Questions answered by:
Pat Sullivan: Global Product Line Director for Land Rigs for National Oilwell Varco
Dirk Schulze: CEO of Bentec GmbH Drilling and Oilfield Systems
Yuri Parnivoda: General Manager of Drillmec Russia, Moscow
1. What is the current state of play in the rig market in Russia?
NOV: Russia’s (Oil & Gas) reserves are being consumed faster than they can replace them. Strong pressure from the Government to replace / build on the countries reserves has never been stronger.
This has caused a growth in new Rig orders, and forcing old Rigs to be Repaired / Upgraded and brought back into service but, just like the rest of the world, the vast majority of Russia’s existing Rig fleet is twenty plus years old, and these Rigs were never designed to cope with today’s demanding new well programs – Meaning progress is slow.
The next 3 to 5 years holds strong potential for technically advanced Rig makers, with the capability and capacity to build affordable Rigs and provide solutions that lower the overall cost of drilling the well.
Bentec: Bentec has established itself well in the Russian market. Our presence in Russia as a truly Russian company is key to our future success in this market.
Our subsidiary LLC Bentec in Tyumen has a complete technological cycle of metal construction production from material cutting to conservation and control of the assembled units with equipment testing. The company is a Russian legal entity.
One of our latest delivery into the Russian market consisted of three HR 5000 Cluster Slider rigs for use in Arctic conditions, which are now operating successfully for Gazprom. The manufacturing process for additional 7 rigs with completely new design has started in our Tyumen facility.
Drillmec: Russian drilling rig market in the pre-crisis period, during 2008 (except for the IV quarter of 2008) showed a stable development dynamics. Market growth in 2008 relative to 2007 (taking into account the crisis of fourth quarter of 2008) ranged from 10% to 20%. The share of imports in the structure of the rig market in 2008 was about 49%, mainly due to Chinese manufacturers, as well as world leaders from Europe. Domestic manufacturers have retained the leading position in the structure of the Russian market in 2008 (about 51%). In the total market volume of drilling rigs dominant share held mobile drilling rigs (58% in 2008 and 60% in 1 half of 2009).
Because of the global financial crisis, which the Russian economy entered in the fourth quarter of 2008, a decrease of the drilling equipment market in 2009 – 2010 reached 50% and returned to 2007 level.
Russian drilling rig market is estimated as very promising and its growth in the nearest future will be determined by the following factors:
» Increase in drilling in Russia;
Almost unanimously forecast to increase oil production until 2015, regardless of the corridor in world oil prices. In the next five years the production fields of Western Siberia will not be worked out, and it is expected a number of launches of new high-output oil & gas fields;
» The need to implement obligations under the license fields and their development will require the growth in the exploration and development drilling;
» Physically worn-out fleet of drilling rigs (70%);
» Specific geological and climatic conditions in the country, requiring specialized drilling rigs and restricting the use of traditional designs;
» Application of new drilling technologies require retrofitting drilling equipment.
According to experts the growth of consumption of drilling rigs is expected to more than 2 times and starting from 2011.
2. Competition is fierce within the rig market. How do you differentiate yourselves from cheaper manufactures who claim to be able to achieve similar results?
NOV: Worldwide, NOV has developed proven technology both on and offshore that lowers the overall cost of drilling the well. We focus on the long-term solution, safety and cost not just the initial investment in equipment. NOV has unparalleled experience in Arctic conditions, having supplied nearly every rig on the North Slope of Alaska. These sophisticated rigs, as well as every standard rig package; provide the customers a cost savings long after the rig spuds its first hole. Customers that value this long term approach receive lower operating cost from:
» Reduced time from release to spud
» Reliable equipment that increases operational “up” time
» Total integration of all drilling systems from the bit to the Crown, provides more cost efficient well construction
» Heat recovery systems
» Reduction of injury incident
» Dependable supply chain and service organization to support operations the life of the rig
» Reduce environmental impact
Bentec: At Bentec we have a German engineering, production and service history of 125 years. We build rigs that operate with a proven track record of less than half a percent downtime. In addition we are continuously strengthening our product development and service capabilities in order to react immediately on customer requirements and market demand. For instance, nowadays drilling in Russia is taking place in increasingly difficult environments, such as areas further east in Siberia, where high-tech equipment is having to prove itself. Our products are specifically designed to meet these challenges.
