April 14, 2012
Advanced Search
Home / Issue Archive / 2012 / February #2 / Industry Turnaround Sees Drilling Rise in 2012

№ 2 (February 2012)

Industry Turnaround Sees Drilling Rise in 2012

   The results of the 2011 oil and gas production have been summed up, and some experts believe that 2011 will enter the national history of hydrocarbon production as the year of the industry revival.

By Antonina Petrova

Share it!

   According to the Central Dispatching Department of the Fuel and Energy Complex (CDD FEC), oil and gas condensate production amounted to 511.4 million tons and gas production – 670.5 billion cubic meters, accounting for production increase by 1.23 percent and 3.1 percent respectively as compared to 2010.

   According to the 2010 and 2011 results, it can be concluded that the oil and gas industry has fully recovered from the crisis and for the first time in the past 20 years has overcome the barrier of oil production at 500 million tons per year, ranking first in the world (Russia ceded her leadership in gas production to the U.S. in 2009). There is no doubt that these achievements are directly related to the stable growth of prices on global markets, and act as an incentive for producers.

   As for the construction of well sites, a significant increase can be noted (by 8 to 10 percent). At the same time, meterage drilled has been constantly rising in almost every Russian drilling company approx. by 5 to 10 percent, i.e. the development drilling is being stepped up. One should take into account the worn-out state of the existing fleet of drilling rigs (30 ÷ 70 percent), built back in the Soviet times, which have to be replaced.

   However, no such growth is observed in the exploration drilling, which can be easily explained as there are some risks in place. Despite this, the depletion of long producing fields has led to the development of new ones, which requires an increase in the drilling technology, including the ability to operate in extreme conditions on the Russian shelf, which development is increasingly becoming more urgent.

Major Companies Momentum

   The operating meterage in 2010 grew by 17.2 percent to 16.5 million meters (greater than the pre-crisis value) throughout the Russian Federation. A distinctive leader in terms of drilling volumes is Surgutneftegaz, which increased its oil production through the active drilling. Other companies from the “Big Five”, i.e. Rosneft, LUKOIL, Gazprom Neft and TNK-BP are lagging behind Surgutneftegaz.

   According to Surgutneftegaz, its oil production volume in 2011 totaled 60.8 million tons, which is a 2.1 percent increase to 2010. The company’s production has declined due to depletion of its oil fields in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District since 2006.

   They succeeded in compensation for the decline in production in traditional areas through the development of new deposits in Yakutia, namely Talakansky and Alinsky fields. Their production in 2011 grew by 62 percent, up to 5.4 million tones, supported by a reduced decline rate at the old fields – only 1.5 percent in 2011.

   Production has been boosted through the active drilling. Surgutneftegas has accounted for almost a quarter of new operating wells in Russia. According to a report, in 2011 the company drilled a total of 1,403 oil wells, which is 7.5 percent more than in 2010.

   The use of advanced technologies and modern equipment allows the company to maintain its high drilling volumes.

   Gazprom Burenie Company has also made ​​significant strides in 2011. As Vadim Mnatsakanov, Chief Engineer and Deputy Director General noted, in 2011 drilling progress grew over the last year by 16 percent to 559.7 thousand cu. m of rock: 464.2 thousand meters in production drilling, 78.9 thousand meters in exploration drilling, 77 thousand meters in the drilling to recover wells by sidetracking, 5.1 thousand meters in the drilling for field development.

   The construction of 116 operating and 26 exploratory wells is finished; 93 wells were completed by drilling as well as 12 wells recovered by sidetracking. Based on the results of exploration drilling, more than 100 sites have been tested, of which 43 gave the inflow of hydrocarbons.

   The most significant achievements of the company include:
– Works began at Prirazlomnoye oil field with a unique ice-resistant platform in the Pechora Sea.
– The deep drilling company (DDC) of the Krasnodar Burenie branch has successfully developed the fields and sites located in East Siberia and the Far East. The Kamchatka DDC has finished drilling activities at the Nizhne-Kvakchikskoye field.
– The annual target for the construction of operating wells at Bovanenkovo ​​OGCF completed ahead of time with 93 operating wells finished by drilling, and 165.1 thousand cubic meters  of rocks drilled.
– A twofold increase in the meterage drilled at the Chayanda field in Yakutia.
The achievements should also include the testing of new drilling with casings technology at the Bovanenkovo OGCF, performed by the Ukhta Drilling branch of Gazprom Burenie.

