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CONNE US

2011 | Volume 2 | Number 1

The Baker Hughes Magazine

Totally Conformable

Brazils Big Oil

The Booming Bakken

Revolutionizing sand
management with shape
memory polymer foam

Pre-salt: The worlds next


big opportunity

Unlocking the secrets of


the giant shale play

President and Chief Operating Ofcer

Martin Craighead

BEYOND TRANSFORMATION
In the inaugural issue of Connexus, Chad Deaton, our
CEO, discussed the new Baker Hughes. The last few
years have been an exciting time of change for Baker
Hughes and today, we are executing on our expanded
business capabilities to better serve customers across
every phase of their operations.
The geomarket organization we established in 2009 is
delivering stronger market understanding, a coordinated
products and service offering, and closer relationships
with our customers. For example, the stories on Pages
11-15 describe how our Brazil team is building strong
ties with customers. We work closely with Petrobras and
other companies in Brazil to understand their challenges
and to develop the technologies needed to unlock
reserves locked in offshore Brazils complex reservoirs.
We will open a region technology center in Rio de
Janeiro later this year to build even stronger technology
relationships with our customers.
The reservoir competencies weve added to our product
portfolio are now embedded in the business. We are
identifying opportunities across the asset life cycle
to help our clients maximize the full value of their
prospects and elds. You will nd an example of this
integration of our portfolio in the story on Page 50
that describes how the collaboration between the
reservoir team and our Southeast Asia geomarket is
helping clients better understand fractured basement
reservoirs. Also, we were recently awarded a contract
by PETRONAS Carigali to revitalize the mature elds
in the D-18 production area offshore Malaysia.
This project will bring together the full breadth of
Baker Hughes reservoir capabilities and products
and services to partner with PETRONAS Carigali for
a full eld redevelopment.

The integration of BJ Services has been faster


and smoother than we anticipated. The merger

was a perfect t. In North America,


we are offering a coordinated suite
of technologies, including drilling,
completion, pressure pumping, and
production products and services designed
to lower operating costs and maximize
production. This is particularly true in
the shale plays where the right solution
is critical to economic development.
The story on the Bakken shale (Page 20)
details how we are solving customer
challenges in this prolic play.

speed to market in many cases by a factor


of three. The result is innovative technology
advancementstruly disruptive step
changes to some of our customers biggest
challenges. On Page 16 you will nd an indepth article on one of those technologies.
The GeoFORM sand management system
is an outgrowth of our fundamental science
initiative and represents an entirely new
approach to sand control that will lower
risk factors and improve productivity from
unconsolidated reservoirs.

Pressure pumping also is an important


addition to our international portfolio. On
Page 4 you can learn more about how we
have integrated our drilling, completion,
stimulation and production expertise to
provide Petrobras and other companies
in Brazil innovative solutions to their
deepwater challenges.

As we accelerate the execution phase


of building the new Baker Hughes, it
is important to acknowledge that this
level of change comes with a certain
amount of stress. I have to commend our
global workforce for the hard work and
perseverance to see us through this time
of ux. Our people were asked to take on
new roles, often in new places, and often
with a great deal of ambiguity. It may sound
clichd, but its truethe greatest asset for
any organization is not its monetary capital,
but rather its people, and the teams all
across Baker Hughes have pulled together
to ensure that our customers needs have
remained our singular focus.

Of course, technology innovation is the


foundation of Baker Hughes business,
and we are in the midst of one of the
most exciting technology development
eras in our history. We now have an
enterprise technology strategy that is
market centered, business oriented and
research enabled. We have developed
a clearer commercial framework for
technology-led business innovation.
We have charted a course to increase the
velocity of technology through our system
and to focus on commercial results. As a
consequence, we are concentrating on the
most critical technology developments in our
ideation pipeline, and we have improved our

To fully leverage the strength of our


organization to better serve customers,
its been necessary to redesign how we
work. We now have an operating system
in place to reduce the complexity of our
business and drive standardization across
operations and product lines. The key to
an effective global operating system lies
in its ability to capture optimization and

pollinate the organization with learning.


We are already seeing its impact at every
level of our business. For example, there are
processes and procedures in place today
designed to guide our global quality and
reliability program; to assess market needs;
to recruit and develop talent; and to manage
our portfolioall important business
drivers that add value for our customers.
Going forward, we will measure our
success. Ultimately, the goal is to make
accountability the core of our culture. I
am a rm believer that you get what you
measure and we have a process in place
to measure ourselves as our customers
and our investors measure us. We track
operational key performance indicators
at a global level to give us visibility to
trends in our business and at the local
level to get a more granular view of our
operations. No function gets a passwe
also have standard key performance
indicators for our global teams like products
and technology and supply chain.
In closing, I am excited about our
substantial progress toward executing on
our strategies to build a customer-focused
operation and a stronger portfolio. Of
course, none of this would be possible
without the support of you, our customers.
We sincerely appreciate the opportunity
to work with you to solve your reservoir,
drilling and production challenges.

www.bakerhughes.com

Contents

On the Cover
Rio de Janeiro occupies
one of the most
spectacular settings of any
metropolis in the world.

2011 | Volume 2 | Number 1

11

Advancing Technology Frontiers

14

Intellectual Relationships

16

Reshaping Sand Control

20
26

Baker Hughes is constructing a new $30million research and technology center in


Rio de Janeiro to support the industrys
economic development of pre-salt
reservoirs offshore Brazil.

30

Real-time Solutions in Russia

34

Clean, Efcient Fracturing

38

Faces of Innovation

42

Ghanas First Oil

47

The Complete Package

Anticipating growth in Brazil, Baker


Hughes put a strategy in place to grow
business and foster long-lasting customer
relationships.

A totally conformable sand screen


engineered from shape memory polymer
foam has the industry rethinking
sand management.

Unlocking the Bakken


Advances in drilling and completion
technology are lowering operating costs
and enhancing production performance
for operators in the Bakken shale.

Industry Insight
James J. Volker, chairman, president and
CEO of Whiting Petroleum, shares insight
into producing some of the top oil shale
plays in the U.S. and the technologies
needed for the future.

04

New technologies applied on wells


drilled in northwest Siberias Yamal
Peninsula are helping operators
reach new levels of productivity.

An innovative hydraulic fracturing


technology dramatically cuts water
and chemical requirements to
safely and efciently stimulate gas
production from shale formations in
environmentally conscious New York.

Meet Bennett Richard, the


newest Baker Hughes Lifetime
Achievement Award winner,
who enjoys developing people
as much as technologies.

As a key player in the Jubilee


project, Baker Hughes is determined
to make this African countrys rst
oil pay off for the people.

The OptiPortTM completion system


combines coiled tubing with sliding
sleeves to take multistage fracturing
to new levels.

Big Oil
With Brazils pre-salt reservoirs poised
to be the worlds next big opportunity,
Baker Hughes is focused on establishing
a deepwater center of excellence in Brazil
to deliver customized answers to the
toughest of challenges.

16

50

Whats in Your Basement?

54

Geothermal Hot Spot

From constructing detailed geomechanical


and reservoir volumetric models to recordsetting drilling and evaluation performance,
Baker Hughes is delivering results in Asia
Pacics fractured basement reservoirs.

With the Baker Hughes Center of Excellence


for geothermal and high-temperature
research and development in Celle, Germany,
the company is well positioned to support
the growing demand for geothermal power
in continental Europe.

60

Good Neighbors

62

Latest Technology

64

A Look Back

20

A grant from Baker Hughes is helping


enterprising Kazakhstani youth make a
positive contribution to their community.

Baker Hughes develops and delivers new


technologies to solve customer challenges.

50

R.C. Bakers contributions to the petroleum


industry helped launch todays Baker Hughes.

54

is published by Baker Hughes


global marketing. Please direct all
correspondence regarding this publication to
connexus@bakerhughes.com.

Editorial Team
Kathy Shirley, corporate communications manager
Cherlynn C.A. Glover, publications editor
Tae Kim, graphic artist
Stephanie Weiss, writer

www.bakerhughes.com
Printed on recycled paper
2011 Baker Hughes Incorporated.
All rights reserved. 32310
No part of this publication may be reproduced without
the prior written permission of Baker Hughes.

BIGOIL

Brazils Pre-salt: The Worlds Next Big Opportunity


A glass-paneled cable car destined
for the peak of Sugar Loaf is the
perfect venue for a million tourists a
year to enjoy the sights and sounds
of Rio de Janeiro: the white sands
of Copacabana beach, samba in
the streets and the Cristo Redentor
statue, one of the new Seven
Wonders of the World.
Far beyond the outstretched arms of
the art deco statue lie even greater
wonders: huge nds that, by industry
estimates, hold between 50 and
100 billion barrels of oil. Its enough
to transform Brazil into one of the
worlds top ve crude oil producers.

Petrobras, the Brazilian state oil


company, announced plans to invest
$224 billion from 2010 to 2014 to help
Brazil become a major energy exporter
by tapping the vast reserves buried some
7 km (4 miles) beneath the ocean in
what is known as pre-salt reservoirs.
In 2007, while drilling in more than 2.1 km
(1.3 miles) of water in the Tupi prospect of
the Santos basin, Petrobras made a huge
discovery in the pre-salt. Almost instantly,
the company knew two
things: It had found a
supergiant oil eld,
and producing
it was

going to require technologies yet unknown


to the industry. (The Tupi prospect was
renamed Lula in December 2010 in honor
of outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Incio
Lulada Silva.)
The pre-salt reservoir lies in water depths
up to 3 km (1.8 miles) and beneath a vast
layer of salt, which, in certain areas, can be
as much as 2 km (1.2 miles) thick. Above
the salt canopy lie 1 to 2 km (.62 to 1.2
miles) of rock sediments,
and below it lies the
actual oil-laden presalt bounty, 5 to
7 km (3.1 to 4.3
miles) below the
oceans surface
(see Fig. 1).

The challenges run deep


The Brazilian pre-salt discoveries open a
new frontier in exploration and development
not only for Petrobras, but for the many
international oil companies moving into
these waters. However, exploring, drilling
and producing the reservoirs present
operators with incredible challenges related
to the complexities of the carbonate
reservoir rocks, the ow assurance issues
due to the nature of the oil and production
conditions, the separation and disposal
of the CO2 in the produced gas, and the
handling of the produced water. Add to
that ultradeep water and the remoteness
of the elds themselvessome 250
to 350 km (155 to 217 miles) from
landand the challenge of producing
these elds grows exponentially.
From microbial limestone deposits in
ultradeep watersome containing
very hard and abrasive dispersed
silica or nodules similar to quartzto
a variety of creeping salts, Brazils
deep water is a geological puzzle.

www.bakerhughes.com

properties, amount and distribution of


total organic content in a reservoir.

Fig. 1

The MaxCOR system is a rotary sidewall


coring technology that enables the recovery
of more than three times more core volume
and up to 60 cores, when compared to
standard rotary coring tools. The MaxCOR
system can drill and retrieve multiple 1-in.
diameter core samples greater than 2 in.
in length in minutes, greatly reducing rig
time dedicated to coring operations. The
higher core volumes provide better results
when analyzing mechanical properties,
relative permeability, compressibility,
capillary pressure, electrical parameters and
geomechanical properties.

Depending
on the area and
depth you are working in, you face
completely different reservoir lithologies,
says Luiz Costa, completion engineering
manager for Baker Hughes in Brazil.
Sometimes, those big differences
can occur within one single well.
Abdias Alcantara, marketing and business
development manager for Baker Hughes
drill bit systems, agrees. The pre-salt
environment consists of reservoirs that are
complex heterogeneous carbonates. The
deposition is not like a typical sequence of
rock with one smooth layer upon another,
he explains. You might be drilling through
intercalated shales, then drill a few meters in

another
direction and
discover something different.
These zones are very unpredictable and
some of the toughest weve ever drilled.
Baker Hughes has recently deployed two
differentiating wireline technologies
the MaxCOR system and the FLEX
tool as part of the RockView system,
both developed in collaboration with
Petrobrasto help characterize these
reservoirs so more effective drilling and
production programs can be designed. The
RockView system combines geochemical
data to compute detailed lithology
and mineralogy descriptions of the
formation. It collects geochemical data
that is used to determine the mineral

In these ultradeep waters, where rig spreadrates can easily reach $1 million a day, it is
imperative to push the technology envelope.
Marcos Freesz, pre-salt project manager
in Brazil, says that Baker Hughes has
implemented a strong downhole monitoring
philosophy to improve drilling performance
and drilling rates in both the salt layers and
the pre-salt formations.
In the salt, we are mainly using the
CoPilot real-time drilling optimization
service and AutoTrak rotary steerable
system to push the rate of penetration (ROP)
to technical limits, Freesz says. Weve
seen a 159-percent increase in average
penetration rates from when we rst started
drilling two years ago.
Using its TruTrak motor closed-loop
system, Hughes Christensen Quantec

01

PDC bits and the CoPilot service in the


pre-salt carbonate section, Baker Hughes
has increased ROP more than 300 percent,
Freesz adds. Besides improved penetration
rates, the process is focused on maintaining
bit cutting structure for as long as possible,
thus eliminating bit runs, which equates to
customers spending less on rig time, as well
as a reduction in associated HS&E risk.
Baker Hughes has drilled four pre-salt wells
with this system approach. From the rst
well until now, this solution has reduced
vibration levelsthe biggest challenge to
drilling performancealmost 100 percent,
Freesz says. We have tested 12-in. and
8-in. Quantec PDC bit designs with the
most impact-resistant cutters, and although
performances cannot be totally replicated
yet, were seeing a consistent optimization
improvement through a very important and
steep learning curve.

Log graphic courtesy of ION-GXT

In the reservoirs above the salt canopy


(post-salt) in the Campos and Espirito
Santos basins, quite a different geological
objective is being successfully achieved
with horizontal well drilling using the
AziTrak azimuthal deep resistivity
system coupled with full Reservoir
Navigation Services (RNS) in real
time, adds Jeremy Jez Lofts, director
of strategic business development for
Baker Hughes in Latin America.
In a continuing effort to better understand
the complexities of drilling these formations,
Baker Hughes is working with CENPES, the
research arm of Petrobras, and with the

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro


to establish the worlds most highly
sophisticated drilling laboratory simulator
that will help develop and test technologies
to further bolster drilling capabilities.

Deepwater center of excellence


Baker Hughes entered the Brazilian market
in 1973 when Hughes Tool Company
acquired a roller cone bit manufacturing
facility in Salvador, the capital of Bahia state.
Since the very start, the company established
itself as the major drill bit supplier in the
Brazilian oil industry.
For the past three years, Baker Hughes
has been the leading directional drilling
provider for Petrobras, while its articial
lift product line now holds the leading
market share in electrical submersible
pumping (ESP) systems in Brazil. The drilling
uids product line in Brazil also has the
lions share of all the activity planned by
Petrobras for the next ve years through
a major contract to provide technical
services, drilling uid chemicals, brine
ltration equipment and environmental
services (including solids control and waste
management services and equipment).
With the huge growth and opportunity
of both the Brazilian deepwater presalt and post-salt formations, and with
some of the most advanced deepwater
technologies available, Baker Hughes
is focusing on ensuring success for
operators here by becoming a deepwater
center of excellence that designs and
delivers customized answers to the

toughest of challenges, Lofts says.


One example is Shells BC-10 project in
the Campos basin, which encompasses
three separate eldsOstra, Abalone and
Argonauta, says Ignacio Martinez, technical
support manager for articial lift and ow
assurance. Each eld presented different

02

01> A 500-km (310-mile) long, 15 to


20-km (9 to 12-mile) deep seismic
section into the upper crust of
the earth shows the sedimentary
succession from near surface postsalt oceanic sediments deposited
after the Atlantic ocean opened,
including salt evaporite layers, basin
sag sediments (including pre-salt
reservoirs), to synrift and prerift
sediments and the uppermost crust.
02> A silica nodule and associated
siliceous laminations such as these
found within the pre-salt carbonate
reservoir sequence tend to pose
unpredictable drilling obstacles
and ones that must be constantly
monitored to ensure that drill bit
life and ROP are maintained.

www.bakerhughes.com

01

challenges that resulted in a collaborative


approach to boost liquids ve miles along
the seabed and, then, approximately 1524
m (5,000 ft) up to the FPSO. Baker Hughes
installed its Centrilift XP enhanced run-life
ESP system in six vertical subsea boosting
stations on the seaoor. The systems are
designed to boost the FPSOs maximum
capacity of 100,000 barrels of uid per day.
ESP design considerations at BC-10
included temperature cycling, rapid gas
decompression, high-horsepower lift
requirements and high-uid volumes. To
overcome these challenges, Baker Hughes
employed newly developed technology to
handle the uid volumes with the required
high differential pressurethe Centrilift
XP high-horsepower motor for enhanced
reliability and a redesigned seal to withstand
rapid gas decompression and high-thrust
forces from the pump.

02> Baker Hughes stimulation vessels,


the Blue Angel (left) and the Blue Shark,
docked in Rio de Janeiro

Critical to the solution was planning the


ESP system as an integral component to
the entire hardware conguration. This
differs from the approaches where the ESP
system is considered as a separate item
instead of being preplanned as part of the
nal conguration, Martinez explains.
This project presented unique challenges
and demanded innovative approaches
to meet Shells needs. Although we have
a demonstrated track record in subsea
applications, the complexity of this subsea
infrastructure and associated procedures for
BC-10 called upon many of our combined
resources.

03> Service Supervisor Tom Lister aboard


the West Polaris deepwater rig outtted
with the new generation BJ SeahawkTM
cementing unit

New solutions will be needed, however, to


meet Petrobras requirements for the future,
including:

A complete technology portfolio


Baker Hughes provides a full line
of capabilities related to reservoir
characterization, drilling, intelligent well
completions, cementing and stimulation
techniques offshore Brazil.

A better understanding of reservoir


heterogeneity in the complex microbial
carbonate environments
Faster, safer drilling and better quality
wells in very challenging ultradeepwater
environments
More intelligent production and
completions technology that uses
materials and equipment almost tailormade for the characteristics of the
developments
Improved reservoir hydrocarbon
stimulation techniques
Well integrity in unstable thick salt layers

Baker Hughes has been the leader and


pioneer in intelligent well systems and
multilateral installations in deepwater Brazil.
More than 70 percent of Brazilian offshore

Photo courtesy of Stferson Faria, Petrobras

01> The FPSO Cidade de So Vicente in the


Lula eld in the Santos basin

With the huge growth opportunity of both the Brazilian deepwater pre-salt and postsalt formations, and with some of the most advanced deepwater technologies available,
Baker Hughes is focusing on ensuring success for operators here by establishing a
deepwater center of excellence that designs and delivers customized answers to the
toughest of challenges.
Jeremy Lofts
Director of strategic business development for Baker Hughes in Latin America

02

wells are equipped with Baker Hughes well


monitoring systems, Costa says. We are
nalizing the completion of the rst pre-salt
well with an intelligent well system installed
to monitor and control a deep, dual-zone,
gas-injector well in the Lula eld, in the
Santos basin.
In sand control, Baker Hughes is introducing
in Brazil the rst Pay Zone Management
system in the world. This system allows
horizontal openhole gravel packing in
offshore wells and injection of chemicals
at several points along the screen. The rst
installation will use chemicals only, but
there is an option to connect ber optics,
hydraulics and electronics, Costa adds.
Outside the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil is the
only other place in the Western Hemisphere
where Baker Hughes has stimulation vessels.
The joining of the pressure pumping
product line with the rest of the Baker
Hughes service lines certainly increases our

03

overall volume of business in the country


and our platform for growth, says Edgar
Pelez, Baker Hughes vice president,
business development and marketing, Latin
America. Baker Hughes has the majority of
the stimulation vessel market in Brazil.
Baker Hughes has three stimulation vessels
under an exclusive contract to Petrobras
the Blue Shark, the Blue Angel and
the Blue Marlinall based in Maca,
200 km (125 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro.
In Brazil, pressure-pumping operations
perform between 1,200 and 1,300 jobs a
year, including cementing, stimulation, coiled
tubing services, wellbore cleanup, casing
running, completion tools, ltration uids
and chemical services, says Luis Duque,
engineering and marketing manager for
pressure pumping in Brazil.
Most of the wells are highly deviated or
horizontal with production sections as long
as 2000 m (6,561 ft), Duque explains. The

biggest challenge while stimulating these


wells is to perform an effective treatment to
cover the entire production section. So far,
the technologies weve used to achieve this
goal are self-diverting acid, gelled acids and
fracturing assisted by a sand jetting tool,
among others.
Regarding cementing, the biggest
challenges are the deepwater locations,
wells around 6200 m (20,341 ft) total
depth, the thick salt layer to pass through,
and bottomhole temperatures up to 250F
(121C). We have introduced some new
technologies in cementing, such as our BJ
Set for Life family of cement systems,
which were developed to attend to the
wide variety of scenarios found in elds
like these, such as loss-circulation zones
and reservoirs with high CO2 and H2S
contents. Weve also recently introduced
and successfully tested the concentric coiled
tubing BJ Sand-Vac well vacuuming
system for hydrate removal in owlines.
www.bakerhughes.com

Building for the future


Continuing to deliver technologies
to help understand and produce
these complex reservoirs is critical to
maintaining a competitive edge in this
new frontier, says Saul Plavnik, drilling
and evaluation operations director for
Baker Hughes in Brazil. But the true
advantage lies in planning now for
technologies that will be needed as this
market moves beyond its infancy.
Baker Hughes and Petrobras have
a long history of joint technology
development, Plavnik says. Over
the next four years, we jointly plan
to spend more than $40 million on
technology collaboration projects that
include, among others, 3D vertical
seismic proling to enhance surface
seismic data; the understanding of
geomechanics-while-drilling; hydraulic,
electrical and optical completion
automation; and the inuence of Baker
Hughes inow control devices and well
geometries in microbialite reservoirs.
Together, we are already building a
vision for the future.