On top of that, we deliver German levels of quality and safety at a competitive price. Bentec delivers within budget and on time – we have not missed a single delivery date in the last five years. For our customers this subject is increasingly important due to their commitment in the market place and potential loss of profit and reputation.
In order to be close to our customers, Bentec has branches and representation offices in all our relevant markets. In Russia in particular, Bentec has invested approx. 25 million Euro in a new and state of the art manufacturing facility in Tyumen.
Drillmec: One of our main features is that we produce and offer to the Russian rig market an exclusive and high-tech equipment – automatic hydraulic drilling rigs that have no analogues in any markets and in which we have no competitors. Therefore, we can easily differentiate ourselves from any competitors.
3. Rig design is the key for drilling success. What are the latest developments within your company?
NOV: We disagree slightly. The rig design is a part of the success, but we feel that the Rig Design along with Systems Integration and the link between what is happening down hole to the “decision making” that is going on topside is the big picture to drilling success. Although today’s drilling operations look much different than those of the past, the desire to drill faster and more efficiently has held constant. NOV focuses on modern design improvements in land rig technology that lead to improved efficiencies during rig-up/rig-down operations and reduced mobilization time between well sites. NOV also integrates down hole technology, for example BlackBox®, to improve drilling efficiency and well construction. NOV also links the rig operations to expert service and support via remote monitoring and diagnostics.
Bentec: Bentec has developed different designs to meet customer requirements for different geographical areas. There are the cluster slider models for multi well locations as we know them since some years. But we have further developed this design for smaller footprint on location and, very important a heat recovery system. This heat recovery system can save operators fuel cost in a range of 5000 litres of diesel per day on locations without power supply from the mains. This is a drastic saving potential, especially in remote areas like Yamal where the cost of fuel on location is mainly driven by transport charges. Additionally we constantly improve our rigs and products with regard to personnel safety and operational availability. The feedback from our clients, which have our rigs in operation is constantly reviewed and implemented as design improvements.
Drillmec: Designed and manufactured by DRILLMEC the automatic hydraulic drilling rigs are revolutionary today and are a fundamentally new model of equipment – it’s currently the most innovative proposal for global oil and gas industry, which today is in dire need of improving the work safety, improving the technical and economic performance and achieve competitive cost levels and reduce the impact on the environment. World experience of drilling rigs use has shown that automation not only reduces the number of personnel drilling crews, but also as a consequence, increases the safety of operations at the wellsite, the effectiveness of their work and allows for a common overall reduction in the cost of drilling.
4. What key features do you have on your arctic rated rigs to ensure drilling performance in this harsh extreme?
NOV: One of the keys is not feature related but the knowledge of cold weather and how things work in this environment. This comes from people with years of experience that have spent years in the minus 40 degree weather and working with operators and drilling contractors in the same environment. In a nut shell when things go wrong in this environment it happens very quickly and people die. Experience can tell you what works and what does not. One answer to your question about what key features is quite simple, THE PEOPLE. Technology wise we have already talked briefly about it in the previous question. We consider the Drilling Rig as “well construction tool” and we integrate all of the systems and with our knowledge of arctic requirements including cold weather materials, heating and heat recovery, safety of personnel, our rigs have outperformed all others.
Bentec: The Bentec Cluster Slider for instance is specifically designed to perform under harsh conditions in e.g. Siberia. These rigs can work in temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celsius and more. The rig’s modules can be broken down into units that can be easily accommodated by the Russian rail system. In addition, the rig’s power supply can come from mains power lines, or it can be self-generated, which, given the remoteness of parts of Siberia and other Arctic regions, may be a necessity. The rig is build in full compliance with the regulations of GOST (Russian state standard) and can be operated following initial commissioning without delays for additional licensing.
