The DRILCO storage yard, at its dockside tubular support facility in Port Fourchon’s C-Port II, speaks volumes on the impending level of business with the new rigs entering the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s been very busy and especially now with all the tubulars stacked in the yard, awaiting all the new rigs coming into the Gulf,” said Jamie Arceneaux, Broussard and Port Fourchon location manager for DRILCO. “Right now, we have all the strings and BHAs for three of the newbuild drillships.”
DRILCO’s dockside tubular support facility primarily provides drillpipe and casing bucking, which, it says, eliminates rig time required to make up or break connections. The facility preps Range 2 and Range 3 drillpipe in doubles and triples, and casing in doubles. “With deepwater rig spread rates over $1 million per day, savings of at least two days per well have been seen when shipping pre-made casing doubles to the rig, not to mention reducing the number of lifts and making the operation safer,” Arceneaux said.
The dockside tubular service center also handles stabilizers, pony collars, running tool assemblies and other BHA components as well as tubular inspections. The facility offers a unique 32-channel FLUT (full-length ultrasonic) inspection that is specifically designed to handle deepwater tubulars, which, DRILCO claims, delivers “the highest level of accuracy data in real time.” In addition, DRILCO says the facility has the “only fully API-certified machine shop on the Gulf of Mexico coast that is port-accessible.
According to Arceneaux, the entire flow of the bucking operation is computer-controlled, including the capacity to program the optimum torque requested by the customer up to 100,000 lbf/ft. “Most of the work we do here requires us to first change the type of dope or threading compound on the connections. So, we begin by cleaning and then re-doping, followed with a visualization inspection by a third-party representative. The bucking process itself is completely computer controlled.”
In the meantime, all the indicators suggest that facilities throughout the Port Fourchon area and beyond will continue to see a steady increase in business over the foreseeable future, says DRILCO Regional Manager Todd Simar. “Everybody is reporting significant increases in business in the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve seen dramatic improvements in work this year coming through Port Fourchon and that’s expected to continue through 2015, at least. Everybody is certainly back to blowing and going these days.”
With the current and expected increased demand from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Arceneaux and Simar said the LEAN Initiative experts within parent Schlumberger are taking an increasingly close look at improving the overall process. “A revised layout has been presented to remove all bottlenecks at this facility. It would be a total revamp and the study has shown it would more than double the throughput,” Arceneaux said.