The operator commissioned a mobile ‘On the Rig’ (OTR) drilling simulator from Drilling Systems, to train Dolphin Drilling’s crews on the semisubmersible Borgland Dolphin ahead of the program earlier this year.
The prospect was in shallow reservoir conditions with a target depth of 1,100 m (3,609 ft), close to three times shorter than the typical 3,000 m (9,842 ft) for UK and Norwegian wells.
When shallow well control issues arise, drillers have less reaction time to manage the situation. So Wellesley worked with Drilling Systems and training partner Survivex to configure the OTR with well-specific conditions and drilling scenarios that the crew could rehearse before the rig had left the quayside.
Training and well preparations are said to have helped the operator deliver its lowest-cost well so far this year, on time and with a strong safety performance.
Callum Smyth, operations manager at Wellesley, said: “Oil exploration is all about uncertainty and mitigating risks… [The] OTR simulator provided a great tool for reducing our risks by enabling the crew to practice drilling scenarios on essentially a realistic, virtual model of the well.
“As well as training the crew for the specific conditions, this enabled us to test and fine-tune the well program for maximum effectiveness. This meant the crew went into operations confident and fully prepared for all eventualities.
“We are certainly looking at using the OTR for our next well in 2020.”