To Find Oil, You Have to Drill

To Find Oil, You Have to Drill

Part 1
Meeting global energy needs 

Under current policies, global primary energy demand is forecast to grow by more than 40% over the next 25 years. To meet this demand, a wide range of energy resources is required, with oil and natural gas providing the majority...


Part 2
Increasing drilling intensity—the role of technology 

Over the last 30 years, one succinct measure of drilling intensity has been the technology that makes it possible to construct deviated wells that reach 12 km in length and vertical wells that reach a similar number of kilometers in depth...


Part 3
Improving drilling performance—the need for integration

Today, a large part of the energy input at the drilling rig floor may never reach the drill bit. Instead of cutting rock, energy is lost through friction, mechanical shock and vibration—all of which can lead to premature failure of downhole equipment, longer drilling times and higher economic and technical risks...


Part 4
Optimizing the Workflow—From Technology to People

Optimizing the drilling workflow is a complex and multidimensional challenge. It begins with a commitment to research and development, which must be approached in an integrated multidisciplinary manner because the technical solutions span an entire spectrum of scientific disciplines...


Part 5
Engineering for Reliability—Learning from Others

About one-fifth of the total time spent drilling a well today is nonproductive. While natural events such as adverse weather are partly responsible, equipment failure and human error also contribute...


Part 6
Continuing to Lead—Excellence in Execution 

Greater equipment reliability and the expertise delivered by Operation Support Centers both contribute to improving drilling performance. When combined with integrated drilling systems to achieve greater drilling intensity, they contribute to achieving operational excellence as part of the Schlumberger Excellence in Execution initiative...


Part 7
Reducing Operational Risk—Putting It All Together 

There is no question that oil and natural gas will still be the major source of the world’s energy supply for decades to come. New and innovative technologies will solve many of the challenges in producing the more diverse hydrocarbons that will form part of that supply, but there is no doubt that drilling intensity will have to increase—both on land and offshore...


Part 8
Drilling—Optimizing Bit Design 

The rate of penetration, or the speed at which a well is drilled while maintaining good directional control, is largely dependent on the efficiency at which the drill bit is able to cut or grind the rock. This in turn depends on the weight applied to the bit, the rate of its rotation, and the manner in which the bit addresses the rock...


Part 9
Drilling Measurements—Monitoring, Instrumentation, and Control 

Measurement is key to understanding the science of drilling, and the only way to gain a complete picture of the drilling environment is to combine measurements coming from both downhole and surface sensors...


Part 10
Drilling Fluid Mechanics—Collaboration and Interaction 

Drilling fluids, or “muds,” are carefully designed and selected to perform a variety of critical roles in the drilling process...


Part 10
Excellence in Execution—Centralized Maintenance Facilities 

Larger-scale facilities provide more standardized and robust maintenance practices. The Drilling & Measurements base in Commerce City, Colorado, USA, is an excellent example of what can be achieved through the centralization of resources...

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This is a continuing series about drilling for oil. Articles in the series will address the past, the present, and the future of Schlumberger drilling services. Each story will provide insight as to how the company integrates engineering, technology, and people to provide best-in-class drilling performance—now and in the future.