Drillmec: Our automatic hydraulic drilling rigs are compact and have no great height of the mast. Therefore, as it turned out, it’s even easier to winterize the rigs developed in the Arctic configuration than traditional drilling rigs. Our rigs are sheltered completely including covering the mast. Thus, for operation in arctic conditions at the automatic hydraulic drilling rigs a very favorable work conditions of an enclosed area are provided, with the ability to maintain a high positive work temperature indoor, that provides very favorable conditions for drilling crews and favorably affects the safety of works and performance.
Similar working conditions in winter period cannot be created in any other type of conventional drilling rigs, because of the large size of rigs(derricks) they cannot be completely winterized. No matter how insulated the traditional rigs are the work on the drilling floor on these rigs are always carried out in the open air.
5. Worker safety is a key issue within the oil patch, what systems do you have to ensure roughneck safety on the rigs?
NOV: NOV is constantly looking at ways to remove the man out of harm’s way. We look at the 3 major areas of safety concerns which are raking board, drill floor area and pipe racking area. Here we have of course top drives, power slips, Iron roughnecks, pipe handling and Pipe racking systems that mechanize and automate the drilling process with very little crew members in harm’s way. However NOV does more than the standard areas of focus. We look at pinch points of personnel, insure good access to equipment and proper escape routes. We also consider the environment, from heating and ventilation systems to tripping hazards. We believe that all personnel should be safe and we have this in the forefront of all NOV land rig designs. We have internal reviews of designs with safety in mind. If personnel feel safe, they work more efficiently and go home alive.
Bentec: During the development and engineering Bentec performs a structured and systematic examination of a planned or existing process or operation in order to identify and mitigate any risk that may result in hazards for personnel or equipment, or prevent an efficient operation. This hazard and operability study – HAZOP is executed for the entire rig by engineering, operation and rig move specialists. With the implementation of the HAZOP results in the rig design and an additional rig analysis of the systems Bentec guarantees to deliver drilling rigs with a highest safety level. Advanced control systems like ACS (anti collision system), or 4Q drawworks control system increase the safety performance significantly and are standard on our rigs.
Drillmec: The most common accidents on drilling rigs happen on the rig floor. They mostly affect hands and fingers including squeezing between the hanging pipe and pipe on the slips, impact and dragging by rotating tubulars, and crushing caused by tongs, wrenches and chains.
These accidents can happen to people who work closely with moving equipment and are exposed to the hazard of impacting with it. Accidents often happen while tripping strings on a conventional rigs, where there are many people doing heavy manual work in the fairly restricted space of a drill floor.
On the Drillmec rigs of HH Series, with a smaller crew and most of the routine activities automatic or remotely controlled, the possibility of casualties is dramatically reduced. The possibility of being hurt by falling objects is basically nonexistent because there is no man presence or activity above the rig floor and the hoisting action is carried out through the telescopic movement of the hydraulic mast instead of drawworks and their lines as with conventional rigs.
The small number of recorded accidents demonstrates that activity on these rigs is always done with the highest possible level of safety for the entire crew. The automated systems, the central control and the reduced number of people allow for easier and more effective handling of the rig, with very beneficial effects on the overall performance and costs. People work more comfortably and in less tiring conditions, resulting in a safer and more productive approach to their duties.
6. Historically the drilling contractors in Russia were fully responsible for delivering the well. Nowadays many operators and contractors are moving towards Western style drilling contracts where the operator is responsible for the well planning and associated risk and the contractor is simply there to supply the equipment and to carry out the task. How has this effected the rig market?
NOV: We welcome this approach. As the operators and drilling contractors forge ahead with this model, NOV is well positioned to be a valuable partner. As we previously described, we believe NOV’s value is lowering the overall well construction cost. NOV is an innovator in equipment and rig design but also can play a key role in the overall operational efficiencies that result in lower overall cost. NOV is very excited about the future in Russia and sees the new direction as a positive move in Russia.
Bentec: The rig market is driven by the amount of wells required to drill and not by the contractual relationship between an operator and a drilling contractor. In both contractual scenarios, turn-key or day rate, the same rig is required; i.e. the most reliable rig for safe, effective and trouble-free operations is a Bentec rig. This is to the benefit of both the operator and the contractor in
Drillmec: Working on the Western style drilling contracts, when a contractor merely provides the equipment and perform tasks does not affect directly the market of drilling rigs, but in all other things being equal, is more efficient and enabling factor that allows to provide higher quality services.
