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Brown field low cost well design options
13 October 2016

Dear colleagues,

 I am researching onshore brown field low cost well design options.  For example Radial Drilling with coiled tubing.  

My question: –

“I would like some advice from the forum about what else is out there that I should be considering for brown field low cost well design options e.g. Radial Drilling?"

Feel free to ‘brain-storm’ a list, but it would be most helpful if you could be as specific as possible with the name of the technology and perhaps advise if you are familiar with any of it

 Many thanks


10 answer(s)
General Manager Drilling
Total Posts: 4
Join Date: 21/04/14

Adam, thank you for your response.   Can you please send me your work email.



Note from moderator: I have connected these two members directly.  I would rather we did not post email addresses on the site. I do hope that you will SHARE your discussion with the rest of us!

Adam Miszewski
Drilling Engineer
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 11/05/16
Coiled tubing drilling has advanced quite significantly over the last few years. It's now possible to drill directional wells with up to 8-1/2" hole size and up to 20 deg/100ft build rates. I've attached an SPE paper on one such project which used a hybrid CT unit on a US land gas project. 
CTD should reduce the cost of a brown field development if used correctly but if you couple it with productivity improvements from drilling underbalanced, which CT is perfectly suited for, then you should have a very attractive proposition. It will depend significantly on your specific application though so if you can provide more details then I can provide you with some more case studies and potential solutions.  
AnTech provides two types of tool - COLT, 3-5/8" to 4-3/4" hole size and 50 deg/100ft max DLS, and POLARIS, 6" to 8-1/2" hole size and 20 deg/100ft max DLS. 

Documents uploaded by user:
SPE-159349 - CT Drilling - 180612.pdf
Senior Drilling Engineer
Total Posts: 4
Join Date: 19/02/13
Hi Chris,

I hope you've been well.

I was looking at some technology to increase "reservoir contact / $ spent" some time ago, and something that may be worth considering is It effectively creates micro-laterals into the reservoir. It is relatively new technology and I can't attest to it as I haven't run it before, but I believe it has been run offshore Norway and in the Middle East.

The other more conventional approach is a conventional Multi-lateral - especially for land operations - saves building more pads and pipe lines etc. There's quite a bit of run history on many of the standard systems (especially US land)

best of luck with the project,

Well Engineering Advisor Coiled Tubing Drilling
Baker Hughes
Total Posts: 6
Join Date: 30/07/15
Coiled Tubing Drilling has been seen as an excellent alternative in lowcapex market. Re-entry into existing wells and drilling slim multilaterals reduces capex requirements as you can use your existing well infrastructure and reduce drilling time by drilling only the reservoir section. It's seen gained interest offshore due to cost reduction and onshore due to its simplicity.
Principal Well Engineer
British Gas
Total Posts: 2
Join Date: 04/08/15

Hi Chris

How are you doing?  I have a few ideas (indirect ways of reducing overall cost) which can be tried out in achieving  low cost well design.

1. How to reduce rig move time between the drill pads -  have meetings with rig manufacturers and float an ITT with concept "Rig On Wheel". 

2. Casing while drilling - technology has gone too far on this with PDC drill shoes. They are available which can drill formations having compressive strength up to 25k.

3. Wellhead design - some older fields can have up to 15 designs of well head (various sizing of the tubing head spools). Reducing to minimum number of well head designs without impacting production profile surely will reduce overall inventory and future maintenance cost.

4. Rig contractor - crew pays a significant role and their competency. Faster drilling rate can be achieved by various tools but without drill crews efficiency in particular development brown field flat time can not be reduced. This can impact hard in overall performance.

5. One way to increase efficiency is to keep track on the various times like slip to slip time, tripping speeds, pipe make time etc. between the two shifts. This is slow process but based on learning from this effective measures can be taken to improve drilling practices which will ultimately tuned in the overall efficiency. We have used company called Pronova for this. (Note from moderator: rp-squared also have a lot of experience with this via our performance coaches)

6. Casings - Its a good idea to re-evaluate casing requirements. Since its brown field, re designing casing with current geological information to see if lower grade casing can be used.

I hope this will help in further brain storming.      

thanks & regards

Prashant Gohel

D&C Project Coordinator / Decommissioning
Society of Petroleum Engineers
Total Posts: 18
Join Date: 25/01/16
I would suggest you forget looking at cheap and just do what is right.  Think about it.  You save 50% on a $4 million completion array when if you do it right you get 40% more return on a 100 million dollar asset value.  Decommissioning at current oil prices will lead to the bankruptcy of the operator so time to rethink quality and then HSSE will be covered.  Note the key factor for quality in deviation is rotation.  Put with that SET technology and multilateral keeping draw down above the dew point of the gas, there may be some pleasant surprises especially if one includes renewable energy and algae fish farming to treat the water and energize the community.
Isn't there a role also for the C word.   

