Friday, July 8, 2011


D'Oh - Homer Simpson

Oil wells are getting deeper. They are becoming more convoluted as well. This has created a lot of niche services and service companies, and a whole new host of problems which would not have even been considered a few years ago. For example a client of ours recently requested the latest and greatest in high strength logging  cables. This stuff  has phenomenal tensile properties and if we utilize it to its full capability we can pull a great deal more tension on it then what is usually allowed. That means you can run more tools simultaneously while reducing the risk of leaving those tools in the well should they happen to become stuck. Unfortunately our client won't be able to use that cable to its rated load. You see you have to support that cable with something, and that something needs to be a whole lot stronger than the cable. The client never told the rig what they had in mind and they have only just realised that the rig's support points are inadequate for the cable they specified. The rig can't change their support points - its already at sea. So an entire drilling and evaluation campaign has to be changed because someone couldn't see the entire picture.
The amusing thing in all of this is that our client has us running around like chickens trying to solve  a problem, for which we have no reponsilbility, and yet are expected to sort out - for free of course. I can forsee some very expensive solutions coming. Machine shops...chartered aircraft....

I suppose this whole exercise would be the equivalent of throwing a formula 1 race engine into a Yugo, or a Gremlin, or even a  Pinto. You are going to be disappointed. no matter what you do next.


Multibrand said...

Hi PJ,
I hope that the oil and gas companies would follow all the required operational procedures so that everything would be okay.
The Lapindo Brantas tragedy in Sidoarjo, East Java, should not happen again.

pj said...

Hi Harry

Generally speaking O & G companies are pretty pro-safety. But its often the case that service companies are asked to make up for the mistakes and oversights of these same companies.Indeed had Lapindo followed their own drilling plan there would probably not be a giant mud flat today.

colson said...

Is this an example of intellectual overstretch - something too complicated for people to really keep it under control?

By the way: wish you and your colleagues will soon find the solution to this squaring the circle.

pj said...

hey colson how was your holliday? I think its a case of reaching material limits on one solution. New problems you never imagined keep cropping up. The key in my mind is to reassonably try to balance the risks with the customer expectations -not always a straitforward proposal. Some clients can't get their head around the fact that when you solve one issue you generally create another.

I'm working on a tool for squaring the thing at a time eh.

Outbound said...

Nice article :-)