Deepwater Operations

Overview Background

Managing the increase in deepwater activity

Between 2009 and early 2014, over 100 new-build deepwater began 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.

Managing Geological Risk in Deepwater Operations

Managing Geological Risk in Deepwater Drilling
A selection of recent articles and papers which discuss the challenges of planning for and managing geological risk in deepwater drilling.
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Overcoming Exploration and Drilling Challenges in Deep and Ultradeep Water in the Perdido Fold Belt, Mexico

Ultra Deepwater Drilling Campaign in Mexico, Perdido Fold Belt
Read how the challenges of drilling at 10,000-ft water depth were overcome with innovative solutions—planned and executed using Schlumberger technologies—and processes—fulfilling exploration and drilling objectives.
Read the technical paper