Norwegian oil services and technology firm AGR is celebrating a milestone as two of its key technologies reach the 500 well milestone.
AGR's Enhanced Drilling Solutions team is celebrating the success of its Riserless Mud Recovery system (RMR™) and Cutting Transportation System (CTS™) with a new crest. This success follows the formation of the new AGR, bringing together the group's Drilling Services and Petroleum Services divisions to form one company.
To date, RMR™ has been used on more than 160 wells around the world, while CTS™ has been used on more than 340.
AGR's Operations Manager Cato Endresen said: "The fact that CTS™ and RMR™ have been used on more than 500 wells is a fantastic achievement for everyone here at Enhanced Drilling Solutions.
"We've created two solutions that have been very popular in the offshore industry and, in some cases, they have opened up new drilling opportunities while making sure that safety is always at the top of the agenda.
"Now more potential customers can take further reassurance in our expertise – '500 wells' says a lot about our experience, our knowledge and just adds to AGR's reputation as being the solutions provider. None of this would have been possible without the talent and dedication from the EDS team."
The RMR™ has been an industry changer since it was introduced in 2003. This risk-reduction technology was first used by BP in the Caspian and the operator has gone on to use RMR™ on 50 wells in the Caspian alone.
The system enables the use of engineered drilling mud in the top-hole section of a well – crucial in a location such as the Caspian, where the geological conditions make drilling wells a challenging business.
RMR™ helps keep the operator on schedule, on budget and, most importantly of all, offers enhanced safety features while being environmentally sound.
The engineered drilling mud helps keep the formation of the top hole section steady during this crucial drilling phase – if weighted mud is used, this helps prevent shallow gas kicks and shallow water flows.
The drilling fluid is returned to the rig, along with the cuttings from the wellbore, in a closed-loop system – meaning there is no discharge to the sea and the area around the well head remains clear. This allows real-time visual monitoring via suction-module-mounted cameras of the job in hand, highly desirable for the system's operators.
The use of RMR™ offers a substantial reduction in the number of costly re-spuds – the process of drilling the top-hole section becomes a lot more predictable when the system is used.
Off Sakhalin Island in Russia in 2006, RMR™ saved nine days per well for an operator while conforming to the stringent environmental regulations that are in place in the area.
The Cutting Transportation System enables the operator to transfer cuttings/cement/mud and clay deposits away from the well head, keeping the area free of debris – a crucial factor when it comes to later stages in the drilling operation such as tying in umbilicals.
As the CTS™ can take cuttings for up to 2km (1.2miles) away from a drilling site, it means that the system is invaluable in areas that are environmentally sensitive – where there is coral, for example. Drilling can still occur but rather than dumping cuttings on the seabed, they can be transported from the well area.
The system was first used by Statoil on the Gullfaks field in 1998. The ability of the CTS™ to take cuttings up to 2km away from the pump gives it an advantage over other systems on the market; its small footprint plus modular design also mean easy installation.
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