Systems Approach and Quantitative Decision Tools for Technology Selection in Environmentally Friendly Drilling
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One of the petroleum industry's goals is to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas operations in environmentally sensitive areas. To achieve this, a number of Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) technologies have been developed to varying degrees but few have been integrated into a field demonstrable drilling system (i.e., combination of technologies) compatible with ecologically sensitive or off-limits areas. The main purpose of this paper is to present a decision-analytic technology selection process. The proposed method is based on a systems analysis that can be used for integrating current and new EFD technologies into an optimal EFD system. The system draws upon a large number of technologies (more than 100) identified by a government-industry joint venture studying low impact operations in sensitive ecological areas. In order to provide flexibility to the user, a small number of systems (1-5) are proposed for a given site, instead of a single best system. An optimization scheme is suggested based on a combination of multi-attribute utility theory and exhaustively enumerating all possible technology combinations to provide a quantitative rationale and suggest the best set of systems according to a set of criteria, with the relative importance of the different criteria defined by the decision-maker. This methodology is designed to help decision-makers select an optimal drilling system for a given site in order to minimize environmental impact and maximize profit at that specific site. An application of the proposed approach is described by conducting a case study in Green Lake at McFaddin, TX; some of the difficulties in using this approach in practice are also discussed. This paper describes the results of the case study which provided a more logical and comprehensive approach that maximized the economic and environmental goals of both the landowner and the oil company leaseholder. Copyright 2009, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
author list (cited authors)
Yu, O., Guikema, S., Bickel, J. E., Briaud, J., & Burnett, D. B.