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In recent years, technological breakthroughs in downhole tools, bits and integrated systems have dramatically enhanced operators’ ability to drill, land and steer complex wellbores in increasingly challenging environments. In early 2013, for example, PetroChina began drilling horizontal wells in a mature oil field in western China, using a hybrid rotary steerable system (RSS) capable of achieving higher build rates than conventional tools. Despite very thin, hard target reservoirs and high structural uncertainties, all three ultra-deep wells drilled with this new technology achieved their objectives while breaking existing performance records. As a result, PetroChina is reducing total runs per well, boosting rates of penetration (ROP), extending footage per run, minimizing nonproductive time (NPT) and costs, and increasing reservoir exposure.
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