Questions answered by:
Pat Sullivan: Global Product Line Director for Land Rigs, National Oilwell Varco
Jeff Allen: Country Manager Russia, Tesco Corporation
Geir Ingebretsen: Drilling advisor, Aker Solutions
Dirk Schulze: CEO of Bentec GmbH Drilling and Oilfield Systems
1. What are the key advantages of your top drives over rotary tables?
NOV: Top Drives are the standard for almost all modern drilling operations globally now. NOV has the bestselling model of Top Drive in the world with over a 1000 sold. Their advantages are well known and include:
» Safety. Use of internal Blow-out preventer allows you to shut in the well at any point in the drilling/tripping process. No need for TIW or Kelly valves
» Quiker. Our top drives can drill a full triple stand of pipe
Another advantage that NOV offers is the overall integration of the top drive into the drilling process with our Amphion controls, especially in the control and interface we have with our auto driller.
Tesco: Tesco Electric and Hydraulic Top Drives incorporate both variable speed and torque control, auxiliary robotics pipe handling functions, internal blow out prevention, and 24hr rig up. Most importantly Tesco Top Drives have proven 99.4% uptime, a tremendous safety record and Russian industry leading service capacity from our Tyumen operations centre.
When compared to rotary table conventional operations the use of a Tesco Top Drive allows the operator much more control during drilling, tripping, and casing running. Drilling with 28 meter stands minimizes connection time by two thirds therefore allowing more drilling time.
During tripping with a Tesco top drive the operator can connect or disconnect to the drill string at any height in the mast. Connecting at any height is important during well control situations, reaming in or back reaming a section of the well bore. Disconnecting at any height allows the pipe to be racked in the mast when back reaming. This saves time by avoiding having to lay down the drill pipe and then picked back up again when returning to drill.
During casing operations having a Top Drive will allow the operator the use a Tesco Casing Running Tool to improve safety (removal of stabbing board requirement) and control of the operation by providing the ability to Casing Drill, rotate, fill and circulate the casing at any depth in the well.
Aker Solutions: Aker Solutions has manufactured top drives since early 1980’s. Top drives have replaced rotary tables in modern drilling rigs and have many advantages over kelly / rotary drilling. Our top drive has significant benefits with regard to HSE such as remote controlled functions and the fact that it is ready for both tripping and drilling at any time. It also reduces drilling time and rotates the drill string more efficiently, with the Aker Solutions “soft torque” function decreasing stress on the drill string. In terms of tubular, these are handled much more efficiently using a remote operated pipe handling and retract system. Other key benefits include:
» Variable rotating power
» Allows rotation at any time (reduced risk of going stuck)
» Rapid response to well kicks (stab in make up and close, all remote controlled)
» Quick and efficient reaming and back reaming with stands instead of just single tubular
» Using the top drive gives less connections (stands are built upfront instead of drilling with singles)
» When using the top drive the crew does not have to lay down stands of pipe between wells
» Load cells are integrated on Aker Solutions top drive (accurate weight control)
Bentec: Due to insufficient performance of the available brands and their lack of after sales service support, the market desperately needed a new top drive. Bentec developed top drives that are 100% engineered and built in Germany to meet the needs of our many and varied clients. Our advantages are robust and safe drilling operations; reliable, simple and cost-effective maintenance; competitive pricing; and, importantly, less downtime than other top drives. Bentec top drives can be used as a portable or permanently installed unit on land and offshore applications. The compact size allows for many mast designs.
When combined with notable features which include a powerful motor with excellent torque characteristics, a heavy duty pipehandler, and new control mechanisms, this makes it one of the most desirable top drives on the market.
2. What key features does your top drive have to maximize drilling uptime?
NOV: Most mechanical top drive down time is a function of pipehandler malfunction. NOV has a unique pipehandler which more evenly splits the load on the links and thus reducing failures. Again one of our advantages is the integrated controls and VFD drives and the operational training we provide. Data shows that about half of top drive down time can be categorized as a control or drive issue. Data also shows that the system functioned as it was designed and faulted due to improper usage or a safety issue. Operational training greatly reduces those errors. With components coming from multiple sources it is hard to get the proper operational training. A fully integrated system from one source and taking advantage of our Technical College, NOV, drastically reduces your risk of improper functioning.
