Finder-well concept helps chop drilling costs

Conoco UK Ltd., the North Sea arm of Houston-based Conoco Inc., is reaping benefits with its "finder-well" approach, which carefully plans a bare-bones drilling program and then freezes that plan to reduce drilling costs by 30% on average.That method was used to drill Conoco's recent Kappa discovery that cut a 150-ft hydrocarbon column that was logged but not tested in the central North Sea about 125 miles northeast of Aberdeen (OGJ Online, May 16, 2000).The company plans to drill an appraisal well later this year to determine the economic viability of that find, probably by coring, drill-stem testing, and collecting water samples and pressure data. The low-cost finder well has been p...

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