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Woodside to Solve Hole Instability

30 May 2011

Australian oil and gas company Woodside will use the Riserless Mud Recovery system (RMR®) from AGR Drilling Services to ensure top-hole drilling goes as smoothly as possible.

AGR's Asia Pacific team has signed a deal worth an estimated NOK 4.5m (USD 800,000) to supply RMR® for use on Australia's North West Shelf approaching exploration campaign.

Woodside will use RMR® to drill through the Bare Formation of unconsolidated sands, renowned for difficult drilling conditions.

An advantage of RMR® is that it allows the use of an engineered mud system to prevent hole instability - without discharge to the seabed. This is done by using a subsea pump module to return mud and cuttings from the wellhead back to the rig.

Not only is the system (example pictured) from Norway-based AGR safer and environmentally beneficial, it also has the potential to save costly rig days – which typically cost USD 1m per day.

So far, RMR® has been used on more than 140 wells worldwide.

With Woodside, RMR® will be used off the semi-submersible drilling rig Nanhai VI. Drilling will occur at a depth of approximately 90m (295ft). Woodside, a company which ‘seeks excellence in environmental performance', previously used RMR® in the Browse Basin in 2008.

Bernt Eikemo, General Manager Asia Pacific at AGR Drilling Services, said: "We are delighted to again have the opportunity to work for, and with, Woodside.

"In the Browse Basin well back in 2008 we helped Woodside achieve a zero-discharge drilling. This time we will help them by making the drilling safer, faster and more environmental friendly.”