Maersk Discoverer completes deepest well drilled in Egypt & longest in the Mediterranean

Maerck DrillingMaersk Discoverer finished well 62 days ahead of time for BP and claimed two offshore Mediterranean records.

In the beginning of May, the crew on Maersk Discoverer reached a great milestone when they finalised their latest well two months ahead of time. The well was another East Nile Delta success for BP, discovering 50 m of gas pay in high-quality Oligocene sandstones.

On 5 May, Maersk Discoverer completed the deepest well ever drilled in Egypt and the longest ever drilled in the Mediterranean Sea. What makes the well an even greater success is that it was drilled in 234 days, which was a staggering 62 days ahead of BP’s AFE target, thus creating a substantial cost saving.

“The strong performance is a result of the dedicated use of the ‘Plan Do Study Act’ methodology in the planning and execution of the work. Also, a structured approach to applying lessons learned from the previous wells Geb and Salamat played an important role,” says Rig Leader Allan McColl.

Observation studies optimised operational procedures

Allan McColl also highlights the strong focus on actively using observation studies to optimise operational performance as a key driver in continuously improving the operational procedures. An example of this was how the auxiliary well centre was used as a “test bed” to break the BHA (Bottom Hole Assembly) handling process into small clearly defined optimised steps. Following a micro KPI process there was a forty five minute time saving on the critical path by integrating the lessons learned. This benefit was then applied on subsequent occasion of handling the BHA.

Another great achievement that significantly contributed to beating the AFE target was BOP reliability. Thorough maintenance of the BOP prior to the Atoll well and involvement of BP and Maersk Drilling Technical Authority teams in evaluating equipment risk assessments enabled the team to keep the BOP functioning on the wellhead for no less than 201 days.

A fruitful collaboration with BP

The success on Atoll marks another milestone in the collaboration between BP and Maersk Drilling in Egypt. “After all the effort everyone on the BP/Maersk Drilling team has put into building a strong joint performance culture this was a very well deserved achievement that everyone should be very proud of” says Unit Director Thomas Falk. He continues: “We have shown BP what we mean when we talk about jointly creating value and we look forward to continuing our discussions with BP on how we mutually benefit from this in our drilling contracts.”

maersk_discoverer

Maersk Discoverer (Source: Maersk Drilling Website)

What is a bottom hole assembly?

A bottom hole assembly (BHA) is a component of drilling equipment. It is the lower part of the drill string, extending from the bit to the drill pipe. The assembly can consist of drill collars, subs such as stabilizers, reamers, shocks, hole-openers, and the bit sub and bit.

The characteristics of the BHA help to determine the borehole shape, direction and other geometric characteristics.

The BHA is used to help the drilling process; the proper selection of the right BHA go a long way in ensuring high rate of penetration and thus helps drill quickly and efficiently.

(Maersk Drilling Press Release)

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