The first deepwater well in the Saudi Arabian side of the Red Sea was going to be a rank wildcat well. Saudi Aramco Upstream leadership assembled a team of experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated professional staff across the Exploration Geology, Geophysics, Reservoir and Exploration Drilling organization to undertake the challenge of safe and successful well delivery. Contemporary frontier exploration projects utilize project development processes with long inter-nodal phasing schemes that follow traditional lateral cascade workflow methodology or the common waterfall process.
Published works on project development best practices cite project development and management processes that are ostensibly an adoption of product development processes with stage gates and decision points. In order to meet the Saudi Aramco leadership challenge for project delivery — speed, scale and a safe delivery mandate, non-negotiable parameters established for the project — innovative project interface management tools and strategies devised to enable multidisciplinary resources both internal and external to recognize vertical and lateral impacts of decision, specification and system dependencies, compatibility, boundaries and critical path sensitivities was developed.
The pervasive cohesion and shared sense of responsibility by the core project team and service partners, seamless communication protocols among stakeholders though fraught with complex and diverse perspectives was also a source of robust decision making. Several industry first technologies for well construction were successfully deployed and the meticulous engineering motions undertaken to ensure hitch-free deployment are noteworthy. The strategies for selection of service contractors along service and product lines, capabilities and compatibility for performance management are also described.
This paper describes drilling engineering and operations preparation, front end engineering and design activities, and the project delivery success of Saudi Aramco’s first deepwater exploration program in the Red Sea. The validation of the potency of the strategies, tools and systems employed is embodied in the drilling to record regional total depth of the first deepwater well of Saudi Aramco’s Red Sea Deepwater Exploration Campaign Program.
Source: Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, 10-13 November 2014, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Authors: Opeyemi Adewuya (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) | Shrikant Tiwari (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) | Steven King (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) | John Brown (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) | Helmut Josip Luquetta (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) | Mohammed Ibrahim Mansouri (Schlumberger Saudi Arabia) | Abdullah Abdelwahed (Baker Hughes Inc) | Ibrahim Mostafa Arafa (Halliburton Co) | Ahmed Taher (Halliburton Co)