> Drilling 2 million ft was cause for celebration in Maca, Brazil, where Baker Hughes has a
major operations base and a drill bit manufacturing facility.

Team Brazil Marks Two Drilling Milestones in 2010


Late in 2010, Baker Hughes Brazil celebrated the milestone of drilling 2 million ft
(609 600 m)most of it in water depths greater than 1,000 ft (305 m). In a second record,
the Baker Hughes Brazil geomarket passed 1 million ft (304 800 m) of drilling with the Baker
Hughes AutoTrak rotary steerable drilling system.
This is a very proud moment for all involved in this fantastic achievement. AutoTrak is
an automated, closed-loop drilling system designed exactly for these complex deepwater
offshore environments, where it is routinely being deployed with great success, says Wilson
Lopes, sales director for the Brazil geomarket.
This milestone and performance position us very well, as a preferred partner, for the
expected growth in the emerging ultradeepwater pre-salt plays, adds Jeremy Lofts, director
of strategic business development for Baker Hughes in Latin America.
The Brazil drilling systems business has grown from just two operations with Petrobras to
22 operations in only three years, and it has diversied to drilling for other oil companies,
as well. This entails a lot of hard work and achievement by the entire team, says Mauricio
Figueiredo, Baker Hughes vice president of Brazil. We are very proud.

Baker Hughes Completes First Directional 2D Well in Salt


In March, Baker Hughes drilled the rst directional 2D well kicking off in salt in the
ultradeep Tupi cluster area of the Santos basin offshore Brazil. Based on our track record of
experience, processes and performance, we were very honored to be the directional provider
for this important well, Figueiredo states. This signicant milestone marks the move to
better understand the optimum well type needed to produce this vast hydrocarbon play
offshore Brazil, as well as to satisfy tieback logistics.
The 2D well trajectory was executed exactly as planned, and the rate of penetration
achieved was comparable to vertical sections, adds Johan Badstber, technical director,
Brazil. The 14-in. section was kicked off within the salt (3.9 inclination) and the angle
was built up to 23.4 inclination with 2/100 ft dogleg severity, and then kept at tangent
until TD. AutoTrak G3TM, OnTrak and CoPilot technologies were run with a PDC bit, and the
CoPilot on-site and remote drilling optimization service (provided from the clients ofces
in Santos) proved key to the success. The well construction general manager for the
Santos customer states, Now, directional wells into the salt dont seem a monster. The
performance obtained after drilling 1850 m (6,069 ft) was 14.3 m/h average penetration rate
in a 14-in. section, outpacing peer performance of 12.5 m/h in a nearby vertical section.
These types of jobs are consolidating Baker Hughes in a top position relative to evaporate
drilling, Badstber adds.
10

Rio Research and Technology Center

Advancing Technology Frontiers

The future of this industry will demand technology.


We are looking each day to a more challenging
environment. The easy oil is gone. Without the
proper technology, we wont produce.
Carlos Tadeu da Costa Fraga
Executive manager,
Petrobras Research and Development Center

The supergiant pre-salt discoveries offshore


Brazil bring new technological challenges
and demand for additional infrastructure
investments. To help meet these challenges,
Baker Hughes is involved in a dozen
collaboration projects with Petrobras and is
constructing a regional technology center to
support the industrys quest for technology
necessary to economically develop pre-salt
reservoirs in ultradeep water offshore Brazil.
Under a cooperative agreement signed
in 2009, Petrobras and Baker Hughes will
invest $16.4 and $29 million, respectively, to
jointly develop and apply new technologies
to help address some of the challenges in
pre-salt exploration and production.
Baker Hughes is investing approximately
$30 million to build its Rio de Janeiro
Research and Technology Center (RRTC).
The center is under construction within

www.bakerhughes.com

11

> The Rio drilling lab will house


the worlds largest highpressure drilling simulator,
approximately twice as powerful
as the simulator at the drill bit
systems product center in The
Woodlands, Texas, shown here.

the area known as Science Park on Ilha da


Cidade Universitaria (University Island), an
articial island that serves as home to one of
the largest universities in Brazil and several
research centers.
Ilha da Cidade Universitaria, formerly known
as Ilha do Fundo, is also home to CENPES,
the Petrobras research and development
center that employs approximately 2,000
people. Last year, Petrobras celebrated the
opening of a $700-million expansion to
the CENPES facilitiesalready one of the
largest in the oil and gas industrydoubling
the size to 305 000 m2 (3.3 million ft2).
The capacity for technology innovation
in Brazil has been increased dramatically
with this expansion, says Carlos Tadeu da
Costa Fraga, executive manager, Petrobras
Research and Development Center.
Brazilian universities and R&D institutions
have also been investing in the expansion
of their capabilities. We believe that
we have in Brazil some of the best test
facilities in the world, and Petrobras plans

12

to attract the most important suppliers


to join these institutions to develop a
new generation of technology needed
to produce the pre-salt reservoirs.
We look to all of these institutions as an
extension of our facility, in the same way
we would like to have Baker Hughes see
us as an extension of their R&D facility,
he continues. Theirs has to be seen not
as a different facility but as part of the
whole effort to increase the capacity of
Brazil to fulll the gap in our upstream
activities. Baker Hughes has been one of
the companies to show the most aggressive
contribution toward our strategy, and we
recognize the companys true commitment.
Petrobras wants us to help them solve
problems, says Dan Georgi, vice president
of regional technology centers for Baker
Hughes. They have a stated objective
to use the best technologies available.
In 2014, when they plan to start a lot of
their major developments, they want to
have available new technology that will
help them recover and produce more

oil at a lower cost. They are looking at


us and the other service companies and
universities to advance the frontier.
The Baker Hughes RRTC will facilitate
collaboration between Baker Hughes and
Petrobras, as well as the many international
oil companies working offshore Brazil, and
four universities: Universidade Federal do Rio
de Janeiro (UFRJ), Universidade Estadual de
Campinas (Unicamp), Pontifcia Universidade
Catlica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC/RJ) and
Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense/
Laboratory of Engineering and Petroleum
Exploration (UENF/Lenep).
Baker Hughes is involved in several ongoing
research projects with these universities,
including an evaporate drilling project
with PUC and reservoir engineering
studies for production optimization
with intelligent wells with Unicamp. In
addition, Baker Hughes is working with
CENPES and UFRJ to establish a worldclass drilling laboratory simulator.

This drilling lab will house the worlds


largest high-pressure simulator, capable
of drilling 24-in. diameter rock cores
with a 14-in. bit. These cores will
be pressurized to simulate downhole
conditions up to 20,000 psiemulating
an approximate depth of 42,000 vertical
ft (12 801 m) when utilizing a standard
9.5 ppg water-based mud, explains
Paul Lutes, manager for testing services
at the Baker Hughes drill bit systems
product center in The Woodlands, Texas.
The bit will be rotated either through a
conventional rotary table arrangement
or via downhole motor/turbine, which
will be fed up to 500 gallons per minute
at maximum pressure, or up to 1,000
gallons per minute at 6,000 psi.
While this rig will not physically be much
larger than the simulator we have in
The Woodlands, it will be approximately
twice as powerful, Lutes adds. Power
is what allows you to test at higher
pressures and greater speeds. That is
why it will unquestionably be the worlds
largest high-pressure simulator.
A facility of this size will recreate the
downhole conditions encountered in the
pre-salt sections offshore Brazil. In order to
optimize drilling parameters, it is necessary
to simulate as much of the bottomhole
assembly as possible. Therefore, the potential
to add a drilling mud motor has been
planned into this system.
Capabilities to test with increased mud and
rock temperatures, and to handle highly
porous rock and control pore pressure are
also under evaluation.
Initially, the Baker Hughes Rio de Janeiro
Research and Technology Center will focus on:

Wellbore construction optimization,


especially for deepwater and
pre-salt carbonates
Salt and pre-salt geomechanics,
including impact on borehole stability
and completion and production
Reservoir optimization, including
application of intelligent wells,
flow assurance and multifunctional
scale and asphaltene inhibitors,
and artificial lift technology
Reservoir description enhancement
and reservoir optimization of
microbial carbonates

The centers primary objective is to provide


cost-effective solutions to Petrobras,
Georgi says. We plan to do this by driving
deepwater pre-salt reservoir cost reduction
for wellbore construction, and reservoir
productivity and recovery-factor optimization
with advanced application engineering
and geoscience; rock, uids and materials
testing; and support of eld tests.
The facility will house an analytical lab;
laboratories for cement evaluation;
H2S and CO2 laboratories; a rock uids
properties and materials testing lab; a
room for core analysis; a shop suitable
for testing logging-while-drilling, wireline
and intelligent wells tools; ofces and
think pads for the approximately 90
employees who will work there when
the center reaches its full capacity.
With this center, we will be able to
expedite what were currently doing with
our larger technology centerssuch as the
drill bit systems center in The Woodlands
and the articial lift systems facility
in Claremore, Oklahomawhich are
responsible for providing technologies to
the whole globe. This facility will be much
more focused on making sure we have the

right technologies in Brazil, Georgi says.


If a product needs to be customized in
order to make it work better in the local
market or if we need to develop software
for interpretation algorithms to customize
the project to the local market, we will
be able to understand what our clients
problems are faster, then work with our
various groups outside of Brazil to shorten
the development cycle and to make the
technology delivery more efcient.
Georgi also expects the whole of Baker
Hughes to benet from the Rio de Janeiro
Research and Technology Center. We will be
interacting with the best and brightest minds
in Brazilian universities and will undoubtedly
be able to attract some of them to work
for Baker Hughes in Brazil and throughout
our organization, not to mention new and
enhanced technology that will ow from the
center to other parts of the globe, he adds.
Csar Muniz has been appointed director
of the RRTC, scheduled for completion by
the end of 2011. Muniz brings 25 years of
experience in exploration, production and
project management to the position, having
worked with Petrobras, Chevron and Repsol.
We are condent that we are going to
deliver very creative solutions with Baker
Hughes, Tadeu says. Given the size of
the potential business, the demand for
innovation of the deepwater portfolio and
the local content issue, why not establish a
long-term relationship with Baker Hughes
in Brazil? This can become a very important
hub for its worldwide technological
development and, in turn, create what we
have been calling a new generation of
technologies for oil and gas production in
deep and ultradeep water.

www.bakerhughes.com

13

INTELLECTUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Smart planning for exploring the future together

> Baker Hughes hosted a three-day workshop in December 2010 for Petrobras at its Center for Technology Innovation in Houston.

There was a time when a service company provided little more than muscles and
tools. Thats no longer the case. Todays service company is one that delivers solutions
through collaboration and partnerships.

14

For Baker Hughes in Brazil, the shift began


when the leadership put a strategy in
place to focus on anticipated growth.
That strategy included investing in the
best technologies and bringing in a
network of technical experts that not
only could grow the business but forge
long-lasting customer relationships.

share. This represents a huge growth from


four or ve years ago, and it has a lot
to do with having the right strategy in
place and pursuing the most promising
opportunities in the market, not only with
Petrobras, but with other companies, as
well. It also has to do with knowing and
understanding our customers better.

We started with a major investment with


our drilling and evaluation business, and
today, Baker Hughes holds more than 50
percent of the directional drilling market
with Petrobras, says Mauricio Figueiredo,
Brazil vice president. In addition, weve
invested a lot in subsea completions,
establishing an important leadership
position for our articial lift business in
deepwater environments. We now have
more than 60 percent of that market

Because of the size of their portfolios, many


major operators are becoming technical
partners with their suppliers through the
formation of intellectual relationships, says
Edgar Pelez, vice president of marketing for
Baker Hughes in Latin America.
We, as service companies, are
understanding better the business of the
operator and are able, with technology
and operations, to provide alternatives and

solutions to the end result. Instead of telling


us what to do, the operator is asking us,
How do I solve this challenge? Then, we
offer a solution and the reason for it, rather
than just providing the mechanics of the
job, Pelez adds.
I think that Petrobras sees Baker
Hughes as a true partner. Weve fostered
customer relationships, and thats one
of our main strengths in Brazil. It is one
where we are happy to say that upper
management of both companies calls
each other by rst names, and that is not
necessarily something we can do with
all our customers around the world.
The other strength is the commitment
of Baker Hughes to Brazil. We have
committed major investments in facilities,

followed by the establishment of a quite


strong intellectual relationship, as well.

in people and in the deployment of


technology to support the growth. This
commitment fuels customer intimacy.
Carlos Tadeu da Costa Fraga, executive
manager of CENPES, Petrobras Research and
Development Center, says that Petrobras has
a long-term commercial relationship with
most service companies because they have
been doing business in Brazil for more than
30 years. But what is changing, Tadeu says,
is that the national oil companys growing
and ever-challenging portfolio drives the
need for more expertise and knowledge.
The size of the potential business in Brazil
is very attractive, and most of the existing
suppliers want to expand their commercial
activity in Brazil, and we welcome them,
Tadeu says, but we want to do that

01

In December 2010, Baker Hughes hosted


a three-day workshop for Petrobras at
its Center for Technology Innovation
in Houston so executives from both
companies could discuss long-range
plans to meet future challenges.
It was clear that Petrobras was not
interested in seeing what Baker Hughes has
today, Pelez says. They were here to talk
about what they are going to need ve to
10 years from now that we dont have today
and what we would agree to develop so,
when they need it, it will be available.
The idea of looking that far ahead
starting to plan now for needs ve

01> Workshop conversation between


Carlos Tadeu da Costa Fraga,
executive manager of CENPES (upper
right); Derek Mathieson, president,
products and technology for Baker
Hughes (lower right); Mauricio
Figueiredo, vice president, Brazil
for Baker Hughes (lower left) and
Matthew Kebodeaux, vice president of
completions for Baker Hughes.

to 10 years down the roadis very


important and a real achievement for our
company, Figueiredo says. Together,
we have been doing a lot of innovative
things, but the vast majority has been
demand-driven. Sometimes you have to
think of something so innovative and so
forward thinking that customers dont
even realize they might need it.
Taking into consideration the characteristics
of Petrobras main developments in Brazil
complex reservoirs, ultradeepwater, deep
wells, pressure issuesTadeu outlines the
following future needs.
We will need to better characterize the
internal properties of those reservoirs so
we can better understand and predict their
quality. We are developing and applying
drilling technologies that will allow us to
drill faster, safer and quality-wise better in
those very challenging environments, as
well as completions technology that uses
materials and equipment almost tailor-made
for the characteristics of our developments.
We are dealing with aggressive uids
and different types of reservoirs where
intelligent completions are very, very
important for us. Because the salt may
move over time, well integrity is very
important. We are looking for new
approaches for bottomhole assemblies,
casing and cementing technologies and,
in the long-term, even to different drilling
techniques such as laser drilling.
Thirty years ago, the industry could never
have imagined intelligent completions,
real-time monitoring or nanotechnology.
There is a lot of room for innovation
in the drilling and completion arenas,
and we need to start thinking together
more aggressively about the new set of
technologies we want to have available for
the pre-salt Phase II development. We are
condent that we are going to deliver very
creative solutions with Baker Hughes.
www.bakerhughes.com

15

Reshaping Sand Control


Shape Memory Polymer Foam Remembers Original Size to
Conform to Wellbore

> After Baker Hughes


chemists proved
the unique, scientic
properties of the shape
memory polymer foam
material, Bennett Richard
(left) and Mike Johnson
helped take it from the lab
table to the rotary table.

16

How the GeoFORM conformable sand


management system using Morphic
technology works
When the polymer tube is taken to a temperature
above its glass transition temperature, it goes
from a glass or hard plastic state to an elastic,
rubber-like state. For the Baker Hughes 27/8-in.
totally conformable sand screen, the polymer tube
is constructed with an outside diameter of 7.2 in.
The tube is taken to a temperature above its glass
transition temperature where it becomes elastic.
The tube is then compressed and constrained to a
diameter of 4.5 in. While holding this constraining
force on the tube, it is cooled below its glass
transition temperature, which locks the material at
the new reduced diameter, essentially freezing the
tube into this new dimension. Once downhole, the
material springs back to its original 7.2-in. diameter.

In a perfect world, hydrocarbons


would ow unencumbered
and sand freefrom the
reservoir into the wellbore like
a river toward an open sea.
For as long as man has dug or drilled into
the earth, whether searching for drinking
water or for heating oil, he has struggled
to keep his bounty free of sand. Today,
sand migration continues to plague drilling
operations worldwide, causing reduced
production rates, damage to equipment,
and separation and disposal issues. In
short, sand is an ever-present, costly
obstacle to oil and gas production.
Baker Hughes has been helping operators
reduce the serious economic and safety risks
of sand production for decades through
deployment of sand management systems
including screens, inow control devices
and gravel packing. All have the same goal:
to keep sand from entering the well along

with the hydrocarbons without affecting


production. But even gravel packing, the
most widely used and highly effective sand
control method, has its drawbacks.
In gravel packing, sand, or gravel as
its called in the industry, is pumped into
the annular space between a screen and
either a perforated casing or an openhole
formation, creating a granular lter with
very high permeability. However, sand
production may occur in an unconsolidated
formation during the rst ow of formation
uid due to drag from the uid or gas
turbulence, which detaches sand grains
and carries them into the wellbore. These
nes will then lodge in and plug the

gravel pack, increasing drawdown pressures


and decreasing production rates.
Now, after years of research, Baker Hughes
has engineered a totally conformable
wellbore sand screen from shape memory
polymer foam that has the industry
rethinking sand management: the
GeoFORM conformable sand management
system using Morphic technology.
This advanced material can withstand
temperatures up to 200F (93C) and
collapse pressures up to the base pipe rating
while allowing normal hydrocarbon uid
production and preventing the production of
undesirable solids from the formation.

www.bakerhughes.com

17

The possibility of performing multiple


openhole completions with sand control
efciency close to that of frac and pack
treatments but with limited equipment
and personnel is very appealing.
Giuseppe Ripa
Sand control knowledge owner,
Eni exploration and production

01

Foam vs. metal


How do you convince a customer who has
run metal screens downhole for years to give
something made of foam a chance?
That was the big question that Baker Hughes
scientists and engineers faced as they
developed a brand new technology never
before used in the oil eld.
When we rst started researching
this, the properties of the materials
were a scientic novelty, says Mike
Johnson, sand management engineering
manager for Baker Hughes. Usually, you
bring a technology into the oil and gas
industry from another industryfrom
something thats already in use. In this
instance the science and technology
were developed within Baker Hughes.
It denitely has some major advantages
over what is currently offered in the area of
sand control. Compared to other products in
openhole applications, it provides a stress
on the formation thats unachievable with
todays sand control technology to prevent
sand from moving initially.
Oddly enough, I thought this was going
to be a difcult sell, says Bennett Richard,
director, research for the Baker Hughes
completions and production business
18

segment. But, every time our customers


have toured our research center and seen
this product, theyve immediately grasped
the concept and seen the benets.
Richard explains how the technology
works: Shape memory polymers behave
like a combination of springs and locks.
The behavior of these springs and locks is
dependent upon what is called the glass
transition temperature. A polymer below a
certain temperature is locked in position and
acts as a glass or hard plastic. If you take it
above this glass transition temperature, it
starts to act as a spring and becomes more
elastic like rubber. For our 27/8-in. screens,
we construct a polymer tube with an outside
diameter of 7.2 in. That tube is then taken
to a temperature above its glass transition
temperature where it becomes elastic. The
tube is then compressed and constrained to
a diameter of 4.5 in.
While holding this constraining force on
the tube, it is cooled back down below its
glass transition temperature, which locks
the material at the new reduced diameter.
The process essentially freezes the tube
into this new dimension. Once downhole,
the material sees its coded transition
temperature again and remembers that its
supposed to be a bigger diameter and tries
to spring back to its original 7.2-in. diameter.

The material composition is formulated to


achieve the desired transition temperature
slightly below the anticipated downhole
temperature at the depth at which the
assembly will be used.
The totally conformable sand screens are
currently manufactured in two sizes27/8in. for 6-in. to 7.2-in. openhole applications
and 5-in. for 8-in. to 10-in. openhole
applications. The screens come in 30-ft joints
made up of four 6-ft screen sections (tubes)
and can be run in any openhole application
where metal expandable screens, standalone
screens and gravel packs would be used.

