Abstract

The Caribbean basin has been a target for hydrocarbon exploration since early 50's, however, due to geological complexity, technological challenges and high cost, drilling activities had been sporadic. Nowadays, Colombia is moving into uncharted territories and the future of the industry is focused in deep and ultra-deep-water exploration.

As the water depth increases the operational challenges became more difficult. Low temperatures at the sea bed, presence of methane hydrates, potential shallow gas or water flows, high pressure and high temperature, unconsolidated formations, remote locations with different types of shallow hazards and difficult logistics, extreme weather events, currents and waves, among others factors, create challenging environments to work [1, 9].

Under this challenging conditions, with daily rig costs running around 1 million dollars, the implementation of new technologies to minimize operational risk and make a proper hazard assessment is mandatory.

To build geomechanical models is a useful quantitative approach to understand the behavior of the rocks given a state of stresses. Furthermore, an accurate pore pressure and fracture gradient estimation are required to optimizing mud weights, design the casing program and also to assure safety concerns. Pore pressure models in frontier areas are typically estimated using seismic interval velocity fields and then calibrated with real time pressure data from LWD measurements and events observed during drilling operations. All this allow to incorporate, an effective risk and uncertainty management in ultra-deep water environment [2, 3].

This paper describes the integrated Geomechanics workflow applied to complex wells in the ultra-deep water in the Caribbean Basin and describes how an integrated approach in real time can improve drilling operation and minimize risks in remote operating areas.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.