   According to Vadim Mnatsakanov, an important decision was to approve the new strategy of Gazprom Burenie to diversify its customer base and expand the order portfolio by 40 percent, according to which the company plans to increase the amount of work for Gazprom within the next three years, and to attract commercial enterprises not related to the company’s structure for cooperation as well.

   In 2011, Gazprom Burenie became the general contractor for Gazprom Neft Shelf to construct the well sites at Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea and started the process of drilling off the Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil platform.

   As far as equipment is concerned, a program of technical re-equipment of Gazprom Burenie was implemented over the past few years, in which the company had updated its drilling equipment inventory.

   The company currently uses a high-tech equipment from different companies, in particular: Uralmash-BO plant, Volgograd Drilling Equipment Plant, Bentec (Germany), Romania-made cementing systems, as well as equipment manufactured by Stankotehnika, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Chancellor, Reed Haykalog, Varell, Security DBS, King Dream, Weatherford, Halliburton, Volgaburmash, TYAZHPRESSMASH, etc.

Offshore Drilling

   A special mention deserve activities aimed at the design and construction of drilling rigs for the Russian Arctic shelf, the Sakhalin shelf, which hold a special place in the drilling. The Severodvinsk-based Sevmash has built and delivered the Prirazlomnoye ice-resistant platform to the field bearing the same name and located in the Pechora Sea.

   Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center held sea trials of the Arkticheskaya floating drilling rig. Severodvinsk companies already have experience in this type of equipment for oil and gas industry, and they are ready to continue such work.
Modern offshore platforms are designed to operate in the harsh climate the year round. They can successfully resist the ice load, waves pressure, and can even withstand an earthquake. They perform drilling operations, producing and processing the hydrocarbons. In essence, these are self-contained fully automated manufacturing facilities with own infrastructure and fleet, including the supply ships.

   The Arkticheskaya floating jackup drilling rig was designed for drilling of operating and exploration wells for oil and gas on the shelf of the Arctic and other seas. The platform has been upgraded, and now it can explore at depths of about 100 meters.

   The depth of the wells can reach the 6.5-kilometer mark. Arkticheskaya is the first exploratory offshore drilling rigs, designed to work in harsh northern conditions. This is the only platform that can operate at ambient temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius.

   It must drill wells in the Kara Sea aquatorium. But it can run on virtually any shelf in the world. Under the plan, the rig is to load 6 million of clean and free of impurities oil to the oil-carriers. According to a field development program, the field will have 40 well sites. Prirazlomnaya will be followed by the Arkticheskaya offshore jackup rig.

   The Arkticheskaya rig was built not on the water, but in the shops of the Zvezdochka plant. No project like this had been carried out in Russia before.
It is worth looking at the platform design stage. It certainly was a big problem. Suffice it to say that the project was fundamentally changed five times. The platform architecture, its systems and units underwent major reshaping.
According to the standards, the life of the Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant fixed platform is 25 years. But most experts believe that the basis design, the caisson with the five meter-thick walls are so strong that they can ensure the rig operation for a much longer time.

   The ice-resistant platform is able to carry on drilling operations, and operate approximately 40 wells; it may produce, store and later ship oil to the tankers, and self-generate electricity. At its core, it is a multifunctional complex, which ensures performance of all operations on the development of hydrocarbon field, which oil reserves make up about 46 million tons.

   Roman Trotsenko, President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, said at a news conference: “The overall plans of home companies to develop the continental shelf just for the next ten years provide for the construction of more than 20 platforms, about 100 ships and boats for the ongoing work on the shelf and at least 30 LNG carriers.

   The RF-scheduled start of commercial use of the Northern Sea Route drives the demand for such arctic vessels still higher. According to the Russian Government decision, the USC enterprises are the main ship performers of this truly gigantic program.

