Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - drilling

Aker on Managed Pressure Operations

January 5, 2015

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When Aker Solutions acquired Managed Pressure Operations in 2013, it became a provider of next generation continuous circulation and managed pressure drilling (MPD) systems, which has become a critical component to the drilling process going into the future. MPD systems have proven to be reliable, enabling maximum up time and significant cost savings and has been labeled of strategic importance for pre-salt drilling by Brazilian operator Petrobras, which uses MPD systems developed by Weatherford, which was the company that first introduced large scale use of the system to the industry. The MPD system being introduced by Aker/MPO is fully automated and simple to operate, needing few people to run the equipment.

Managed Pressure Drilling for Brazil’s Pre-salt

November 6, 2014

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The definition of MPD recently adopted by the IADC Underbalanced Operations and Managed Pressure Committee states that: “Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) is an adaptive drilling process used to precisely control the annular pressure profile throughout the wellbore. According to drilling specialists, bottomhole pressure is normally maintained above pore pressure by controlling the density of the drilling fluid. When density gets too high, the formation begins to absorb the fluid and the fluid density needs to be adjusted. Casing must be run to isolate the open hole before drilling can continue. The common objective of all currently known managed pressure drilling techniques is to stretch or eliminate casing points to allow drilling beyond conventional limits of depth or pressure variation.

Remote Deepwater Coring and Sampling – Part 1

August 28, 2014

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Compact remote methods of seabed geotechnical drilling, coring and sampling are being developed for deepwater operations and at the forefront of lightweight remote Geothechnical drilling are ROV systems combined to small drilling systems. Two companies, Forum Energy Technologies and Helix Energy Solutions, are leading the way in this technology. Forum Energy Technologies has been successfully employing its Rovdrill™ 3 system worldwide. This is Forum’s third generation Rovdrill system and it is where we will begin to look at the intricacies of these remote subsea coring and sampling systems. The advantages of taking the coring/sampling rig to the seabed are obvious, both from a technical and economic standpoint.

Future Trends – Automated Drilling

July 15, 2014

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Some interesting trends are developing within the O & G industry, one of which is the trend towards increasingly automated drilling. Since the early stages of onshore and offshore drilling, the act of drilling itself has been undertaken as a hands-on job by specialized workers, along the last decade this has begun to change with the introduction of autonomous computer-controlled drilling operations, also known as drilling automation. Oil and Gas operators are developing technologies which they hope will allow drilling operations to be automated, consequently meeting their safety goal of zero people hurt on the job and also reducing drilling operation costs.

Advanced Drilling Technology: Mapping-While-Drilling

May 30, 2014

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Oil and Gas drilling teams usually contend with tight schedules for project developments and this may eventually lead to low quality plans and limited risk assessment, which may cause expensive and potentially dangerous drilling problems, such as, stuck pipes, violent kicks, unproductive time and cost overruns. The introduction of Schlumberger’s reservoir mapping-while-drilling service is enabling drillers to make better decisions in short timeframes and avoid costly mistakes. For the operators, the main benefits from the effective well placement may be maximized production, minimized construction and intervention costs. The process of well placements brings together many different disciplines…

Potential Environmental Consequences of Deep Sea Mining

May 12, 2014

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In order for deep sea mining to be safely implemented, it is necessary to ensure the protection of sensitive ecosystems and minimize the potential environmental impact of the mining operations. Hydrothermal vents are the primary source for deep sea minerals. The magma below these vents heats the surrounding seawater, which causes metals within the sediment to leach into the water. The subsequent shock of the cold water causes the metals to precipitate and form as solids in the sediment surrounding the vents. Because of these high concentrations, most deep sea mining would occur in the chimneys above the vents. The vents themselves would be preserved undamaged, but the chimneys would be destroyed in order to mine the metals encrusted on them.

Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials in the O&G industry

March 16, 2014

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Nuvia is one of the leading provider of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) management services in the UK. According to the U.S. Geologists have recognized their presence since the early 1930s and use their presence as a method for finding petroleum systems. Much of the petroleum in the earth's crust was created at the site of ancients seas by the decay of sea life. As a result, petroleum deposits often occur in aquifers containing brine (salt water). Radionuclides, along with other minerals that are dissolved in the brine, precipitate (separate and settle) out forming various wastes at the surface, such as mineneral scales inside drilling and production pipe, sludges, contaminated equipment or components and produced waters.

