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# DRILLING ECONOMICS

JAMES A. CRAIG

## Drilling Cost Prediction

Cost Specification

## Authorization for Expenditure (AFE)

Drilling Optimization

## Drilling Optimization Techniques

Drilling
Cost Equation
Breakeven Calculations

Decision Making
DRILLING COST PREDICTION

## Drilling cost predictions are made so that

sound economic decision can be made.
Predictions depend primarily on:
Location governs the cost of preparing wellsite,
moving rig to location, and daily operating cost.
Depth governs the lithologies to be penetrated,
thus the time required to complete the well.
Drilling costs tend to
increase exponentially
with depth.

C = a exp ( bD )

C = cost, \$
a, b = constants depending on well location

D = depth, ft
ln C ln a
=
D
b b
COST SPECIFICATION

groups:
Fixed

Daily

Unit
Fixed Costs

## Fixed costs are determined by the nature of the

well, such as:

Sitepreparation
Casing, cement, tubing and packers
Daily Costs
Daily costs are related to the time spent on the operation.
Offshore rigs have high expenses which listed below.
Daily costs include:
Payments to drilling contractors (rig time)
Tool rental
Payment to specialist services
Salaries, wages etc
Fuel
Lubricating oil, grease
Drilling consumables (rope, soap and dope)
Transport of materials
Unit Costs

## This is the price of a unit of a commodity such

as the price per tonne of barite or bentonite.
This can be optimized in the tendering process,
which is Drilling Manager responsibility.
Good site supervision can ensure that
consumption is not excessive.
AUTHORIZATION FOR EXPENDITURE (AFE)

## The operators, should know how much a well is

going to cost if it is dry, tested or completed.
Consequently, AFEs should be broken down
into sections.
AFE makes it easier to carry out post-well
assessment and cost-comparisons between
wells.
AFE Components

## AFEs are broken down into the following sections:

Preparation
Drilling and abandonment
Testing
Completion
Preparation
This part of the AFE covers the costs incurred
to the point at which the rig is brought on to
location.
For onshore wells this would include site
building and well engineering as the main cost.
For offshore wells, the main costs are site
surveying and well engineering.
Drilling and Abandonment
This is the dry hole drilling component of the
well.
It assumes drilling reached the TD, logging
carried out and no economic finding.
The well is, therefore, proposed for
abandonment and appropriate cost is allocated
to it.
Testing
It is only the testing cost charged by the testing
company
It must also include all the ongoing daily costs
associated with the rig such as:
rig day rate
fuel oil
site personnel
office personnel
Completion
It is not only the cost of completion equipment and
services but also the costs of:
rig day rate

fuel oil

## extra casing string if run

perforation

site personnel

office personnel

Costs can be estimated fairly for development
wells
Costing for exploratory wells is a much harder
The service companies will give the operating
companies the main costs:
drilling contractors mud loggers
electric logging companies mud companies
cementing companies bit companies
tool rental companies coring companies
The Time Depth Graph created for the Drilling
Programme provides an estimate of the days to
be spent on the well.
By costing in the charges for these days, the
AFE begins to take form.
Some assumptions must be made, e.g.:
Itis difficult to fix charges such as coring on an
exploration well with the limited knowledge
available regarding formations to be drilled. The
AFE could either include one 20-m core or several
runs.
A contingency factor should be applied to the
AFE.
This can be in the form of:
A lump sum, or
A percentage of well costs.
DRILLING OPTIMIZATION

## Drilling optimization is minimizing the cost of

reaching the wells objective while maintaining
safety standards.
This minimum drilling cost is also the optimum
drilling cost.
The optimization process is a cycle that starts
with using the existing data base of drilling
information.
More data are collected during the practical
drilling process.
The new data are then analyzed to update the
data base for future use.
The process of optimizing drillling process is
not always straight-forward.
Because of uncertainties involved, there is
For example, optimization might mean paying
more to obtain a better tool, such as choosing a
rig with a higher day rate to obtain better
equipment.
DRILLING OPTIMIZATION TECHNIQUES

## The following optimization techniques are

popular in drilling:
Drillingcost equation
Breakeven calculations

## Cost-effective decision making

Drilling Cost Equation
Also known as the cost per foot equation.
Cbit + Ctools + Cmud + ( Crig + Csupport + Ctool rental )(Ttrip + Tbit + Tlost )
Cdrill =
Tbit ROPavg

## Cdrill= cost per foot for the interval concerned, \$/ft

Cbit = cost of delivered bit at the drill site, \$
Ctools = cost of tools or repair to tools, \$
Cmud = cost of mud to drill the interval, \$
Crig = rental rig rate, \$/hour
Csupport = support cost, i.e. third-party contractor rates,
\$/hour
Ctool rental
= rental of tools, \$/hour
Ttrip = round trip time, i.e. time to pull and run a bit, hours

Tbit = bit life, i.e. time required to drill the interval, hours

## Tlost = non-rotating time, i.e. time chargeable to non-

ROPavg = average rate of penetration during bit run,
ft/hour
Eleven variables are listed in the drilling cost
equation.
Most of these interact with one or more other
variables.
Because the degree of interaction is often
impossible to determine intuitively, the drilling
cost equation can aid decision making
Breakeven Calculations

## Breakeven calculations are economic

evaluations that determine the change in a
dependent variable that is required to create a
beneficial change in an independent variable.
The typical variables are as follows:

