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ExxonMobil Cuts Drilling Time by Up to 35%; But Crude Output Drops 2.3% in Q3

ExxonMobil’s drilling organization has developed an optimization process that consistently reduces the time required to drill oil and gas wells by up to 35%.

ExxonMobil’s Fast Drill Process (FDP) achieves this breakthrough performance by using real-time, computer analysis of the drilling system’s energy consumption. This analysis, in turn, helps improve the management of the factors that determine drilling rate, such as weight on the drill bit, rotary speed and torque.

The result is significantly faster drilling rates and reduced downtime.

The company has used FDP in many of its operating areas, and the process improves performance in a broad range of conditions: hard and soft rock, deep and shallow wells, high- and low-angle wells in a variety of mud weights. It has shown comparable success in exploration, delineation and production wells.

A key benefit of the FDP is that it quantifies the hidden cost of slow drilling. Drill rates have historically been evaluated by comparing performance to other wells in the same area. However, there has been no method to confirm that the comparison well was, itself, a high performing well. FDP allows ExxonMobil to make design changes to achieve the objective theoretical performance in a given well. Much of the performance improvement achieved has come from this ability to objectively justify design changes needed to extend previous performance limits.

Following the FDP’s successful field testing, ExxonMobil is implementing the process worldwide.

Being able to drill faster apparently doesn’t equate to producing more, however. ExxonMobil’s crude output in the third quarter of 2005 dropped 2.3% from the same period in 2004, from 2,505 million barrels per day to 2,447 mbpd.



Good stuff.
This process may also be applied to other kinds of drilling efforts in the mining sector as well as construction.

ExxonMobil rules the roost. :)

John Richmond

Drilling and producing are two different operations. Improving drilling times can result in accelerated production, since the well will start production sooner. And reducing drilling times will also reduce drilling cost. But you can’t compare the company’s global oil production to a new drilling process.

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