General Manager Drilling
Total Posts: 4
Join Date: 21/04/14
Pete, Simon & Paul, thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. Getting back to basics and keeping it as simple as possible with only "must haves" is my objective. Cost reduction with increased productivity is the ideal outcome. If anyone can send me more details on any ideas I would appreciate it. Best regards, Chris
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 361
Join Date: 10/01/05

i would be taking a  field trip to American and Canada land based operations.
where there are thousands of wells drilled and not completed because this can be done safely effectively and efficiently.

20,000ft horizontal wells can be drilled in a couple of weeks. Chalk can be drilled 20times faster. Muds and cement technologies have added immeasurable value. Top drives, PDC technology, high power motors, low cost systems, managed pressure drilling, expandable monobore technologies, pad drilling the list goes on. 

In last east two decades drilling and completion technology had moved forward significantly. 
So my belief is technology exists it's getting the right people to change and people with the right mind sets is the hardest part. 

So so it's about changing people or changing people. 

People also have to be trained and developed to do someyhing different this an area badly nglectec by this industry. We apply technology often without training people in this. When things fail we blame people rather than being able to identify why the the technology failed or even if it was correctly selected adapted or applied in the first place. 

For those of us who were around for the last three recessions we remember what it took to reduce operating costs and how to make a profit. It's not just the technology that is currently available today. it's the people and all the little changes thst people can suggest that add up to significant cost benefits. So you need to harness people power. 

Organisations today prefer have meetings to have meetings, are more interested in another checklist or procedures, and fail miserably to get themselves to the work site to truly understand what's wrong with thier business. Understanding the true operating loss and waste that exist the important starting point. To give you a clue normal drilling today if it is measured differently vs NPT is about 50% efficient. So until all these issues are addressed operators won't be able to make a buck or two in normal operations let alone have any chance of profitability in a brownfield development. 

Yet many are. So what these companies are doing and doing it safer ( because they are generally in control of all business loss) Is a long way head of where those who remain on the same as merry go round that generally exists. 
Assistant Operations Manager
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation
Total Posts: 2
Join Date: 15/10/16

Shell Aberdeen have quite a bit of experience with cemented completions on the North Cormorant.  They would side track existing wells, then run and cement in  simple completion instead of a liner.  Cement barrier was sufficient without a completion packer.  Made things far more economic to chase small pockets of oil using their existing wells.  All done with small OD jointed pipe (3½" DP or smaller), and I think it was wireline perforation. 

Regards    Simon Lucas

Note from moderator (Dave Taylor):
And rp-squared facilitated a mid-campaign AAR/(D)WOP for Shell's TTRD campaign on North Cormorant way back when!

Years ago we used to facilitate a 'Best Practices Forum' in Aberdeen, where these kind of items were discussed on an informal basis by the operational teams. Happy to consider that kind of thing again, but it would need to be a commercial event, possibly with sponsoring companies?
Total Posts: 91
Join Date: 10/04/08
Chris, Hope you are well. This is an interesting topic, low cost well designs, and it comes up during or after every down-turn! There are a number of novel ways of reducing well construction costs that deviate from convention. The challenge is not so much finding them its convincing people to implement them because to make a significant difference there needs to be a fair amount of change and deviation from convention. One example is from my own personal experience. In 2004 I started the development of SlimWELL after calls from industry to reduce well construction costs by 50%. We invested £millions and successfully developed, tested, trialled and proved up a viable well construction method based on close-clearance liners to form the whole well top to bottom, little or no full casing strings, just liners, not applicable to every situation, but certainly for onshore, brown-field, platform, in-fill and side-track drilling it was viable. We were sponsored by Talisman, BP, Eni and sold systems to Tullow Oil, BP, Eni and DPC but with only DPC ending up running it in an emergency after an expandables failed on a well and it worked well. As oil prices creeped up and up after 2005 most engineers seemed to be less and less committed to implementing significant well construction cost technologies that demanded change. Whilst I applaud you looking at this again I seriously doubt if in the current climate anyone will actually implement something substantially breaking with convention, but I do hope so. If you want to meet and talk about a poor-boy version of SlimWELL that does not demand new RnD please contact me. Regards Paul
Posted by

Chris Sugden

General Manager Drilling


Total Posts: 4
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