SPE Online Education
The drilling community are benefactors of fantastic technology waves that revolutionize how hydrocarbons are brought to society. Over the years, some tremendous step-changes have completely altered drilling and production strategies. Think about a few….. the Kelly rig….oh wait, the topdrive! Mud motors….. the bent sub, the adjustable bend motor, rotary steerable systems……motor driven rotary steerable systems! Milled tooth bits…..insert bits…..PDC bits…..steerable PDC bits……hybrid bits…..geometrical cutters on PCD bits! The list goes on, and clearly these evolutions are paradigm shifts. Others, however, never quite reach their promise. Coiled tubing drilling, expandable casing, casing while drilling, 6 levels of multi-lateral technology that only subject matter experts can keep straight…….
What differentiates the winners from the others? Certainly, the math answers this question for most – dollars per foot. A quick run on the economics of the project and you realize why some made it and others struggle. If you dissect this question a bit more, you’ll realize the answer may lie in the beholder of who holds the calculator. The drilling engineer can easily weigh the cost-benefit analysis against an AFE. Some of these technologies deliver benefits that reach beyond the drilling engineer’s budget, though. Reservoir contact, production improvement, well assurance over the life of the well…..these are more difficult equations to solve. Elimination of trouble is one specific equation that fits squarely in the advanced math category, a place where some bright technologies go to die….
This discussion will take a close look at Managed Pressure Drilling in the context of Winner or Also Ran. For those new to MPD, a brief overview will allow everyone to be on a common page. Deployment on land, offshore and deepwater will be discussed, with case studies of why it was deployed and if the objective was achieved. Further, each case will also interrogate additional benefits that surpassed expectations. Analysis of MPD failures will also be discussed, so the argument is balanced. On conclusion, the audience will be able to assess for themselves…..is MPD a winner? And if not, why not?
Mr. Dow, BSc Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada, 1993, skipped his graduation ceremony and joined Anadrill in Western Canada as an MWD engineer. In 1994 he started directional drilling. Good fortunes presented an opportunity to work in the Norwegian and Dutch North Sea for a year, preparing him for offshore Eastern Canada, where he spent 3 years on the Hibernia Platform. After his field career, he’s focused his attention on client drilling challenges in many different capacities with Schlumberger. The past 8 years, he’s focused his attention on MPD engineering, applications and technology development. He’s been actively involved in SPE and IADC for the past 10 years, writing papers, serving on committees, and sharing ideas with passionate drillers.
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