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Land-rig operations in remote locations
08 January 2009

Happy New Year and all the best for 2009 !! .. to all our members.

One of our associate companies (Ops Research experts) have come
across an opportunity that I´m trying to help them with.

A potential client of theirs has a strategic issue of where to drill
wells in a remote location (in Indonesia) with a protected forrest
and wildlife refuge involved.

They want a feasibility study that firstly takes logistic costs into
consideration (build roads or use heli's?) secondly environmental
factors also play a role in the final choice of well locations.
('least disturbance'). Thirdly there is a concern of the
availability of water for drilling.

The client has no information on issues like: a) How much does it
cost to build a road from A to B?, b) How much weight can the
roadbridge across river C actually carry?, c) What is the capacity
of the local port at D? All that has to be answered in the
feasability study.

Our associates have some contacts in the civil contracting world of
Indonesia and it should be possible to find a civil engineer who can
be part of their team.

Do you have any additional ideas/suggestions that might help with
this and/or can you recommend specialists who they can pull into the
team .. to give the client world-class service.

Thanks and best wishes

Dave Taylor
Relentless Pursuit of Perfection Ltd
5 answer(s)
Procurement & Logistics Manager
Tap Oil
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 06/01/09

We have a similar situation in Brunei.

We are working closely with the relevant Authorities, including Dept
of Environment, Public Works Dept, Forestry, etc, in getting
appropriate permits. It's time consuming.

With respect to water supply we are planning to construct a
temporary water reservoir around one of the nearly streams and pump
water to wellsite using "fire hoses".

Local roads and bridges have a load capacity of 8 tonnes per axle.
In Indonesia they have to inquiry with the PWD. For loads more than
8t/axle special permissions and works may be required.

Regarding site selection and preparation, road & laydown yards
contruction, apart from well trajectory considerations, we are
utilizing an Indonesian company for the survey and geotechnical
studies, contact details as follows:

> Bob Bacciarelli
Director || PT. Geoindo
Mobile: +62 816 603659

Hope that helps

Mike Retlikis
Tap Oil, Brunei

Performance Advisor
Oil Search Limited
Total Posts: 5
Join Date: 25/05/07
. Drilling fluid selection is crucial to;

a. Get the well to TD in workable condition as quickly and
inexpensively as possible but allowing for maximum retrieval of
information and with minimal impairment of potentially productive
b. Reduce negative environmental impact on the surrounding forest
and permit the rehabilitation of the drilling site in the event that
further development is not warranted
c. Reduce overall water requirement for the drilling operation
d. Calculate the potential logistics burden which in turn will
facilitate the road or helicopter support decision

In order to provide relevant guidelines and suggestions for the
drilling fluid selection, waste handling equipment and waste
management procedures, further information is necessary. This should

a. Outline well design with planned casing sizes and setting depths
and the planned TD
b. Anticipated pressure gradients to permit drilling fluid density
c. A prognosed lithology forecast
d. Whatever data is available from the nearest offset wells to
facilitate identification of potentially troublesome formations
(Unstable, reactive or over-pressured shale/clay, potential lost
circulation zones etc.) in order to permit optimal drilling fluid

Please feel free to get back to me if you require additional info. I
think it important that the customer is advised not to get all of
his drilling fluids (and cementing) advice from a service company
whose commercial goals may not be entirely aligned with the customers

I can always be reached on

Kind regards

Tony McCoy
Drilling Department Fluids Advisor
Oilsearch Ltd, Sydney and Papua New Guinea

Technical solutions must have proper environmental mitigation or
they become another problem

Note from moderator : Telephone numbers were given but have been
removed. Email address has been left
Managing Director (
Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection Ltd.
Total Posts: 416
Join Date: 10/01/05
We have received the following from an individual with experience in the region :
This is a very similar situation to Phu Horm in Thailand,
although the emphasis there was probably more strongly on the
environmental and the stakeholder management than on load capacities
of bridges, water availability and the like.

However, I would imagine from what I know of Indonesia that the
stakeholder management issues would be very significant.

It is even more difficult to get all the stakeholders on board in
Indonesia than it is in Thailand, and as we found in Pangkah the
response tends to escalate to threats of and actual violence very

If I had one suggestion it is to not underestimate the need to
manage a very varied group of stakeholders and double or treble the
time you think it will take to do the 'socialisation' as they call
it in Indonesia. Get it wrong and I can send you the pictures of the
burning vehicles that results.

Total Posts: 28
Join Date: 09/03/08
My experience in environmentally-sensitive areas like protected rain
forests comes from BP operations in the Andes mountains in Colombia.

One can get the rig in, get water, however the major head-ache was
getting rid of drilled solids, cuttings, and excess dirty mud and
brines. We eventually tried an onsite cuttings dryer, making house
bricks out of oilbase mud cuttings, had water defusers trying to get
rid of de-watered water from de-watered mud, basically the solids
removal crew were larger than the drilling crew and took more time
and effort than all rig moves, road or helicopters.

Basically solids removal is the major headache of environmentally
friendly operations.
Also there was a crew of "tree planters" following the rig to plant
4 trees for every one that was dug up making the location and raods.

In remote locations all over the world these days, military
protection for the rig and crews will have to be worked out.

Remote operations require some serious thought to communications.
Everybody and their dog wants a morning report on time and in
pictures. Crews need p*@*boy channel and BBC or CNN and to take care
of their bank accounts.

However the largest "others" cost in time and money was getting rid
of waste produced by drilling and living in remote locations.

Hope that helps

Sandy Buchanan
Senior DSV
Shell Brunei
Snr Drilling Engineer
Maersk Oil
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 17/09/08
Hi Dave

... and a happy new year to you also.

It may be worth making contact with someone at CNR as they have
experience with the Horizon oil sands project over in Alberta
Canada; I would have expected them to have gone through the same
headaches as the shallow oils lay directly underneath forestry

To give you an idea of the scale of the project, they had to build
an airport to get people in and out. The project is due to come
online mid-end 2009. Call me if you want contact names.

Simon Nicol
Maersk Oil, Aberdeen
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