Schlumberger

Case Study: Over USD 1 Million Saved on Marcellus Shale Wells

High build rate rotary steerable system cuts drilling time per well 10 days and delivers clean, high-quality wellbores for smooth casing running

Challenge: Reduce cost and improve quality of complex 3D wells targeting Marcellus shale.

Solution: Drill with PowerDrive Archer high build rate rotary steerable system (RSS) instead of positive displacement motor (PDM).

Result:

  • Increased ROP 170%.
  • Reduced drilling time per well from 18 days to 8 days.
  • Saved over USD 1 million.

Reduce drilling time and cost

The Marcellus shale play, one of the biggest unconventional shale plays in the US, contains an estimated 363 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas—enough to supply US consumption for at least 14 years. At first, the play was developed using conventional vertical wells, which had low returns. Now, to extract the hydrocarbons at economically viable rates, horizontal wells are drilled from multi-well pads and completed with multistage fracture stimulation of the lateral. These wells are challenging to drill due to surface pad collision risks, complex 3D profiles with planned curvature rates of 8º/100 ft, geological uncertainty and formations that make directional control difficult.

Traditionally, the well’s vertical section was air-drilled and a 9 5⁄8-in casing shoe was set. Then the 8 3⁄4-in hole section was kicked off, built, and landed on the Marcellus shale using a PDM. This required sliding the PDM for much of the interval, resulting in a low ROP, poor hole cleaning, and wellbore tortuosity. Trips made to adjust the motor’s bent housing when geological uncertainties were encountered further increased drilling time and cost. An operator planning a multi-well campaign in the Marcellus shale play wanted to improve ROP and hole quality—and reduce drilling time.

Eliminate flat time and improve drilling efficiency

Breakthrough technology developed by Schlumberger—the PowerDrive Archer high build rate RSS enabled the operator to meet the drilling challenges and achieve those objectives. The PowerDrive Archer RSS, a true hybrid that combines push-the-bit and point-the-bit steering, can drill vertical, curve, and lateral wellbore sections in one run, eliminating flat time and improving drilling efficiency. In curve sections, this unique RSS delivers continuous, reliable, and repeatable build rates; and in vertical and lateral sections, automatic inclination hold can be engaged to maximize ROP.

Establishing clear focal points and communication channels between the operator and Schlumberger prior to starting the campaign resulted in a smooth operation. The first well was drilled with a PDM, to serve as a benchmark. All wells after that were drilled with the PowerDrive Archer RSS. Typically, these wells were kicked off from vertical with a long turn in azimuth of 90° or more to line up with the target while simultaneously building inclination at planned build rates up to 8°/100 ft. Due to geological uncertainties approaching the landing point, higher build rates of up to 17°/100 ft were sometimes required to land the well—something easily accomplished by the PowerDrive Archer RSS without any need to trip out of the hole.

Reach TD in less time

The operator saved more than USD 1 million on the first 10 wells drilled with the PowerDrive Archer RSS. The ability of the true-hybrid RSS to kick off from vertical, deliver 2D and 3D curves with build rates of up to 17°/100 ft, drill tangent sections, and land wells on target in a single run enabled the operator to reduce overall drilling time from the 18 days required with the PDM in the benchmark well to just 8 days on the tenth well drilled with the PowerDrive Archer RSS. Average ROP increased 170%, compared to ROP with the PDM; and eliminating the sliding required with a motor resulted in clean, high-quality wellbores that allowed smooth casing runs.


Download: Over USD 1 Million Saved on Marcellus Shale Wells (0.47 MB PDF)

Related products and services

 
Request More Information

Learn More

This well profile is typical of those drilled with the Power Drive Archer RSS.Use of the PowerDrive Archer RSS enabled the operator to reduce overall drilling time from the 18 days required with the PDM in Well 1 to just 8 days for Well 11—the tenth well drilled with the RSS.Fast, efficient drilling with the PowerDrive Archer RSS saved more than USD 1 million.
PrevNextZoom1 of 3