• End-to-end well planning strategies for Alaska north slope directional wells

      Mahajan, Neeraj Hemant; Khataniar, Santanu; Patil, Shirish; Dandekar, Abhijit; Fatnani, Ashish (2018-05)
      Directional well planning has gained special attention in the Alaska North Slope (ANS) as operators are being compelled to drill increasing numbers of wells from already congested pads because of low oil prices, Capex restrictions, and environmental regulations. This research focuses on two major components of directional well planning: anti-collision and torque and drag analysis in Schrader Bluff, Milne Point. The drilling pattern at the ANS implies very high wellbore collision risk, especially at the shallower section, which affects the safety of drilling operations. However, satisfying anti-collision norms is not the solitary step towards successful well planning. Integration of anti-collision results with torque and drag analysis is essential in evaluating the safety and feasibility of drilling a particular well path and avoiding drill string failures. In the first part of the study, three well profiles (horizontal, slant, and s-shaped) were planned for each of the two new targets selected in the Schrader Bluff OA sand. Initially, this part of the research compared the performance of the newly developed Operator Wellbore Survey Group (OWSG) error model and the industry-standard Industry Steering Committee for Wellbore Surveying Accuracy (ISCWSA) error model. To provide effective guidelines, the results of error model comparison were used to carry out sensitivity analyses based on four parameters: surface location, well profiles, survey tools, and different target locations in the same sand. The results of this study aid in proposing an improved anti-collision risk management workflow for effective well planning in Arctic areas. The second part of the study investigates the drillability of the well paths planned using the improved anti-collision risk management workflow. Furthermore, this part of the research aims at defining the end point limits for critical well planning parameters, including inclination and dogleg, such that within these limits, the well path satisfies anticollision as well as torque and drag considerations. These limits were generated using a drill string optimized in terms of steerable tool, drill pipe size, mud rheology, trip speed, rotational speed, and weight on bit (WOB) during drilling and tripping out operations. The results of this study would help reduce the cumbersome iterative steps and narrow down the design domain for any well to be drilled on the North Slope of Alaska.
    • Perceptions of success: a case study of planning for climate change in Shaktoolik, Alaska

      Tangen, Stefan G. (2017-12)
      Climate change planning is increasingly used in places like northwest Alaska where people are dealing with the effects of global climate change in dramatic and life altering ways. Planning for climate change often involves multiple actors from all levels of government working together with various goals, motivations, and perceptions of success. This research provides a perspective on what compelled the community of Shaktoolik to formally plan for climate change, documenting who they worked with throughout the process, the dynamics involved, and the outcomes created. I used a case study approach and qualitative methods in the form of participant observation, semi-structured interviews (n=26), and document analysis (n=18) to understand the ways in which community and non-community actors perceive successful climate adaptation planning in Shaktoolik, Alaska. I utilized seven dimensions of success from the literature to provide a framework during the data collection process and for data analysis. Due to a history of relocation in the region the community of Shaktoolik is familiar with adapting to the local environment, yet this is becoming more difficult as western infrastructure increases. In climate adaptation planning in Shaktoolik actors agreed on the roles different actors should play in planning for climate change at the community level. Additional findings include the importance of several key concepts such as social learning, social capital, leadership, and relationships among stakeholders. The climate adaptation planning model in Shaktoolik is moving in a positive direction and may be useful for other rural indigenous communities to replicate.