   The integration in the Russian oil and gas industry is also due to the favorable geographical position of our companies: there is a direct access to the White Sea, as well as proximity to hydrocarbon deposits of the Arctic.”

   Head of the Geology and Mining Department of Gazprom Dobycha Shelf Sergei Chigai said at the Russia Offshore 2011 Conference that Gazprom had plans to put Kirinskoye field on the Sakhalin shelf into development in 2012. According to Chigai, in 2011 the company planned to start drilling at Kirinskoye field to put the field into development in 2012. Chigai also mentioned that Kirinskoye field involved a lot of research with exploration wells drilled. He said that six production wells were planned for the Kirinskoye field.

   Malachite SPMBM has been engaged in development projects for the offshore facilities in the interests of the oil and gas companies since 1989.

   Malachite designed and built the Tazovskaya drilling depot ship as part of the Obsky-1 floating drilling side.

   Obsky-1 FDS is designed to drill the exploratory gas wells up to 2,500 meters depth in the ice-free months at the extreme shallow water (depths to 10 meters) of the Kara Sea shelf (Ob’ and Taz Bays).

   In addition to the drilling depot ship, the FDS includes yet another non-propelled vessel, the Obskaya floating submersible drilling rig (FSDR).
The drilling depot ship is a non-propelled vessel of the technical fleet designed to operate in the “M” category aquatoria featuring the ice-reinforced hull, topsides, warehouses, equipment and systems that ensure the functioning of the rig and staff residence.

   The drilling depot ship and FSDR have independent power systems, which can be combined by means of a communication bridge, while performing drilling operations. The Tazovskaya DDS was commissioned in 2006.

New Drilling Rig for EDC

      A presentation of the Uralmash 5000/320 EK-BMCH rig made by Uralmash NGO Holding for Eurasia Drilling Company took place at the Tevlinsko-Russkinskoye field in early December 2011.

   During the presentation, the customer representatives noted the advantages of the new installation: easy assembly and less weight, when compared with German and Chinese counterparts.

   The Uralmash 5000/320 EK-BMCH rig at Lease 12 of the Tevlinsko-Russkinskoye field was put into operation on Nov. 23, 2011. On Dec. 2, a standpipe was lowered and cemented at the bottom-hole 760-meter deep.
The Tevlinsko-Russkinskoye field is located in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District, 88 kilometers north of Surgut and is the largest deposit of NK LUKOIL in terms of crude production with oil reserves estimated at 1.5 billion tons.
Rig Shipment Started For Eriell Neftegaz Service

   In December 2011 the Uralmash NGO Holding branch began delivery of Uralmash 5000/320 drilling rig with 320 tons load capacity made for the Eriell Neftegaz Service. The rig will be used at the South Petiyegskoye field in the Uvat District of the Tyumen region.

   Work on the first equipment package shipment is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2012. A total of three Uralmash 5000/320 EK-BMCH rigs have been manufactured under the contract with the customer. The first rig shipment will be immediately followed by the delivery of the second and third rig packages to Novy Urengoi. Shipments of all drilling rigs for the Eriell Neftegaz Service company are scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2012.

Evgeny Vlasovets, Vice President, Sales, Integra Group

   OGE: What was the meterage drilled dynamics in 2011? What influenced it?
Vlasovets: Meterage drilled metric in 2011 has moderately increased compared to 2010 and it was influenced by better market conditions, increasing demand from customers, industry recovering from the crisis.

   OGE:  In what regions did Integra perform its most challenging drilling projects?
Vlasovets: Integra is operating in each E&P region of Russia and some CIS countries and each one of them has specific challenges, for example in West Siberia the challenge is to be efficient and competitive while in some complex ERD projects the challenge is to plan, design and execute well construction process avoiding catastrophe on the well. Some regions like East Siberia are characterized as remote and logistically complex where you need to put more focus on mobilizations and project support structure.

   OGE:  What drilling technologies did the Company implement in 2011?
Vlasovets: In 2011 we tested and implemented a number of drilling technologies and each deserves a separate discussion, but in general words we now have gained unique experience of extreme ERD well construction, multilateral wells, HP/HT environment, deep sidetracking in vertical and deviated wells.