## Alteration in Required Change in

Independent Variable Dependent Variable
Bit type Bit life, ROP
Drilling tools Bit life, ROP, Trip time
Mud type Bit life, ROP, Trip time
The procedure is as follows:
Solve the drilling cost equation for present conditions to
determine the cost/ft.
Specify the independent variable and the dependent
variable to be changed.
Determine the change in any other parameters that will
result from the change in the independent variable.
Substitute the cost/ft determined in Step 1, the
independent variable specified in Step 2, and all other
variables into the drilling cost equation.
Rearrange the equation and solve to find the value of
the dependent variable required for breakeven.
The breakeven calculations can also be used to
should be obtained for purposes other than to
increase the rate of penetration.
Decision Making

## It is difficult to exactly calculate the

consequences of each decision to be made
Some degree of uncertainty concerning the
Decision of this type must be made on a
statistical basis:
a decision is made to implement the course of
action that on average results in the lowest cost.
Expected Values Method
An explicit step-by-step approach to the
The method is used to make decisions by
evaluating choices that have both different
finanacial returns and different probabilities of
occurence.
The best decision is that which has the lowest
(or least negative) probability cost product.
The fundamental form of the expected value
equations is given as follows:
= C1 P1 + C2 P2
EV

P1 + P2 =
1
EV = expected value, \$
C1 = cost of first event, \$

## P2 = probability of second event, fraction

Example 1 Cost per foot calculation
A 17-1/2 bit drills 1,050 of hole at an average
penetration rate of 35 ft/hr. given the following data,
what is the cost per foot?
Round trip = 6hrs Bit purchase cost = \$3,000
Bit life = 30 hrs Tool purchase cost = \$100
Rig cost = \$800/hr Interval mud cost = \$5,000
Tool rental = \$100/hr Support cost = \$200/hr

## Ttrip = 6hrs Cbit = \$3,000 ROPavg = 35 ft/hr

Tbit = 30 hrs Cmud = \$5,000 Crig = \$800/hr
Ctools = \$100 Ctool rental = \$100/hr Csupport = \$200/hr

Cbit + Ctools + Cmud + ( Crig + Csupport + Ctool rental )(Ttrip + Tbit + Tlost )
Cdrill =
Tbit ROPavg

Cdrill =
30 35

## 8,100 + 39, 600

Cdrill =
1, 050

Cdrill = \$45.43/ft
Example 2 Breakeven calculation
When planning a well. It has been determined that the
next section requires a polymer mud that costs
\$15/bbl. The rig has inefficient shale shakers, which
the drilling contractor will not replace without sharing
the expense. How much should the operator be
prepared to pay for the installation of the new, high-
efficiency shale shakers if the rig is to be used for only
a single well?
Old shale shaker solid control efficiency = 65%
New shale shaker solid control efficiency = 75%
Anticipated average hole diameter = 13
Maximum allowable drill solids concentration = 6%
We use mud interval cost equation:
D h2 (1 Eff )(1 Sactive )
= Lint Cmud/bbl
Cmud
1, 029 S active

## Cmud = cost of mud to drill the interval, \$

Lint = length of interval, ft
Cmud/bbl = mud cost, \$/bbl
Dh = average hole diameter, in.
Eff = efficiency of solids control system, %
Sactive = drilled solids in active mud, volume %
For the existing shale shakers:

## 132 (1 0.65 )(1 0.06 )

=
Cmud 6, 000 15
1, 029 0.06

= 6, 000 15 0.9006
Cmud

## Cmud = \$81, 051

If new shale shakers were purchased:
D 2h (1 Eff )(1 Sactive )
Cmud =
Lint Cmud/bbl + E cost
1, 029 Sactive
Ecost = equipment cost, \$

## 132 (1 0.75 )(1 0.06 )

Cmud =
6, 000 15 + E cost
1, 029 0.06

=
Cmud 57,894 + E cost
Breakeven occurs when the cost of existing shakers
equals the cost of new shakers.
= 57,894 + E cost
81,051

E cost = \$23,157

## This value (\$23,157) represents the most the

operator should pay for the installation of new
shakers.
Any amount less that this can be negotiated with
the drilling contractor represents a net savings.
Example 3 EV calculation
When drilling 12-1/4 hole in an area, experience
shows that a reverse circulating junk basket (RCJB) is
required on 25% of all wells. The average rental period
for wells where a RCJB is required is 3 days, and 12
hours rig time is wasted waiting for the equipment.
A rig is contracted for a single well in which the 12-
1/4 section is planned to take 25 days to drill.
Given: Rig rate = \$8,000/day
RCJB rental = \$150 first day plus \$25/day thereafter
Would it be advantageous to have RCJB on standby at
the rigsite:
We use the EV method and decision tree.

Not
required
RCJB not
rented

Required

RCJB
rented
RCJB not rented
Not required
Rig rate Interval time
= 8, 000 25 = \$200, 000

Required

Rig rate ( Interval time + Waiting time ) + [ RCJB rental + Rental time ]

## = 8,000 ( 25 + 0.5 ) + 150 + ( 25 2 ) = \$204, 200

RCJB on standby
( Rig rate Interval time ) + ( RCJB rental + Interval time )

## = (8, 000 25) + 150 + ( 25 24 )

= \$200, 750
C = \$200,000
P = 75%
EV = 200,000 x 0.75
Not
EV = \$150,000
required
RCJB not
rented C = \$204,200
P = 25%
EV = 204,200 x 0.25
Required EV = \$51,050

RCJB
rented C = \$200,750
P = 100%
EV = 200,750 x 1.00
EV = \$200,750
RCJB not rented
Total EV = \$150,000 + \$51,050 = \$201,050
RCJB on standby
Total EV = \$200,750
RCJB on standby < RCJB not rented
Therefore, the better economic solution is to
have the RCJB on standby at the rigsite.