Conformance performance
Shape memory polymers are being tested
for use in the auto industry on parts, such
as bumpers, that repair themselves when
heated and in the medical industry for
instruments, such as expanding stints, which
can be inserted into an artery as a temporary
shape and expand due to body heat.
There are many types of polymers
commercially available: polyethylene foam,
silicone rubber foam, polyurethane foam
and other proprietary rubber foams, to name
but a few. Most of these, however, yield soft
closed-cell foams that lack the strength to
be used downhole.

01> Design Engineer Jose Pedreira


calibrates the outside
diameter of the compacted
GeoFORM screen before
running it in the well.
01> The rst eld trial in an
openhole sand control
application, run in December
2010 for Eni in the Barbara
eld in the Adriatic Sea,
receives a thumbs up from
Eni personnel on the rig.
02

Some materials, such as rigid polyurethane


foam, are hard but very brittle,
Johnson says. In addition, conventional
polyurethane foams generally are made
from polyethers or polyesters that lack the
thermal stability and the necessary chemical
compatibility for downhole applications.
The GeoFORM sand management system,
created at the Baker Hughes Center for
Technology Innovation in Houston, is
an advanced open-cell foam material
designed with two key attributes
for openhole application: reservoir
interface management and ltration.
Johnson explains, It is generally accepted
that particulates less than 44 micrometers
can be produced from the well without
erosion damage to the tubing or surface
equipment, so the GeoFORM material matrix
was designed to allow less than 3 percent
total particles to pass, with 85 percent of
those particles being 44 micrometers or less.
An openhole completion ltration media
permeability should be at least 25 times
the permeability of the productive reservoir
to avoid productivity restrictions. If the
reservoir has a permeability of one darcy,
the GeoFORM sand management system
would require a permeability of 25 darcies to
prevent productivity impairment.

Because it is an entirely new material, the


mechanical properties, chemical stability,
permeability, ltration characteristics,
erosion resistance, deployment
characteristics and mechanical tool design
of the GeoFORM sand management system
were tested extensively before a eld
trial on a cased-hole remediation well in
California in October 2010.

December 2010 for Eni in the Barbara eld


in the Adriatic Sea. Giuseppe Ripa, sand
control knowledge owner for Eni exploration
and production, says, The possibility of
performing multiple openhole completions
with sand control efciency close to that of
frac and pack treatments but with limited
equipment and personnel is very appealing.

In order to fully understand the


properties of the new material and its
potential application window in the
downhole environment, the material
was aged in various inorganic and
organic uids for extended time periods
and at varying temperatures up to
248F (120C), Johnson says.

Moreover, there is the possibility to develop


short (1 m) unconsolidated silty layers where
frac and pack is mandatory for nes control
and production efciency but the treatment
is not feasible, Ripa says. This aspect is
very attractive in deepwater developments
where multiple sand bodies must be
completed in one horizontal or highly
deviated well in order to be economical
through less rig time being consumed.

The totally conformable screen outperforms


every screen that Baker Hughes has ever
tested for plugging or erosion resistance
the two main problems with sand control
completions, Richard says. Im sure theres
going to be a formation material that we
nd at some point that will plug it, but
weve always been able to plug the other
screens weve tested over time, and we have
never been able to plug this material in
laboratory tests.

The GeoFORM screens are being


manufactured at the Baker Hughes Emmott
Road facility in Houston at a rate of about
2,500 ft (762 m) per month. Justin Vinson,
project manager for the sand management
system, says, The product portfolio will be
expanded in 2011 to include more sizes,
different temperature ranges and a throughtubing remedial application.

The rst eld trial in an openhole sand


control application was successfully run in
www.bakerhughes.com

19

After 60 Years the

> Just south of the boom town


of Williston, N.D., is Theodore
Roosevelt National Park, a
30,000-acre wilderness where
bison, elk, wild horses and
pronghorn sheep roam free.

The story of the Bakken, an enormous hydrocarbonbearing formation in the northern U.S. and Canada, is
so incredible that some have suspected its an urban
myth. Its even been addressed on websites dealing
with hoaxes. But those in the energy industry have
known for decades that it holds a vast amount of
oilthey just didnt understand until recently how
to get much of it out of the ground.

20

Oil was rst discovered in the Bakken


formation in Williams county, Mont., in
1951, but the giant accumulation remained
a mystery for almost 60 years. Only
sporadic drilling occurred until 2008 when
technology advancements nally unlocked
the Bakken and turned it into a bonade
boom. Its no wonder oil companies kept
plugging away at the Bakken. The U.S
Geological Survey estimates that the
play holds three to four billion barrels of
recoverable oilmaking it the largest oil
nd in the contiguous U.S. Estimates for the
Canadian Bakken are approximately 68.7
million barrels of oil.

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technical know-how to recover


the vast oil reserves in the
Bakken shaleand to recover
it economically. Just as the
Barnett shale was the proving
ground for unconventional
gas resources, the Bakken
is the proving ground for
unconventional oil plays,
asserts Charlie Jackson, director
of marketing for Baker Hughes
in the U.S.

So, if everybody knows the


oil is there, the rest should
be simple enough:

First, uncover the geology of


the play
Second, drill horizontal wells
into the productive zone
Third, complete and fracture
the horizontal sections to
maximize production

But its far from easy. It takes a


great deal of perseverance and

Companies like Houstonbased Marathon Oil Corp.


are staking big claims in the
Bakken. With an approximate
390,000-acre lease position,
the company has invested
approximately $1.5 billion to
date in the Bakken and exited
2010 with about 15,000 BOPD
net production, relates Dave
Roberts, executive vice president
of world upstream operations
for Marathon. By 2013, the
rm estimates its production
will top 22,000 BOPD.

Unraveling the Bakken


In one sense, the Bakken is no
different than any other oil and
gas producing region. First,

Three Forks

operators must understand


the geology to design effective
drilling, completion and
production schemes. One fact
that might surprise those
unfamiliar with the Bakken shale
is that the primary producing
zone is not a shale at all.
The Upper Devonian-Lower
Mississippian Bakken formation
is a thin but widespread unit
within the central and deeper
portions of the Williston basin
in Montana and North Dakota
in the U.S., and the Canadian
provinces of Saskatchewan
and Manitoba. The formation
is comprised of three members:
the lower shale, the middle
sandstone and the upper shale.
The organic-rich lower and upper
marine shales have yielded
oil production, but primarily
they serve as the source rocks
for the productive sandstone,
which varies in thickness,
lithology and petrophysical
properties across the basin.
The shales also source the
productive Three Forks dolomite
that underlies the Bakken.

While these facts are well


known, the art of producing the
Bakken lies in understanding
its petrophysical subtleties.
This knowledge of the rock
characteristics and how they
react to both natural micro and
macro fractures, as well as to
induced fractures, is the key to
unlocking the most effective
fracturing and completion
strategies. The Bakken is unlike
most shale plays where the
larger the vertical fractures
the better the production. In
the Bakken, it is imperative to
contain the fractures within
the formation to prevent
unnecessary expenses for no
gain in production.
The Bakken is driven by
economics. A well can initially
produce approximately 1,000
BOPD, but production drops
off quickly. And with average
completion costs on the order
of $6.1 million, maximizing the
effectiveness of each wells
drilling, completion, fracturing,
and production strategy can
make or break the play.

www.bakerhughes.com

21

> Baker Hughes directional tools


were used during the Precision
106 rigs drilling operations in
the Sanish eld in Mountrail
county, N.D.

> The multiport system offers


multiple fracture initiation
points at each stage. Currently,
the multiport system can run
up to 17 stages with ve entry
points for a total of 85 sleeves
per completion.

22

The depth of the Bakken


shale varies, ranging from
approximately 5,500 ft (1676
m) in Canada to 10,000 ft (3048
m) in North Dakota, while the
horizontal sections can be up
to 10,000 ft (3048 m) long to
maximize reservoir contact.
Drilling the vertical section is
more difcult than other U.S.
shale plays. The hard, abrasive
nature of multiple layers,
combined with pressure drops
in older producing zones and
other issues, present technical
challenges and, of course, the
overarching goal is to optimize
drilling costs.
Its a balancing act between
costs and delivering the best
quality wellbore, says Paul
Bond, drilling systems marketing
director for Baker Hughes in
the U.S. The abrasive layers in
the horizontal section are very
hard on tools, so we deploy
our powerful 4-in. Navi-Drill
X-treme series motors to
maximize penetration rates
and to reduce the number of
runs. The X-treme motors
precontoured stator design
increases both mechanical
and hydraulic efciency for
higher torque and more
than 1,000 hp at the bit.

Increasingly, operators are trying


rotary steerable systems in
the vertical and curve sections
to save time and to increase
the build rate in the curve.
Baker Hughes is beginning to
employ its AutoTrak Express
automated, rotary-steering
drilling system for the vertical
and build section of the
wellbore. It is designed to
maximize penetration rates
while delivering a precise,
straight, smooth wellbore
despite the abrasive zones.
Traditionally, geosteering
and formation evaluation
technologies were not necessary
to drill the horizontal section
in the middle Bakken, which
is typically about 40 ft (12 m)
thick. But these techniques
are becoming more prevalent
as wells are placed closer to
the more geologically complex
anks of the middle Bakken
and in the 10-ft (3-m) thick
lower Bakken, Bond notes.
As the easy wells are drilled
up, advanced technology is
required to deliver the best
possible producing well. Again,
its nding the balance between
more costly technologies to
maximize production and overall
well economics. Recently,
Baker Hughes has used some

of its formation evaluation and


measurement-while-drilling
(MWD) tools and services very
successfully. These include
the CoPilot system, which
transmits real-time information
from sensors mounted on the
bottomhole assembly (BHA)
to the surface; AziTrak deep
azimuthal resistivity loggingwhile-drilling (LWD) tool; and
OnTrak integrated MWD and
LWD service.
There is a lot of bending
tendency in the Bakken, and
with the CoPilot system you can
see how the BHA is being bent
and modify drilling behavior
quickly, preventing wear and
tear on your BHA, according to
Bond. The AziTrak tool provides
the ability to steer the well into
the best producing formations
through an accurate picture
of the wellbore with deep
reading resistivity and borehole
gamma-ray imaging. The 360
deep-reading, close-to-the-bit
sensors detect bed boundaries
so we can avoid nonproductive
formations in any direction
around the wellbore, he says.
The OnTrak service is an array
of integrated measurements,
including full inclination and
azimuth close to the bit; deepreading propagation resistivity;

dual azimuthal gamma-ray


sensors; vibration and stickslip monitoring; and bore and
annular pressure in real time.
Optimizing the drilling process
pays dividends. Marathon, for
example, has made impressive
improvements in its drilling
program. Roberts says, In
2006, it took us an average of
50 days to drill a Bakken well
to a total measured depth of
20,000 ft (6096 m). Today that
same well takes less than 25
days. This improvement and
other technology advances are
strengthening the economics of
the Bakken play. Marathons net
development costs are in the
$15 to $20 per barrel range.

Completing a solution
While drilling the best possible
wellbore at the best possible
cost is critical to economically
produce the Bakken, everyone
acknowledges that today it is
all about the completion. Brent
Miller, operations manager
of the Northern Rockies asset
group for Whiting Petroleum,
says its a combination of
horizontal drilling and new
completions technologies like
Baker Hughes FracPoint
system, thats made the Bakken
economic. These are reservoirs
that were passed up over the
years. Theyre tighter rock. There
is not as much porosity and
permeability so we have to go
horizontal. Then, we have to
engage as much rock volume
as we can with FracPoint
technology to improve our odds
of having a protable well.

Early on, operators employed


the traditional plug-and-perf
method of completing and
fracturing horizontal wells in
the Bakken shale. With this
technique, composite plugs
are deployed to isolate each
fracture stage and, then, a
series of perforating clusters
is made through a cemented
liner to access the formation
in each stage, according
to Jose Iguaz, completion
systems director for Baker
Hughes in the U.S. The drilling
rig is moved off location and
replaced with frac equipment,
e-line unit and, in most cases,
a coil unit on standby to
perform emergency cleanups
or milling of preset plugs.
This system provides operators
an industry-accepted, lowrisk way of stimulating their
wellbores. But there are
limitations. It can take several
days to perform multiple fracs
and to set the plugs, leaving
costly frac equipment and crews
idle much of the time. Plus, this
system requires the composite
bridge plugs to be drilled out
before putting the well in
production, he points out.
More and more operators are
recognizing that speeding up
the completion and fracturing
process while controlling the
fracture regime is necessary to
rein in costs while maximizing
production. That has led to
increased use of single-trip,
multistage fracturing technology,
which compartmentalizes the
reservoir into multiple 200- to
400-ft mini reservoirs that are

fractured individually after the


drilling rig moves off location,
notes Iguaz. This system can
be run in openhole or casedhole applications and can be
used for primary fracturing
or refracturing operations.
While looking for a solution that
combined the cost-effectiveness
of a packer and sleeve system
with the increased number of
initiation points of a plug-andperf method, Whiting Petroleum
came to Baker Hughes. The result
was the FracPoint EX system.
The FracPoint system has
seen tremendous growth in
the Bakken as more operators
recognize the technical and
economic value of single trip
multistage systems compared
to plug and perf. The FracPoint
completion system uses
packers to isolate intervals
of the horizontal section
with frac sleeves between
the packers, explains Iguaz.
The frac sleeves are opened
by dropping balls between
stages of the fracture treatment
program. As the ball reaches
the sleeve, it shifts the sleeve
openexposing a new section
of the lateral and temporarily
plugging the bottom of the
sleeve. This provides greater
control of the fracture treatment
and allows for fracture
treatments along the length
of the horizontal wellbore.
Compared to plug and perf, the
FracPoint system eliminates
perforating and liner cementing
operations; saves time during
fracturing operations; reduces

uid usage during fracturing;


and allows the well to be put
on production immediately,
without the need for clean up
and milling operations. Initially,
the one drawback to singletrip, multistage systems like the
FracPoint offering was a limit
on the number of frac stages,
but that is no longer an issue.
Constant technology advances
have pushed the number of
stages higher and higher.
Earlier this year, Baker Hughes
ran and fractured the rst
40-stage FracPoint EX-C system
for Whiting Petroleum at the
Smith 14 29XH well in the
Bakken. This achievement marks
the most number of stages ever
performed in a single lateral
frac sleeve/packer completion
system. The FracPoint EX-C
system extends capabilities to
40 stages via 1/16-in. incremental
changes in ball size to achieve
an increased number of ball
seats. The patented design
provides additional mechanical
support to the ball during
pumping operations.
Our ongoing collaborative
relationship with Baker Hughes
couples Baker Hughes industryleading tool expertise and
experience with Whitings
Bakken completion expertise
and is a key to Whitings
industry-leading position in
Bakken fracture stimulation
effectiveness and efciency,
notes Jim Brown, president
and chief operating ofcer for
Whiting Petroleum.

www.bakerhughes.com

23

> Baker Hughes


fractures three wells
side-by-side in the
Montana portion of
the Bakken.

The next major innovation for


the FracPoint system technology
is the multiport system. One
perceived advantage of the
plug-and-perf method is the
capability to create multiple
fracture initiation points at each
stage. Now, the FracPoint system
offers this same advantage.
It works like a conventional
FracPoint system, but provides
up to ve entry points per stage.
In February, Baker Hughes
installed the rst multiport
system in a North Dakota
Bakken well. This technology
has the potential to dramatically
impact our completion
efciency in the shale plays in
North America, Iguaz says.
Currently, the multiport system
can run up to 17 stages with
ve entry points for a total of
85 sleeves per completion.
A revolutionary technology
advancement is also in the
works. The FracPoint system
with IN-tallic frac balls
breaks new ground in material
science. Based on fundamental
research in nanotechnology,
24

Baker Hughes scientists have


developed a light-weight, highstrength material incorporating
controlled electrolytic metallic
technology, which is based on
an electrochemical reaction
controlled by varying nanoscale
coatings within the composite
grain structure.
The frac balls made of this
material are designed to react
to a specic wells uid and
temperature regimes to literally
disintegrate in a prescribed
timeframe. So whats the
advantage of disintegrating frac
balls? At the conclusion of a
traditional FracPoint installation,
ball sticking or differential
pressure may keep a ball on
seat, requiring remedial actions
such as milling and delaying
(full) production. The IN-tallic
frac balls remove the cost of
possible remedial action.

Breaking into the Bakken


Of course, completion
technology is only part of the
storygetting the fracturing
process just right is imperative

to maximize production and


to control well costs. In the
Bakken, the key to a successful
frac job is eliminating excessive
fracture height growth to keep
the fractures in the formation.
Fracing out of zone is a waste of
money, says Kristian Cozyris,
an engineer for Baker Hughes.
Getting the fracture geometry
right is a function of both the
pumping rate and the uid type.
Its not all about horsepower in
the Bakken. Typically, we pump
30 to 50 barrels of uid per
minute, and we use cross-linked
gel-based uids.
But, typical is a relative
term. Theres no such thing as
generalities in the Bakken
every operator has a slightly
different philosophy on the
best fracture methodology and
the needs can vary depending
on where a well is drilled.
There is still a great deal we
need to learn to determine
the optimum approach.
We have ongoing research
and development projects
studying fracture growth in

the shales and additional


science will be necessary as we
better understand the Bakken
reservoir, Cozyris says.
Another serious challenge
for fracturing operations is
the availability and quality of
source water. Out of necessity,
operators are using more
recycled water, but that can
pose its own set of problems,
notes Brad Rieb, region technical
manager for Baker Hughes in
Canada. Baker Hughes BJ Viking
II PW system, which uses
produced brines combined with
a high-performance polymer and
crosslinker, has been deployed
successfully in the Canadian
Bakken where dry weather
conditions and agriculture needs
limit the volume and availability
of fresh and surface water.
Since its introduction in May
2008, the Viking II PW system
has been deployed in about 310
wells, or approximately 5,300
frac stages. Weve saved 1.5
million barrels of fresh water
from being used in fracturing

operations, Rieb says. One


customer estimated it saved 10
to 15 percent in total stimulation
costs from reduced water
purchases, hauling, heating and
uids disposal. The operator had
a constant source of produced
water stored in several tanks. In
addition to the environmental
benet of preserving the
limited supply of fresh water,
other benets include reduced
exhaust, dust, noise, and road
wear from trucking operations.
The Viking II PW system has not
been widely used in the U.S.,
primarily because the Bakken
producing formations are deeper,
hotter and more saline. The
hotter bottomhole conditions
impact the uid. We currently
have R&D projects under way
to understand the inuence
of higher temperatures on the
system. There is signicant
interest in this technology, so we
are working hard to solve the
technical issues, Rieb explains.
Another serious challenge in
the Bakken is mineral scale
formation on the tubulars, says
Anthony Hooper, director of
marketing, pressure pumping,
for Baker Hughes in the U.S.
We have seen Bakken wells
with restrictions from severe
scale buildup. Barium sulfate,
calcium sulfate, calcium
carbonate scales and sodium
chloride precipitation are the
most common problems in the
Bakken. Its extremely difcult
to adequately recomplete
10,000-ft (3048-m) laterals,
so its imperative we get it
right the rst time to prevent

loss of the wellbore or an


expensive and not very effective
remediation treatment.
To inhibit scale build up, Baker
Hughes is employing its BJ
StimPlus services on an
increasing number of frac jobs.
This service combines scale
inhibiting chemicals with the
stimulation uids to address
scale at its sourcethe rock
face. This is our only chance
to get the chemicals directly
into the reservoir, Hooper
says. Following the fracture
stimulation, a post-treatment
survey monitors the reservoir
and well assets for scale build
up. We have documented
cases of uninterrupted well
treatment lasting up to ve
years with no additional
chemical intervention.

