The oil and gas Industry is currently suffering its deepest downturn since the 1990s. Under challenging conditions, the industry has had to drastically adjust its business infrastructure, resulting in lower budgets, personnel reduction, and projects postponed or cancelled. Oil companies have reviewed their approach to drilling and completion solutions, including the use of multilateral technology (MLT). This paper presents a study on how MLT use has been influenced by the recent downturn and demonstrates how multilateral wells have improved well and field economics during a period of low oil prices.

MLT has provided significant economic and operational benefits over the years in very different environments. A study was conducted from 2010 to 2016 analyzing both predownturn (2010 to 2013) and downturn (2014 to 2016) periods. This study reviews how MLT use has been impacted by low oil prices and what challenges have been encountered from both service company and operator perspectives. Additionally, global installations are reviewed and compared to previous years to help demonstrate how the overall economics and personnel reductions have impacted service quality (SQ).

Global data was studied with the primary focus on the largest existing multilateral markets, including the North Sea, Saudi Arabia, and the Asia Pacific region. The results demonstrate that multilateral wells can help improve well and field economics during low oil price periods, for example, as 2015 was one of the strongest years for total installations and market size in MLT history. Market growth can also be measured by operator interest in the technology. There has been an increase in requests for feasibility reviews for multilateral field developments, both in near and long-term projects.

The study and paper demonstrate that the overall development and production benefits of implementing MLT have resulted in continuous use of the technology by operators that adapted to the technology before the downturn. The paper also demonstrates the MLT well construction technique helps improve the economics and can be used during periods of low oil prices. This paper provides operators additional reference data regarding the resilience of MLT and how its use can be facilitated to improve well and field development economics during periods of both volatile and stable oil prices.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Butler, B., Grossmann, A., Parlin, J., and Sekhon, C.
    [2015] Overcoming the Perceived Risk of Multilateral Wells. SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Elsayed, M.I., Abdulhalim, A., Al-Mutairi, A.M. et al.
    [2016] First MLTBS Level 5 Installation for Operator in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference. SPE-182986-MS.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Glaser, M. and Saldanha, S.
    [2016] Multilateral Technology with Intelligent Completions: Challenges and Solutions for Deepwater Subsea Well Operators. SPE Deepwater Drilling and Completions Conference. SPE-180300-MS.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Glaser, M., Rosas, E., Sergovia Rivero, G.J.
    [2016] Multilateral TAML-4 and -5 Junctions Provide Consistent Results for Arabian Gulf Operator. SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition. SPE-178170-MS.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Liland, G., Hepburn, N., and Dahl, E.
    [2014] Offshore Field Developments with Multilateral Technology – An Optimal Economic Solution without Significant Operational Risks. Rio Oil & Gas.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. macrotrends
    [2017] http://www.macrotrends.net/.
  7. Techentien, B., Ingram, S., and Grossmann, A.
    [2016] The Future State of Completions for the Lower Tertiary in the Gulf of Mexico. Offshore Technology Conference.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Vento, M. and Durst, D.
    [2016] Why Multilateral Cemented Junction Wells Can Help Economics for Development Projects in Oil and Gas Shale Reserves. SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition. SPE-178171-MS.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error