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Improved Drilling Efficiencies Using Offline Cementing Saves Time, Reduces Costs

Drilling in the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania has evolved since its inception. Operators have shifted their focus from mere wellbore delivery to delivering wells in the shortest amount of time to reduce risks and costs and drive efficiency. The complete paper presents a case study in which offline cementing improved operational efficiency by reducing drilling times and provided significant cost savings.

Introduction

For decades, the focus during drilling operations has been on achieving faster rate of penetration (ROP) and drilling time to reduce well costs. However, the significance of ROP improvement accounts for less than 25% of the full well-construction cycle. Many areas with possible efficiency gains have yet to be explored within the cycle.

When an operator began making plans to switch from traditional drilling (top-down drilling of surface through production sections, per well) to batch-set drilling (drilling all surface sections, followed by all intermediate sections, then all production sections), the service company proposed the offline cementing method as a cost-saving and efficiency-conscious measure.

Theory and Definitions

The concept of offline cementing itself is quite simple: The openhole section is drilled, and casing is run to total measured depth and hung in the wellhead. Then, the rig skids to the next well, begins rigging up, and drills the next openhole section. While the rig is preparing on the next well, the cement-service provider can perform operations on the previously drilled or cased well section.

Risks with this type of operation were assessed during pre-job planning. Multiple risk assessments were conducted on location before the onset of operations, and a job-site analysis (JSA) was also completed.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 196600, “Improved Drilling Efficiencies Using Offline Cementing Saves Days on Well and Reduces Costs,” by Samuel Van Meter, SPE, and Kristin Kutchak, SPE, Halliburton, and Habib Guerrero, SPE, Inflection Energy, prepared for the 2019 SPE Eastern Regional Meeting, Charleston, West Virginia, 15–17 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Improved Drilling Efficiencies Using Offline Cementing Saves Time, Reduces Costs

01 May 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 5

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