Lifting reserve recovery


Bakken hydrocarbons are now
technically feasible to drill
and recover, but production
over time is yet another
challenge. Production rates
decline rapidly and operators
are looking for ways to
extend the productive life of
every well and to maximize
ultimate reserve recovery.
Rod lift has been the traditional
articial lift technique, but a
growing population of Canadian
and U.S. wells is being produced
with electrical submersible
pumping (ESP) systems and
is proving the value of this
technology. According to Cal
LaCoste, eld sales manager for
Baker Hughes in Canada, there
are two primary advantages

of ESP systems: ESPs can be


set in the horizontal section of
the wellbore, which provides
greater draw down for faster
and higher reserve recovery;
and ESP systems can handle
solids and gases entrained in the
production stream.
The key to successful
deployment of ESP technology
is picking the right system
for the right application. We
have found that the optimum
solution is a low-horsepower/
high-voltage system to keep the
motor temperature down. It is
also very important to get the
pump size just rightit has to
handle a wide operating range
since production rates drop off
quickly in the Bakken. Another
critical element is chemical
maintenance of the ESP systems
to protect against scale and
corrosion, LaCoste explains.
Canada was the rst proving
ground for ESP technology
since the wells are shallower
with lower production volumes
and a shallower decline
curve compared to the U.S.
side of the play. However,
U.S. operators are testing the
waters. Currently, more than
150 Centrilift SP ESP systems
have been installed in Canada
and the U.S., and operators
are realizing sizable benets.
In fact, the rst ESP system ever
installed in a Bakken well in
Canada has run continuously for
more than two and a half years.
The rod lift system originally
in the well had to be worked
over every three to four months

due to a host of downhole


problems. We convinced the
operator to give us a chance to
improve the wells performance
and to cut down on the costs
of frequent well interventions,
LaCoste remembers. The
results were dramatic. Because
the ESP system could be set in
the horizontal section of the
well207 m (680 ft) deeper
than the rod pumpproduction
initially increased by 76 BOPD
and, over time, stabilized at an
increase of 20 barrels per day, a
50 percent increase over the rod
system. Plus, weve saved nearly
$400,000 in well intervention
costs and another $500 per
month in power costs because
the ESP system requires half the
horsepower of the rod system.
The technical challenges
operators and service companies
face in their quest to unlock the
promise of the Bakken shale
have been daunting, but the
prize is worth it. Production
from just the U.S. sector of
the play increased from 9.3
million BOE in 2004 to 70.9
million BOE in 2009. Production
from the Bakken is expected
to reach 211.4 million BOE
in 2020an average annual
growth rate of 9.9 percent.
And the Bakken is just the
rst chapter in this story.
Marathons Roberts sums it up.
What we learn in the Bakken
will be transferred to other
unconventional resource plays in
North America and, then, around
the world. We are already seeing
that trend. This is an exciting
journey for the industry.

www.bakerhughes.com

25

Industry Insight

Interest is rising in
natural gas shale basins
globally. How can the
knowledge gained by
mostly independent oil
companies in the U.S.
be transferred to shale
plays around the world?

James J. Volker,

w
with
cchairman, president and CEO,
Whiting Petroleum
W

James J. Volker and his


senior management team,
which he credits with
Denver-based Whiting
Petroleums growth and
success, share insight into
the challenges of producing
some of the nations top oil
shale plays and the future
technologies that will be
vital to meeting the needs
of this market.
26

First, it is very important,


especially with regard to
what we call resource plays,
to have access to subsurface
information. There is a great
deal that we can do with old
logs, in terms of prequalifying
these types of plays, when we
combine log data with pressure
and production test information.
Without that, youre at a real
disadvantage, so its very
important to have access
to that type of information.
Secondly, one of the things that
distinguish these resource plays
from other types of plays is
that they are invariably large in
scale, but they are marginal in
their reservoir quality compared
to conventional reservoirs. The
international oil companies
have historically been good at
obtaining a large share of the
protability that is sometimes
seen in a conventional reservoir
play. In order for independent
U.S. companies to compete
internationally in the resource
playswhere the economics
are typically in the 2:1 to
3:1 or 4:1 range, rather than
10:1its important that
the netbacks, in terms of the
production sharing, are high
and are competitive with what
they are in the U.S. We see
netbacks in the U.S. typically
between 50 and 70 percent. You
rarely see that internationally,

so its going to be important


for those countries that have
resource play opportunities to
be realistic in their dealings with
U.S. companies to encourage
them to come and make the
large capital investments
necessary to get these big
plays going. Royalties and
the whole scal regime need
to be competitive with what
were doing here in the U.S.

Explain the differences


in exploiting, producing
and completing shale
oil and shale gas.
Because oil is a much thicker
uid than gas, it is more difcult
for it to ow through the tiny
pores within the shale. In the
completion or the fracturing
phase, we aim to leave a much
higher fracture conductivitya
much higher sand concentration,
so to speaknear the wellbore
to maximize ow rates. You can
ow more gas than oil through
a lower permeability sand pack.
The other thing thats true with
oil reservoirs, whether youre
in vertical wells or horizontals,
is you have to have tighter
well spacing because youre
not going to drain as big an
area. Thats why were drilling
up to six wells per 1,280-acre
unit. Much of the multistage
fracturing designs have been
transferable between gas and oil
plays with adjustments for the
different rocks, well depths and
well costs. Both shale oil and gas
plays should have repeatable
results over a large area.

How have drilling and


completion methods
changed in regard
to the Bakken shale
over the last several
years and what are
your expectations
moving forward?
Whitings average time to
drill a 20,000-ft (6096-m)
well has been reduced from
50 days to less than 20 days,
and we currently hold the
record in the Bakken shale
for drilling a 20,000-ft (6096m) well in 13.92 days from
spud to total depth. All this is
a direct result of optimizing
the drilling process through
improvements in downhole
motor technologyespecially
motors with precontoured
stator tubes that allow the
entire lateral to be drilled
without changing the downhole
assembly. High-pressure mud
motors that facilitate high
rates of penetration are also
important. Another key driver
for drilling efciency includes all
top-drive rigs. These rigs reduce
connection time and reduce
time for reaming horizontal from
three days to one day before
running liner. Also, our drillingwell-on-paper training keeps the
rig crew focused on a missioncritical bit-on-bottom strategy
and accounts for ve to seven
days reduction in drill time.
On the completion side,
Bakken shale completions have
evolved signicantly from three
years ago. Horizontal drilling
with single-stage fracture
stimulations was being used
with good results in Montanas

Elm Coulee eld, but with poor


results in the North Dakota
Bakken play. We decided to try
a Baker Hughes FracPoint
multistage fracture design with
swell packers and frac sleeves,
and the result was our best well
up to that date. This kicked off
signicant development in the
Sanish eld, and weve been
using multistage fracturing
ever since in the Bakken play.
Along with Baker Hughes, we
pioneered the 24-stage frac
system and have since run a
40-stage system. With frac
sleeves, we can do a completion
in one day versus ve or six days
with plug and perf. Therefore, it
is much more efcient and much
more cost effective. The more
we can keep frac costs per stage
down in a long lateral, the more
we are going to accomplish
commercial completions in
poorer or thinner rock. Thus,
we can make the play work in
not just the great areas like the
Sanish eld but also in some of
the poorer rock quality areas we
want to drill.
In addition to using the
multistage fracturing technology,
Whiting has adopted and
improved upon the hybrid uid
frac design that uses slick water,
linear gels and cross-linked
gels in each frac stage design.
Whiting has moved quickly from
less than 10-stage completion
designs to 30-stage designs.
This has resulted in some of our
best wells to date, and we have
plans to use even more stages
in the future. The challenge
for Whiting is to continue to
push for lower per stage frac
costs and optimum stimulation

designs to produce higher


estimated ultimate recovery
[EUR]. Efcient use of fracturing
equipment is important in
reducing costs. Our individual well
fracturing operations are now
normally done within 24 hours.

Unconventional
resources are a
relatively new market
with limited longterm exposure. As
the industry moves
further into the life
cycle of unconventional
resources, what
technologies do you see
emerging to meet the
needs of this market?
Because these are tight
rock reservoirs with low
permeability, we think that
the key elements will involve
completing multilaterals with
more affordable multistage
completions. Therefore, a key
factor will be having dependable
assemblies that can access as
much rock volume as possible to
increase the odds of making a
protable well.

Whiting Petroleum
explores for crude oil,
natural gas and natural
gas liquids. What
percentage of each is
your company targeting
from shale formations?
Approximately 80 percent
of our exploration and
development budget is targeted

www.bakerhughes.com

27

at oil reservoirs, and almost


80 percent of this effort [64
percent of total] is directed
at oil-rich shales. We have
concentrated on oil because
it has the best prot margin.

Whiting Petroleum
consistently has some
of the largest initial
production rates in
the Bakken shale. To
what do you attribute
this success?
Whiting has leases covering
some of the best Bakken
and Three Forks rock, uses
multistage fracing and sees
low damage to the formation
during drilling. Beyond that, I
would say that its the ability
of our geoscience team to
locate this better reservoir rock
that has enough porosity and
permeability innately, so that
when we drill it horizontally, we
get protable wells. Using the
geoscience that Mark Williams,
our vice president of exploration,
and his team have applied has
been the difference between
our wells, which on average
have produced about 80,000
barrels in the rst six months of
production, to others who, on
average, have had production of
about half of that.

The unconventional
resource market in
North America has been
revolutionized during
the last decade with the

28

emergence of further
plays in a seemingly
endless cycle. In what
areas does Whiting
Petroleum expect to
emerge in the near
future and what are
the corresponding
challenges?
There are three primary areas:
the various zones of the Bakken
hydrocarbon system in the
Williston basin, the Niobrara
zone in the Denver Julesburg
basin and the Bone Springs
zone on the western side of the
Permian Basin. The challenges,
of course, are how to efciently
drill and complete longer
horizontal laterals. We think
that technologies such as the
FracPoint multistage fracturing
system will be of assistance to
us in these three areas because
it has increased the speed and
effectiveness of multistage
completion systems to access
greater rock volume.

Reserve estimates have


changed dramatically
over the past few
years. Why is it so
difcult to estimate
the amount of oil and
gas that lies within
the U.S. shale plays?
Shale and other unconventional
reservoirs have low reservoir
permeability but high
permeability associated
with natural and induced
fractures contained within
the reservoir. Therefore, wells

in these plays exhibit high


initial rates of decline over
the rst one to three years as
the fractures are produced.
Without contribution from
the low-permeability matrix
reservoir, however, these wells
would continue to decline
rapidly. Because it is often
difcult in the early stages of
production to determine the
degree of eventual contribution
from the low-permeability
matrix, it is all the more
important to treat and enhance
the reservoir with FracPoint-type
technology. Contribution from
the low-permeability matrix
can atten the rate of decline,
improve estimated ultimate
recovery and make results
more protable.

Of all the shale plays in


which Whiting Petroleum
is involved, which is
the most technically
challenging and why?
Our big play is the Bakken shale
play, but weve had challenges
within that play. The Sanish eld
is some of the better rock in that
play but even in Sanish there
have been some challenges
related to well spacing. We had
to decide how many laterals to
drill in the middle Bakken within
a 1,280-acre unit and how many
to drill in the Three Forks. Weve
used some of Baker Hughes
technology to help us come
up with the answers to those
questions. Our studies now
indicate that we need to drill

separate wellbores in the Sanish


eldtypically four wellbores
in the Bakken and another three
in the underlying Three Forks to
most efciently drain both of
those reservoirs.
As we embark into some areas
within our Lewis and Clark
play and subsets of that play
away from the Sanish eld,
we get into some thinner rock
that doesnt have as much
Bakken pay. Its tighter rock.
Its also harder rock. One of
the challenges that weve
encountered there is much
higher frac pressures. Weve had
to modify our frac designs to
frac the rock at higher pressures.
The fractures dont open as
wide. We cant put as much
sand into the fractures in the
harder rock areas. In the thinner
rocks, its even more important
to keep our costs down. Using
frac sleeves to help us keep our
per-stage frac costs down, we
can develop areas where the
Bakken rock is thinner, and not
as good a rock, and still make
very productive wells.

This year, Baker


Hughes ran a 40-stage
completion in the
Williston basin for
Whiting Petroleum
the largest number
of stages ever run
using a ball/sleeve
method for isolation.
Explain how multistage
completions enhance
reservoir performance.

Prior to the Baker Hughes


FracPoint technology, it was
difcult to create multiple
fractures over a large interval,
thus, some parts of the lateral
were left unstimulated.
Multistage completions are very
effective, especially in longer
laterals, because the lateral is
stimulated one small section at
a time, effectively stimulating
the entire lateral. Baker Hughes
has been a pioneer in multistage
fracing and continues to
work closely with Whiting to
develop new technology in
multistage tools and design.
Forty stages was a real high
point. Baker Hughes is working
to enhance the industrys
ability to stimulate our shale oil
wells even more effectively.

Recovery rates in
most shale plays
range from 15 to 25
percent with current
best technologies.
What next-generation
technologies are
needed to increase
these recovery rates?
Contacting the reservoir is a
recurring theme here. Any new
technologies that will allow

us to effectively contact more


rock will help us increase our
protability and our overall
efciency, whether thats more
fracture stages through 40-stage
or 50-stage FracPoint systems
or tighter well density. If we
can touch more rock, were
going to get better results.
The Sanish eld has some of
the very best rock seen in the
middle Bakken, but as we move
out into other areas, we may
not be as blessed with such a
high-quality reservoir. Therefore,
it will be more important to
efciently touch more reservoir
rock in order to make our drilling
program a success. Anything
we can do to understand the
reservoir better through log
interpretation, core analysis
or reservoir modeling, the
better we can adapt to it
mechanically or chemically or
just through sheer force to help
us achieve better results.
The very rst well that we drilled
that was economically successful
in Sanish was called the Perry
State 11-25H well. In that well,
we drilled 21,000 ft (6401 m)
in three separate laterals. Our
original idea was that the more
rock that you access, the better
your opportunity to increase
your recovery. The problem

> Front row (left to right), Brent Miller, operations manager, Northern Rockies
Asset Group, Whiting Petroleum; Monte Madsen, senior operations engineer,
Northern Rockies, Whiting Petroleum; and Adam Anderson, vice president,
U.S. Land Operations, Baker Hughes; back row (left to right), Doug Walton,
vice president, U.S. Drilling, Whiting Petroleum; John Paneitz, senior
operations engineer, Northern Rockies, Whiting Petroleum; and George
Gentry, account manager, Baker Hughes.

we encountered was that you


could really only do multistage
completions in a single lateral.
We are now moving to design
multistage completions in
multilateral wellbores. That,
as we see it, is one of the next
evolutionary steps in trying
to develop these reservoirs.
For now, we have elected
to drill single laterals until
some lower cost multilateral
devices are developed.

What is the fracturing


method of choice in
shale reservoirs?
Whitings choice is denitely
FracPoint completions in long
laterals. Weve used various
methods and weve denitely
watched operators use a wide
range of methods, but for us, for
our efciency, for our level of
activity, FracPoint technology is
our chosen route.

Some of your
competitors prefer
the plug and perf
methodology, and
they believe that

gives them better


productivity. What is
your view on that?
We disagree. We have
benchmarks. We know what
we expect, and we know what
we are getting. Weve spoken
about spud to total depth,
but in the overall picture, the
most important measure is
spud to sales because spud
is when you start investing
money, and sales are when
you start earning a return on
your investment. By using
multistage sleeve technology,
we can complete a frac in 24
hours versus six days, so, once
again, that decreases our spud
to sales time, which is the
ultimate measure of how well
you invest your money. Weve
done quite a bit of plug and
perf work just to make sure that
were rightthat sleeves are
just as good. We have not seen
better results in comparable
rock with plug and perf.
You can certainly say that we
would not be at this production
level or have the same number
of wells producing if we were
having to complete with the
plug and perf method.

The right technologies in the right applications

01

01> New technologies


applied on wells
drilled on northwest
Siberias Yamal
Peninsula are helping
operators reach new
levels of productivity
4500 m (2.8 miles)
under the sea.

It is never easy to reconstruct the events from millions of years ago


that led to the formation of valuable deposits of oil and gas now
trapped thousands of meters below the ground. Sometimes the
challenge of unlocking these hydrocarbons demands the application
of cutting-edge technologies such as the advanced logging-whiledrilling (LWD) tools that Baker Hughes recently introduced in Russia.
Conventional drilling and formation evaluation techniques being used on long horizontal wells in the
Yurkharovskoe eld in northwest Siberia were not meeting Novateks (Russias largest independent natural
gas producer) objective, which was to improve planned well rate and construction performance. Baker
Hughes, in partnership with drilling contractor Nova Energeticheskie Uslugi LLC (NEU), wholly owned division
of CJSC Investgeoservice, delivered a solution.
Sedimentary reservoirs are not always laid down in a neat and tidy manner by Mother Nature. There
are many types of reservoirs, and some are thinly laminated, often requiring horizontal wells to be drilled
through the sweetest spot to maximize the wells drainage area, explains Ravan Ravanov, drilling systems
sales manager for Baker Hughes in Russia Caspian. Often, there are faults and up-thrusts, pinch-outs and

30

Time vs. Depth





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days

complement the motor characteristics and


to provide optimized drilling economics. As a
result, drilling performance on the rst four
conventional wells increased dramatically,
according to Ravanov.
Fig. 1 highlights the performance on the
third well based on an aggressive updated
drilling plan where days on bottom were
further reduced by approximately 42 percent.
other events that challenge even the most
experienced geologists to predict with any
degree of certainty where the well path must
be placed for maximum gas production. This
is where downhole real-time measurement
technology lends a hand.
Baker Hughes began providing directional
drilling services and basic LWD services
in this eld in August 2009 and has since
drilled wells with continuously improved
rates of penetration (ROP). To improve
drilling performance, Baker Hughes proposed
the use of its Navi-Drill Ultra series
high-powered downhole drilling motors,
including the Ultra R, Ultra XL,
Ultra-Xtreme and Xtreme motors,
in combination with drill bits specially
designed for this particular reservoir to

Encouraged by the productivity increases,


Baker Hughes worked with NEU to propose
a plan for the next wella 4400-m
(14,435-ft) dual lateralthat included
the application of more sophisticated
technologies for well construction.
Baker Hughes used the AutoTrak rotary
steerable drilling system, paired with
OnTrak and LithoTrak advanced LWD
tools, to acquire the data on the horizontal
sections of the well. The customer also
added Baker Hughes bits to improve
reliability, ROP and steerability. The
post-well petrophysical evaluation of the
rst multilateral leg by a Baker Hughes
geoscience team indicated that the payzone
exposure along the wellbore was only 33







Fig. 1

percent reservoir quality sand: the remaining


390 m (1,279 ft) was nonreservoir quality
rock. It became clear that the anticipated
quality and thickness of the reservoir was
not reached, and so a new plan for the next
well was needed, Ravanov says.
Working closely with the NEU specialists
and Novatek geologists, the Baker Hughes
geoscience and drilling teams suggested the
implementation of Baker Hughes Reservoir
Navigation Services (RNS). This
sophisticated system combines the AutoTrak
system with a range of LWD sensors that
measure, then transmit to surface, real-time
data about the rock being drilled. This data
enables petrophysicists and geologists to
build a detailed lithological model around
the wellbore as it is being drilled. The
distance to and spatial position of reservoir
boundaries are determined, which then
allows real-time optimization of wellbore
trajectory through commands being sent
to the steerable system to steer up, down,
left or right, and thus stay within the most
productive reservoir zone.
Field data was sent to the Moscow Baker
Hughes BEACON real-time operations
www.bakerhughes.com

31

01

02

Fig. 2
01> Graph shows the well path of the
long step-out in the rst multilateral
prole well in the Yurkharovskoe
eld.
02> From left, Vsevolod Kozlov, head of
Novateks eld geology department;
Evgeny Tyurin, Baker Hughes senior
geoscientist and RNS lead; and
Margarita Ibragimova, Baker Hughes
geoscience manager for Russia, in
the BEACON center

sales
v, drilling systems
> Ravan Ravano
ssia Caspian
Ru
in
es
r Hugh
manager for Bake

32

center, via satellite, approximately 2414 km


(1,500 miles) from the rig site on Siberias
Yamal Peninsula. Data transfer of this
nature provided the basis for collective
and collaborative decisions with NEU and
Novatek for drilling best practices and
optimized wellbore placement, Ravanov
explains. Connecting the clients experts
to the operation is the key to informed
operational decisions, and having instant
access to previous well data and geological
information allows even more informed
evaluation of incoming data.

After some ne tuning of the RNS model in


the ofce, the next horizontal section (600
m [1,968 ft]) was drilled in the payzone
with no exit from the reservoir (Fig. 2). This
was a step-out of 4452 m (14,606 ft) at a
measured depth of 6045 m (19,832 ft). The
smoothness of the wellbore path allowed
the well to be drilled far longer than planned
due to the reduction of torque and drag,
which resulted in huge nancial benets in
terms of additional gas production, Ravanov
explains. This was also the longest extended
reach well in Siberia to date.

During this rst-ever RNS implementation


in Russia on the rst leg of the second
multilateral well, Vsevolod Kozlov, head of
Novateks eld geology department, spent
48 hours in the BEACON center with
Evgeny Tyurin, a Baker Hughes senior
geoscientist and RNS lead. Together, they
watched as all geological and drilling
targets were set up and successfully met,
resulting in a 65 percent improvement in
reservoir rock exposure.

