The short answer is; Yes! A competent drilling crew can be used to run casing. In this post I'll look at how we assure that the drilling personnel that assist our TRS crew, are compentent to the task.
So in what cases can this be a good solution?
It could be that there is a need to reduce the personnel on the rig due to number of beds available, or it could be that the casing crew is delayed to the site for some reason. It can also be a solution when the client asks to save costs. We will then provide a reduced casing crew that is assisted by personnel from the drilling crew. Using the drilling crew to run casing can be a good solution as long as a member of the casing crew is there to oversee the process and is able to troubleshoot and help with any problems that may arise.
What does it take to become a competent TRS crew?
Fresh TRS Service Technicians go through a Competence Assurance Process (CAP) that takes 1-2 years to complete. When completed, they are competent to run casing according to our standards. They will then build experience over the years by going to many different rigs, jobs and using different types of equipment. This experience cannot be compared to the experience that a drilling crew will get by sporadically assisting the casing crew on one rig only. It takes years to become an experienced TRS Service Technician or Supervisor.
The casing string is a very important barrier in the well, and therefore you need to make sure that the connections are made up according to procedures to maintain the well integrity. The TRS crew are specialists and are needed to make sure the job is done correctly. So the drill crew can assist, but still you will need to have a specialist with them to guide them and check the quality; making sure it's done properly.
So how do we make sure that the drilling crew become competent to run casing?
The drill crew will only assist the casing crew occasionally, and as described above, it takes years to become an experienced casing crew. The jobs and the equipment are of such a wide range that it is challenging for a drill crew to acquire the skills to master all the different casings and completions. They will learn the basics quite quickly, but may not have the necessary experience to troubleshoot. Still the drill crew will need to be trained and assessed to be competent to do what is expected of them. We have a special training and assessment program for drill crew that is tailor made for them and the tasks they will be responsible for.
The aim of training rig crew members is not to get a fully trained TRS Service Technician.
It is more to enable them to ask questions about the graph/make-up, to spot any abnormalities with the connection or that the equipment is not working as it should. Then they should know when to ask for the TRS specialist.
On some strings of tubular the risk is greater and the consequences are higher, for instance advanced completions heavy casing with special connections. So that’s when you really need specialists.
For more information on competent TRS crews check out this post: Rig Supervisor: How do you know your Tubular Running Services crew is competent?