Drilling for change
The drilling segment must adapt and innovate in order to solve key challenges and take full advantage of new opportunities
Drilling is the central part of the hydrocarbon extraction process. To an outsider, it may appear to be the same as it was decades ago, but the landscape has changed, and the drilling segment has had to adapt.
When we talk about a shifting landscape, we talk about fluctuating oil prices, changing geological formations, rapidly advancing technology, increasing awareness of environmental concerns, and many other factors.
Our Knowledge Partner, wellbore cleanup and abandonment specialist Coretrax, understands that landscape. Kenny Murray, managing director of Coretrax, talks about the oil price downturn, the outlook for the future, and how wellbore cleanup can help operators’ extend the productivity of their wells.
With relatively higher oil prices, operators can afford to spend on more expensive procedures like wellbore cleanup, which offer long-term savings for an immediate investment.
Looking at the wider industry, AIE managing director Neil Flemming says in our Market Focus that operators must take emission reduction seriously; if not for the sake of the environment, then for their bottom line.
With a global shift towards natural gas, Flemming points to methane emissions as a key greenhouse gas to reduce, and shares nine core sources of methane emissions.
Taking a look at the digital side of drilling, our Tech Focus dives into digital twins, and how three-dimensional renderings of assets (or entire operations) can improve efficiency, productivity and training.
But training is, in itself, becoming more and more digital. Our Last Word this month comes from 3T Energy Group Vice President of Strategy & Development Gavin Ames, who talks about how training simulators go hand-in-hand with localisation and help to fill the industry’s talent gap.
Drilling can, and should, be smarter. This Special Report might seem to shine a light on the inefficiencies of the segment, but it really emphasises the vast opportunities available.
The industry leaders gathered for this report point to only a few of the many ways that drilling can be improved, operators can cut costs, increase efficiency, adhere to localisation initiatives and drill responsibly.
With such a wide scope within drilling, and an uncertain future for the industry landscape, operators should be nimble, above all else. They will have to collaborate closely with services providers and contractors to ensure they are able to operate throughout any economic climate.
With rising interest in unconventionals and a shifting energy mix, innovative techniques will be needed to fill energy demand. That will require a workforce geared towards innovation and trained to make it happen.
Ultimately, the choices that operators make now will impact their ability to cope with the future.