Systems Approach and Quantitative Decision Tools for Technology Selection in Environmentally Friendly Drilling
Yu, Ok Y.
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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. For example, the use of an elevated platform as an alternative to the gravel pad is less intrusive and leads to a more environmentally friendly approach to drilling operations. Elevated drilling platforms will require the use of piles. Another alternative to the gravel pad is the use of composite mats. Since the demand of low impact technologies for drill site construction has rapidly increased, the parametric study for the feasibility of using pile foundations and composite mats is conducted in this research. Even though a number of EFD technologies have already been developed to varying degrees, few have been integrated into a field demonstrable drilling system (i.e., combination of technologies) compatible with ecologically sensitive areas. In general, it is difficult to select the best combination of EFD technologies for a given site because there are many possible combinations and many different evaluation criteria. The proposed technology evaluation method is based on a systems analysis that can be used for integrating current and new EFD technologies into an optimal EFD 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. In this research, the sensitivity of the optimal solution to the weight factors and the effects of the uncertainty of input scores are also discussed using a case study. An application of the proposed approach is described by conducting a case study in Green Lake at McFaddin, TX. The main purpose of this case study is to test the proposed technology evaluation protocol in a real site and then to refine the protocol. This research 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.