Bit Technology and Bottomhole Assembly

In previous editions of this feature, I highlighted the industry’s need for capability improvement in applied drilling optimization and we have discussed the gaps in people (knowledge), process (workflows), and equipment or technology that remain to be closed before true drilling optimization can be said to be occurring. Again this year, I have selected papers that either do or potentially can take us closer to that goal. We can see from these excellent publications that progress continues to be made.

However, there are plenty of factors and trends in our industry that can make drilling optimization difficult to achieve. Do we even have time to optimize, or do we have time only for execution of repetitive plans? Is our operation so remote that other priorities and constraints dictate what we can do? Has our workforce become so affected by decreasing levels of experience that we do not even know what to look for? Is our company so small that other, bigger organizations take up the industry’s optimization efforts?

These are legitimate difficulties, of course, meaning that any optimization effort is going to have to survive the challenge of prioritization. And who decides priorities? Our leaders, of course.

So this article, this time, is focused on the leaders who decide where our priorities lie and, hence, how our operations are being managed. We are going to put some questions out there that may help those leaders to see the optimization opportunity.

  1. Is rate of penetration in your operations below limits imposed by the capacity of the rig?
  2. Is your operation plagued by trip time for worn-out bits or drillstring or downhole-tool failures?
  3. In your operations, is the time spent drilling and tripping for the reasons in Question 2 a meaningful portion of your total well time?

If the answer is “yes” to at least two of these questions, think about this next step: Is your team supported by an impressive combination of gurus, working processes, and technology that is determinedly focused on changing those “yeses” to “nos?”

The thinking is this: If we rigorously assess our optimization capability, how much capability can we really claim to have? And is that enough, given the potential prize from doing better? Of course, judging what “good” looks like is often subjective, but, for us readers, SPE’s excellent archive of technical papers can help us decide.

So, while we celebrate the steps forward described by the papers in this feature, and while we enjoy the continued contribution that SPE makes to development and dissemination of technology and best practices, when we turn back to our own activities and operations, let us ask, “Have we really got the capability we need?” And perhaps, just perhaps, the revelations that may come from such self-assessment will provide added impetus toward truly optimized drilling performance.

This Month's Technical Papers

Torsional Dynamics and Point-the-Bit Rotary-Steerable Systems

A Geosteering Success Story From the North Sea

Unconventional Polycrystalline-Diamond-Bit Design Allows Significant Performance Gains

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 156136 Structured Mentoring: A Critical Component of a Global Talent-Management Strategy by Meta Rousseau, Baker Hughes

SPE 164365 Filling the Experience Gap in the Drilling-Optimization Continuous-Improvement Cycle Through a Self-Learning Expert System by Cliff Kirby, Baker Hughes, et al.

SPE 159948 Using Equipment Simulators for Effective Training, Increasing Competence in Well-Services Operations by Anthony Celano, Baker Hughes, et al.

SPE 164993 Virtual Reality as Effective Tool for Training and Decision Making: Preliminary Results of Experiments Performed With a Plant Simulatorby S. Colombo, Politecnico di Milano, et al.

Martyn Fear, SPE, is vice president of drilling and completions for Husky Energy’s Atlantic Region, Canada. He holds a BS degree in geological sciences from the University of Birmingham, England. Fear has more than 25 years of experience in drilling optimization and operations management across a wide variety of international locations and serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

Bit Technology and Bottomhole Assembly

Martyn Fear, SPE, Vice President, Drilling and Completions, Husky Energy

01 December 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 12



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