Drilling advances ///

At least one presenter at an SPE drilling symposium in Houston believes the arrival of newbuild drillship Pacific Santa Ana in the Gulf of Mexico signals a new era for deep-and ultra-deepwater exploration. “We now have a frontier that a lot of companies are looking into, and investing heavily in, and that’s dual-gradient drilling,” said Alan Clarke, director of NOV’s Pressure Drilling Systems. “At some point, this is probably going to be one of the primary methods for exploring the ultra-deepwater prospects we have today.”

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