Tesco: Tesco Top Drives provide more opportunity to control the well during drilling and tripping operations, therefore assisting in the prevention of non-productive time due to lack of pipe movement and/or circulation. Non-productive time elimination is a result of the Tesco Top drives ability to efficiently handle pipe, maintain up time and provide the driller with a simple easy to use control interface.
When combined with customer training (maintenance and driller) Tesco Top Drives within the Tesco Russian rental division (to date 20 units) have proven they can cut the time to drill a well by up to 50%.Tesco also has tremendous service capacity in Russia with operations and inventory supported from Tyumen and a pool of 70 world class Russian and global technicians ready at a moment’s notice to service customer requirements.
Aker Solutions: Firstly I would like to comment that we have 30 years experience in manufacturing top drives with our first top drives being delivered in early 1980’s. To specifically increase uptime, our top drives have a high level of monitoring, redundancies on critical parts, modularized equipment for quick changing and quick hydraulic, electrical and mechanical connections.
Bentec: The Benetc Top Drive comes with a number of innovative features to significantly improve drilling results. With up to 25 per cent higher performance than comparable units and a new control system, the Bentec Top Drive reduces downtime and maintenance costs significantly. Also a new developed link tilt mechanisms sets new standards in the area of safety.
3. As discussed earlier more and more complex and deviated wells are being drilling in Russia what advantages does your top drives bring to contractors working on ERD and sidetracked wells?
NOV: NOV Top Drives have advanced controls which are integrated into our Amphion Drilling Controls. For example, Soft Speed II and NOV-Twister assist in stick slip mitigation and directional drilling, respectively.
Tesco: Many ERD and directional wells are stoped due to the fact that the pipe will not slide. The Tesco Top Drive is able to keep the pipe moving for longer periods of time and can also be used to rock the pipe from forward to reverse in very short time cycles, therefore assisting the pipe to slide and helping movement of the BHA towards the reservoir. Additionally tool face orientation is made extremely simple with the Tesco Top Drive finite motor control ability and pipehandler lock.
Aker Solutions: Aker Solutions top drives advantages for working on ERD and sidetracked wells include the fact that our tool faced system is integrated for more controlled orientation, our soft toque system as described above, the use of AC motors which guarantee no stalling and load cells integrated on our top drives for accurate weight control.
Bentec: The benefits of using top drives on deviated and ERD wells are widely known. Essential to draw full advantages of the top drive is the reliability. Here the Bentec Top Drive meets exactly the needs of our customers: 25 % more torque drive than others, robust and reliable, even down to -45 Degrees, and consequently less downtime.
Bentec took all the experiences from 20 years of commissioning, maintenance and repair of other top drives to build one of the best top drives in the world. The Bentec TD-500-HT.
Questions answered by:
Vladimir Kerdivarenko: Manager for Russia and the CIS, Kem-Tron Technologies Inc
Ilya Komarovskih: Division Manager for Russia’s NOV Fluid Control operations
Andrey Redichkin: General Director of SCOMI OILTOOLS (RUS) LLC
1. Effective solids control can significantly reduce the overall costs of drilling, improve equipment run life and spare environmental damage. How does your equipment aid this process?
Kem-Tron: It is true that properly selected equipment and technologies make it possible to decrease the cost of drilling operations and increase the well production rate significantly. We offer solids control equipment that enables you to extend the equipment life span by preventing its wear, avoiding differential pressure sticking and creating a proper quality filter cake. Differentiated approach to the needs of each individual customer with consideration of environmental requirements and drilling conditions enables us to produce equipment customized for each specific project. This approach helps us develop solids control solutions that are optimal for both saving customer’s costs and for compliance with the environmental norms. Our equipment installed on customers drill rigs helps to significantly reduce the cost of drilling.
