Key Papers To Unlock Drilling Performance, ep.4

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SPE-199599-MS Maximizing Drilling Performance Through the Delaware Basin Brushy Canyon and Interbedded Formations
by Fred E. Dupriest, Samuel Noynaert, Tyrell Cunningham, Marcus Rendon

It’s not enough to just talk about Limiter Redesign Workflow.

“It sounds all fine and dandy, but how do I know if it will work in my field?”

That’s a legitimate question that deserves a good answer.

That’s one of the reasons I want to share with you about this paper. It’s the latest case study of applying Limiter Redesign to a real-world field, i.e. the Delaware basin, in the US.

The field work has been executed by Noble Energy (now Chevron) in collaboration with none other than the founder of Limiter Redesign, Professor Fred Dupriest, and his team in Texas A&M University.

As Fred gives account of this case study, you will see how Limiter Redesign Workflow has empowered the operational team on the rig to identify dysfunctions in real-time and respond with new practices based on their new understanding of the physics of those dysfunctions. It has also led to the uncovering of engineering redesign needs, such as bit design and motor selection.

Oct 23, 2020: Learn from El Profesor… Live

Here’s another important and timely reason for choosing this paper.

As I write this post, Fred has been scheduled to talk about —can you guess it? — using Limiter Redesign to maximize performance in Delaware basin.

It will be on the vDoorLocksmith show, hosted by David Gibson (Gibson Report), on Oct 23, 2020 (see screenshot below). The orginal post is here.

Here’s what you can do to make the most out of this opportunity:

  1. Download the paper here
  2. Read it and write down a list of questions
  3. Mark your calendar so that you will be there to ask questions live
  4. Follow the hashtag #vdoorlocksmith on LinkedIn so that you will get notification about this episode

Such opportunity didn’t even exist as recently as 5 years ago.

I have in mind especially for those of you who are starting out in the drilling profession during this difficult time. But such an opportunity testifies that there’s still light even in the darkest time.

Universal Principles Applied in Specific Situation

The paper opens with a summary of the framework of Limiter Redesign (emphasis mine):

The fundamentals of drilling faster are NOT unique to the Delaware basin. If the bit is efficient the ROP will increase linearly as we raise WOB or RPM.

…Operations conducts step tests and increase WOB or RPM until they either observe the onset of dysfunction, or they become limited by a non-bit factor such as the differential rating of the motor. Limiters are communicated to the engineer for redesign.

As you read through the paper, you will see that the key elements and principles do not change because the physics of how a rotary bit drills do not change.

Despite the title, this paper is not about unique regional experience in the Delaware basin. Rather, it demonstrates how the unchanging physics and principles can be applied specifically to the problems encountered in Delaware basin. It has led to measurable successes and opened a gateway to even more improvement opportunities. But the same principles could have been applied to any other field around the world.

You will see repeatedly these key elements that make up the Limiter Redesign Workflow:

  • Geologic Road Map: designed NOT to passively provide “optimal” drilling parameters to the driller, but for the rig to proactively “identify limiters, analyze root causes, and own the effort to change practices”
  • Step tests WOB/RPM to identify limiters
  • MSE baseline surveillance (torch light on dysfunctions)
  • Bit forensics
  • etc.

You will also see detailed explanation of the damage mechanism of interfacial severities, —one of the most common bit dysfuctions,— backed up with observed data and bit forensics, as well as the new practice to address the issue (constant DOC vs constant WOB).

Two Truth Bombs

One of my favorite sections in this paper is the two truth bomb on page 4-5:

  1. Higher WOB, in Itself, Does not Wear the Bit Faster
  2. Modern PDCs remain green until the diamond is damaged by a specific event

I hope this will bust some myths out of you for good.

Other Great Case Studies of Limiter Redesign

For those of you who want to see some more demonstrations, here are a couple of more:

  • SPE-105521-MS ROP Management Process Implementation Qatar North Field
  • SPE-192902-MS Oxy Oman Physics-based digital workflow to maintain step change in performance

Feel free to share other resources that have inspired you, either in the comment below or shoot me an email.

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