Panther Fluids Delivers Total Fluids Management Solution on Large 28-well Drilling Program
An operator in the Eagle Ford Shale had a large, 28-well program of horizontal wells, with lateral sections from 7,500 to 10,000 ft and 16,000 to 18,000 ft total well depth.
Located in Frio and Atascosa Counties, Texas, the operator chose a total fluids management approach to handle mud, solids control and haul off and disposal. To keep this large drilling project running smoothly, many logistical concerns including manpower and equipment, maintaining the solids control program and scheduling trucks for cuttings and liquids disposal had to be addressed and handled, in addition to drilling the actual wells.
Panther Fluids worked with the operator to:
Design a total drilling fluids package including mud, additives and chemicals
Implement a solids control program that included a closed-loop system
Provide a safe and efficient haul off and disposal process for drill cuttings and excess liquids
Provide onsite personnel to manage all fluid related activities
The operator gained experience with Panther Fluids on past projects and knew the company could be trusted to deliver on a larger scale. The drilling superintendent responsible for the program commented, “I know from working with Panther in the past, they will do what they promise and stay on top of the day-to-day operations to make sure we are successful. Panther put together the plan, which included a lot of moving pieces and a lot of different vendors and made it work. We gave them the well details and set the expectations, and they put together the plan. We reviewed the plan together but trusted what they presented and executed as designed.”
Operations proceeded smoothly with no significant issues or excessive unplanned downtime. According to the superintendent, “Even though this was a large number of wells, we had no major issues drilling or deploying casing. However, we did encounter lost circulation on some of the wells. Panther Fluid’s on-site drilling expertise helped correct the issue by applying the appropriate lost circulation material (LCM) to counteract the problem zones.” With this proactive approach, having the material and the knowledge on site helped provide a quick solution to the problem.
The project took place over a 19-month period. Throughout the operation, the drilling plan stayed on schedule and stayed within budget. “Having Panther manage the fluids program and all the details freed up my crew so they could focus on drilling the wells,” the superintendent reported. “For a 28-well program, the logistics can be complicated. Panther did all this including haul off and disposal. They sourced the disposal site, found the trucking company and made sure all the permits and certifications were in place and up-to-date.”
The haul off and disposal part of the project was especially logistics intensive. Panther Fluids averaged disposing 36 loads of cuttings (solids) per well and eight loads of liquid per well over the course of the 28-well project equaling 1,232 total disposal trips. The disposal sites, which utilized both landfarming and injection as the disposal method, were located approximately 35 miles from the wells. Panther utilized special end-dumps that completely sealed the load, alleviating any potential spills while travelling. In total, the disposal trucks travelled over 86,000 miles without a safety incident over the course of the project.
The superintendent added, “Economically, having Panther manage the fluids program worked out better for the operator. We do not have relationships with the required vendors, but Panther does this every day. They were able to secure better pricing for the individual services, while executing to the plan we set on time and without incident.”
Over 19-month period, drilling schedule stayed on plan and on budget
Operator was able to focus on drilling the well, and not deal with mud issues and logistics
Over 1,232 loads of cuttings and fluids were disposed
Corrected lost circulation issues that came up during drilling
No HSE issues