From log correlations, Novatek was


projecting 8 to 10 m (26 to 32 ft) bottom
reservoir thickness. But in reality, it pinched
out to 2 m (6.5 ft), then even less. Thanks
to clear images provided by RNS, it was
decided to change the drilling program of
payzone penetration, Kozlov says.
The initial well construction program
reduced well penetration meterage
signicantlyto 5700 m (18,700 ft) total

A set of applied technologies, alongside


new technologies such as the CoPilot
real-time drilling optimization service and
AutoTrak X-treme drilling system, have
made it possible at the current stage to
drill well No. 368 down to 6425 m (21,079
ft) with deviation from the wellhead to the
top reservoir of 4600 m (15,091 ft).
Sergey Soloviev
General director,
Investgeoservice

depth because of top drive limitation,


adds Sergey Soloviev, general director
of Investgeoservice. But, due to RNS
helping us escape multiple doglegs in
the prole and the AutoTrak steerable
system making a smooth hole, total depth
was at 6045 m (19,832 ft), doubling the
section contacting the reservoir.
These wells highlighted the opportunity to
drill extended reach wells from the existing
surface infrastructure when the payzone
is located, for instance, off the coast,
comments a Novatek expert. Novatek
had previously planned a very expensive
island construction project that may no
longer be required.
Baker Hughes created additional value from
the quality of the acquired real-time drilling
LithoTrak data that was the same, if not
better, than that of previous in-eld wireline
logs. The LWD logs proved sufcient for
the end-of-well quantitative petrophysical
report. This resulted in rig time savings and
eliminated additional costs for wireline,
Soloviev notes.
A set of applied technologies, alongside
new technologies such as the CoPilot
real-time drilling optimization service and
AutoTrak X-treme drilling system, have
made it possible at the current stage to drill
well No. 368 down to 6425 m (21,079 ft)

with deviation from the wellhead to the


top reservoir of 4600 m (15,091 ft),
Soloviev adds.
NEU, Novatek and Baker Hughes have
worked together to improve upon the
challenges faced in previous completions.
New challenges may be avoided using a
combination of two key factorsBaker
Hughes technologies and global experience,
and the local knowledge and technique
experience of our customers, says Timothy
Adams, Baker Hughes vice president
of marketing for Russia Caspian. This
project is a great example of what can
be achieved by the careful application of
the correct technologies in the appropriate
applications and stands as a testament
to the collaborative approach taken on
this project, with the collective aim of
improving performance.
Iosif Levinzon, deputy chairman of
Novateks management committee, and
Dmitry Kuzovenkov, president of Russia
Caspian for Baker Hughes, met recently
in the Moscow BEACON Center to
discuss future relationships, technology
applications and strategy for development
of the Novatek assets. As a result of
this meeting, Mr. Levinzon has signed
a protocol describing the future strategic
relationship commitments of Novatek,
NEU and Baker Hughes.

Edge of the World


The Yurkharovskoe eld is one of many
being developed from the strategic oil
and gas bearing Yamal Peninsula, a large
parcel of land that juts out into the Kara
Sea above the Arctic Circle. The peninsula
consists mostly of permafrost ground and,
in the language of its indigenous nomadic
inhabitants, the Nenets, Yamal means
End of the World.
Although the temperatures can reach
-50C (-58F) in the winter, large-scale
reindeer husbandry continues in its
traditional form. By some estimates, there
are 300,000 wild reindeer on the peninsula.
In summer, when the topsoil defrosts,
they graze in the north. When the winter
turns brutal, they migrate south of the
Arctic Circle to the central Siberian Plain.
The Nenets follow the migrating herds
year round, sometimes for thousands of
kilometers. The Nenets believe that, during
a mythical past, the reindeer agreed to
offer themselves as food and transport
and, in return, the Nenets agreed to
accompany them on their long journey
and protect them from predators.
Though largely undeveloped, the Yamal
Peninsula holds Russias largest natural gas
reserves estimated at 55 trillion m3.

www.bakerhughes.com

33

Stimulation with Stewardship

Fracturing
with a fraction of the uids

> VaporFrac services


minimize the
equipment required
on location,
reducing impact on
the environment,
including local roads.
34

> Northeast Region Engineer


David Wilson veries the levels
of the liquid LiteProp slurry
in a tanker before pumping
the rst stage, then discusses
job details with Sales
Representative Bryan Wilson
amid the nitrogen pumps.

01

As the media and


regulators turn
a watchful eye
toward the energy
extraction process, an
innovative hydraulic
fracturing technology
takes center stage,
dramatically cutting
water and chemical
requirements to
safely and efciently
stimulate gas
production from
one of Americas
most prolic shale
formations.

02

The gas-bearing Marcellus shale


underlies a large swath of the
northeastern U.S., making it a
hotbed of activity for energy
extraction, environmental
activism and governmental
regulation. One of the most
signicant concerns for all of
these groups is the continued
availability of fresh water:
Operators cant economically
produce gas from the shale
without hydraulic fracturing,
a technique that uses large
volumes of water, and activists
and regulators are both
concerned that operators use
too much water with too little
regard for local communities.
To minimize the impact on fresh
water supplies, some state and
local regulators strictly limit
energy extraction activities.
In New York, for example, the
states moratorium on hydraulic
fracturing has all but eliminated
oil and gas activity in its portion
of the Marcellus shale.

In fact, the moratorium is not


a complete freeze on hydraulic
fracturing, as Baker Hughes
Region Engineer Dan Kendrick
learned in early 2010 from
an operator, Gastem USA,
who was curious about the
BJ VaporFracTM services.
They saw our SPE paper about
using the technology in the
Huron and Utica shales, and
they were interested because
it required very little uid,
Kendrick recalls. They had a
lease at the northeastern edge
of the Marcellus shale in New
York, and the well required
stimulation to make it an
economical producer.
VaporFrac stimulation services
pump ultralightweight
proppant slurry directly into
a high-pressure nitrogen or
carbon dioxide gas stream.
The nondamaging technique
creates a ow stream
that is 94 to 96 percent

gas, signicantly reducing


freshwater requirements,
chemical additives, postfrac cleanup time and water
disposal costs. In addition, the
efcient process minimizes
equipment requirements,
thereby limiting truck trafc
on local and lease roads.
Stimulation performance
compares favorably with
other low-water stimulation
techniques, as the proppant
slurry lends mass to help create
or extend a fracture, which can
be challenging in nitrogen-only
fracs, especially in naturally
fractured formations, such as
shale. In addition, the patented
BJ LiteProp ultralightweight
proppants are easier to transport
into a fracture than conventional
sand, improving the resulting
effective (propped) fracture area
and conductivity.

www.bakerhughes.com

35

01> Jenkins, Ky., District Safety


Trainer Eric Adams oversees
rig-up for the nitrogen
pumps at the VaporFrac
operation.
02> Gastem USA President
Orville Cole (center)
explains the VaporFrac
procedures and
environmental safeguards
to residents whom he
invited onsite to learn
more about how Baker
Hughes and Gastem worked
together to minimize risks.
01

The well came


in strong, which
proves our claims
about efcient
proppant transport.
We know we hit the
fracture network,
which is what we
needed to do. And
we saved a lot
of water, which
is great from an
environmental
standpoint.
Dan Kendrick
Region engineer,
Baker Hughes

36

A more effective fracture


A conventional, optimized shale
development starts with a long,
horizontal well and a multistage
hydraulic fracturing treatment
using millions of gallons of
uid to connect the wellbore to
as much of the shales natural
fracture network as possible. But
New York state environmental
ofcials told Gastem engineers
that under the moratorium,
the only way they could use
hydraulic fracturing was in a
vertical well with just 80,000
gallons of uid.

more effective fracture area


than anybody could make with
a regular sand frac. Gastem
thought the theory was sound,
so we moved forward.
The next steps were to create
a provisional fracture design
and to provide state regulators
with chemical information about
the uid system that would be
used to carry the proppant. After
sending the OSHA-mandated
material safety data sheets for
the uid system, the state asked
for a few additional detailsthe
exact chemical composition of
each component.

It was not an ideal situation


because, even for a VaporFrac
treatment, the uid volume
was very low, Kendrick says.
To make shale economical
to produce, you want your
uid and proppant to connect
with a lot of the formation
rock. But, 80,000 gallons of
uid will only go so far.

A smaller footprint

Still, theoretically, we knew


that given a certain volume
of uid, our ultralightweight
proppant technology should
be able to create a larger,

Although one of the benets


of VaporFrac services is its
minimal chemical footprint,
it does use a few additives,
such as surfactants to improve
proppant-carrying capacity. For

We knew that we had to


spell out the uid systems we
were going to use, Kendrick
says. I had no idea that state
regulators would require as
much detail as they did.

some additives, Baker Hughes


had to contact its chemical
suppliers for the detailed
chemical information, and, of
course, their sense of urgency
was not what ours was,
Kendrick says.
Andy Jordan, manager of
technology support for Baker
Hughes pressure pumping
services, was involved with
encouraging suppliers to provide
the information. The suppliers
sent the information directly
to the stateafter they were
convinced that the state had
proper condentiality systems
in place, Jordan says. It took a
long time, but we got it done.
After the state received the
nal chemical information and
approved the fracturing permit,
the next challenge was logistics:
Baker Hughes has no pressure
pumping districts in New York.
To avoid disrupting any one
districts stimulation schedule,
the New York operation used a
few pieces of equipment and
operators from Gaylord, Mich.,
Dunbar, W.Va., and Jenkins, Ky.

We did some townhall meetings to


explain the processes, but when I can
bring people right up to the location and
show them that we have thought about
the things that concern them, they feel
better about the operation.
Orville Cole
President,
Gastem USA
02

In late October 2010, the


equipment and personnel
converged on a hilltop near
Maryland, N.Y., where Gastem
had laid hemlock matting to
protect and stabilize the wellsite
from erosion and truck damage.
Gastem had also developed
a water-monitoring program
to test area water wells for
impacts from drilling and
other operations. And while
Baker Hughes crew members
rigged up their equipment,
Gastem USA President Orville
Cole met with neighbors at
the edge of the wellsite.
Its important to talk to people,
to show them all that we do to
minimize risks, Cole notes. We
did some townhall meetings
to explain the processes, but
when I can bring people right
up to the location and show
them that we have thought
about the things that concern
them, they feel better about
the operation. You cant always
please everyone, but education
is always worth the effort.

Gastem started the outreach


in 2008. The experience with
the industry in this area is
very limited. People voice their
appreciation, but there are
a number of other voices in
this region who are not only
opposed to hydro-fracturing but
to any intrusion from industry,
Cole explains. This makes
community relations, education
and industry innovation so very
important. I believe the industry
needs to show continuous
improvement in establishing
baseline environmental
conditions prior to drilling in a
new area, and to be prepared to
restore drilling sites and pipeline
right-of-ways to blend with the
areas where we work.

Successful operation
As Cole, a handful of neighbors
and two representatives of the
New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation
watched, Baker Hughes began
the fracture stimulation
treatment with a crescendo of
pump trucks. In the end, the
operation treated two zones
more than 2,000 ft (609 m)

deep in the Marcellus shale,


using 40,000 lb of LiteProp
ultralightweight proppant, 7
MMcf of nitrogen and less than
20,000 gallons of water.
In December, Gastem
reported the results exceeded
expectationsinitial production
of 200 Mcf/D and sustained
production of 150 Mcf/D after
four weeks of extended ow.
For Kendrick, the operation
was successful but not an ideal
reection of the technologys
potential to demonstrate
environmental stewardship in
the Marcellus shale. The well
came in strong, which proves
our claims about efcient
proppant transport, he says.
We know we hit the fracture
network, which is what we
needed to do. And we saved a
lot of water, which is great from
an environmental standpoint.
But its one vertical well, he
adds. We could be so much
more efcient if we could do
a horizontal with 10 stages,
instead of 10 individual vertical

wells: Wed move equipment


and people once instead of 10
times, drive on local roads once
instead of 10 times, bother the
neighbors once instead of 10
times. You get the idea.
In fact, efcient eld
development, well placement
and enhanced recovery
techniques are key elements for
minimizing risks in the oil eld.
VaporFrac services and our
BJ SmartCare uid systems
denitely reduce our water
and chemical impacts, says
Dan Daulton, director of
environmental conformity and
marketing for Baker Hughes.
But we could reduce waste
and overall health, safety
and environmental impacts
even more with an integrated
approach. Thats where the
industry is movingefcient
eld development so we have
fewer wells and less surface
impact, and if we do a better
job of understanding the
reservoir and planning up front,
we should get better ultimate
recovery, too.

www.bakerhughes.com

37

Faces of

INNOVATION

BENNETT
Bennett Richards idea of an opendoor policy means more than
just open communication and
feedback between a manager and
his or her employees. It literally
means opening doors for people.

38

His inspiration goes back almost 35 years to


when someone opened the door of a south
Louisiana Travelodge motel loungeand a
new careerfor him.
In 1976, Baker Oil Tools created a new
division called Baker Sand Control to
specialize in sand control technology
and service, Richard relates. Baker
started the division with gravel pack tools
but had aspirations of becoming a fullservice sand control provider by adding
pumping services, gravel pack screens
and tubing-conveyed perforating.
Larry Kennedy, vice president of operations
for the new division, went to Mobil Oil,
which was a very big purchaser of sand
control services in the Gulf of Mexico
at the time, and said, We know that
BJ Services does all of your pumping
services, but if we go into the pumping
services business, can we get a portion
of it? Mobil told him, Absolutely not!
They have an engineer that does all of
our work, and were not changing.
Kennedy complained to his sales manager,
Charles Richard, about Mobils refusal to
work with Baker because theyve got this
kid whos doing all their work, and theyre
really high on him.
That kid was Bennett Richard, Charles
younger brother. (Ironically, it was Charles
who, in 1974, had opened the door for
Bennett to work at BJ Services.)
Richard had joined BJ Services as a eld
engineer specializing in sand control after
working three years at the Louisiana
State University (LSU) Medical School in
Shreveport as a research scientist.
After 2 years in eld operations, BJ offered
me a sales position in the regional ofce in
New Orleans, Richard recalls. I was on my
way to New Orleans for the interview, and I
was going to stay with my brother over the

weekend. Under the pretense of picking up


a package to take to him, I had to meet his
boss at a Travelodge along I-10 in Lafayette.
The man with the nonexistent package
turned out to be Kennedy, and he was there
to recruit Richard for a job with the new
startup pumping product line. I told him
I wasnt interested. I told him that I really
liked working for BJ. He asked me, What will
it take? and I told him again, It wont take
anything. Im just not interested.
Youd just have to know Larry Kennedy. He
was the most charismatic individual Id ever
met. I mean, youd follow that guy straight
into hell knowing what would be there.
Before leaving the I-10 Travelodge, Richard
had accepted the job. He and the four
others who were recruited to help start
Baker Sand Control Pumping Services
were given free rein to design pumping
equipment and complementary uids
and to run a business that soon had 80
percent of the market share. We really
challenged the competition by taking sand
control to another level, he recalls.
Baker Sand Control was a very young
and progressive company for that
particular time period. The culture was
just totally different in that organization,
Richard says. Empowerment was at
the very foundation of the companys
culture and taking risks was an everyday
occurrence. It was an exhilarating
experience that I will never forget.
A person shouldnt have to go through
his or her work life without ever having
experienced that feeling, and I tell that to my
team all the time.

An inventor at heart
Richard (pronounced REE-shard) was born
in Carencro, Louisiana, near Lafayette. His
devout Catholic mother was insistent upon
his attending a private boys school run by

the Christian Brothers organization. All my


friends went to grammar and high school in
Carencro where we were raised, he says.
None of them went on to college, but there
was no doubt by the time I was in the sixth
or seventh grade that I was going to college.
Thats what Christian Brothers doesit
prepares you for collegeno ifs, ands or
buts about it.
After graduating from high school, Richard
enrolled in the University of Louisiana with
thoughts of becoming a dentist. Having
earned a degree in biology with a minor
in chemistry, he went to work at the LSU
Medical School. One thing about my
upbringing was adopting good work ethics. I
think its part of the Cajun culture, he says.
I worked very, very hard at the medical
school, and my boss noticed. They actually
gave me responsibility for the sophomore
pharmacology lab, even though the
appointment required a masters degree, and
I only had a bachelors degree.
Richard conducted research in the lab for a
couple of years before realizing his future
there was not very promising. I was having
a lot of fun doing what I was doing, but I
realized that I had more to contribute than
that, he says.
On the advice of his brother, Richard went to
work in the oil eld and soon found it to be
a proving ground for his passionsapplied
research and technology.
During his 34 years at Baker Hughes,
Richard has been listed as inventor on 40
granted U.S. patents, with 12 more pending.
His contributions to industry-changing
technologies in the areas of sand control and
production optimization have added more
than $1.2 billion in revenue to the company
and helped earn him the 2010 Baker Hughes
Lifetime Achievement Award.
Richard led the development of technologies,
including the hydrolyzer, a device that made
www.bakerhughes.com

39

%HQQHWW5LFKDUGVSHDNVRQe
6XFFHVV

Ive been surrounded by


talented people my whole
career, but it takes more than
talent and luck to be successful.
Management support is key.
Ive been extremely fortunate
in that regard. Let me tell you
something, Ive come up with
some pretty wacky ideas over
the years, and I dont know
if it was my track record or
if management just didnt
understand how wacky they
were, but managements always
supported me.

)DLOXUH

Theres the old saying that you


can fail as long as you learn
something from it. Im all for
learning, but I dont really care
if you learn from failure. The
thing that I dont want you to
do is stop and brood over it. Just
move on, learn something new.
Youre only human. Only God
doesnt make mistakes.

gravel pack gels lterable and benecially


impacted production optimization; the
gravel infuser, a device that meters gravel
concentration in water and pumps a uniform
and nondamaging sand/water system;
PERFFLOW drill-in uid to prevent
formation damage and to provide formation
stability for successful hole cleaning and
gravel packing procedures; the industryleading EXCLUDER premium mesh sand
screen; and, most recently, the GeoFORM
sand management system using Morphic
technology (See related article on Page 16).
Of all the technology advancements hes
helped develop, Richard considers the gravel
infuser, the EXCLUDER sand screen and the
new GeoFORM sand management system
among the most signicant.
The gravel infuser was a device that could
actually meter any concentration of gravel
in water that we wanted and it would be
consistent over the period of time that we
were pumping, he explains. I was reporting
to Mike Johnson (now senior engineering
manager for Baker Hughes) at the time, and
40

)OH[LELOLW\

I never start anything with only


one application in mind. When
I work on a new technology, I
go into it thinking, Its got to
be commercially viable and t
several applications. Its going
to t a screen. Its going to t a
packer, cementing equipment,
downhole pump. So, if I miss
one, I say, Well, I still have four
or ve other applications that
it will address! I may even nd
others from experimental results
along the way that are better
opportunities. I think detailed
plans with a single application
in mind are pretty risky. Thats
not innovation.

we built an acrylic gravel pack simulator to


allow our customers to see gravel transport
and packing efciency rsthand. It was the
best salesman Baker Oil Tools ever had. We
would bring in a customer in the morning
and another one in the afternoon to witness
the simulations. We got two brand new
water pack customers almost every day!
Mike and I are awfully proud of having
improved reservoir performance by turning
the industry from gel packs to water packs.
As for the EXCLUDER premium sand screen,
Richard says, I just woke up one morning
and said, You know, wire wrap screen is 50
years old. Theres got to be a better way.
The result was EXCLUDERstill the standard
for gravel pack premium screens.
However, in recent years, hes found
something better.
I kept telling product line management
that we had a technology that would be a
step change in sand management, but it was
difcult to imagine replacing the industryleading EXCLUDER. Finally, the test data and

)LVKLQJ

David Curry [a Baker Hughes


Fellow] sent me an e-mail from
London last November and
said he needed to talk to me. I
wrote him back and said that
I was shing and to call me at
home Thursday morning. He
calls me on Thursday, which
was Thanksgiving Day, and he
says, I really hate to ruin your
holiday. I said, David, you have
my undivided attention. You can
bother me on holidays, but dont
bother me while Im shing.

benets were so overwhelming that a new


sand management solution was bornthe
GeoFORM sand management system.
This new technologybased on advanced
shape memory polymer scienceis unlike
anything else Richard or anyone in the
industry has seen, he contends.
I think it has a lot of potential
applications: shape memory polymer
packers, shape memory polymer screens,
shape memory polymer cementing
equipment. I think it could actually one
day replace some cement jobs, he says.
I think my next big adventureand Im not
as quick as I once was in guring out how
to solve a problemis a one-trip well, he
says. We need to be able to drill and case, at
least temporarily, at the same time, as well as
do some type of temporary cementing while
drilling. If we could do all that, we could drill
a well in one-tenth the time.
When youve got a rig thats $700,000 or
$800,000 a day, and you knock off 30 days,

5HJUHWV

My wife Kim and my girls never


complained about it, but Ive
been a Baker Hughes workaholic
from day one. I remember when
I was in Lafayette, I often got
up at 11 at night or two in the
morning. Kim would say, Where
are you going? and Id say,
That piece of equipment Im
working on I just gured out
why it didnt work yesterday. I
just couldnt wait until 8:00 in
the morning, so Id get up in the
middle of the night and go try to
x it. I guess if I had to do it all
over, I would have spent a little
more time with the family.

5HWLUHPHQW

When the [Lifetime


Achievement] award was
announced, I got a
congratulatory note that said,
Youve made some signicant
contributions over your career
Look, Im not done yet. Ive still
got a couple more ideas in my
hip pocket that I havent even
told you about, yet. And when I
get to working on those two, Ill
put two more in my hip pocket. I
really dont want to leave until
Baker Hughes is the undisputed
technological leader in our
industry, and I think were close,
very close.

$GYLFH

Ive told a lot of young people


over my career that every
company has a different
culture. Find one that
really aligns well with
yours. You have to be
happy at what youre
doing and with the
people youre working
with to be successful.
The second thing is
challenge yourself.
I tell my group all
the time, Youre the
best of the best, but
youre not as good
as you can get.

