5 Ways to Drive Drilling Optimisation Efficiency

In simple terms, drilling optimisation is the continuous effort to identify improvements in drilling practices and performance. These improvements don’t necessarily have to be drastic changes, small alterations to processes can have substantial impacts. 

Considering that a daily rig rate can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, shaving a few hours in drilling time can save tens of thousands. That’s why you need to continuously focus on drilling optimisation efficiency to drive time and cost savings during all phases of your projects. 

1. Consider new and existing processes

Over the last decade, there’s been more of an expectation from operators that service providers will take care of drilling optimisation. Yet, efficiency in this area requires operators and service providers to engage as much as possible about what works and what does not.  There is, however, an opportunity to look at new processes as well.  At Aurora, we say, “It’s not about reinventing the wheel but making sure it’s fit for purpose”. Don’t be afraid to test new ideas. We combine our wealth of expertise with data and analysis techniques to ensure we identify issues and opportunities at the earliest part of the process, to drive long-term efficiencies. 

2. Leverage software to drive accuracy in drilling

Drilling is precise, technical work and thus requires a very high level of detail. That’s why we developed in-house software AWOS, which provides detailed efficiency analysis of pre-well, during, and post-well drilling operations. This allows for critical decision-making in the planning phase. Furthermore, efficiency analysis enables informed decision-making on when to pull the drilling system out of the hole during the drilling phase to avoid time loss. 

3. Conduct a thorough pre-drill analysis 

Our other software, BE3 & C3, are needed for every planned product. These quick and easy reviews of the recommended drill bits will ensure you don’t have unpleasant surprises in terms of length of run, or less-than-expected rate of progress, in the future.

Read our latest case study to learn more about the value of using BE3 and C3 efficiency and durability indexing models.

4. Challenge your team to get the best out of them

Of course, it’s important to trust your teams and their judgment, but challenging teams is OK too. You must ensure open communication and discussion on processes being followed. At the end of the day, you must ensure everything is being carried out correctly, and that you have a common understanding.

  • Challenge the subsurface team to establish if they REALLY need all the measuring equipment that they want in the bottom hole assembly (BHA). 
  • Question the directional drilling providers on whether their equipment is fit for purpose on every planned BHA. You need to check in directional, performance, and longevity terms. 
  • Ask the rig supplier to set operational limits for their equipment at the pre-well stage of the project. This will ensure that everyone is then working from the same hymn sheet.

5. Get outside expertise if you need it

You might opt to do everything yourself to save money. But that’s a one-dimensional view of costs for services. It’s important to consider the level of expertise and resourcing available in-house. Is it enough to do the job well? We have found that clients usually come to us after facing the initial hurdles, having tried the ‘we can do it ourselves’ approach. 

At this point, they are seeking to take expert advice. They trust our analysis and are ready to work together. Working with a third party can alleviate a lot of stress and deliver better value as you have access to a larger team of expertise with trusted experience in the industry. 

Make drilling optimisation a priority for your business. Drilling optimisation plays a critical part in improving drilling performance and reducing costs. A recent study by Mustafa, et al (2021), highlights that drilling optimisation positively impacts drill time, and rig productivity, and consequently, increases the profitability of oil and gas projects. Ultimately, this will help you ensure the delivery of projects on time and within budget, so you can meet the needs of upper management and the partners who fund projects. 

At Aurora, we have the industry know-how to help you achieve continued drilling optimisation. Contact us to discuss how we can work together.