Costs critical in deepwater drilling

Contractors will be working more closely with operators in the near future if deepwater production costs are to come down. Jean Cahuzac, executive vice president and COO at Transocean Inc., addressed the issue of cost-efficient deepwater drilling at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Contractors will be working more closely with operators in the near future if deepwater production costs are to come down. Jean Cahuzac, executive vice president and COO at Transocean Inc., addressed the issue of cost-efficient deepwater drilling at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Cahuzac asked attendees at one of the OTC topical luncheons, "How can we drive the cost of finding oil down?"

Though this is a common question, it is one that becomes more critical as more deepwater wells are drilled. The deepwater trend, which was formerly confined to the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil, has now spread to West Africa and Asia. As more wells are drilled, efficiency and productivity become key concerns. Despite the obstacles in resolving this issue, Cahuzac said, "We see the future as quite bright."

According to Cahuzac, a number of things have to happen to make efficient deepwater development possible. Among them are achieving more efficient drilling, eliminating steps in the drilling process, eliminating or mitigating problems, and enabling and facilitating deployment of new process. These are driven by the bottom line, Cahuzac said.

Cahuzac suggested a number of ways to achieve the goal of lower-cost drilling, many of which encompass new technologies. Cahuzac listed surface BOPs, artificial seabed, expandables, mono bore, and dual activity drilling as possible ways to improve drilling operations. He emphasized consistent delivery as a key objective.

We've made a fair amount of progress, but there is room for improvement," Cahuzac said. "We are still not where we want to be."

05/03/04

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