7KHIXWXUH

Ive got a lot of stuff left in


the
the vault.
th

> Richa
rd po
7-year-o ints out his favo
ld grand
ri
son Alex te shing spot
to
.

thats a lot of money. This is not Star Wars


stuff. I think this could be big, and I have a
concept in mind that I think is doable.

A developer of people
As director of completion and production
product engineering, Richard leads the
Technology Innovation Group, a team of
approximately 80 scientists and engineers
that he helped put together. Its one of three
groups at Baker Hughes in which Richard
played a major role in creating.
He cosponsored the Endeavor Young
Professional networking group, whose goal
was to create a social fabric within the
technology organization to share common
interests and ideas.
Richard was a cofounder, along with Volker
Krueger, director of strategic technology
development for Baker Hughes, of the
Baker Hughes Materials Committee that
introduced the concept of peer cells through
active participation of experts in specic
technology functional areas crossing all
Baker Hughes product lines.

Volker and I cant take all of the credit as it


was one of my team leaders, Kevin Holmes,
who convinced us that there was a better
way of transferring knowledge across the
organizationyouth and empowerment,
what a combination! he exclaims.
With the Technology Innovation Group,
Richard developed and implemented a plan
for creating a permanent research function
for completions and production technology.
Prior to Bennetts involvement, the group
consisted of, at most, ve individuals
working on disparate projects that would
ultimately prove to be inefcient in the
uptake as solutions offered via the Baker
Hughes portfolio, says Rustom Mody, vice
president, completions and production
technology, for Baker Hughes. Under his
new organization, there are approximately
80 people covering new technologies and
application sciences spanning shaped
memory polymers, high-pressure/hightemperature/high-load sealing mechanisms,
new fracturing systems and an emerging
nanotechnology partnership with Rice

University, to name just a few.


The role Ive had in creating these groups
is the most rewarding aspect of my career,
Richard says without hesitation.
Ive always enjoyed getting my hands
around a beaker, a ask or a tool, he
continues. Invention is easy. I can literally
invent something every day, but inventing
something that is game changing or
commercially viable is the tough part. I think
constantly. I think in the shower. I think
driving home. I think in my sleep.
Richards ability to identify talented people
and place them in environments where they
can develop their technical and leadership
skills has opened a lot of doors for many
high-potential Baker Hughes employees.
I cherish watching people fulll their
potential, he says. That is what has been
so gratifying to me, and I think if I had to
leave a legacy, it would be just thatthat I
provided a work environment that allowed
people to fulll their potential.
www.bakerhughes.com

41

Jubilation!
Baker Hughes role in Jubilee
project creates jobs in Ghana

> The Eirik Raude semisubmersible


rig operating in the Jubilee eld

The West African nation of the Republic of Ghana is one of the worlds top producers of gold, but historically Ghana has not enjoyed the benets of oil, or black
gold, the way some other African nations have. In late 2010, that changed.

Baker Hughes, as a key player in the Jubilee project, is determined to


make this rst oil pay off for the people of Ghana.

Flowing Ghanas rst oil


On Nov. 28, 2010, Jubilee eld production came on line.
By January 2011, production to the FPSO vessel had
climbed to approximately 50,000 BOPD, and on Jan.
5, the crew achieved the rst lifting (ofoading onto
tankers) of Jubilee crude oila 650,000 barrel cargo.

42

Ultimately, there will be nine producers, six water injectors and two
gas injectors for Phase 1. The subsea infrastructure installed for
Phase 1 can accommodate 15 more wells for future inll drilling,
as required. By the end of January 2011, four producers and two
water injectors were active. One well per month will be added as
completions continue this year. The wells farthest from the FPSO are
14 km (8.7 miles) away and are connected through a daisy-chained
cluster manifold subsea network.
Jubilee has attracted major interest from global investors
because of the oils quality and the elds proximity to
European and U.S. markets. Oil production is expected
to deliver a signicant economic bonus to Ghana.
Kosmos Energy of Dallas, Texas, discovered the Jubilee eld in June
2007, and, by the end of that year, had brought Baker Hughes into
the project. Kosmos, a 23.491-percent equity partner in the Jubilee

Photos courtesy of Tullow Oil

In an historic moment and a turning point for this proud, stable


nation, Ghana brought on stream its rst oil production from a vast
offshore deepwater eld named Jubilee. Ghana chose this joyful
name to commemorate the 50th anniversary of winning its national
independence in 1957. Jubilee was discovered in 2007.

By the Numbers
24.7
million
1957

> The Kwame Nkrumah FPSO vessel in the Jubilee eld

unit project, was drilling the second appraisal well, Mahogany 2 and
hired Baker Hughes to bring in the downhole well-test completion
equipment and frac pack services for well testing. The well test was
completed in April 2008.
Reggie Boggs, senior project manager for Baker Hughes, describes
local conditions at the beginning of the project. There was near
zero oil infrastructure in Ghana, and essentially zero for deepwater
work, he says. We went from the rst deepwater well test ever
done there to the rst deepwater well completion ever in Ghana.

Population of Ghana
Year Ghana became the rst subSaharan country in colonial Africa to
gain its independence

2007

Year Kosmos Energy discovered the


Jubilee eld

700
million barrels
539 km (335 miles)
60 km (37 miles)
885 m (2,904 ft)
8 00 N, 2 00 W

Estimated oil reserves in the Jubilee


eld

16th

Length of coastline
Distance from Jubilee eld to the coast
Mount Afadjato, Ghanas highest point
Ghanas latitudinal and longitudinal
coordinates, making it geographically
closer to the center of the world than
any other country
2011 FIFA (Fdration Internationale
de Football Association) world ranking,
highest among African countries

includes tubing-conveyed perforating (TCP) equipment, premium


sand screens, frac pack equipment, packers, safety valves, gauges
and ow assurance equipment.
Originally, all the wells were designed to be single
zone, but the Baker Hughes Jubilee team redesigned the
completions as dual zone to allow the wells to produce
from longer sand intervals. This increases production
potential and also lengthens the lifespan of the wells.

Baker Hughes involvement in the Jubilee project increased


dramatically when the company was awarded its rst major contract
from Tullow Oil, the Jubilee eld unit operator, on behalf of Ghana
National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and partners. In February
2008, Tullow invited Baker Hughes to tender completion services
for the entire Jubilee Phase 1 development, and Tullow Ghana Ltd.
awarded Baker Hughes the work in September 2008.

A Tullow Oil spokesperson commenting on the contract award


said that Baker Hughes already had a proven track record
in providing downhole equipment and an integrated service
offering of perforating, sand control equipment, completion
equipment and pumping services. Tullow also recognized
that Baker Hughes had a team with deepwater West Africa
experience and a reputation for maintaining a high quality
assurance/quality control (QA/QC) level before shipping
offshore equipment and for meeting all delivery times.

Baker Hughes designs the completions, species and delivers all


downhole equipment, manages the inventory, makes up and tests
the equipment, and installs it in the wells. Downhole equipment

For the Jubilee production phase, Baker Hughes also won the
contract to fully manage the holistic production chemical
process, including supplying chemicals, managing inventory,

Partnering with Tullow Oil

www.bakerhughes.com

43

01> Quality Specialist Isaac Nyarko


works on a chemical injection
mandrel at the new Baker Hughes
complex in Takoradi.
02> Finance employees Dale Akambase
(left) and Michael Adjei outside the
Baker Hughes ofce in Accra.

01

We knew Baker Hughes would supply quality products, so


the work on local content and employment is a very important
differentiator to us. We aim to be producing for 20 years plus,
so we need service partners with that similar vision and a will
to invest upfront.
Stuart Wheaton
Ghana development manager,
Tullow Oil
02

optimizing chemical usage and ensuring


quality control. The chemical laboratory
on the FPSO is staffed by Baker
Hughes technicians and chemists.
The main chemicals being used in this early
phase of production include methanol
for subsea hydrate mitigation to prevent
owline blockage, triethylene glycol to
control the dewpoint of the produced
gas and to prevent pipeline corrosion or
plugging, low volumes of corrosion inhibitor
to protect the subsea infrastructure and
topside pipework, small volumes of oxygen
scavenger to prevent corrosion, biocide to
prevent high hydrogen sulde levels caused
by sulfate-reducing bacteria and boilertreating chemicals.
By January 2011, four production wells were
in service with a full capacity of 50,000
BOPD, and this is anticipated to grow by

44

mid-year to 120,000 BOPD as the remaining


ve producers are completed and brought
on line. At peak production, Baker Hughes
will be chemically treating 120,000 BOPD
and 40,000 barrels of water per day from the
nine subsea production wells.

In keeping with its aggressive plan to hire


and train a local workforce, the company
now employs 56 Ghanaian nationals at its
operations base, along with 74 expatriates
that include employees from several other
African nations. The workforce consists of
skilled, technical and some labor workers.

Creating jobs in Ghana


Baker Hughes already had a presence in
Ghana with an administrative and sales
ofce in Accra that supports all projects and
product lines, but after joining the Jubilee
project, the company was able to hire
even more Ghanaians, making substantial
contributions to the local economy. The fasttrack startup of the offshore project meant
that Baker Hughes had to create an onshore
base in less than one year to support
operations. Takoradi, an industrial and
commercial coastal port with a population
of more than 360,000, was selected as the
location for the operations base.

The well-equipped Takoradi complex hosts


Baker Hughes business operations teams,
a BEACON center providing real-time
remote support and communication to the
FPSO, three workshops, a laboratory and
an explosives bunker. The bunker is used to
store downhole TCP charges until they are
required at the wellsite.
Crews work seven days a week to assemble
and ready completion equipment for
mobilization offshore to prepare the Jubilee
wells for production, water injection and
gas injection. The integrated laboratory

has testing capabilities for cement, uids


and chemicals. Other work performed at
the complex includes up to 10,000 psi
pressure testing, repair and maintenance
of electronics equipment, and logistics
operations that handle more than 600
shipments annually. There is ample room for
expansion and job creation at Takoradi as
the project grows.
Tullow Oil also maintains a signicant
ofce next door, which enhances
communication between the companies.
Tullow representatives have expressed
satisfaction with the onshore support
Baker Hughes is providing, not just
from the base in Takoradi but also from
its London and Houston ofces.
A few miles from the Takoradi operations
base, Baker Hughes has a team in place at
a 1,700 m2 (18,298 ft2) dockside chemicals
and storage facility 30 m (100 ft) from the
waters edge, with easy access to and from
the ships. The team includes six Ghanaian
nationals: the base manager, two QA/QC
managers who oversee the work of the
on-site laboratory, an accounts manager and
two offshore chemists in training.
Stuart Wheaton, Ghana development
manager for Tullow Oil, stresses the
importance to Tullow of local hiring
by Baker Hughes. Tullow Ghana has
been very satised with Baker Hughes
efforts on the Jubilee Phase 1 project,
in particular the commitments made to
set up in Ghana to support the project,
engage the local community and train
national staff. We knew Baker Hughes
would supply quality products, so the
work on local content and employment is
a very important differentiator to us. We
aim to be producing for 20 years plus, so
we need service partners with that similar
vision and a will to invest upfront.

According to Dai Jones, president and


general manager of Tullow Ghana, more
than 80 percent of Tullows employees are
Ghanaian, and the company expects this to
rise to 90 percent by 2013.

Training for the future


Baker Hughes provides both on-the-job
training at Takoradi and on the FPSO,
and also sends many team members out
of the country for extended periods of
instruction. Were committed to hiring
and training the workforce of Ghana to be
the future talent of the Ghana oil industry,
and the government of Ghana agrees with
this philosophy, says James McDougall,
managing director of Baker Hughes Ghana.
The most important asset of the country
is not oil: The most important asset of the
country is the people of Ghana, states Dr.
Joe Oteng Adjei, Ghanas minister for energy.

Committing to health and safety


The Baker Hughes commitment to local
hiring and training would not mean much
without an equally strong commitment
to high health, safety and environment
standards in all aspects of the project. The
Ghana team motto is, No one gets hurt.
With this in mind, the team implemented a
comprehensive set of initiatives involving
safety in driving, the workshop and
offshore. The record speaks for itself: In
2010, the entire Baker Hughes Ghana
team had zero lost-time incidents, zero
driving incidents and zero environmental
incidents, even with a major increase
of people working on the project.
On the health front, in Sub-Sahara Africa,
malaria remains a signicant health risk,
especially for the expatriate workforce,
which has no immunity. The Awareness,
Bite Prevention, Chemoprophylaxis and
Diagnosis (ABCD) method of managing

malaria was recently extended to ensure


that all Baker Hughes team members
and their families were included. This
educational and prevention program
receives close cooperation and support
from Dr. Ernest Nagali, medical adviser for
Tullow Oil. In 2010, only one expatriate
malaria case was reported on the team,
compared to nine cases in 2009.

Celebrating with a nation


Just over two weeks after the rst oil
owed in Ghana, the event was celebrated
on Dec. 15, 2010both on the offshore
FPSO and onshore in Takoradi. Attended
by guest of honor John Evans Atta Mills,
president of Ghana, two former presidents
of Ghana and numerous other dignitaries,
the lavish ceremony was broadcast live
on Ghana TV and globally via the Tullow
Oil website. As part of the offshore
ceremony, President Mills traveled by
helicopter to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah,
where he turned on the inlet valve to
symbolize the rst oil production.
The Jubilee project is just beginning.
Production will continue for some time from
the wells currently in operation, and more
wells will be drilled as the project matures.
And in 2010, Tullow discovered and began
to appraise two additional offshore Ghana
elds, the Enyenra (formally Owo) and
Tweneboa elds, which have an estimated
combined gross resource upside of 1.4 billion
BOE. The potential of this new deepwater
province in West Africa seems vast, indeed.
We expect to remain active in this region
for the foreseeable future, McDougall
says. Undoubtedly, our commitment
to hire from the local workforce is key
to our continued involvement.

www.bakerhughes.com

45

Focus on Young Ghanaian Engineers

Falling into the


Right Arms
by Michael Osei-Kesse
As green as I was, energized with
a perpetual quest to contribute
to Ghana and the engineering
profession, I fell into the right
arms: Baker Hughes. I graduated
from Kwame Nkrumah University
of Science and Technology in
Ghana with a bachelors degree
in mechanical engineering and
joined the Baker Hughes family
in August 2009 as a completions
eld engineer trainee for casedhole completions.
Working for Baker Hughes is
a great learning experience
because everyone is willing
to share knowledge. I have
had a series of well-tailored
training programs to fully equip
me toward the fast-driven
technological oil industry. There
are vast volumes of valuable
information available in various
modes for learning. I am enrolled
in an Engineering Development
Program that assigns me
to SMART goals under the
supervision of competent
mentors and managers.
I assist with shop oor activities
that encompass assembling and
disassembling of equipment
for the Jubilee eld project. It
is a great opportunity for me
to learn across the board and
46

to learn about the tools. I enjoy


the excitement of working to
meet deadlines, enhancing
my teamwork capabilities and
troubleshooting, and a host
of oil industry experience has
started creeping in. Working
on this project has helped
complement theory with handson experience. I have been highly
motivated by the challenges
posed. I have also learned
a great deal from the Baker
Hughes penchant for heath,
safety and environment. As
much as Baker Hughes provides
opportunity, help and guidance
to its valued employees, learning
and development is enormously
dependent on the individual.
The oil industry is a big boom
for Ghana. Signals of the
reserves show a promising
future. The proceeds will
boost the economy and help
provide more good schools
and health facilities, dwindle
poverty, create employment
and provide a plethora of
immense benets from the black
gold. Good measures must be
adopted to help escalate Ghana
from a developing country
to a developed one. Baker
Hughes has shown a good
lead in exhibiting complete
compliance in its operations
in Ghana. Baker Hughes has
also shown concern for the
impoverished communities
by providing for the poor and
physically challenged in Ghana.
Personally, Ghanas oil
industry is a good platform
to learn a lot and contribute
to Ghana and Baker Hughes,

and to leave a good legacy


for our future generations.
In December 2010, I passed
my local board review
and was promoted to eld
engineer II after meeting the
requirements of that position.
I share the success with my
managers, supervisors, mentors
and colleagues who gave
their unstinting support in
making this dream translate
to reality. I am looking
forward to more challenging
opportunities in the future.

Bringing Overseas
Training Back to Ghana
Petroleum engineer Terry
Cobbson recently completed
a seven-week assignment
within the Africa operations
support drilling applications
engineering group in Aberdeen,
Scotland. A graduate of the
Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology in his
native Ghana, Terry joined Baker
Hughes in 2009. He is being
trained for a drilling engineering
role for Ghana and the SubSahara Africa geomarket.
Achieving well-planning
certication helped accelerate
Terrys development and
enhance his drilling engineering
capabilities. This was achieved
by working alongside and
collaborating with members
of the drilling applications
engineering support group
and through ongoing
support and input from his
mentor, Drilling Applications
Engineer Pedro Garcia.

While in Aberdeen, Terry


was exposed to a range
of engineering tasks that
helped him develop a wider
appreciation of the engineering
needs of his own geomarket,
as well as the others in
Africa. He received training
in the Baker Hughes quality
management system, advantage
engineering, and wellbore
positioning and surveying.
Terrys training continued in
Gabon where he became part
of the Gabon applications
engineering team. There, he
worked on various projects
under the supervision of
drilling engineers Elizabeth
Perez and Sanna Zainoune.
My on-the-job training
was very benecial, and the
opportunity I had to work
with highly experienced
engineers really enlightened
me, Terry says. My training
has signicantly equipped me
to yield improved output at
my home base in Ghana.
Terry was among the rst group
of trainees promoted to eld
engineer II in Ghana, and he
currently provides well planning
services to clients in Ghana and
Gabon. He is now looking at
developing the engineering side
of his developmental matrix.

MAKE IT THE COMBO


Coiled tubing opens sliding sleeves to optimize multistage fracturing

To maximize production from long, horizontal wells, many operators want


to isolate the pay zone in as many segments as possible. A new technology
extends the limits, changes the environmental equation and creates a layer
of exibility to optimize multistage fracture stimulation.
The ability to accurately place long,
horizontal wellbores changed the way the
industry approaches eld development
and enabled economic production from
previously ignored low-permeability
formations, such as the Viking and Amaranth
sandstones and the Bakken shale in
Saskatchewan, Canada.
It also opened the door to new
technologies that maximize production
by optimizing the fracture stimulations
across the length of the typically
heterogeneous producing formations.

What is the optimal number of fracs


and at what spacing? Thats the milliondollar question, says David Wind, a Baker
Hughes technical sales representative in
Calgary, where he specializes in pressure
pumping services. We see a reluctance
to run detailed openhole characterization
of the horizontal trajectory prior to
fracturing. If the well is expected to
produce 200 barrels a day, time is not
spent obtaining the appropriate logging
data throughout the openhole section
to decide where to put the fracs.

More segments, more oil


Instead, operators try to ensure full wellbore
coverage by breaking the horizontal
length into segments and stimulating each
segment separately. This practice triggered
the development of increasingly efcient
technologies designed to simplify multistage
stimulation operations and the number of
potential treatment stages (See Page 49).
We anticipated the desire for more and
more stages, Wind recalls. The ball-drop
systems started with eight stages, then 12,
then 18Every time the technology allowed

www.bakerhughes.com

47

increases in frac staging, the customers


wanted more.
As customer demand in the eld was
recognized, design experts at the Baker
Hughes Coiled Tubing Research and
Engineering Centre in Calgary began
working to develop multistage tools and
technology that can grow with the demand.
The sand-jetting tool we developed for
our BJ OptiFrac SJ services was reliable
and convenient, but it can be expensive
and time-consuming due to the cost and
availability of incremental fracturing uid,
says Brad Rieb, director, technology, Canada
region. But the ball-drop completion
systems have disadvantages, too, such as a
limit on how many stages you can place in
a well, a restricted inside diameter of the
borehole, and the complications that can
arise if we screen out the treatment. So, the
next step was to combine the best aspects
of both technologiesand thats where the
OptiPort system came in.
OptiPort technology combines sliding
sleeves like those in the ball-drop
completion systems, but it opens the
sleeves with a coiled tubing (CT) tool
rather than sequentially sized balls. This
enables a virtually unlimited number
of stages and leaves the CT in the well
for an annular frac, permitting a quick
cleanout if required after a screenout.

