lockers. Can I get them back? I sure hope so; those are going to be some tough phone calls… Maybe we’re about to get back at it.
What are the Key Components to a Successful Agitator Run?
In a time of low oil prices, it doesn’t always make economic sense to some operators to run a rotary steerable system, as beneficial as they can be in terms of smoother wellbores and higher sustained ROP. Many clients turn to straightforward “motor and mwd” systems, and find they are cost effective, reliable, and provide sufficient quality wellbores for their casing programs. The issue becomes what are the limits, in terms of trajectory complexity and step-out, that an agitator can be used, and how do you judge the effectiveness of the tool?
HXR’s Drilling Specialists use a graphical method to measure agitator efficiency and placement. What some may not know is that there is a fairly small input window in which your agitator is working at peak performance. The window of opportunity for optimization gets smaller each time one of the key components change. Here are the key components to a successful agitator run:
Wellbore Stability and Horizontal Stresses
“I paid to send the entire crew to a 5-day ERD practices class, had an engineering study done, and put ERD hands on my rig — and I still got stuck!”
Maybe you have another problem, one that conventional ERD companies don’t address…
HXR Drilling Services’ Geomechanics Division provides solutions for wellbore stability uncertainties. Instability issues can be avoided by developing a geomechanical model based on data collected from regional offset wells using JewelSuite™, a 1D and 3D subsurface modeling platform. JewelSuite™ modular software platform is made up of PressCheck™ and WellCheck™, and is commonly used with another stress modeling program, call SFIB™. One essential function of the geomechanical model is to define stresses to avoid instability issues. This allows drilling personnel to develop a sound drill plan with the best mud weights, drill trajectory, and casing design.
Crucial in drilling trouble-free wells
Q: What does the model say the answer is?
A: What do you want it to be?
Remember that one time you put together a wellbore model, ran it, and found that SPP, ECD, Hookload and Torque matched the actual values your rig team reported to you later on that day exactly?
Yeah, I don’t remember that ever happening either.
When designing a well, particularly when modeling Torque, Drag, Hydraulics, and Swab/Surge, we use the best inputs available. Proposed BHA’s straight from the DD coordinator, pilot-tested mud properties for the additives desired, pipe spec sheets right from the vendor themselves. We put it all together, and it doesn’t match the actual values.
It’s not supposed to – models are made to be calibrated.
Welcome to the second edition of ERD Magazine!
Things are really tough out there, folks. REALLY tough. There are many smaller companies going out of business, particularly in the drilling service sector. That’s bad for a lot of reasons, but the main ones, in my opinion, are the lack of innovation and the loss of experience that will result from only the “big guys” surviving the downturn. Smaller companies tend to lead the way in innovation; it’s the larger companies that are masters at scaling it up and mass-marketing. That wouldn’t be possible without the smaller outfits doing it first (if there is one thing a large service company is good at, it’s maintaining the status quo for as long as humanly possible, or until their clients threaten to run them off, whichever comes first…). I’d like to talk about some of the ways HXR is surviving the downturn; maybe some colleagues who are in the same boat as we are will read this, and at least give it some thought. Maybe it will help?
The Key to Deliverables
Understanding the company’s drilling project development process is key to developing a timeline and outlining the necessary deliverables. There are many different drilling project management structures that are employed by various operators that are more or less stringent depending upon the operator’s management structure and size, geologic probability of success or experience in the region. Additionally, understanding the state at which the process is currently in plays a large role. Is the drilling project fully handed over from exploration or is it in the beginning stages of defining the exploration goals to potentially move to a future development? Also, understanding if the drilling project is fast tracked, schedule driven or cost driven are extremely important when developing an execution schedule.
Identifying Drilling Project Goals
Prior to beginning the design process the goals of the development must be defined. Aside from the obvious goal of maximizing production, the full field intent of the wells and their purpose must be identified. This is highly dependent on reservoir type and quality and will dictate the design, completion option/s selected and future field operations.