Historically, deep sea well intervention has been an expensive and complicated process.
Essentially, well intervention means a testing process to learn the viability of an oil well. This occurs for many reasons. As a well ages, the hydrocarbons become contaminated, and supply will eventually become exhausted. Critical commercial decisions need to be made about the continued commercial viability of a well. Understandably, all stakeholders have a vested interest in the outcome of the intervention carried out on a well they own.
Conventional Deep Sea Well Intervention
Conventional technology used to carry out deep sea well intervention deployed a drilling vessel that ran a riser (meaning pipe) from the vessel down to the Christmas tree sitting on (or near) the surface of the formation. Then, the vessel’s crew tapped the Christmas tree and hydrocarbons were released from the well and brought to the surface for testing aboard the vessel.
The conventional well intervention process takes time. Moving a drilling rig or other types of drilling vessels into deep water locations cannot be achieved quickly. The conventional process is also expensive. Drilling rigs can cost USD$800K per day or more. Therefore, the costs incurred to tow the drilling vessel, run the riser and conduct testing may reach millions. Another factor is the safety risks of handling any unrefined hydrocarbons at surface.
Transforming Deep Sea Well Intervention
A major oil and gas company completed the engineering and testing for an innovative solution to deep water well intervention. They approached Intense 3D Animation Studio to develop an Engineering Visualization product to advance with sales and training.
This company had engineered a new system whereby the primary equipment was deployed subsea from an offshore support vessel and lowered to the Christmas tree by ROV’s controlled from the surface.
With the engineering complete, it was time to get some sales in the door. A major problem, like all subsea processes, was these operations take place in total darkness several thousand feet subsea. There was no viable way to educate potential customers with videography.
At Intense 3D Animation Studio, Singapore, we pride ourselves on understanding our client’s business needs before we begin any design or conceptualization. Our oil and gas client faced some typical challenges confronted by all those who resist convention with innovation. The oil and gas industry has been historically slow to adopt new technology.
Pioneering Efficient and Safe Rigless Well Intervention in Deep Waters
Our client’s major advantage over other systems on the market was speed of deployment, and in the offshore business, time efficiency saves money. A rigless subsea well intervention system requires no drilling rig, which are the most expensive vessels to deploy. An OSV costs a fraction of the daily rate of a drilling rig. OSV’s are faster and in this case, an Ulstein X-bow, practically brand new, so it’s more comfortable for the crew. Therein was the first pillar we needed to communicate to potential customers. Use our client’s system and save a truckload of cash.
The ubiquitous tenet of the offshore business is safety. Because our customer’s system deploys its equipment subsea, no hydrocarbons reach the surface. Therefore, eliminating some of the safety risks inherent in conventional well intervention processes.
Another critical benefit was our client’s engineering. Most of the individual components can be purchased “off the shelf”. This is incredibly smart. It means end users are more likely to be familiar with the equipment in the new system, spare parts are readily available, and an existing knowledge base improves maintenance times.
Now we had four critical advantages to educate prospective customers. The new system saves money because it’s fast, it’s safe and deploys with equipment that’s largely familiar to its operators.
Communicating Complex Technicalities
Learning the technical aspects of our client’s products and services is always enjoyable. Sitting at my desk with a (strong) coffee and a pile of technical papers isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – no pun intended. But we’re different, we nerd out on this stuff.
Several explanatory phone calls and meetings were necessary for us to gain a deep understanding of rigless subsea well intervention. Eventually, our client read a draft script, looked across the table at us and said we’d nailed it. It was onto the 3D modeling process.
It became apparent that explaining the new system in a single sales film, especially one intended for an introductory sales meeting, was too complex. As all of us who’ve done sales can attest, the first meeting is rarely technical.
Client-Centeric 3D Animation Design Process
We needed to reconsider the execution. The solution we suggested to our client was a shortened 3D Visualization that summarized how rigless subsea well intervention worked without any detailed explanation of the engineering. This film lasted two minutes and covered all the basics – faster, cheaper, safer, use of existing equipment. Perfect for a first-time sales meeting.
Then, we created a series of much shorter 3D engineering animation; between thirty seconds to a minute and a half that explained every technical detail. Around twenty of these films were required to cover the entire well intervention system from the beginning (where to anchor the vessel, how to run drill pipe) to the end (how to close out the Christmas tree and return excess to the formation). The intended audience for these films is engineers who need to validate the technical processes of the system
Under any circumstances, asking a sales rep to recall over twenty files in the correct sequence during a sales meeting is a tough ask. The final suggestion to our client was to wrap up the entire playlist into an interactive application, all accessible from a custom menu to make sales presentations and technical instruction a simple process.
Our client hit the road to go sell their new well intervention system. The interactive application and 3D Engineering Animation were a massive success, generating strong sales and a long list of future orders.