Saving time and water


The concept was an immediate hit with
customers. We wanted a system where
we could frac with the coil in the hole
for optimizing frac conductivity and for
efcient screenout recovery, says Rob
Hari, vice president of operations for
Triaxon Oil Corp. in Calgary. We used
ball-drop systems before, with up to 16
stages, and if you had an early screenout
during the frac, you lost a lot of time,
added cost and, potentially, lost some of
the stages. So, then, you would be cautious
with your design, which compromises
productivity, instead of optimizing the frac
conductivity. Now, we can do 18 or 20
stages, and we dont compromise on the
frac design, as we arent worried about
losing time and cost due to screenouts.
For Christie Hillis, a completion engineer
at Penn West Exploration in Calgary, the
concern was water conservation. We had
been using abrasive jetting and annular
fracs, Hillis recalls. I liked the idea of this
new system because we could still do our
annular fracs, but it was going to reduce our
water volumes, which was a stakeholderrelations issue.
After a number of operations, Hillis
estimated that the new system uses
approximately 40 percent less water and
saves 20 to 30 percent on operation time.
In fact, customer acceptance created a new

> Stimulation treatments


with the OptiPort
completion system
are similar to other
coiled tubing-assisted
fracturing treatments
but typically use less
water and treat more
stages in a day.

problem: how to keep up with the demand,


which hit just as BJ Services was being
integrated into Baker Hughes.
The timing couldnt have been better,
Rieb says. At BJ Services, we had hydraulic
fracturing and coiled tubing expertise. Baker
Hughes brought downhole completion
tool engineering and manufacturing
and is a leading completions company,
from high-end completions in the Gulf
of Mexico to openhole multistage
completions like the FracPoint system.
Baker Hughes is also strong in service
tools. So, it was an ideal combination.

We used ball-drop systems before, with up to 16 stages, and if you had an


early screenout during the frac, you lost a lot of time, added cost and, potentially,
lost some of the stages. So, then, you would be cautious with your design, which
compromises productivity, instead of optimizing the frac conductivity. Now, we
can do 18 or 20 stages, and we dont compromise on the frac design, as we
arent worried about losing time and cost due to screenouts.
Rob Hari
Vice president of operations for Triaxon Oil Corp.
48

> The Baker Hughes FracPointTM system

More exibility for customers


Kent Meyer, OptiPort system product line
manager in Calgary, says manufacturing is
ramping up, and the challenge going forward
will be to expand the systems reach. We have
1,800 stages in the ground between the 4and 5-in. tools, he says. Now, were looking
at new formations and trying to gure out how
far can we push the envelope.
Meyer notes that the technology does
have some operational limitations, which
future developments may extend. But
most likely, it will never be the end-all,
be-all: Youll still need ball-drop systems
and plugs. But the OptiPort system adds
exibility. That means we can work with
customers to choose the best tools for the
formation in the envelope where we know
it works, rather than trying to sell a system
because its the only option we have.

Multistage Options Create


Flexibility for Completions
Plug-and-perf technology: Perforating guns and composite
bridge plugs are run into the well between stimulation stages to
isolate prior stages.
Ball-drop sleeve systems (the Baker Hughes FracPoint system):
Sliding sleeves are run with the casing, isolated with packers, typically
openhole. Sleeves are opened by dropping a ball at the end of each
fracture stimulation treatment.
Annular fracturing services (BJ OptiFrac SJ services):
Conventional casing is run and cemented. A sand-jetting tool
on coiled tubing (CT) creates perforations in the casing, and the
frac is pumped down the casing/CT annulus (typically called an
annular frac). At the end of each fracturing stage, a highly
concentrated proppant slug is pumped to create a sand plug
that isolates the stage, and the process repeats. After all stages,
the CT is used to remove the sand from the wellbore.
BJ LitePlug services: Similar to BJ OptiFrac SJ services, except the
slugs of sand include a proppant additive that improves stability and
reliability for sand plugs in horizontal wells.
OptiPort system: Sliding sleeves are run with the casing and can be
cemented in place or isolated with packers. A CT tool opens the sleeves,
and annular fracs ensue.
www.bakerhughes.com

49

01

Revealing
g Hidden Resources in

01> Adriaan Bal, regional geoscience


adviser for Baker Hughes in
Asia Pacic, leads a group
from Petronas on a eld trip
to Pulau Pinang, Malaysia,
to measure fracture density
along a psuedo-borehole.
02> This 20-m (66-ft) gap between
two fractured-granite basement
blocks on Pulau Lima, Malaysia, is
the result of selective weathering
of a fault-weakened zone. Such
zones are characterized by a dense
network of shear fracturing that
results in signicantly increased
porosity and permeability
relative to the adjacent foot
and hanging wall blocks.

50

)UDFWXUH'
  %DVHPHQW
 5HVHUYRLUV
British mountaineer George Leigh Mallory, who disappeared during a 1924 expedition to Mount Everest, is
famously quoted as having replied to the question Why
do you want to climb Mount Everest? with the retort:
Because its there.
The same answer might be given by operators looking
for oil in basement reservoirs because producing oil from
the worlds hardest rock comes with a mountain of challenges in drilling, logging and modeling.

Oil and gas reserves within


these basement reservoirs
are held in place through an
extensive network of connected
fractures. Gavin Lindsay, drilling
and evaluation marketing
director for Baker Hughes in
Asia Pacic, says, Once youve
connected all the fractures to
allow the oil to ow,

overlain by a sedimentary
sequence. Usually, the fractured
basement reservoir has been
uplifted by tectonic forces. The
fractured basement is, then,
charged with hydrocarbons
from a conventional, usually
downdip, kitchen. Although it
has been known for decades
that the oil migrates into

Knowing where to drill


For conventional reservoir plays,
depositional environment is the
primary lens through which the
reservoir is characterized. This
mindset, however, changes when
dealing with basement reservoirs
where almost all the porosity
for hydrocarbon storage and
permeability is in the fractures.

The best well is not always


oriented perpendicularly to the
most fractures. When given
knowledge of the presentday tectonic-stress state, the
distribution of natural fractures
and the properties of those
fractures, it is possible to select
the best direction to drill a
well to maximize productive

02

you can get wells that are really


quite prolic and economic.
The challenge is estimating
reserves in place and the
sustainability of production.
Many Asian countries, from
Japan to Malaysia and
Indonesia, are discovering
additional reserves in basement
plays, Lindsay says, but Vietnam
is the best-known basement
producer in the region.
Offshore Vietnams Cuu Long
basin comprises 95 percent
of the countrys hydrocarbon
production, with 85 percent
of this value coming from the
fractured granite basement. Cuu
Longs Bach Ho (White Tiger)
eld, alone, is a giant fourbillion-barrel eld with hundreds
of producing wells.
Basement reservoirs are typically
fractured metamorphic or
igneous rock, unconformably

fractured basement, historically


it has not been considered
as an economic reservoir.
Perhaps one of the most
challenging aspects of producing
basement reservoirs is predicting
where the hydraulically
conductive natural fractures are
located. And, depending upon
how weathered the granite is,
drilling progress tends to be
slow and abrasive. Moreover,
basement rocks are very difcult
to characterize with logging
tools that were designed to
look at sedimentary reservoirs.
However, with todays advanced
technologies, more and more
operatorsparticularly those
working in Southeast Asia
where signicant reserves have
been discovered in basement
reservoirsare willing to
gamble on these complicated,
yet potentially rich, plays.

We, therefore, change our


primary lens and focus on
the mechanisms that created
the fractures, says See Hong
Ong, Baker Hughes Reservoir
Development Services (RDS)
regional technical adviser
in Asia Pacic. We need to
understand the fractures.
When did they form? How
did they form? And where are
the fracture sweet spots?
Understanding the stress state
of the basement rock and
predicting where the natural,
hydraulically conductive
fractures are in order to orient
the placement of the well is key
to producing from the basement.
This understanding is
grounded in structural geology
and geomechanics, and it
allows us to rank potential
prospects and optimally drill
the best well, Ong contends.

contact with the reservoir.


However, knowledge of stress
or fracture patterns from image
logs or other evidence, by itself,
can lead to radically different
predictions and suboptimal
drilling orientation.
A discrete fracture network
model that incorporates
all information, including
seismic and eld data, is a
convenient way of describing
the distribution of fractures
within the reservoir. Once
prescribed with the fracture
hydrological properties and
calibrated with drillstem tests
or production data, the discrete
fracture network is scaled up
to a full simulation model for
history matching and reservoir
performance forecasting.
In addition to the discrete
fracture network model, it is
advantageous to develop a 3D

www.bakerhughes.com

51

RDS. For example, secondary mineralization


may prop open selected fracture sets with
orientations suboptimal to that expected
from the current-day stress regime.
These observations are most effectively
derived from observing the actual rocks
in the eld or core. Furthermore,
core allows direct measurement of
geomechanical properties.

geomechanical model, according to Ong.


Many of the initial open and hydraulically
conductive fractures actually close
during production due to the reduction
of pore pressure, causing a rapid decline
in production rates. Direct analysis of
the connection among individual stresssensitive fractures achieved by coupling
the different models with feedback loops
allows predictions of the best locations
and drainage areas for planned wells.
This coupled simulation, performed
either iteratively or fully, is an important
contribution to predicting eld production
rates and ultimate recovery, as well as
efcient eld management.
These complex models and
interpretations are based on critical
evaluation and integration of many
different datasets, Ong adds.
Though difcult to obtain, core data
provides critical information about fracture
morphology and mineral ll that may have a
signicant impact on the conceptual fracture
model. From detailed core descriptions, we
are able to conrm the nature of fracture
genesis and development, says David
Castillo, global director and vice president
of reservoir geomechanics for Baker Hughes

52

Mudlogs, drilling reports, core information,


conventional logs, borehole images and
full waveform acoustic data are all used to
build the advanced geomechanical model to
quantify the magnitude and direction of the
stresses and to identify those fractures that
are critically stressed and, therefore, more
prone to productivity.

Drilling the basement


Gerald Heisig, applications engineering
manager for Baker Hughes in Southeast Asia,
describes the challenges associated with
drilling the basement rocks: Granite can be
very hard and abrasive, slowing the drilling
progress and elevating tool wear and tear.
High weight-on-bit is necessary to achieve
acceptable rates of penetration. All of this
results in short bit and motor life, with
runs that rarely exceed 40 drilling hours.
Moreover, tools suffer from outer diameter
wear, which can be very expensive to repair.
As a result, the best drilling strategy is to
use downhole motors and to keep surface
rotary speed as low as possible.
Today, operators drill wells at higher
inclinations to achieve the longest sections
possible and to penetrate as many optimally
aligned fractures as they can. For these
wells, it is best to use directional drilling
with steerable motor systems, Heisig says.

It is very difcult to keep the motor


orientation steady in these very long wells,
he adds. This is where expertise in drilling
motors, drill bits and drilling systems makes
a difference. Having drilled more than
100 wells in the fractured basements of
southeast Asia over the last 10 years, Baker
Hughes has a wealth of experience in drilling
such challenging wells and continually
develops and improves fractured basement
drilling systems.
In 2008, Baker Hughes was the rst company
to introduce rotary steerable system
technology in the Cuu Long basin. Heisigs
drilling system of choice for the basement?
The Baker Hughes AutoTrak eXpress
rotary steerable system, downhole Ultra
X-treme motors with special high-load
axial bearings with a tungsten-carbide insert
roller cone bit, with the StarTrak highdenition advanced LWD imaging system
and CoPilot real-time drilling optimization
service modules.
With the CoPilot service, drilling is
optimized using downhole measurements
that can accurately measure downhole
weight-on-bit, torque and bending in the
bottomhole assembly, plus several forms
of vibrations, giving an accurate picture of
the downhole drilling environment so that
the life of the downhole equipment can be
extended, Heisig says.
In addition, drilling is faster with this
technology. Its possible to drill farther with
a drilling assembly without tripping out of
hole. Yes, rotary steerable system technology
is more expensive than conventional
steering systems, but if we can save the
client a few days of rig time, its money well
spent, Heisig explains.

PICTURE PERFECT

One of the most important Baker


Hughes technologies in the fractured
basement is the new second-generation
UltrasonicXplorer borehole acoustic
imager. This imaging instrument is sensitive
to open, potentially productive, fractures,
Bal says. The tool also operates very well
in highly deviated and horizontal wells
since its less sensitive to the need for tool
centralization when compared to older
generation tools.
The StarTrak system, if required, allows for
a rapid fracture evaluation in real time.
Baker Hughes was the rst company to
acquire high-denition resistivity images
while drilling over a granite section. Both
the StarTrak tool and the UltrasonicXplorer
tool provide full 360 coverage, which
is important since this complete dataset
provides more certainty for geomechanics
studies, Bal adds.
Of equal importance, he says, the
full waveform acoustic data from the
XMAC F1 acoustic service provides
fundamental information. For example,
rock strength parameters and Stoneley
permeability both help evaluate and identify

Fracture

potentially productive fractures, Bal adds.


Furthermore, the cross-dipole can now be
used to image fractures up to 60 ft (18 m)
from the borehole wall.

Building relationships
Baker Hughes has a complete understanding
of what it takes to make a basement
play economic and is building lasting
client relationships through sharing of
experiences and open discussions of
new methods and technologies required
to enhance basement exploitation.
We can give clients the entire package,
from constructing detailed geomechanical
and reservoir volumetric models to
record-setting drilling and evaluation
performance, Lindsay says. All this
results in a well that is placed in the right
location to maximize production, a good
understanding of how much hydrocarbons
will be produced, well construction costs
kept to a minimum, and stimulation and
remediation for the life of the eld.
Baker Hughes continues to be at the
forefront of research and development as
well, he adds. For example, a new shearwave reection imaging technique to see
open fractures within a radial extent of
about 60 ft (18 m) is being investigated.
And, with a full suite of innovative chemical
products and research into stimulation of
fractures, the future is very promising.
The basement might be unrelenting,
but those of us working it do not see
it as an unassailable obstacle,
Lindsay says, but rather a mountain
that is possible to climb.

80 ft

Of all reservoirs, the basements are the


most important to evaluate early in the
eld lifecycle to minimize the costs of
drilling unnecessary wells, says Adriaan
Bal, regional geoscience adviser for Baker
Hughes in Asia Pacic. It is, therefore,
essential to acquire important fracture
characterization data early to optimize
future well locations and paths, to predict
eld production rates and recovery, and to
deplete the eld economically.

60 ft

160 ft

Characterizing the reservoir

Seeing fractures 60 ft
from the borehole
0 ft

> Quartz veins show


mineralized natural
hydraulic fractures
created by internal
uid pressure during
the last stages of
granite emplacement.

Fracture

Using an innovative shear-wave reection


imaging technique provided by the Baker
Hughes XMAC F1 acoustic service,
fractures can be seen around the borehole
within a radial extent of about 60 ft (18
m)a much larger volume than is typically
investigated. Moreover, open fractures
tend to produce stronger reections. This
technique uses a dipole acoustic tool to
generate shear waves that radiate away
from the borehole and reect from optimally
aligned impeding open fractures. The
resulting reections are imaged to allow
determination of the fracture length,
strike and dip.
www.bakerhughes.com

53

> The Alps provide a stunning backdrop


for a Hekla Energy geothermal
project in Bavaria, near the town of
Mauerstetten, Germany.

Native Americans and other early cultures used natural hot


spring waters, often rich in minerals, for bathing and as a
healing source. In the early 1800s, a Frenchman invented a
way to use steam to separate boric acid from volcanic mud;
and, in 1892, enterprising citizens in Boise, Idaho, gured
out how to pipe water from hot springs into town to heat
buildingscreating the worlds rst district heating system.
54

Photo courtesy of Hekla Energy

Humans discovered thousands of years ago that the earth


stored energy in the form of heat beneath its surface.

costs of energy exports are all


helping to expand Germanys
renewable energy market.
But perhaps the biggest
driver powering the growth
is the countrys Renewable
Energy Sources Acta very
ambitious plan to replace 30
percent of the total electricity
consumption in Germany with
renewable energy by 2030. By
2050, the goal is 60 percent.
Germany announced its new
energy goals at the end of the
last millennium and today is
one of the leading industrial
nations in the renewable energy
sources sector, according to
the countrys Federal Ministry
for the Environment, Nature
Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Today, there is more interest


than ever in geothermal
power. A 2010 report by the
Geothermal Energy Association
called Geothermal Energy:
International Market Update
states that both the number of
countries producing geothermal
power and the total worldwide
geothermal power capacity
under development appear to be
increasing signicantly.

The report found that between


2005 and 2010, Germany
was the fastest growing
geothermal power producer
in the world with a whopping
2,774 percent increase in
installed megawatt capacity.
Increased awareness of clean
energy to reduce CO2 emissions,
concern over continued world
oil production and rising

Helping fuel this trend toward


climate-friendly energy are
government incentives in the
form of grants to industries and
universities to research and
develop enhanced geothermal
technologies, and 20-year xed
feed-in tariffs to power plant
operators that give priority
to electricity that comes from
renewable energy sources,
such as geothermalmaking
higher risk and higher cost
projects more feasible.
This increase in geothermal
drilling and production has made
geothermal the fastest growing
business for Baker Hughes in
continental Europe. Plus, with
the Baker Hughes Center of
Excellence for geothermal and
high-temperature research and
development in Celle, Germany,
the company is well positioned

to support the growing demand


for products and services,
as well as the governments
ambitious target.

Getting into hot water


Geothermal energy is used to
heat homes and to produce
electricity. Getting the naturally
occurring hot underground
water or steam from the
subsurface requires drilling a
well and pumping it to surface
where geothermal power
plants generate electricity for
commercial and residential use
by using the hot water or steam
to drive their turbines. The used
water or steam is then reinjected
into the geothermal reservoir
through a second well so the
process can begin again.
There are two basic categories
of geothermal power: ash,
a simple-to-produce heat
source found in shallow,
low-temperature reservoirs;
and hot dry rock (also called
enhanced geothermal systems),
which is found in much deeper
reservoirs and is more difcult
to produce but, because of its
high temperature, is essential for
electricity production.
Flash energy occurs at
temperatures of 149C (300F) or
less and is produced if naturally
occurring water and rock porosity
are sufcient to carry heat to the
surface. These low-temperature
resources are typically used
in direct-use applications
such as district heating where
the heat is put into a large
pipeline and distributed directly
to houses or businesses.

www.bakerhughes.com

55

Drilling costs common in the


hydrocarbon industry are not
affordable for the geothermal
industry. It takes 10 to 15 years
before a geothermal project
becomes protable and the
investment is recouped. The
bottom line is that hot water
doesnt sell for $75 a barrel,
says Thomas Mueller, technical
sales manager for Baker Hughes
in continental Europe.

Making geothermal
affordable

Theres certainly a learning


curve involved, says Tim
Erdmann, sales manager for
geothermal in Germany, Austria
and Switzerland. Baker Hughes
provides the geothermal industry
with some of the best off-theshelf technologies available
today, but its our job to work

There are two major obstacles


in geothermal recovery:
overcoming the technical
challenges of drilling and
completing wells in extremetemperature reservoirs
and pure economics.

56

Nonetheless, because of the


government subsidies that
guarantee long-term payouts
for geothermal energy, many
companies with little drilling
experience are entering the
geothermal arena. Their lack
of both capital and experience
poses a unique set of challenges
for Baker Hughes.

with these clients and help make


their wells more economical and
more reliable by providing better
reservoir analysis, faster drilling
with our advanced drilling
technologies and more reliable
pumping systems.
Baker Hughes has the
capability to deliver quality
wellsite equipment and product
knowledge, but we should be
involved in some cases way up
front, perhaps a year or two
in advance, to make sure we
understand the environment
in which were working,
says Joachim Oppelt, Baker
Hughes director of external
programs, technology portfolio
management. This is where
our Reservoir Development
Services (RDS) group comes
in. Geomechanics can look
at the crack structure of a
reservoir and tell a client exactly
where the two wells need to
be placed. And placing a well
correctly into the reservoir
is the key to success.
Because we are able to use
standard technology to produce

these wells, new technologies


such as the latest Hughes
Christensen Quantec PDC bits,
VertiTrak nonrotary drilling
system, TruTrak automated
drilling service and AutoTrak
rotary steerable system are
just making their way into the
geothermal industry, Erdmann
explains. And, because the
clients rst perception is that
all this new technology is too
costly, its our job to educate
them on the benets of these
advanced technologies.
Combining the AutoTrak
system with Quantec PCD
bits saves the client money
by saving drilling days, and
morever, they end up with better
hole quality, which allows the
operator to run casing easier
and to get better resolution
and, therefore, better results
from wireline logs, Mueller
explains. There is a growing
interest in all this technology,
especially from potential clients
who are going to drill 4000m to 6000-m (13,123-ft to
19,685-ft) wells. This is when
they will really start to see the

Photo courtesy of Iceland Drilling Company

Geothermal energy hot enough


to produce electricity often
comes from crystalline rock
usually more than 4000 m
(13,123 ft) below the earths
surface. The low permeability
of the hard rock is enhanced
by pumping high-pressure cold
water down an injection well
into the rock. Water moves
through fractures, capturing the
heat of the rock until it is forced
out of the production well as
superheated water, which is
converted into electricity. Some
of the fractures are natural,
while others have to be created
through fracturing processes
commonly used in the oil and
gas industry. Once cooled, the
water is injected back into the
ground to heat up again before
going through the same cycle.

benets. Deeper wells create


higher costs. This is the perfect
opportunity for us to really
show the client the benets
of this advanced technology
that makes drilling these
projects more economical.
Another product advancement
just being introduced to
geothermal clients is the
Hughes Christensen GaugePro
XPR expandable reamer
technology. As the casing
scheme is dictated by the
geology, many clients have
now realized that increasing
the last diameter of hole, by
underreaming the reservoir, is
the key to maximize return on
investment, Mueller says. A
large diameter in the reservoir
means a higher ow rate and,
at the end of the day, the
electrical power is dependent
on both the temperature of
the hot water and on the
ow ratehow much you
can pump out of the well.
The one must have technology
in the geothermal market is a
pumping system to lift the hot

water or steam to surface and


guarantee a ow rate sufcient
to produce electricity.
Every time a pumping
system fails or stops, its an
emergency, Oppelt says. There
is either no electricity being
generated or a district heating
system is not kept warm. The
geothermal client is depending
on the long-term, reliable
operation of a high-volume,
high-temperature pump.
The efciency of the ESP
[electrical submersible
pumping] system is crucial to
the success of the geothermal
project. If our system works 2
to 3 percent more efciently
over a period of 10 years,
thats a tremendous amount
of value to the operator.
Baker Hughes owns 80 percent
of the geothermal pumping
system market in continental
Europe, says Aad Castricum,
manager of technical support
for articial lift systems.
Due to our references and
the high reliability of our

equipment, customers are


selecting Baker Hughes ESP
systems whether or not we
were involved in the drilling.
Baker Hughes has the industrys
highest horsepower ESP
system, the Centrilift XP
Xtreme Performance series,
which consists of the new
880 motorthe rst ESP
motor capable of 2800 hp
and production ow rates of
4,500 gal/min (0.28 m3/s).
We have installed the new 880
motor in a major geothermal
project in Unterhaching
in southern Germany to
achieve high ow rates in
combination with the highlifting requirements of the
well, increasing the overall
system efciency signicantly,
Castricum adds. The district
heating network, the largest
newly built network in Germany
since the 1980s, is 28 km (92
ft) long and provides heat for
private homes, the town hall,
schools, swimming baths and
commercial sites.

