The ExxonMobil-developed Fast Drill technology was used to drill the 15,000m well
The Rosneft-led consortium operating the Sakhalin-1 project in the Russian Far East has completed the world’s longest oil well.
In a statement on November 16, Rosneft said the well, which measured 15,000 metres, had been sunk at the Orlan platform on the Chayvo oilfield in the Sea of Okhotsk. The state-owned oil producer noted that the well had a directional drilling index of 8.0 and a stepout of 14,129 metres.
Including the latest record, Sakhalin-1 has been responsible for drilling nine of the world’s 10 longest wells, five of which have been completed since 2013. In mid-2013, the consortium finished work on the Z-43 and Z-42 wells, measuring 12,450 and 12,700 metres respectively. It also completed the 13,000-metre Z-40 well in 2014, followed by the 13,500-metre O-14 well in 2015.
According to Rosneft, these wells have been drilled using an extended reach technology known as “Fast Drill”, developed by US major ExxonMobil, a partner in the Sakhalin-1 consortium.
According to information from ExxonMobil, Fast Drill uses drilling physics models together with structured well planning and design to identify drilling parameters and increase performance. A Drilling Advisory System automates the process in real time on the rig floor, and as of February 2017 had improved at nine fields. The supermajor says that its drilling rate has improved more than 80% since the process was adopted more than a decade ago.
“This technology combined high quality modelling of physical parameters of drilling with a structured approach to well design,” Rosneft said. “Extended reach drilling reduces costs of construction of additional offshore structures, pipelines and other field infrastructure facilities and it also mitigates environmental impact due to smaller drilling and production footprint.”
Chayvo is located some 6 km off the coast of Sakhalin Island in waters depths of between 14 and 30 metres. The field was discovered in 1979 and began flowing oil in 2005. It is one of three offshore oilfields to have been brought into production by the Sakhalin-1 consortium, which comprises Exxon subsidiary Exxon Neftegas (30%), Japan’s SODECO (30%), Rosneft (20%) and India’s ONGC Videsh (OVL) (20%). The other two fields – Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi – came online in 2010 and 2015 respectively. Sakhalin-1 also controls the non-producing Lebedinskoye field, where development drilling began in May last year.
The consortium produced a total of 9 million tonnes (180,000 bpd) of crude oil and condensate in 2016, versus 167,000 bpd in the previous year. Exxon Neftegas has said it hopes to maintain output at the current level for as long as possible.
In September, the Russian Finance Ministry said it had reached an amicable agreement with Exxon in a lawsuit over tax payments related to the Sakhalin-1 project. The US major filed for arbitration in Stockholm in 2015, claiming it had overpaid US$500 million in profit taxes on its stake in the venture. As part of the settlement, Exxon was reportedly offered involvement in an oilfield project owned by Rosneft in Western Siberia, according to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper.