Rigless Operation

“a story of a courageous decision and an example of a dedicated team”

In the fast changing world of global business, companies constantly face new challenges. Costly conventional methods of operation are phasing out and clients seek new cost saving techniques. Most of the operations in offshore oil and gas fields are being conducted utilizing offshore rigs. Considering multi-thousand dollars daily rate of offshore rigs, cost of drilling wells exceeds several million dollars and also after completion of a well such a daily cost will apply to work over, well testing and stimulation operation. Generally, exploration operation has been practiced by conventional and modern methods, but in development and production phase, modern methods are practiced rarely. More than 75% of cost of production from oil   and gas  fields is  spent on drilling rigs daily rate which is a noticeable amount. Therefore; oil companies looking for cost saving solutions such as reduction of offshore rigs use in completion and production phases of projects.

PDK’s innovation during stimulation and cleanup operation of phase 15 and 16 of south pars gas field is a prominent example of   such an effort by Iranian engineers which has led to saving about 200 thousand dollars per day on each phase for a duration of several months. Handling such a project which reduces cost of drilling services, requires support of top management in oil industry as well as reliable contractors. Offshore rigs have been inseparable parts of any offshore operation in terms of operational space, logistic support and crew accommodation. Eliminating such a key part of facilities from chain of necessities was a big challenge for PDK.

In 2015, PDK’s client, Dana Drilling, had a pending project to perform stimulation and cleanup of 22 wells in phases 15 and 16 of south pars gas field. This kind of project requires offshore rig to be spotted over each platform and accommodate operation team and equipment. Due to its financial limitations, Dana Drilling could not prepare offshore rigs to complete these projects. A strong team of PDK’s experienced engineers studied the case. Several meetings were held with client technical team to review the proposed idea of “Rigless operation” feasibility. Despite uncertainties related to this kind of operation, which had not been practiced before, PDK’s precise design and plan and also benefits of Rigless operation convinced the client to give this chance to PDK to pursue the idea.

Finally, the project was executed by PDK well testing team with no rig and all the equipment were mounted on the platform. The results were quite satisfactory to the client saving up to some $150.000 per day via elimination of the rig. The saving would reach to millions of dollar when the rig daily rate is multiplied by the several months of operation without the rig.

Making such a courageous decision and performing such a delicate project gave PDK the title of “1st rigless well test operator” in Iran. SHANA, the formal news agency of petroleum ministry of Iran reported the success of PDK in its website afterwards.