Managing projects
Baker Hughes has 40 years
of background working in
geothermal projects around the
globe, says David Nic Nickels,
director of global geothermal
markets. This experience is
augmented with a large array
of products and services, and
with the recent acquisition
of pressure pumping and
stimulation service capabilities,
which provides the ideal solution
for fracturing formations for
the hot dry rock projects, Baker
Hughes Integrated Operations
can do everything from well
planning to drilling to managing
the project for the client,
Nickels says.
We do have the full project
management capabilities,
Erdmann adds. If you come
with the specs and ask us
to deliver the project from
A to Z, Baker Hughes can do
that. I would consider this
the most important feature
we offer today.

> In Iceland, one of the worlds most active geothermal regions,


Baker Hughes provides drilling and evaluation services and
drill bits to all of Iceland Drilling Companys drilling operations.

Celle Technology Center

HOT SPOT

FOR GEOTHERMAL
RESEARCH

A half century ago, with


hundreds of drilling rigs
dotting the German countryside,
George Christensen saw an
opportunity and opened a
subsidiary in Germany to
manufacture diamond
drill bits and coring bits
for the mining and oileld
industries. Christensen, along
with a friend and former
football teammate, Frank
Christensen, had founded
the Christensen Diamond
Products Company in Salt
Lake City, Utah, in 1944.

58

01

The Christensen Diamond Products manufacturing plant opened in Celle,


Germany, in 1957. The facility built diamond core heads and drill bits and
later expanded to make downhole tools. In 1977, the Celle engineering and
manufacturing team introduced the Navi-Drill line of downhole drilling motors.
After a series of mergers and acquisitions that began in the late 1970s, the
facility became part of Baker Hughes in 1990 with the acquisition of Eastman
Christensen. Other innovations developed in Celle include the industrys rst
steerable motor system and the AutoTrak rotary steerable closed-loop system.
The Celle Technology Center (CTC), as its called today, was expanded in
2009 to support joint technology developments, including geothermal,
with operators and local universities. Since its grand reopening,
the CTC is also home to the Baker Hughes Center of Excellence for
geothermal and high-temperature research and development.

In 2009, Baker Hughes and the


Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) state
government jointly launched a multimillion
euro, ve-year cooperative university
research project aimed at improving the
technology for generating geothermal
energy from very deep (4000 m to 6000
m) [13,123 ft to 19,685 ft] geological
formations. With guidance from Baker
Hughes scientists in Celle, Lower
Saxonys technical universities will
combine their acknowledged strengths
in geosciences, material sciences, drilling
technology and technical systems in
order to generate leading-edge research
results for Baker Hughes to integrate
into the development of sustainable and
marketable products and services.
The Lower Saxony state government is
also providing nancial support for Baker
Hughes research and development of hightemperature electronics for use in drilling

and evaluation, as well as completion


and production applications. In addition,
Germanys federal government has awarded
Baker Hughes a cofunded project to develop
cost-efcient drilling technologies for
geothermal wells.
Baker Hughes is conducting a second project
supported by the German government
to improve the performance of electrical
submersible pumping (ESP) systems, with
a special focus on reliability. Integral to
this research is the Celle high-temperature
test loop, designed to specically test new
high-horsepower, high-volume ESP system
technology for the geothermal environment.
The new test loop will continue
to grow the centers reputation in
the elds of high temperature and
geothermal systems, says Trey Clark,
former director of technical support for
Baker Hughes in continental Europe.

02

01> Martin Paland tests


Navi-Drill motor rotors
at the CTC.

The test loop will include a control room,


storage and maintenance area, loading
unit, contained pressure vessel, and 20 kv
transformers and variable speed drives.
Maximum electrical power can reach 3,500
kVA and the temperature rating is up to
190C (375F). Completion of the test loop
is anticipated in the second quarter of 2011.
The center is also developing new wellbore
construction and drilling technologies,
specic to the geothermal market. In
addition to our existing portfolio of
geothermal products and services, we
see the advancement of our ESP and
drilling technologies as game-changing
to the industry, allowing new wells
to be drilled more economically, and
energy production to be maximized over
the life of the well, Clark says.

03

02> Expanded in 2009, the


CTC houses a geothermal
and high-temperature
R&D center.

03> Bernd Grote


assembles electronics
into tools at the CTC.

www.bakerhughes.com

59

Good Neighbors

Baker Hughes Grant Kick-Starts

KAZAKHSTANI VOCATIONAL PROG


Musabekova Guljahan studies economics in Astana, the capital
city of Kazakhstan, but she has always been interested in nding
applications for alternative energy sources. I am aware of a great
need for renewable energy in Kazakhstan, she says. I also know
that there are very few companies on the national market that use
solar-powered technologies, so I thought that production of solar
panels would be a very good business idea that would become
competitive on the market and contribute to the environmental
sustainability in Kazakhstan.
Another student, Filistovich Mihail, plans to open his own
printing company. I have already developed a business
plan, which will give me more chances to get credit
from a bank for business development. Meanwhile, I am
working in the industry as an employee and trying to learn
all the details of managing a printing company.
The Know About Business (KAB) program, supported by grants from
Baker Hughes and Chevron, as well as funding from both the U.S.
and Kazakhstan governments, has helped thousands of Kazakhstani
youth like Filistovich and Musabekova discover their passions,
think creatively and use their enterprising ideas to make a positive
contribution to their community.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) created the KAB program
as a global course to increase employment opportunities for youth
60

RAM

through vocational education systems. Today, the program that


teaches business practices and entrepreneurial skills is offered in
more than 20 countries in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The ILO brought the course to Kazakhstan about eight years ago.
Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship education in
support of the long-term goal of a diversied Kazakhstan economy,
the Ministry of Education and Science made a short version of the
course mandatory in certain specialized vocational institutions. The
ILO trained and certied approximately 30 teachers and eventually
qualied them as key facilitators (certied teachers of teachers), but
the program lacked resources and sponsors to expand.
According to the ILO, by the end of 2008, approximately 10 primary
vocational schools in Kazakhstan were teaching the KAB course and
about 3,000 students had been reached.
Thats when Baker Hughes and Chevron stepped in and
stepped up the program.
Seeing a need to invest in the development of the Kazakhstani
workforce and to modernize the vocational education system, Baker
Hughes and Chevron independently engaged the United States
Agency on International Development (USAID) in late 2009 and
agreed to provide grants to support improvement of the vocational
education system.

USAID assigned the program to the Kazakhstan Small Business


Development Project (KSBD), which is jointly funded by USAID and
the government of Kazakhstan. Recognizing the programs success
in other parts of the world, Baker Hughes and Chevron agreed to
allocate their grants for the KAB program.
A report by the KSBD last year indicated that, due to cooperation
from the Ministry of Education and Science and local education
departments, The KAB program was able to achieve results far
beyond the original targets.
Between April 2009 and June 2010, the nationwide program trained
642 new teachers and provided preparation in entrepreneurship to
almost 115,000 Kazakhstani students in 517 vocational schools.
Baker Hughes has been active in the Kazakhstani oil and gas
industry since 1992 and shares in the countrys desire to prepare
its local work force through investment in the formal education
system, said Jochem Scherpenisse, Kazakhstan country director
for Baker Hughes. The KAB program was the perfect platform
for launching a bold new educational program to help develop a
competitive, diversied and innovation-driven economy in the 21st
century. The grants provided by the Baker Hughes Foundation and
Chevron were the spark needed to ignite the program.
Through interactive and participatory teaching methods
experimental ground for most Kazakh teachersthe
course helps students develop entrepreneurial skills and
practical business knowledge. It immerses them in real
life learning experiences where they take risks, manage
the results and learn from their project outcomes.
The KSBD report said that teachers describe the participatory
approach as a groundbreaking methodology that has changed their

> Baker Hughes personnel visited


a vocational school in Astana,
Kazakhstan, to see how the Know
About Business course was being
implemented. Representing Baker
Hughes were Atle Loge, vice president,
drilling and evaluation, Russia Caspian;
Zukhra Abdrakhmanova, manager,
business development, Kazakhstan;
and Jennifer Cutaia, director,
government relations.

attitudes about teaching and provided them with a range of new


opportunities to build students knowledge and experience.
In the world of new technologies that students are exposed to,
there is no space for the old lecturing system, one teacher said.
Participatory methodology is exactly what we need to captivate
students attention and motivate them for learning.
Seventy percent of teachers reported that they have changed their
approach to teaching in other classes as a result of the KAB program.
In addition, the majority of teachers indicated that the program
has contributed to their professional development, increased their
professional competence and improved their overall knowledge in
such subjects as economics, marketing and accounting.
This program is benecial to Kazakh communities on so many
levels, said Jennifer Cutaia, director, government relations,
for Baker Hughes. It prepares students to become more
effective members of the workforce by teaching them how to
set goals, develop a business plan and manage their nances.
Its a motivational means of providing them with information
about the opportunities, challenges, procedures and attitudes
needed for entrepreneurship. And, it serves as a professional
development tool for teachers in the vocational education system.
Its denitely a win-win program for everyone involved.
www.bakerhughes.com

61

LATEST TECHNOLOGY
from Baker Hughes
Blue Tarpon Deepwater Stimulation Vessel
The Baker Hughes Blue Tarpon deepwater stimulation vessel is
designed and engineered to meet the extreme challenges of large
multiwell deepwater projects.
At 300 ft (91.6 m) in length, the vessel can carry 2.75 million lbs of
proppant and 10,200 bbl of uidenough to perform multiple well
completions without returning to dock to resupply.
Pumping high-rate and high-volume frac pack treatments adds more
demand on equipment and systems. Baker Hughes has reduced
that risk by installing backup systems on all key elements of the
stimulation plant, thereby delivering the highest level of reliability
and reducing operational risks.

The Baker Hughes SC-XP extreme performance system provides


on-demand performance in extreme environments through a
single-platform system that is easily converted for frac packs or
openhole gravel packs. The system delivers faster conveyance rates
and higher production rates than existing sand control systems,
while maintaining the capability for simple retrieval.

The stimulation plant, built inside an enclosed structure, is


completely protected from the environment, further improving
equipment reliability and reducing the effects of corrosion.

The SC-XP systems single-platform system facilitates inventory


management and prompt customer attention because of a large
variety of sand-face completion applications, such as cased-hole
gravel packing, high-performance frac packing, openhole gravel
packing, deepwater, horizontal and high pressure/high temperature.

The vessel features a touch-screen control room with fully automated


ratio controls for the addition of proppant and chemical additives,
as well as for remote valve actuation, providing increased exibility
when performing multiple applications.
The Blue Tarpon, the ninth in the Baker Hughes offshore eet, is
capable of delivering 24,000 hhp through six SC-2000 triplex pumps
and four SC-3000 quintuplex pumps. It will join the almost identical
Blue Dolphin, launched in December 2009, in the Gulf of Mexico.

SC-XP Extreme Performance Gravel and Frac


Packing System

The three blenders on the vessel are designed to communicate


with one another, and in the event that there is an issue with one
of them, the computer can switch the job to another blender to
continue the progress of a joba critical issue when you are in the
middle of a programmed pumping treatment or stage, says Rick
Jeffrey, global uid pumping services manager for Baker Hughes.

All pumping equipment is operated from the control


room via electronic controls, providing the highest level
of safety for the personnel onboard. All critical equipment
is monitored via live video feed from 16 independent
locations, giving the crew visual access to all operations.

62

Other Blue Tarpon features include


Remote satellite transmission of data and video with
dual backup systems
WellLink RT WITSML-compliant service to transfer,
host and visualize well data in real time
Accommodations for up to 44 personnel, allowing for
nonstop operations on large-scale multizone projects
Laboratory that provides real-time QA/QC on fluids and chemicals
Maximum working pressure of 15,000 psi
80-BPM continuous-mix frac fluid rate
20-BPM continuous-mix acid system
80-BPM fluid filtration capability

This system isnt called an extreme performance system simply


because of its ability to treat larger pay zones at once, says
Anderson Amaral, sand control tools product line manager for Baker
Hughes. The SC-XP system can handle extremely high-horsepower
jobs that pump high volumes of proppant without damaging the
tools or the casing.
At the same time, the system is exible enough to
allow long horizontal, openhole gravel packing without
disturbing the lter cake. It is also compatible with extreme
reservoir conditions, handling high-differential pressure
operations in high-temperature environments.

> The Blue Tarpon, the ninth in the Baker Hughes offshore eet,
is capable of delivering 24,000 hhp through six SC-2000 triplex
pumps and four SC-3000 quintuplex pumps.

The SC-XP system can withstand temperature ratings of


400F (204C), treating pressures of 15,000 psi (103.421
MPa) and a proppant volume of 1.5 million lbs at a rate
of 60 bpm, while still preserving the casing integrity while
opening and enlarging ow paths for the oil through
the most challenging formations and reservoirs.
The SC-XP system delivers operational reliability by supporting
elevated set-down loads for higher pumping rate treatments and
heave compensation. In addition, the system uses an ISO 14310
V0-rated packer that, if needed, can be retrieved without
cutting or milling.

BAKER-SQUEEZ Lost Circulation Solution


The BAKER-SQUEEZ product, the new and innovative solution to
moderate to severe lost circulation, is proven to be effective and
easy to use, even in the most stringent regulatory environments.
The BAKER-SQUEEZ solution is designed for use in
environmentally sensitive areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and the
North Sea, says Gary McGuffey, product line manager for specialty
uids products. It has passed all toxicology tests for use in the Gulf
and has received a Green rating for use in the Norwegian North
Seathe best rating awarded by Norwegian regulatory agencies.
Applied as a pill, the product works by rapidly dewatering, resulting
in a solid plug of lost circulation material in wellbore fractures
and rock defects. (A pill is a small quantity [less than 200 bbl] of a
special blend of drilling uid to accomplish a specic task that the
regular drilling uid cannot perform, such as to plug a thief zone.)
Since the BAKER-SQUEEZ offering mixes readily with most any base
uid, it eliminates the need to mix pills in anticipation of losses,

> The SC-XP system can handle jobs with extremely high horse
power pumps, allowing high volumes of proppant to be pumped
without damaging tools or casing.

McGuffey explains. The pill can be made up on the spot and


pumped downhole and spotted to cure losses, quickly eliminating
nonproductive time and getting the rig back to the job of drilling.
It has been eld tested on numerous jobs in the Gulf of Mexico and
U.S. Land, proving effective time and time again.
The plug formed by the BAKER-SQUEEZ treatment develops
compressive strength and is effective in sealing all types of fractures,
highly permeable formations and vugular spaces, McGuffey adds.
It can be easily blended using most rig equipment and applied
using water, oil or synthetic-based uids. And, its temperature stable
up to 400F (204C) and pH tolerant.
When blended in any uid, ltrate expressed from the slurry into
the formation will bond with any clay or gumbo shale to form a
rigid bridge inside the fracture and fracture tip. A BAKER-SQUEEZ
treatment can also be pumped through the drillstring and through
most downhole tools. Pumped or squeezed ahead of cement, the
product aids in getting cement to the surface through reducing or
eliminating channeling by lling all cracks, microfractures and rock
defects.
Many of the competitive products are two-part systems or they
require additives such as thinners or defoamers to perform. The
BAKER-SQUEEZ solution only requires the base uid and the onesack product to cure losses. Barite is added to achieve the desired
weight for the pill, adds Joseph Szabo, commercial coordinator for
Baker Hughes drilling uids. Some products also require specialized
equipment for mixing and spotting, but BAKER-SQUEEZ treatment
requires no special equipment, only what is available on the rig,
making it convenient for the rig hands and the product of choice
when severe losses occur.

www.bakerhughes.com

63

A Look Back

R.C. Baker
If the (casing) shoe ts
build a business on it
Like so many turn-of-the-century entrepreneurs, Reuben Carlton R.C.
Bakers story is one of rags to riches.
Baker arrived in Los Angeles on April 4, 1895, with only 95 cents in his
pocket but a head full of dreams of nding his fortune in the newly
discovered oil elds of southern California.
Just weeks earlier, the 22-year-old had left his home in northern California
bound for Alaska to prospect for gold. To earn train fare, he worked in a
quarry and slept in a barn. In just two weeks, he had earned $24, but when
he returned to the barn one night after work, his clothes had been stolen.
Hearing talk going around about an oil discovery in southern California,
Baker decided to take his $24 and strike out for Los Angeles to search for
goldblack gold.
Finding work wasnt hard in those days. Baker took a number of jobs in the
oil eld, including one as a tool dresser for a contract driller named Irving
Carl. When Carl couldnt pay Bakers wages, Carl made him his partner.

64

It was his second inventionthe Baker


casing shoepatented in 1907, that
improved the driving of cable tool
casing by guiding it into the hole and
led to the founding of a small company.
With the company making a prot, the two men
decided to divide their assets, and in 1898, only
three years after arriving in the oil patch, Baker
was in business for himself doing contract drilling.
In 1899, Baker contracted to drill a well in
Coalinga, Calif., a booming oil town north of
Los Angeles. Drilling was steady in the newly
discovered Kern River oil elds, so Baker decided
to settle in Coalinga.
Hard rock layers in the area made setting casing
difcult, so Baker developed an offset bit for
cable tool drilling that enabled him to drill a
hole larger than the casing. He received his
rst U.S. patent on the invention in 1903. But,
it was his second inventionthe Baker casing
shoepatented in 1907, that improved the
driving of cable tool casing by guiding it into
the hole and led to the founding of a small
company that would eventually become Baker
Oil Tools and Baker Hughes Incorporated.
With no manufacturing facilities of his own, Baker
licensed independent machine shops to fabricate
the casing shoes on a royalty basis and to market
them nationwide. In 1912, Baker patented the
Baker cement retainer, which was designed to
pack off between the casing and tubing when
pumping cement through tubing. The invention
made cementing more efcient and effective. The
next year, Baker organized his own corporation
the Baker Casing Shoe Companyand in 1918, he
bought a machine shop in Coalinga that had two
lathes, a drill press, a power saw, a shaper and one
pipe-threading machine.
The 3,400-ft2 (315 m2) plant manufactured Baker
casing shoes, drilling and shing tools, and
various oilwell machinery and supplies. It was

the rst in a long line of Baker manufacturing


plants and research centers wherever oil and
gas is produced. Baker opened branch ofces
where there was a demand for oileld tools,
and in 1927, a branch ofce and warehouse
opened in Houston to accommodate sales
in elds throughout Texas and Louisiana.
In 1928, Baker Casing Shoe Company was
renamed Baker Oil Tools to reect a growing line
of oileld products, including a complete line
of guiding, oating and cementing equipment.
Despite troubled economic conditions during
the 1930s, Baker Oil Tools continued to grow its
business alongside oil companies that had become
dependent on service companies. But it was
after World War II that business boomed and
technology advanced.
Between 1948 and 1959, 50 new branch ofces
opened in 16 states. In addition, the Los Angeles
headquarters moved into a new $1.25 million
facility in Orange County, Calif., in 1952.
In 1957, at the age of 85, Baker retired as
president of Baker Oil Tools. He died a few
weeks later after a brief illness. Baker had
150 U.S. patents and laid the groundwork for
a company that would eventually move its
headquarters to Houston in 1986 and merge
with Hughes Tool Company to become Baker
Hughes the following year.

www.bakerhughes.com