   OGE:  What were the Company’s most significant achievements in drilling in 2011?
Vlasovets: In 2011 we have completed several extremely complex ERD wells for one of our key customers. One of the wells was completed with 2-lateral horizontal drains utilizing level 3 completion technology, latest LWD and RSS services plus casing running techniques unique for the region. We have also completed drilling of deep HP/HT vertical exploration well for another key customer where we reached the MD of 6800m with inclination not exceeding 0.5 degrees and utilizing latest well construction technologies and equipment.

   OGE:  What drilling equipment (country of origin, manufacturer) is used in Integra?
Vlasovets: In Integra we are using different drilling equipment, of course mostly made in Russia but also we have fleet of heavy drilling rigs manufactured by a Romanian company, plus some mobile rigs made in China and Italy. I need to note that currently Integra is implementing its rig fleet modernization strategy/

   OGE:  What are the plans for 2012?
Vlasovets: The plan for 2012 is to grow our core businesses, increase meters drilled and operations performed metrics for key services we offer. In 2011 we have developed and started to implement company strategy for drilling rig fleet modernization and upgrade as well as adding new rigs. In 2012 we have to continue implementation of this strategy with constant monitoring of the market environment.

Victoria Chulkova, Assistant Chief, Drill Bit Service, BSK RINACO

OGE:  Can you tell me if there was any drilling meterage growth in 2011?
Chulkova: The drilling meterage supported by the Integrated Operations Service  (IOS) covering the bit service, downhole screw motors (DSM) and core sampling in the well site construction gained a positive momentum in 2011 as new projects had been launched across all areas of the company’s activities. The scope of bit service was more than 500,000 meters; the core sampling technology produced 6,700  meters of core, which is equal to 1.5 times the company’s total projected annual volume.

   OGE: In what regions has the company completed tdrilling projects?
Chulkova: In 2011, the company successfully provided the drill bit and DSM field services for well targeting in Krasnoyarsk Region. The core sampling involved the prospecting and appraisal wells located in the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions at up to 5,000 meters, both in the 215.9-mm-diameter and 139.7-mm-diameter wellbores. In the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District, BSK RINACO took core samples at the prospecting and appraisal wells using the downhole screw motors.

   OGE: What kind of drilling technologies did the company develop in 2011 and intends to introduce in 2012?
Chulkova: In 2011, BSC RINACO had a very active development and testing program for the new PDC drilling bits modifications in cooperation with a leading manufacturer from China, and this project will continue in 2012. In addition, some research was done to introduce the isolating core retrieval barrel technology built around the company’s standard barrels.

   OGE: What has been your greatest achievement in your drilling program for 2011?
Chulkova: BSK RINACO has successfully tested the KS and KSD drilling bit series currently in active development for directional and horizontal drilling. The bit designs were developed on the basis of the сustomer’s technical and manufacturing specifications and the accumulated experience of drilling in the geological factor of the Western Siberia.
The implemented well drilling programs based on the optimal selection of the KS-series PDC bit designs in conjunction with the DSM and integrated operations services have resulted in a significant increase in the average drilling rate and bit life during wells targeting in the Urals-Volga region.
As far as core sampling is concerned, BSK RINACO is pursuing a policy of import substitution, maintaining a strong partnership with the Russian manufacturers of the rock cutting tools, which has resulted in the increased drilling rate, cutter head durability, and a consistently high percentage of core recovery.

   OGE: Which drilling equipment manufacturers do you prefer?
Chulkova: We mainly use the bits made by KINGDREAM, China’s largest manufacturer of tools for the oil and gas industry.
Basic screw downhole motors used by the company include the motors manufactured by the Lilin Petroleum Machinery Co. Ltd, the largest DSM manufacturer in China. The equipment has been custom designed to operate in Russia’s weather conditions based on the recommendations of BSK RINACO.
Seventy percent of the of PDC drill head inventory is comprised of the tools made by the Russian manufacturers, namely NPP Burservis and NPP BURINTEKH, with whom we have cooperated for many years. The diamond impregnated tools are represented by the products from international companies, with whom our company has also cooperated aiming at continuous improvement of the tools performance.

