To Find Oil, You Have to Drill

Date: 03/22/2011

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.

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. Yet about half of the conventional oil needed by the end of the next decade has still to be developed—or even found—and it is possible that conventional non-OPEC oil production levels may already be reaching a plateau...

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. Another is the technology that positions wells to remain within meters of a given target or to follow thin reservoir beds closely over considerable lateral distances...

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. And while remote support centers help improve the latter, improving the reliability of the technology deployed can also increase performance...

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...

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