Subsea drilling templates and tieback engineering offer savings
Once again, however, operators are evaluating the pre-drilling option for their developments. Successful tieback of wells is now normal where there is adequate planning and manufacture of cost effective drilling templates, and there are many such examples around the world. With the benefit of experience, a typical rig-installed drilling template is in place within 24 hours, with an average well tieback taking less than 48 hours. As the oil sector has matured, field developments are increasingly marginal. Even the larger accumulations have substantial technical challenges and hence reduced economics. Operators are therefore increasingly looking to innovative use of known technologies to reduce costs. Focus with marginal fields is now on the earlier re-use of appraisal wells in order to acquire more reservoir data, and the decoupling of drilling and project schedules in order to mitigate risk and cost over runs. The increased cost of template and tieback hardware is often offset by time savings afforded by batch drilling or completion processes. Refining economic models and replacing annual historical coarse inputs with monthly reports, makes the “time value” of money (through discounting) penalty less onerous in advancing drilling for compressed field development schedules. This scenario is entirely appropriate for short development schedules.
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