   OGE: What are RINACO’s plans for 2012?
Chulkova: BSK RINACO has plans to expand the next-generation PDC bits application into new territories in conjunction with the new model types of the downhole screw motors. In addition, there are plans to deliver some technical development solutions to increase the core run during the core sampling, that is, using the multi-section barrel version, while maintaining a high percentage of core recovery and the low probability of complications such as stuck pipe.

Anatoly Karpov, General Director, Uralmash NGO Holding

   OGE: What 2011 projects are the most significant in your opinion? Did the company offer new drilling units for the Russian market?
Karpov: Uralmash implemented several large-scale projects: seven 320-ton drilling units for BK Eurasia, four 400-ton drilling units for Novatek, three drilling units for Rosneft and three drilling units for Eriell. Novatek project is particularly worth mentioning. The production of the first of four unique units that has no analogues in the world is at its closing stage. Tower drilling units, double container trains, fully covered from crown blocks to catwalks, and combined heating systems enable continuous low temperature operation in winter arctic conditions.

   OGE: What are your plans (orders) for 2012?
Karpov: We expect contracts for more than 30 complete drilling units to be finalized.

   OGE: What new engineering development works are performed by the company?
Karpov: We are developing new mobile, stationary, and multiple drilling units, boring pumps and rigs, circular systems, etc. We are working on new offshore equipment.

   OGE: What demand for drilling units do you expect in the nearest 5÷10 years? What design concepts are expected to prevail in future?
Kaprov: 250-450-ton train rigs for multiple drilling for arctic service with improved installation flexibility. The future belongs to drilling units with such features as extra mobility, minimal time required for field installation and disassembly, top drive, circular systems that enable use of oil-based fluids, four-five step treatment of boring fluids, efficient heating and sheltering, etc.

   OGE: What quality-improving measures are undertaken by your company?
Karpov: Quality audit procedures are performed at every level of the production of drilling equipment. Almost all drilling units manufactured by Uralmash NGO Holding undergo check assembly at site; then every operating unit is subject to acceptance procedures performed by the customer’s representatives.

   OGE: What are the upgrade rates for drilling units in Russia?
Karpov: Not bad. 60÷70 stationary and multiple drilling units are annually procured.

   OGE: How many drilling units are needed in the Russian market? How many are currently operated and where are they manufactured?
Karpov: Approximately 800 stationary and multiple drilling units are currently operated in Russia. Most of them are manufactured by Uralmash. 70÷75 new drilling units are annually required for the replacement of obsolescent machinery and the extension of existing drilling facilities.

Vadim Mnatsakanov, Deputy Director General, Chief Engineer, Gazprom Burenie

Bovanenkovo ​​OGCF Puts Weatherford Technology to Test

   In 2011, Ukhta Burenie, the branch of Gazprom Burenie,  tested a new drilling with casing technology on Bovanenkovskoye oil and gas-condensate field.
The principle of this method is drilling in Ø324 mm surface casing using Ø393.7 mm OD Defyer™ Drill Bit threaded on the first joint of casing. The bit blades are made ​​of titanium-aluminum alloy and equipped with the PDS cutters. Well drilling and casing operations are performed simultaneously without the need for drill pipes or any round-trip operations. The casing serves as a conduit for drilling mud circulation and as a means to transfer torque to the bit.
The new technology was tested with the use of Weatherford equipment. Now the new drilling method has already been applied on four wells of Bovanenkovskoye oil and gas-condensate field within the 0-450-meter interval when drilling in 324 mm surface casing string. The target depth for casing setting was achieved during the testing operations on well Nos. 6314, 6321. Drilling rate was maintained at design parameters.

   Based on the preliminary calculations of TyumenNIIgiprogaz specialists, application of this technology can result in financial savings of about 4 million rubles per well, increase of drill pipe and equipment service life, as well as reduction of well construction time approximately by two days.

Share it!
Copyright © 2008 Eurasia Press, Inc. (USA). All rights reserved.
Web programming by Iflexion
Copyright © 2008 Eurasia Press (www.eurasiapress.com)