SINCE THE START OF SALYM FIELDS DEVELOPMENT, SALYM PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT HAS BUILT OVER 1450 WELLS, MORE THAN 120 OF THEM ARE HORIZONTAL. OVER 40% OF THE COMPANY’S CURRENT DAILY PRODUCTION COMES FROM HORIZONTAL WELLS. AVERAGE ROP FOR HORIZONTAL WELLS IS 3.36 DAYS PER 1000 M, WITH RECORD ROP BEING 2.80 DAYS, WHICH IS ONE OF THE BEST INDICATORS IN THE INDUSTRY FOR WELLS WITH SIMILAR WELL DESIGN IN SIMILAR GEOLOGICAL CONDITIONS. WHAT ARE THE DRIVERS BEHIND THESE RECORD-SETTING ACHIEVEMENTS?

It took time for the company specialists to achieve some of the highest indicators in the industry and the overall positive trend. Having started to work on horizontal wells in 2015, the company achieved the ROP of 4.85 days per 1000 m. However a year later the technological challenges and more stringent quality specifications for lower bottomhole completions lead to the reduction of the rate of well construction by 18%. Then the company set out to stabilize and further improve this indicator with no detriment to quality and most importantly safety of the works performed.

That same year, Well Engineering Department analyzed technological issues which emerged during construction of horizontal sections of the borehole, and joined the efforts with representatives of shareholders (Gazprom Neft and Shell Consortium) and contractors to identify a number of initiatives aimed to improve the timing and unit cost for the constructed wells. Implementation of the road map actions started straight away.

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Proven Continuous Improvement tools such as re-Drill The Limit, rDTL, best aggregated well time, identification of minimum technical specifications for lower completion, work scope re-distribution between Well Engineering teams were utilized. Well Engineering Department also developed and rolled-out a comprehensive operating procedure for horizontal well construction.

By late 2017, the Department specialists realized that their main tools, drilling rigs, are approaching their technical limit. This lead to selection and contracting of new generation of drilling rigs by Salym Petroleum. As early as 2018 the company had an upgraded fleet of drilling rigs with specifications that opened new opportunities for horizontal drilling. Upgrade lead to considerably reduced NPT, faster ROP, and extended the range of achievable depths.

Considerable success of horizontal drilling helped Salym Petroleum enter a new phase of Salym fields development and switch to dual wells where economically feasible. Such wells are based on drilling two horizontal wellbores.

These wells with two sidetracks benefitted from earlier achievements in full measure. This delivered prompt results, in early 2020 the company drilled its next dual well within the record-breaking 18.9 days, and at the same time a new record of 1,397 m was set at the Salym group of oil field for drilling the longest horizontal section.

Drilling efficiency improvement still continues. New achievements lie in interfaces with the Subsurface Team. Specialists of the two departments resolve complex tasks of optimizing drilling processes, logging data density, downhole measurements, well completion actions required. Ability to take the middle path and work as a team helps bring forward the well construction efficiency with no detriment to quality and safety of the work performed. Field Subsurface Team (SSFT) and its input in well construction performance improvement deserves special attention. The team specialists took a course in geosteering at Gazprom Neft NTC, while the company was shaping its own digital landscape to streamline its data management process. Utilizing the corporate data management system, the company specialists soared to new heights in well design, drilling, completion and reservoir management thanks to continued automation of current processes, asset management and high level of integration between all the disciplines involved in drilling and well construction.

In 2019, the company presented its in-house product, Well Delivery Strategy (WDS), at a conference organized by SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers). This product was rolled-out in SSFT, WE and Finance and Commercial Department, it is a shared information space for resolving corporate business issues. An interactive oilfield map represents all well pads being drilled, it’s searchable by well and well-pad number, and lists over 120 attributes for each particular well.

Long-Term Drilling Sequence (LTDS) and Very Short Term (VST) planning for drilling and completions use WDS as a basis. The system also hosts real-time well construction monitoring tool. WDS is compatible with Landmark EDM, a drilling and completions software tool which helps to run engineering calculations based on daily data, and CWI Strategy (well stock process database), Openworks, and SAP. The system monitors main drilling indicators (well types, time per unit and cost per unit expenditures, facilitating the control and communication of the updated information to end users.

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Well Book, a comprehensive system developed by joint efforts of Salym Petroleum SST and WE teams, which contains digital well portfolios, has become another important tool. This system consolidates data from EDM, Openworks, CWI Strategy, WDS, with visualization and online access to them available for all well construction process participants. The purpose of digital well portfolio is to optimize geological control over drilling process and to provide access to the data for all the company wells stored in a single structured format. Main functions of SSFT specialists in this system include analysis and interpretation of geological, geophysical and technical information (about drilling, coring, gases, MWD/LWD data and wireline data) which help assess hydrocarbon potential of a well, identify risks during drilling, and select casing grades and core sampling points.

In 2019, Salym Petroleum started developing a project called Drilling Control Center, which helps the company to exercise complete control of geosteering and optimize trajectories of all horizontal wells constructed in Salym fields. The project utilizes Geosteering Office software package intended to geo-steer horizontal wells in real-time mode. The center employs a multidisciplinary team of Salym Petroleum specialists. This considerably expedites the communications flow, improves the quality and efficiency of decisions taken and makes actions more coordinated.

Primary purpose of the drilling operations support center is first to improve the drilling rigs safety by round-the-clock monitoring of the production process, second, the center was designed as the testing ground for implementation of cutting-edge digital solutions aimed at the continuous improvement of the company well construction process efficiency.

The project team is currently working to identify potential concealed NPT. As part of the drilling control center development, the company is planning to do equipment upgrades at drilling rigs, improve data quality and a lot more, such as applying know-how of the shareholders, Gazprom Neft and Shell, in creating an intelligent cognitive system with predictive analytics and automatic well geosteering ability based on extensive data analysis. This entire set of tools helps the company improve the efficiency of horizontal wellbore and sidetrack penetration.

Current SPD horizontal drilling records are:

  • Maximum length of the well: 4,686 m with 910 m of horizontal wellbore;
  • Maximum length of horizontal wellbore: 1,397 m (total depth: 4 227 m);
  • Fastest horizontal well: 10.4 days (TD: 3,383 m, horizontal section: 628 m).

At the same time, the company monitors 12 of its best integrated well construction indicators which serve both as a reference point and basis for new achievements. The company keeps perfecting its technologies, management techniques and digital space for still more efficient design and construction of horizontal wells. From the very start of Salym fields development, SPD has been striving to maintain high quality and efficiency in all drilling operations and associated works, completing them incident and injury free.

“Since day one of Salym Project we have been paying special attention to Continuous Improvement in terms of geological data processing and creation of effective digital tools, well construction, and efficiency in contractor management”, noted Yaroslav Gorbachev, Salym Petroleum’s Chief Geologist.

“We are not aiming to break records for the sake of records, our main goal is to continuously improve all processes with no detriment to safety”.

Authors:
Grigory Dashkovskiy ,
Well Engineering Team Lead, Well Engineering Front End, Salym Petroleum;    
Alexey Tsurgan ,
Operations Geologist, Salym Petroleum;
Natalya Prikhodko ,
CX Advisor, Salym Petroleum;    
Rustam Yaganshin,
Well Engineer, Planning, Salym Petroleum.

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