Deepwater activity on the increase
Deepwater exploration and development present a range of challenges, from working environment, defining prospects, constructing wells, to maintaining production and optimizing recovery. A selection of the challenges faced and how Schlumberger helps customers address them follow.
Project readiness evaluation and deepwater technical competence are just two of the key elements in ensuring a deepwater project is ready to achieve its objectives.
Using a suite of complementary exploration techniques, processes, and interpretation workflows to locate the most promising deepwater prospects, evaluate the risk, and plan operational windows.
Techniques to predict hazards, and plan drilling and casing parameters. Proven drilling technologies and processes to improve recovery ratios and keep surprises—and the downtime and costs they bring—to a minimum.
Improving reservoir characterization and knowledge management with 3D modeling of seismic and drilling data, formation evaluation logs, and well test data.
A completion configuration designed for the long term is crucial for efficient recovery of deepwater reserves.
Reservoir management that uses effective flow assurance and artificial lift strategies plus real-time and remote monitoring and control technology.
Managing the increase in deepwater activity
Between 2009 and early 2014, over 100 new-build deepwater rigs have begun operating. Additions of 15+ rigs per year are planned for the next three years. Developing and ensuring the competency of the people to meet this demand is a significant challenge for the industry. In parallel, challenges in the working environment, reservoirs, and wells place significant demands on technology and organizations.
Minimizing risk in deepwater operations involves four key elements: competency assurance, planning and risk management, technology and equipment reliability, and integration. Planning and risk management assessment tools ensure readiness for complex deepwater projects—particularly important for operational startups on new rigs or in remote areas.
Advanced modeling navigates complex subsurface structures
Deepwater and ultradeepwater projects often involve complex subsurface structures such as salt bodies or overlying basalt layers which obscure reservoir features and present seismic imaging challenges. Modeling to predict geomechanical properties, stress regimes, downhole pressures, and wellbore hazards is essential to ensure safe and efficient drilling.
Deepwater operations need expertise, experience, and sophisticated technology
Costs of drilling deepwater wells can more than triple those of shallow water wells. More sophisticated measurement and drilling technologies are needed to minimize exploration risk, assure wellbore quality, identify and evaluate hydrocarbon zones, assess compartmentalization, and effectively complete and produce for the life of the field. The numerous technical challenges coupled with the economics of deepwater projects make it essential to get it right the first time.
Schlumberger has a unique combination of deepwater experience, expertise, personnel development programs, technology, and global presence to help operators deliver successful projects.