Multilateral Technology - Riding the Uncertainty Wave
G.L. Liland, S.C. Cappiello, C.B. Benson and C.G. Graham
Event name: IOR 2017 - 19th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery
Session: Poster Introductions 2
Publication date: 24 April 2017
Info: Extended abstract, PDF ( 1.33Mb )
Price: € 20
The oil and gas Industry is currently suffering its deepest downturn since the 1990s. Under challenging conditions, the industry has had to drastically adjust its business infrastructure, resulting in lower budgets, personnel reduction, and projects postponed or cancelled. Oil companies have reviewed their approach to drilling and completion solutions, including the use of multilateral technology (MLT). This paper presents a study on how MLT use has been influenced by the recent downturn and demonstrates how multilateral wells have improved well and field economics during a period of low oil prices. MLT has provided significant economic and operational benefits over the years in very different environments. A study was conducted from 2010 to 2016 analyzing both predownturn (2010 to 2013) and downturn (2014 to 2016) periods. This study reviews how MLT use has been impacted by low oil prices and what challenges have been encountered from both service company and operator perspectives. Additionally, global installations are reviewed and compared to previous years to help demonstrate how the overall economics and personnel reductions have impacted service quality (SQ). Global data was studied with the primary focus on the largest existing multilateral markets, including the North Sea, Saudi Arabia, and the Asia Pacific region. The results demonstrate that multilateral wells can help improve well and field economics during low oil price periods, for example, as 2015 was one of the strongest years for total installations and market size in MLT history. Market growth can also be measured by operator interest in the technology. There has been an increase in requests for feasibility reviews for multilateral field developments, both in near and long-term projects. The study and paper demonstrate that the overall development and production benefits of implementing MLT have resulted in continuous use of the technology by operators that adapted to the technology before the downturn. The paper also demonstrates the MLT well construction technique helps improve the economics and can be used during periods of low oil prices. This paper provides operators additional reference data regarding the resilience of MLT and how its use can be facilitated to improve well and field development economics during periods of both volatile and stable oil prices.