Following successful use by operators of its innovative XPL+ (Xtreme Pressure Lubrication) drilling mud additive in more than 700 North American wells, USA-based ProOne Inc., has expanded product distribution. Now primarily shipped from 300+ locations in twenty countries worldwide through major oilfield service company National Oilwell Varco’s Distribution NOW spin-off, Eurasia locations include Nizhnevartovsk, Sakhalin, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shanghai FTZ.
Impetus for this expansion was the product’s unique tested and field-proven capabilities on two fronts: solving problems and saving money. It solves more than a dozen major downhole drilling challenges and, in accomplishing that, this lubricant saves as much as $1 million per well (all examples are in U.S. dollars) by dramatically reducing friction from a rig’s entire downhole drilling system.
Developing a Proprietary Downhole Drilling Treatment
In R&D at ProOne, jointly headquartered in Houston, TX, and Orange County, CA (USA), scientists focused on a top priority for oil and gas operators: how to overcome, friction, the No. 1 enemy of downhole drilling. With friction occurring literally everywhere downhole, R&D determined that drilling mud should be the carrier of a new lubricant which reaches every internal part involved in “making hole.”
The result is a treatment unlike any others ever added to drilling mud. Engineered to be bio-stable and ultimately biodegradable, the lubricant exhibits two primary qualities:
– Fifty times the film strength of conventional lubricants
– Seemingly defying scientific laws, is actually attracted to instead of being repelled by extreme heat and pressure
Hearing those kinds of product statements, operators in the typically conservative oil and gas industry were initially skeptical and reluctant to change from their established lubricants. After all, they insisted, “lube is lube,” suggesting that it was hardly comparable to inventing an iPhone. Then, one by one, operators agreed to “give it a try” without expecting anything newsworthy to happen. To their amazement, when the results started rolling in, a new chapter opened in downhole drilling.
Can Greatly Benefit Eurasian Drillers
No longer a hollow sales claim, this widely tested and field-proven lubricant is demonstrating its value not only for delivering new cost-efficient solutions to operators everywhere but also provides special value in drilling regions such as Russia. Eurasia Drilling’s CFO stated that the number of new rigs needed by Russia will cost approximately $9 billion. With more than 50-percent of its oil and gas rigs older than two decades the importance of reaping major drilling cost savings is a message not lost in this huge spending news. As one of the largest petroleum reserves and as the world’s largest natural gas exporter, the potential for the technology is especially high in drilling regions such as Russia.
What results should drilling supervisors and crews typically see in terms of how the lubricant’s extremely high lubricity solves major drilling challenges and produces major cost savings? One example is the reduced number of expensive trips, which can take a full day costing operators $70,000-$90,000.
Exposed to more wear and tear (along with intense heat and pressure) than any other piece of equipment, drill bits need to be replaced at tremendous expense. From time to time, costs can range from tens of thousands to more than $100,000 per bit. Similarly, achieving higher Rate of Penetration (ROP) becomes a realistic objective when noticeably lower friction in the downhole system is made possible. By introducing this lubricant into the drilling mud, torque is reduced from 20-50-percent which allows an increase of Weight on Bit (WOB) resulting in an increase of ROP (up to 50-percent in the curve).
The following examples demonstrates the additives ability to solve high priority drilling challenges and dramatically save money on a typical rig.
– up to $100,000 saving mud motors, drill bits, drill string repair, and hard banding
– up to $500,000 increasing ROP, saving trips, and disposal costs
– up to $1,000,000 by freeing stuck pipe, minimizing twist-off risk, and helping avoid hole collapse
As expected, a lubricant with these unique qualities also helps ensure less corrosion in addition to reduced wear on equipment. However, operators using ProOne for the first time can also expect to experience other downhole drilling breakthroughs not achievable before. These include being able to drill straighter verticals, slide lining and casing faster, reduce hook load and better maintain weight on bit (WOB).
Case Studies & Beyond
“Tested & Field-Proven” continues to be the expression that underscores operators’ use of ProOne’s drilling fluid treatment. Operators consistently show how dramatic ProOne generates lower well expenses on balance sheets. Examples are numerous, such as a major operator in Texas whose savings on a well added up to more than $300,000 through fewer trips and drill bits, reduced drill curve time, higher ROP and eliminating hard-banding.
In the well-known Bakken play, an operator reduced drilling time by 4-6 days on three holes compared to a different lubricant had been mixed with the drilling mud. That generated savings of approximately $90,000 for each of the days over that 3-well time period. And an operator in New Mexico drilled the longest lateral in the state’s history by increasing ROP by 28-percent and dropping torque by 50-percent. In Laredo, Texas, the crew experienced a stuck drill string at more than 11,000 feet and initially used spotting fluid to recover the string but that approach did not work. Changing to ProOne, they made four sweeps and successfully extracted the string from its downhole predicament.
Similar to these are approximately 700 other stories of how this lubricant, by dramatically reducing friction from the downhole drilling system, is redefining the costs in time and money for operators. Additionally, for drilling regions where environmentally safe disposal is an issue, a couple of key points come into play. One is that the mixture can be re-used rather than having to be thrown away after a single use. Additionally, this additive is biodegradable when used with a water-based mud (WBM) as well as for offshore drilling, and is non-toxic to marine life.
For operators wanting better solutions to major drilling problems and accompanying cost savings, ProOne’s drilling mud additive is engineered to accomplish that at drill sites in Eurasia and anywhere else in the world. With its time proven track record, drillers agree on one thing, never drill without ProOne.
Tim Wagner is with ProOne llc (www.pro1energy.com)