Well Drilling

Most wells in Salym fields have been drilled using the Burintekh drill bits. This equipment was first tested in June 2005 with astonishing results: the average rate of penetration with the Russian manufacturer’s drill bits was twice as high than that using the foreign equivalent. However, SPD and Burintekh engineers did not stop at that and continued to work to improve the performance of that technology. Burintekh engineers worked at drilling rigs on a permanent basis to address all issues and test innovations, which allowed adding another 20% to the rate of penetration.

True to its well construction strategy, SPD uses advanced foreign equipment as well as Russian, including the best centrifuges, shale shakers, specialist fluids and chemicals to enhance the efficiency and environmental safety of its drilling operations. The company uses BOREMAX drill muds developed by Halliburton, one of SPD service contractors. These types of mud may be used to prevent swelling of clayey particles in order to avoid contamination of the bottomhole zone of the pay formation, and exclude hole enlargement and rock erosion. They also allow reducing the dilution of mud and, therefore, minimizes the volume of mud and cuttings to be dumped into the slush pit.

Along with advanced technologies SPD has introduced new organizational and managerial approaches. In the first place it's about the concept of drilling optimization, also known as Drilling the Limit, which was developed and is widely used in Shell global well engineering units.

The principal elements of this concept are as follows:

  • Commitment to achieve maximum efficiency and best performance in well drilling;
  • Continuous review of operations and rectification of deficiencies, learning and application of best practices; and,
  • Maintaining a close working contact with subsurface professionals, drilling contractors, counterparts in well pad construction and hook-up crews.

The company has established a well engineering department staffed by Russian engineers who have been given training in Shell standards, and foreign specialists with background experience in Shell projects. There are two well engineering teams, which in close cooperation with contractors maintain control of drilling operations.

SPD's performance achieved in the drilling operations has proved the validity of SPD well construction strategy. The company drilled its first well within 33 days, whereas the average drilling time today is down to 10.5 days. In Western Siberia the average drilling time for similar wells under similar geotechnical conditions is 15 to 18 days. Due to proper work management the time used for a rig move from one well pad to another has been reduced significantly. SPD uses 28 days to move a rig to a new location, whilst the average figure for the region is 40 to 50 days.

Every year SPD drills about 100 wells of a total length of more than 300 km. The record well in Salym was drilled within 4.5 days. This record was set in July 2009 by team No 2 of the Siberian Service Company, which successfully drilled a 2367-meter S-shaped well in the northern part of the Vadelyp field. This outstanding achievement has been made possible by coherent, high-quality, and, most importantly, safe work of SPD and contractor personnel, their commitment to the common goal and the application of advanced drilling methods and techniques.