Many conversations around unconventionals center on the need for drilling cheaper, deeper and being ever mindful of the well economics, this is a good basis of thinking as long as wellbore quality and process safety are not sacrificed. In fact, without being ever minded of those the result usually has negative impact on the well economics. The drilling team on location is correctly very focused at project managing all the logistics required to meet or beat the drilling plan. The cost model for adding more drilling analysts (on location or even remotely) can also adversely affect the well economics.
With the completion cost of an unconventional well representing 60%+ of the total well cost it is very important to deliver to the completion and production teams a quality wellbore (one without micro doglegs, spirals, etc.). A poor quality wellbore means building in completion hazards, such as not being able to reach TD with the completion string or causing production inefficiencies adding to the ultimate cost of the well or even worse, less production.
It all begins with good drilling practices and “Listening to the Well”. By keeping our finger on the pulse of the well during drilling operations, many events that eventually lead to a poor quality hole or stuck pipe, sidetracks and well control incidents can be “seen” coming. The “Health of the Well” is clearly reflected in the analytics derived from basic real time data at the rig site combined with cutting analysis, LWD data and other analysis, forming the basis of good well listening. However, these skills are not that common and when they are, the rush to drill the well quickly, sometime takes priority over paying attention to basic good drilling practices.
When well economics are very tight, a solution can be the provision of Real Time Analytical Analysis through the use of existing drilling team. When equipped with a quality analytical analysis tool these highly skilled teams can also provide Drilling Hazard Avoidance (DHA) advice to the Well’s decision makers both on location and through the client’s Real Time Operation Centers (RTOC). With this insight these teams have the opportunity to come up with recommendations to completely avoid these hazards delivering a quality wellbore quickly and safely while avoiding well control incidents and Drilling hazards.