Unleash the Potential of Extended Reach Drilling with Merlin

Merlin offers a comprehensive assortment of engineering services, targeted education, and consistent operational assistance for Extended Reach Drilling. With a primary emphasis on controlling the drilling trajectory, Merlin ensures real-time risk mitigation and provides industry-specific training to enhance your team's capacities. Under Merlin's expertise, you'll gain in-depth knowledge of your drilling system's constraints, develop effective extended reach drilling strategies, and handle potential drilling complexities with proficiency.

Explore Our Key Services

Engineering Services

Independent delivery assurance and support for extended reach and challenging high angle wells – from upfront engineering, training, through to execution in the field, Merlin ensures project value is delivered and objectives are met.

Training Courses

Covering the fundamentals of hole cleaning and drilling load generation through to advanced engineering subjects, our training will help you and your team drill further, faster, more efficiently.

Operations

Independent delivery assurance and support for extended reach and challenging high angle wells – from upfront engineering, training, through to execution in the field, Merlin ensures project value is delivered and objectives are met.

Extended Reach Drilling: Engineering Services

As drilling engineers, Merlin is concerned with ensuring that the system is capable of supporting the loads which will be imposed as the well is drilled. The system in this case, being the capability of the rig and surface equipment package, as well as the subsurface environment and its ability to withstand the loads which will be applied as we drill, measure, test and complete a wellbore. Our Engineering Services consist of a range of activities designed to ensure that your well can be drilled with the environment and equipment you have, and if not, what do you need to change or do, to achieve the well’s objectives. Examples of our work are illustrated in the panes below.

Offset Well Review

The offset well review is where it all starts. It’s the foundation for reliable well delivery later on down the track. The objective, supportable assumptions which are validated through this exercise create a firm base for which to layer on the complexities involved in extended reach, high angle and complex wells. Reviewing 3 to 5 wells provides the most reliable data to verify friction factors and subsurface modelling assumptions, ensuring that subsequent conceptual well designs and feasibility studies are grounded in fact, with the lowest possible uncertainty.

Feasibility Study

Accurately determine what it will take to reach a prospect from existing infrastructure. Define a dependable drilling radius for field development planning and/or to identify minimum rig specifications for your challenging wells. These are a few of the factors that a detailed feasibility study allows the drilling manager to assess. Merlin’s work is based on our knowledge of what’s possible, gained from working on the industry’s most challenging wells in over 40 countries.

Problem Review

Fresh eyes and a lack of preconceived ideas is what Merlin brings to a problem review. Our focus on challenging extended reach wells enables us to provide a unique view on wells which have experienced difficulties during the construction process. By assessing drilling operations against an ERD methodology, we are able to identify areas where a revision to engineering or operational practices will yield performance improvements and a reduction in unplanned events.

Detailed Well Design

Systematically building on the offset review and feasibility study outputs, the detailed well design is the last opportunity to make sure that critical risks are engineered out of the well architecture, rather than controlled through process. Merlin can undertake the detailed design work in its entirety or support in specific areas – whatever is necessary to create the greatest opportunity to assure drilling success. Specifically, we can support with trajectory design, targets, drill string and BHA design, casing scheme options, drilling fluid specification and properties, wellbore stability and casing wear assessments as well as any of the other routine and not so routine considerations which feed into a complex well design.

Performance Optimisation

Successful, reliable well delivery is the first challenge to be overcome on many projects. Once that’s in the bag, how do we ensure we keep moving up the performance learning curve? Keeping the bit on bottom and drilling efficiently whilst minimizing energy lost through vibration, understanding system limits to optimize tripping speeds for drill pipe and casing, proactively managing planning and programming activities to gather and integrate lessons learned – all of these activities will allow us to drill further, faster, more efficiently, more often. Merlin’s integrated performance optimisation processes can facilitate this process quickly and efficiently.

Extended Reach Drilling: Training

Covering the fundamentals of hole cleaning and drilling load generation through to advanced engineering subjects, our training will help you and your team drill further, faster, more efficiently.

Client School and Bespoke Training Courses

For large development projects or high profile wells, clients often ask us to tailor a course for their specific requirements. Merlin base the curriculum on the fundamental topics surrounding hole cleaning and condition monitoring. We can add and subtract additional modules based on the geological environment or the risks likely to be be encountered. We can also take specific aspects of the well design or previous operational lessons learned which are used to craft individual or group exercises to reinforce critical topics. The courses can be taught face-to-face when conditions allow, or virtually when necessary.

