Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that its drilling organization has developed an optimization process that consistently reduces the time required to drill oil and gas wells by up to 35 percent. ExxonMobil's Fast Drill Process (FDP) achieves this breakthrough performance by using real-time, computer analysis of the drilling system's energy consumption. This analysis, in turn, helps improve the management of the factors that determine drilling rate, such as weight on the drill bit, rotary speed and torque. The result is significantly faster drilling rates and reduced downtime.
The company has used FDP in many of its operating areas, and the process improves performance in a broad range of conditions: hard and soft rock, deep and shallow wells, high- and low-angle wells in a variety of mud weights. It has shown comparable success in exploration, delineation and production wells.
A key benefit of the FDP is that it quantifies the hidden cost of slow drilling. Drill rates have historically been evaluated by comparing performance to other wells in the same area. However, there has been no method to confirm that the comparison well was, itself, a high performing well. FDP allows ExxonMobil to make design changes to achieve the objective theoretical performance in a given well. Much of the performance improvement achieved has come from this ability to objectively justify design changes needed to extend previous performance limits.
"The FDP is the latest in a series of competitive, differentiating practices developed by ExxonMobil's drilling organization to reduce costs and allow wells to be put on production faster than previously possible," said Mark Albers, president of ExxonMobil Development Company.
"With FDP, our drilling technical organization bridges the gap between science and operational practices, to get the right technology in the hole. The team works with our operating group to make the connection between the engineering fundamentals and the real world of drilling wells. They identify the relevant science, create unique operating practices based on proven principles, and develop training processes to deploy these practices across our global organization as fast as possible," Albers said.
Following the FDP's successful field testing, ExxonMobil is implementing the process worldwide. This initiative follows several other recent advances including worldwide deployment of fracture closure stress practices for managing lost returns in low-integrity formations, integrated hole quality and wellbore stability practices for drilling extended reach wells, and the development of industry-leading deepwater completion practices.