Research Drilling Proposals for the Brazilian Equatorial Margin

February 3, 2014

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A NSF-sponsored workshop will be held in the coastal town of Maresias, São Paulo, Brazil, from the 4th to the 6th of February 2014, to discuss, plan and define the conceptual basis for developing an International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Drilling Proposal to investigate the Brazilian Equatorial Margin. b) The opening and expansion of the South Atlantic Ocean. The Brazilian Equatorial Margin (BEM) is a passive, stable margin at equatorial latitudes characterized by continuous sedimentary sequences divided among a series of basins. These basins contain a unique record of regional tectonic, biotic, and climatic events from the end of the early Cretaceous to present.

Falkland Islands O&G Exploration

January 17, 2014

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Rockhopper Exploration discovered up to 1.4 billion barrels boe in its Sea Lion prospect in the North Falkland Basin during the spring of 2011. In 2012 disappointment set in with many dry wells and only Borders & Southern Petroleum finding an estimated 190 million barrels of condensates in the South Falkland Basin. In 2013 exploration was basically halted while seimic surveys continued. There were two 3D seismic campaigns in the South Falkland Basin and the start of a third. 2013 also saw FOGL and Desire Petroleum plc merge, which has resulting in a larger company with a budget of $275 million for exploration. The major focus in 2014 will be on the Sea Lion discovery in the North Falkland Basin.

Efficient Drill Bits for the Pre-salt

July 23, 2013

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The expression "pre-salt" refers to an aggregation of rocks located offshore along large portions of the Brazilian and West African coasts, it forms a carbonate rock interval that ranges under an extensive layer of salt which, in certain areas of the Brazilian coast, can be as much as 2,000 meters thick. The total depth of these rocks formations, or the distance between the surface of the sea and the oil reservoirs under the salt layer, can be as much as 7,000 meters. Drilling in the pre-salt is extremely complex and may require multiple trips being made by the drill bit in order to drill short lengths due to different rock layers with varying degrees of hardness. Another challenge is that the salt is very corrosive and is also plastic, as you drill down, it tends to close the well walls.

Environmental Risks of Drilling the Brazilian Equatorial Margin

June 18, 2013

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With the 11th round of tendering for O&G block in Brazil set to start next week, it is important to look at some of the serious risks involved in drilling for O&G in Brazil’s Equatorial Margin. Most of the offshore blocks being tendered in this 11th round of bidding are located along Brazil’s northeast and north coasts. This, according to the Brazilian government, is being done in order to de-centralize O&G production in Brazil, where most of the oil and gas E&P is done along the southeast coast, basically centered off the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo. This is all well and good, when considering the need to redistribute O&G wealth to other parts of the country…

JIP Collapse Assessment of Offshore Pipelines with D/t < 15

June 15, 2013

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Based on project experience, research, and joint industry development work, DNV issues a number of pipeline codes. These comprise service specifications, standards and recommended practices, and are highly regarded within the international pipeline community. The DNV OS-F101 ‘Offshore Standard for Submarine Pipeline Systems’ provides acceptance criteria and design procedures for pipelines. The standard applies modern limit-state-design principles with ‘safety classes’ linked to consequences of failure. The DNV standard is complemented by several recommended practices (RPs), which give detailed advice on how to analyze specific technical aspects according to stated criteria.

Currents in Brazil’s far North Stop Drilling

June 18, 2013

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Brazilian national operator Petrobras had a scare with one of its drilling rigs off the coast of the state of Amapé, the northernmost state in Brazil, where the mouth of the Amazon River is located. Although the drilling rig did not completely loose from its mooring anchors, it did tip to one side in such a way that Petrobras was forced to abandon the well. This accident occurred in December 2012 but as yet the well continues plugged. With this development Petrobras was forced to ask the national O&G regulator ANP (National Petroleum Agency) for a longer deadline to be approved for its exploratory plan in the block located at the Amapá coast, in order to better study the very strong currents that occur in this region.