Client School and Bespoke Training Courses

For large development projects or high profile wells, clients often ask us to tailor a course for their specific requirements. Merlin base the curriculum on the fundamental topics surrounding hole cleaning and condition monitoring. We can add and subtract additional modules based on the geological environment or the risks likely to be be encountered. We can also take specific aspects of the well design or previous operational lessons learned which are used to craft individual or group exercises to reinforce critical topics. The courses can be taught face-to-face when conditions allow, or virtually when necessary.

Simulator Training

In addition to the classroom and remote training on offer, Merlin has successfully incorporated simulator time in order to reinforce key learning outcomes. These courses take place face-to-face, with around 50% of the time spent in the classroom and the remaining 50% of the time in the simulator, running exercises which reinforce the theoretical material taught in the classroom. In addition, we can structure simulator exercises based on situations the delegates are likely to experience on the next well they are going to drill. It all adds up to a compelling training experience which adds value to all team members – from the Drilling Manager to the Derrickman.

Course Overview

 
 

Highly Recommended

Painful experience has shown that even the most robust Extended Reach Drilling Training programme can fail through incorrect implementation techniques.

Due to the increased challenges and numerous procedural revisions associated with high angle wells, educating personnel on how to identify issues before they become problems is crucial in delivering a successful deviated well.

Invest in yourself, your team and ultimately your results by attending Merlin ERD’s Horizontal & High Angle Operations & Engineering Training Course.

What will I Learn?

  • How to determine the maximum reach from your location
  • Key planning considerations to delivering trouble free wells
  • Root cause of problems encountered in high angle wells
  • Identifying minimum equipment specifications for ERD projects
  • What others are doing around the world to assure success
  • Latest tools and techniques used to reliably deliver ERD projects
  • How to minimise downtime due to 3rd party tools
 
 
 
 

Extended Reach Drilling: Operations

Independent delivery assurance and support for extended reach and challenging high angle wells – from upfront engineering, training, through to execution in the field, Merlin ensures project value is delivered and objectives are met.

Real-time management and optimisation:

Rigsite Hole Condition Monitoring

Merlin’s hole condition monitoring services revolve around supporting drilling operations at the rigsite. Not only is Merlin able to help its clients proactively manage their drilling performance during high angle hole section, we also provide early warning of problems based on deviations from expected trends. Merlin’s independent specialists develop and interpret torque, drag, ECD, swab and surge models with the aim to reduce drilling risk and improve reliability of execution across drilling, tripping and pipe running operations.

Remote Operational Support

If getting to the rig is not feasible, Merlin’s hole condition monitoring service can be undertaken remotely. With access to your realtime data stream, Merlin’s specialists proactively monitor and manage drilling performance and provide early warning of problems developing down hole. Merlin’s know-how and experience allows the business to differentiate itself from the other remote services because we think like you do: Merlin’s independence means we are focussed on making sure that we are doing what’s best for the well, regardless of the colour of the equipment we are working with.

Crew Coaching

Stacked rigs and green crews add risk to complex well projects. Merlin’s ERD specialists are highly experienced, often with time spent as a Drilling Engineer, Drilling Supervisor or other skillset such as a Directional Driller on their resume. They understand the fundamentals of high angle drilling as well as the soft-skills required to explain what’s happening downhole and why we are planning to do something in a specific way. These skills can be used to coach and mentor rig teams who are beginning their performance journey, to ensure that the right decisions are made at the right time.

Practices And Procedures

On location, Merlin’s ERD specialists make sure that the drilling procedures being used are objective and consistent with international best practice. Previous incidents have shown that objective instructions are the best way to guarantee a consistent output - minimizing risk through the avoidance of misinterpretation of commonly occurring activities (e.g. starting and stopping pumps for example). Merlin’s experience guarantees that that you will be using tried and tested techniques, designed for success on the world’s longest wells.

Drilling Optimisation

It’s not just about avoiding the train-wrecks. Many operators have proceduralised performance management systems which are used to great effect to identify and design out whatever is limiting them from drilling faster, cleaning up more efficiently, or running and cementing pipe more effectively. Merlin has developed its own drilling optimization methodology which is now being deployed successfully on locations world-wide, allowing clients to drill further, faster, more efficiently. They understand the fundamentals of high angle drilling as well as the soft-skills required to explain what’s happening downhole and why we are planning to do something in a specific way. These skills can be used to coach and mentor rig teams who are beginning their performance journey, to ensure that the right decisions are made at the right time.

Get in touch to discuss your next project.

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