NOV: NOV’s Brandt equipment concentrates on removing damaging solids first time at the flowline. Shaker and screen design are key in achieving this, combining high capacity with high g force performance. Hydrocyclones and centrifuges complete the standard installation by removing ultrafine solids. Avoiding dilution greatly reduces drilling fluids costs, while the early elimination of abrasive solids helps prevent premature failure of pump parts and other consumables. Removing and containing the drill solids at the shaker greatly reduces the environmental problems of dealing with smaller degraded solids at a later stage.
Scomi: The most important issue in solids control is an integrated approach, which should allow you to clearly understand at which stage which size of solids is removed and to what extent, percentage wise. This will let you regulate the process by phasing certain stages in and out of the operation at the right time, which provides costs savings on drilling equipment operation, utilization of the cleaning system itself and most of all by avoiding dilution. We have an entire product line from shakers/screens and removing clay and large drill cuttings to integrated centrifuge intensifier units that will remove colloidal phase. All this allows us to provide an effective solution for solids control to our customers.
2. What new launches have you had recently?
Kem-Tron: Our priority development trend is innovation and implementation of latest solids control technological designs in manufacturing of new equipment models for circulation systems. Kem-Tron is presently working on a several science research projects and new patents. As a result of this work, we plan to develop on an average of one new product in each quarter during years 2011 and 2012. We recently launched a number of new products to the market, including vertical sludge dryer, new type of hyper G shale shaker and new screen panels, dewatering and purification systems. This equipment is now in operation in Russia and is highly regarded by our customers.
NOV: NOV has launched several improvements to the Brandt range lately many within the field of automated shaker control. The most significant recent initiative however has been the establishment of a solids control and waste management base in Nizhnevartovsk, offering clients equipment for immediate sale or rental, plus ex stock supplies of spares and screens along with technical service support on call. This has reduced the need for customers to tie up capital in inventory, plus helped eliminate delays often associated with importation and customs clearance. The base also provides a repair service for client’s own equipment.
Scomi: We are constantly developing and while some projects commence, others are completed. Some of our largest projects are contracts for drilling at Vankorskoye and Bovanekovskoye deposits, and our technical service is doing a great job there: our customers, Rosneft-Bureniye and Gasprom-Bureniye are very positive about the quality of our work and we hope to further assist our customers in providing effective solutions for solids control.
The main product we offer is high quality state-of-the-art service, which is always on time. It is constantly improved and completely customer-oriented: it changes in accordance with customer’s requirements thus it is ALWAYS a new product.
3. Failure to remove particles from drilling fluids can alter the very properties of the fluid itself, slowing drilling penetration and equipment efficiencies. How does your equipment ensure maximum particle removal?
Kem-Tron: Kem-Tron produces an entire line of equipment for recirculation, mixing, dewatering of drill fluid and water purification in closed cycle for oil industry, directed, geothermal and water drilling as well as environmental-related and mining equipment. For maximal removal of solids from the drilling fluid you need properly selected equipment and chemical reagents (which we also provide) as well as technical and technological solutions to reach the desired results. By studying customer’s drilling conditions and environmental requirements, our engineers select equipment suitable for each specific project to help the customer reach the necessary goals, including that of maximum particle removal.
NOV: The most important feature for any solids control equipment is consistent and reliable performance. NOV achieves this in the Brandt range through equipment design, material selection and quality control throughout manufacture. Thus shakers and centrifuges continue to perform to their original design specification. Shakers remove the large volumes of drill cuttings which enables the centrifuges to remove the most harmful ultrafine particles. Some high speed rotating equipment can deteriorate quickly in field use but there are Brandt centrifuges performing successfully today that first entered service in West Siberia in the early 90’s.
Scomi: The physical aspects of the technology for solids control in drilling fluids are the same for all manufacturers; these basics are included in all equipment brands. This is why to reach the maximum results personnel are the key factor, their competence and capacity to make decisions in dynamically changing conditions of the drilling operation. But speaking of equipment, the answer is simple – the centrifuges provide maximum removal of solids from the fluid, and if we are to entirely clean the drilling fluid and utilize it by separating into solids and technical water, we use flocculation unit, where by introducing coagulating agent and flocculant, the fluid is separated and then sent again to the centrifuge where it is cleaned of all impurities including the colloidal phase.