Spotlight on technology: the benefits of pad drilling

Trinidad Drilling Rigs 48 and 50 pad drilling in Fort Nelson, British Columbia

This is the second post in our two-part pad drilling series.

Two weeks ago, Wayne Kuzio and a few of his Rig Managers took us through a quick crash course with pad drilling 101. This week, we’ll dive into the environmental benefits of pad drilling and its advantages to customers, crews and drilling contractors.

Reducing environmental impact one pad at a time

From the far reaches of Northern Canada to the sand dunes in the UAE, we recognize the impact our operations can have on the environment. That’s why we’ve been engineering containment solutions and vacuum services to prevent drilling fluid leaks. It’s also why we’ve been reducing air pollution with more efficient engines and rigs.

Pad drilling has also been a contributor in our drive to reduce our environmental footprint. Having the ability to drill multiple wells from one location means significantly less surface disturbance, fewer constructed lease roads, fewer rig moves and less truck traffic, as illustrated by Lemonly.

Environmental Impacts of Pad Drilling via lemonly.com

Customers seeing increased production for less

In addition to being an all-star in the environmental department, customers love the benefits pad drilling brings to their operations.

“Attached is a time depth curve showing Trinidad Rig #XXX, Trinidad Rig #XXX and Trinidad Rig #XXX on their current pads. I want you to look at it and share it with the rig crews….”

“Never before has performance been so good and consistent…. You are truly leading the pack, and I am honoured to be part of this team.” Drilling Group Lead, Trinidad customer in the North Louisiana, October 2013

Now that multiple wells can be drilled from one location, customers are seeing increased production for less money and less time. Isn’t that the dream? Better results at a lower cost?

Walking rigs can move from one well location to another in hours rather than days with no need for moving trucks and cranes. Services can also be shared between operations with multiple rigs and only one pipeline is needed rather than several to each new well on each new location.

Crew safety and fewer weather shutdowns

Our crews have also benefited from the use of pad drilling.

Not only is pad drilling safer with fewer critical tasks during rig up and rig down but crews also experience fewer weather shutdowns allowing them to drill through spring break-up* in Canada. With this extra time spent on the rig, Rig Managers and crews have more time to develop their safety culture and rig procedures creating efficiencies that the operator and contractor benefit from.

Drilling contractors improving technology

Just in case we haven’t convinced you with all the above pad drilling positives, we thought we’d throw ourselves into the mix too!

Aside from the competitive advantage of pad rigs, better crew safety, and less wear and tear on equipment, pad drilling also allows operators to stock pile equipment they may need on site (such as casing, cement, fuel, mud product and shale cuttings). This avoids the chance of shutting down if trucks can’t deliver this equipment due to weather and road bans.

Pad drilling has also encouraged drilling contractors to think outside the box and develop innovative, sophisticated and efficient rig walking systems. Innovations such as these drive our industry forward, improving safety, efficiency and overall drilling performance for everyone involved. They remind us how far we’ve come and inspire us to think beyond our limits.

Trinidad Drilling’s pad rigs

Did you know most of our fleet has pad drilling capabilities? Learn more about the technology we’re using on our rigs in our other “Spotlight on Technology” or “Rig Spotlight” blog posts.

*Spring break-up: as Western Canada thaws out in the spring, frost comes out of the ground and the roads soften. Provincial governments and rural municipalities ban heavy equipment from roads to prevent damage. These are called road bans. As trucks aren’t allowed on the roads, the rigs cannot be moved. But, if a rig is already on location, it has no problem moving to the next well on the pad.

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