Challenges and opportunities - drilling in MENA

rig 1061339 1920(Image source: sundem/pixabay)Tarek Khattab and Ahmet Aki from Halliburton discuss their drilling solutions and prospects in the Middle East. Read the full story in the latest issue of Oil Review Middle East (below), as well as insights from Weatherford experts

Tarek Khattab, business development manager, MENA region, Halliburton Sperry Drilling; and Ahmet Aki, senior global adviser, Formation & Reservoir Solutions, Halliburton Sperry Drilling.

How do you view prospects for drilling activity in the Middle East?

The Middle East is a growth market for Halliburton. Our overview for 2017 is a modest increase in drilling activity, accompanied by ongoing downward pressure on pricing. We are seeing growing prospects in countries like Iraq, where many IOCs are increasing their activities. We are also seeing an increase in the number of rigs in the land operations in the UAE and Oman and offshore operations in Qatar. There is also increased drilling activity in the Mediterranean offshore Egypt following Eni’s major discovery.

With 84 per cent of fields in the region being mature, development drilling is still dominating in 2017. Reduction of well construction costs are a priority now. Operators are also focusing more on turnkey projects in an attempt to reduce overall costs. Another trend is the increased production of gas, to satisfy local energy demand to sustain economic growth, with many countries prioritising gas for local consumption.

What is the focus of Halliburton’s drilling activity in the region?

Our focus is mainly on mature fields, which account for 84 per cent of the reservoirs and operations in the region. We are also focusing on collaborating with our customers to develop and deliver engineered drilling solutions and reservoir insight to maximise their asset value. We’re listening to customers, looking at their challenges and drivers to reduce the cost per barrel. 

So our approach is focused on collaboration with our customers and collaboration internally with other Halliburton PSLs (product service lines), who provide engineered solutions for our customers.

What are the main drilling challenges in the region, and how is Halliburton helping to address these?

One of the main challenges relates to offshore drilling, as the number of wells on platforms is increasing and the horizontal drains are becoming longer and more complex in design, making directional control more difficult. This is especially the case for extended reach wells that are increasing in the UAE which have vibration, wellbore stability and geosteering challenges. We are also focused on real-time solutions to mitigate these challenges through collaboration with our customers to optimise drilling performance and help reduce overall costs and deliver wells faster.

What new drilling technologies is Halliburton introducing to the region?

We recently introduced the Geo-Pilot® DuroTM Rotary Steerable System and EndureTM Motor technologies for improved durability and performance in harsh environments where optimal drilling efficiency, trip time and mud-loss control are essential. We are also introducing new LWD tools in different sizes due to increasing customer demand such as 9 ½” ALDTM (Azimuthal Litho Density Sensor) for large hole sizes, and 4 ¾” MRIL-WDTMTM (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Log-While Drilling) for slim holes.

We find that our major customers in the Middle East, as well as the IOCs operating in the region, are receptive to the latest technologies as long as they add value to their operations, prove that they can reduce costs and contribute to improving their understanding of the reservoir.

How is Halliburton helping to develop local capacity?

We have a strong commitment in the region to nationalisation, and in some countries it is also a requirement. We have varying percentages of nationalisation throughout the different countries. We conduct seminars and workshops for students in local colleges and are always interested in recruiting talented people. We also provide training for our local customers and invest locally in collaboration with our customers, an example being Halliburton’s Technology Centre in Saudi Arabia.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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