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Murphy Oil Malaysia Completes Rigless Intervention Campaign Using Welltec Services

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Murphy Oil Malaysia recently completed a highly successful, rigless intervention campaign using Welltec services. Not only did the operation allow immediate production from a “lost” well, but it also saved the time and cost of a rig based sidetrack. The end result is expected to add 20 MMscf/d into the production portfolio.

In the first well, the drift run hung up at 945 ft MD when trying to perforate the well. Based on previous experience, the cause was suspected to be part of a cement wiper plug. This was pushed down to a nipple profile at 4,314 ft MD, leaving it still 1,690 ft above the perforation depth. After only minutes of milling, the Well Miller made it through the plug, which allowed the Well Tractor® to push it down to 6,398 ft MD, approximately 380 ft below the target perforation interval. Thereafter the well was perforated and put on production.

In the second well, a poor cement job had made the primary target zone inaccessible and left an obstruction inside the tubing. With pressing rig commitments there was insufficient time to fix the problem, leaving the well temporarily abandoned and a candidate for future sidetracking. Based on the success of the first well, the Well Tractor and Well Miller were used to push the obstruction from 400 ft to 2,132 ft MD , meeting the objective to prepare the well for sidetracking.

However, it was decided to attempt to push the obstruction as far as possible. Using the Well Tractor and Well Miller the well was cleared well beyond the sidetrack target depth to an eventual Hold Up Depth of 8,743 ft MD. Getting this far down the production string allowed access to two of the three reservoirs in this well, which could now be completed for production rather than scheduled for a sidetrack workover.

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Australia: Woodside’s First CWD Well Breaks Record with AGR’s RMR

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An ambitious exploratory well project has entered the record books – with AGR’s Riserless Mud Recovery (RMR™) system from their Enhanced Drilling Solutions division helping to make it possible.

Woodside called a total section depth of 1,905m (6,250ft) on the Tidepole East-1 exploration well off Western Australia. It was the first time that Woodside had used the Casing While Drilling (CWD) method on one of its wells and the depth reached sets a new world record for the technique.

RMR™ enabled Woodside to use the type of drilling mud needed to maximize the wellbore smearing effect that CWD provides, which helps keep the wellbore stable.

The system allows top-holes to be drilled using weighted mud, with fluid and cuttings returned to the rig and no discharge. It is also able to supply the low pump rates and good hole-cleaning capability required to drill efficiently, despite the relatively narrow annulus that was a feature of this project.

Thanks to RMR™ and the casing being run during the drilling process, there were no losses to the formation during that stage – an all-too-common occurrence with conventional drilling method.

AGR’s ingenuity solves the challenge

Standard internal or external wellhead adapters could not be used on this project for the RMR’s™ Suction Module (SMO) without extensive modification to the Permanent Guide Base, or without causing difficulties when it came to landing the High Pressure Well Head (HPWH) on the Low Pressure Well Head (LPWH) later on in the operation.

AGR’s ingenuity provided the solution, with an internal adapter being devised that could be split. This meant that the casing could be drilled down with the SMO in place.

General Manager EDS Asia Pacific, Bernt Eikemo, said: “When it was time for the HPWH to be landed on the LPWH, the SMO could simply be lifted off the LPWH using two ‘tugger’ winches on the rig, with an ROV performing the split.

“This of course has never been done before but, with a simple design and good communication with the ROV Company, it proved to be a great solution and it took next to no time for the ROV to release the locking pins and split the adapter.”

The operation went smoothly, with an impressive Rate of Penetration (ROP) achieved of some 60m (197ft) per hour. Bernt added: “This would have been impressive even with conventional drilling. To be able to drill these kinds of wells and others in a quick, simple way like this can potentially create great savings for operators.

“Working within areas with challenging geotechnical conditions, a proper mud system and the ability to have full returns are vital for success. RMR™ is perfect for this application.”

AGR recently surpassed the 500-well landmark for its Cutting Transportation System (CTSTM) and RMR™. Next year will see the first deployment of the company’s EC-Drill™ Managed Pressure Drilling system.

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Australia: Clough Completes Sale of Marine Construction Business

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Engineering and construction company Clough Limited announced that it has completed the sale of its Marine Construction business to SapuraCrest Petroleum Berhad for gross proceeds of approximately AUD 127 million and on the terms previously reported in the company’s ASX Announcement of 8 August 2011.

Clough’s offshore Marine Construction Division includes the derrick lay barge, Java Constructor, and associated marine construction equipment. Also included will be Clough’s interest in the Clough Helix Joint Venture, which operates the chartered Normand Clough vessel, and its investments in specialist engineering businesses, OFI and Peritus. Relevant contracts including the Chevron Gorgon Domestic Gas pipeline project are proposed to be novated.

Post transaction the division will continue to operate from Perth with a continuing focus on both the Australian and regional markets. Clough will continue to provide a number of back office services to the business for a period of two years.

About Clough

Established in 1919, Clough delivers an integrated Engineering, Procurement and Construction service to oil and gas and mineral resources projects primarily in Australia and South East Asia. The Group’s services range from concept development through design, construction, installation, commissioning, operations and maintenance.

Backed by an experienced management team, over 3,600 personnel and sophisticated project management systems, we are recognised for our commitment to safety, sustainable development and the wellbeing of the people, communities and environments in which we operate.

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USA: Pacific Santa Ana Drillship Hits the Water

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Pacific Drilling S.A. has taken delivery of its newest drillship, the Pacific Santa Ana. The drillship features the most advanced drilling technology in the offshore drilling industry, including dual load path capability and dual gradient drilling upgrades.

The “PACIFIC SANTA ANA” is an upgraded Dual Activity Samsung 12000 design dynamically-positioned drillship capable of operating in moderate environments and water depths up to 3,657 m (12,000 ft) using 18¾” BOP and 21” OD FT-DGD drilling riser and equipped for single and/or Dual Gradient Drilling (DGD)

The Vessel is expected to commence operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in Spring 2012 under a 5 year contract with a Chevron subsidiary

Pacific Drilling CEO, Chris Beckett, stated, “We are very proud to announce the delivery of the Pacific Santa Ana. This drillship incorporates the newest advances in offshore drilling technology and is the first ultra-deepwater rig equipped for dual gradient drilling, an innovation that is expected to provide significant benefits in drilling safety and efficiency. The delivery of the Pacific Santa Ana, the fourth rig in our fleet, completes the first phase of Pacific Drilling’s growth strategy to become the industry’s preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor.”

The company currently operates four recently delivered drillships and has two additional drillships on order at Samsung to be delivered in 2013.

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USA: Busy December Ahead of Pacific Drilling’s Drillships

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Pacific Drilling S.A. today provided an update on the status of its ultra-deepwater drillships.  The Pacific Bora commenced its three year contract with a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary on August 26, 2011, and continues to operate in the Agbami Field in Nigeria. The rig has reached performance levels in line with industry expectations.

In addition, following previously announced repairs and upgrades, the Pacific Scirocco is mobilizing from quayside in Port Ngqura, South Africa, to Nigeria, where it is expected to commence a one year contract with Total E&P Nigeria Limited in December 2011.

The Pacific Santa Ana will complete upgrades prior to expected delivery in December 2011, before mobilizing to the US Gulf of Mexico for a five year contract with Chevron as the world’s first dual gradient drilling rig.

The Pacific Mistral arrived in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2011. The rig will now undergo regulatory approvals and acceptance testing with its client, Petrobras, prior to beginning operations, which are expected to start in December 2011.

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Cal Dive Australia Selects Saab Seaeye Panther XT Plus ROV

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To tackle the strong currents in Australia’s offshore oil & gas fields, leading contracting company, Cal Dive International (Australia) Pty Limited, selected Saab Seaeye’s powerful new Panther XT Plus ROV (Zone Rated and configured for operations in hazardous areas) when making that choice.

A Cal Dive spokesman said, ‘The Panther ticks all the boxes. It is small enough to work inside rig and platform jackets, yet powerful enough to open and close pipeline valves and operate in the strong currents of open water.’

Although intended primarily for inspection work on oil & gas platforms, sub-sea completions and associated pipelines, Cal Dive says, ‘It has the muscle to do whatever needs to be done.’

Cal Dive points to the fact the Panther XT Plus has ten powerful thrusters, has 50% more power and swims 30% faster than any other electric work ROV of its class.

Such thruster power means it can maintain position whilst working in the strong currents of Australian waters that would normally restrict the operations of other similar ROV’s.

The Panther’s configuration chosen by Cal Dive includes a Seaeye wide-angle low-light black & white camera and a Kongsberg compact colour zoom camera.

Also a Tritech Super SeaKing sonar with dual frequency sonar head, and a Tritech altimeter with auto altitude option.

Fitted to the ROV are two Schilling Orion manipulators: starboard side, a seven function position feedback manipulator with 3.8″ gripper, and port side, a four function rate manipulator with 7.8″ gripper.

For debris clearance, the Panther comes with a rotary disc cutter and a 38mm anvil cutter.

There is also a water jetting system, a cleaning brush assembly and manipulator-held cleaning brush tool.

A Cygnus ultrasonic thickness gauge comes with the ROV, together with a CP proximity probe to check anode protection.

In the case of an emergency the ROV is fitted with a battery operated emergency locator strobe.

The ROV system includes a stainless steel framed tether management cage with 150m of tether cable, and its own Seaeye mini camera.

Also supplied through Saab Seaeye’s West Australian distributor, Oceanvision, is a control container and a self-erecting launch and recovery A-frame with 1100 metre umbilical cable capacity, a certified bullet assembly and lock latch assembly with snubber rotator.

Reassuringly for Cal Dive the new Panther XT Plus has evolved from the proven Panther concept into a more powerful vehicle with an increased payload and re-designed frame that allows more space for additional equipment and a greater range of tools and sensors.

An added bonus when working to a tight deadline in hazardous conditions is that ten thrusters in hand offer a reassuringly high degree of redundancy, should one or more thrusters become fouled – allowing the operator to keep the ROV on task until recovery.

Cal Dive say that, although this is the first Saab Seaeye ROV for Cal Dive’s Australian operation, the ROV team has good previous experience with Saab Seaeye ROVs in other fields of operation.

Cal Dive International (Australia) Pty Limited is part of Houston-based Cal Dive International, established 30 years and a market leader in offshore construction, inspection, maintenance, repair and decommissioning of production and pipeline infrastructure.

Saab Seaeye is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric ROVs, and now includes Saab’s underwater systems which provides tethered, autonomous and hybrid underwater vehicle systems for the defence industry. This year marks Seaeye’s 25 years as a leading innovator in ROV design and manufacture.

Oceanvision is the Saab Seaeye distributor and service hub for Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Western Australia. Oceanvision also manufacture and design underwater camera systems for the general marine and the offshore drilling industry.

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