Permian Basin 2017

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PERMIAN BASIN: TECHNOLOGY 48 | November 2017 | "It allows the operator to circulate at a high rate without any concern of prematurely setting any of these liner hangers," Madero said. The company has also made strides in compos- ite plug drill-out operations. "Because we drill more laterals, set more plugs and increase the number of stages, the ability to drill out and remove these composite plugs in a 2-mile lateral is extremely crit- ical," Madero said. "We have a proprietary process on how we tie motors and bits together to achieve the same performance at 3,000 ft in the lateral that we see at 10,000 and over." Madero began his career with Baker Hughes working in the Barnett Shale 13 years ago. He notes that the art and science of unconven- tional drilling, completion and production has evolved, but not enough. "Many things haven't changed," he said. "The tools and techniques have evolved. But to max- imize production we're still playing with three parameters: lateral length, number of stages and increased proppant per foot. We need to move the conversation. "The quicker we can really understand the sci- ence of lateral characterization, the quicker we'll move into a lower cost per barrel environment. And that will spur increased investment. We believe we are on track. But we're impatient. We are excited about the journey ahead, and our drive is to con- tinue to make the Permian Basin a more prolifi c place to drill and complete in." For Madero, the next move involves mounting up a proper, ambitious quest. "We've talked about multilateral technology for years," he said. "It is the Holy Grail of how to be truly effi cient and take maximum advantage of that vertical wellbore." "We completed successful installations ear- lier this year," he said. "We cut the window and ran multilaterals, and fracked through it with great results." On land, many operators prefer to just run one more vertical and lateral, rather than create a Medusa of several laterals out of one vertical. But the concept has appeal when it can be done reliably like we have been able to do with our Long String Running Tool. "With multiple benches in the Permian Basin, you can accelerate the appraisal phase, but also minimize infrastructure at the ground level," Madero said. "You cut a window, drill out, and pro- duce through a formation, let it fl ow naturally for fi ve or six months. "Once it needs to go on artifi cial lift, go in, hit the next lateral, the next bench, and work your way all the way up. Eventually get your ESP artifi cial lift to the bottom and lift the entire wellbore. "You don't have to superscale up your infrastructure on the surface—your compression and storage," he said. "This will be a huge difference maker." So far, BHGE has successfully installed systems in the Delaware Basin with broad applications across the entire Permian Basin. A plateau in oil prices is not the typical backdrop for an increase in activity and innovation. "Who would have thought in 2014-15 that at $48 a barrel we'd be increasing the rig count this much?" Madero said, "We're at 380. Last year in June/July we were at 140. Every day we are push- ing technology that enhances outcomes. We're excited about the future and we are moving with purpose to invent smart ways to bring energy to the Permian Basin." Smart rig orchestrates effi ciency Schlumberger continues pushing the boundaries of technology globally and in the Permian Basin. This is, after all, the company that decades ago invented electric well surveys, logging-while-drilling and the fi rst commercial ARPANet-based intranet. The next big tech idea from Schlumberger is the development of an automated drilling rig capable of calling the shots at the well site. The Schlumberger cognitive drilling rig with directional software certainly can make fine-tuned, robotic decisions such as precision steering instructions. An automated drilling rig also creates a platform of operations where human brain power and col- laboration improve. The result is more accurately drilled wells, delivered more quickly. Ginger Hildebrand is the Schlumberger oper- ational efficiency manager for North America Land Drilling.

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