Encapsulated Lubricant Helps Drill Longest 12¼-in Section in Ecuador in a Single Run

Published: 07/15/2020

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The operator’s goal: increase production in two fields

A new operator drilling onshore in the Oriente Basin in Ecuador wanted to drill in a safe, economical manner and increase oil production in two fields. The project required drilling through six different geological formations in laminated shale sections, interbedded coal, anhydrite, siltstone, claystone, sandstones, and abrasive conglomerates, which increased operational risks related to hole cleaning, hole instability, and downhole tool failure.

A graph shows how Intra LUBE lubricant improved ROP and footage drilled in six wells in Ecuador.
Combining Intra LUBE lubricant with PowerDrive RSS and a StingBlade bit optimized performance in challenging formations.
A graph shows how Intra LUBE lubricant improved ROP and footage drilled in six wells in Ecuador.

Planning for Well 6 presented additional challenges. The planned 12¼-in section of 8,585 ft was the longest in Ecuador. The complex well profile combined with the long openhole interval required specific measurements to overcome hole cleaning challenges and instability issues and to mitigate torque, drag, and downhole torsional vibration. Other challenges included running the 9⅝-in casing to planned depth and maintaining directional tool and bit durability while drilling through 700 ft of abrasive conglomerate.

Footage and ROP in 12¼-in Section.
Footage and ROP in 12¼-in section.
Footage and ROP in 12¼-in Section.

Schlumberger solution: reduce friction, torque, and drag

Intra LUBE lubricant provides lubrication to reduce friction, torque, and drag and to increase ROP in water-based fluids, produced water, and brine in horizontal drilling applications. Microsized capsules within the lubricant contain oil that is released once sufficient operational pressure, friction, and shear break the encapsulation to release the oil on demand.

Result: operator drills long section in single run

Combining Intra LUBE lubricant with the PowerDrive RSS and the StingBlade bit enabled the operator to drill the most extended well in the field in one run with a single drill bit. The combination drilled 8,613 ft at 154.13 ft/h, the highest effective ROP of the 12¼-in section. Intra LUBE lubricant provided lubricity to suppress water-based mud friction. Increasing the concentration of the lubricant mitigated high torque and stick/slip values. Low friction coefficients helped the combination reach the programmed depth without issues and with the best casing running performance in the campaign.

Oriente Basin, Ecuador, South America, Onshore

An operator in Ecuador used a combination of Intra LUBE encapsulated lubricant with PowerDrive rotary steerable system (RSS) and a StingBlade conical diamond element bit to drill the longest 12¼-in section ever in a single run in Ecuador.

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