Shallow Water Pre-salt Discovery to Spark More Driiling

June 18, 2013

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The recente Discovery of a shallow water pre-salt reservoir by Brazilian private operator OGX has definitely raised a few eye brows. This novelty is a first in Brazil as up to now all other pre-salt reservoirs have been found in ultradeep waters off the Brazilian coast and usually very far from the coast. This new discovery which is located in BM-S-57 Block, in the Santos Basin and is less than half the distance from the mainland as other pre-salt finds in the Santos Basin, exactly 102 km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The wellhead is only 155 meters deep and the well was drilled down to 6,135 meters, which is the normal depth where pre-salt reservoirs are expected to be found.

VAM Drilling opens new mill targeting pre-salt

June 16, 2013

VAM Drilling is a company belonging to the French drilling pipe manufacturer Valourec. The new VAM Drilling mill will be located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, adjacent to already existing Valourec & Mannesmann (V&M do Brasil) steel production and pipe rolling plant. With this the company expects to be able to respond more rapidly and efficiently to its customers in South America, lowering logistics costs and reducing the production time. Accortding to Hector Arevalo VP of South American sales for V&M do Brasil “Because of the local steel production and pipe rolling capabilities of V&M do Brasil, the new mill will be able to provide full capabilities.

Brasil Supply offering Integrated Solutions for the O&G Industry in Brazil

June 16, 2013

Brasil Supply was launched in 2002 to provide logistics services to offshore operations, technical services of oil, water and gas treatment fluids, and environmental services for the oil and gas industry. Their headquarters is located in the State of Espirito Santo, based in the cities of Anchieta and Cariacica, and they also have offices in the State of Rio de Janeiro, in cities of Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro, and Duque de Caxias. Further south, they also operate in the city of Itajaí, in the State of Santa Catarina, and are developing a significant operation in the Northeast of the country, in association with other major service providers.

The Cost of Deepwater E&P

September 27, 2010

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This cost isn´t only in equipment and manpower, it´s in lives, human and animal and destroyed ecosystems which will take at least a decade to recuperate. Safety must always come first. Even with the most reliable equipment and redundancy, there will always be the human factor. Nothing like a full on environmental tragedy to make for a vital attitude change: Safety first, and then all the profit scene. We all know now, that there is no infallible safety measure, well not man proof anyway. Pressure seems to be a wee bit of a problem too. Like the old saying goes: You only knows, when it blows! Well now we know, don´t we? This is the worst case scenario and it could not be correctly simulated.

Pre-salt - Technological Challenges

May 21, 2010

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Although not considered a major challenge by Petrobras, drilling two thousand meters below the water line, through about three thousand meters of sediments, and through two thousand meters of salt is done at the frontiers of technology.Drilling at a depth of two thousand meters is not a problem. Petrobras already has several wells at this depth, in Brazil and in the Gulf of Mexico, and produces at 1,886 meters in the Campos Basin, a mark that was once the world record (Shell currently holds the record, at more than two thousand meters from the water line in the Gulf of Mexico). The biggest challenge is the layer of salt, which, under high pressure and at high temperatures…

Halliburton-Sperry Drilling Solutions for Optimizing Drilling Efficiency

April 22, 2010

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Sperry Drilling is a Halliburton brand which has a long history in the O&G drilling market and is an acknowledged global leader in groundbreaking technologies, such as MWD/LWD, multilateral drilling, and real-time applications.Sperry Drilling is leading the industry in drilling wells faster, safer and more accurately. They optimize drilling efficiency through increasing rate of penetration and lowering non-productive time. They place wells precisely to maximize reservoir drainage, real-time operations are core to deliver, from remotely operating rigs to consultant solutions. For more than 75 years, Sperry Drilling has been delivering high-quality drilling and geological services critical to safe and efficient drilling operations.

The OGX Exploratory Campaign Maintains Its High Success Rate

March 16, 2010

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OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A., the largest Brazilian private sector oil and gas company in terms of offshore exploratory acreage, announced today that it has completed the drilling of well 1-OGX-5-RJS, located in block BM-C-43, in the shallow waters of the southern part of the Campos Basin. OGX holds a 100% working interest in this block. The well OGX-5 was drilled to a depth of 4,100 meters, resulting in the detection of hydrocarbons in carbonate reservoirs in the Albian and Aptian sections. Cable tests performed after the conclusion of drilling also identified an oil-bearing column in the Maastrichtian section, from which oil samples were collected.