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With nearly one million feet of hole drilled in Alaskan North Slope wells using “matched” point-the-bit RSS/extended gauge drilling technology, application of rotary steerable drilling techniques in remote Alpine field development wells has increased reservoir exposure through Extended-Reach Drilling (ERD) profiles. This has resulted in several record slimhole horizontal lengths. Similar in many respects to offshore platform drilling, the Alpine wells demonstrate the potential of rotary steerable drilling techniques for ERD wells offshore.
Beyond enhancing development of new reserves with fewer wells and smaller footprints, using a Rotary Steerable System (RSS) to drill extended-reach lengths can improve production, increase reserves of existing fields, and enable marginal-field development, which has been made economically feasible by the present higher commodity price environment. In the case of the Alpine field’s satellite development wells, the extended lateral exposure has proved additional reserves.
Offshore drilling platforms often dictate hole size and equipment limits.
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