Abstract

Ecopetrol S.A has focused on drilling deviated and horizontal wells for the development of mature oil fields in four onshore basins in Colombia with high tectonic stresses and geological faults: Llanos, Putumayo and the Middle and Upper Magdalena Valley. In these mature fields, the reservoir pressure has decreased and this condition often leads to drilling problems, such as mud losses, differential stuck pipe and pack-off in reservoirs with shale intercalations. Additionally, continuous geomechanical analyses of prospect wells have been completed to mitigate borehole instability in the overburden and reservoirs in these basins

Ecopetrol S.A and ICP have integrated multiple disciplines to approach these challenges. This integrated approach includes seismic interpretation of highlighted linear discontinuities with fluid channeling potential, drilling fluid engineering to mitigate the effect of weak bedding plane and pore-pressure heterogeneity, wellbore stability analysis, along with the application of technologies such as managed pressure drilling (MPD) for avoiding mud losses and formation damage while drilling the reservoirs. In addition, 1D geomechanical models were built for the estimation of mud weight windows, critically stressed natural fractures analysis and optimal well trajectories. Furthermore, extensive triaxial test results on rocks has been implemented in the geomechanical models. Finally, real-time wellbore stability monitoring has been implemented to reduce non-productive time (NPT) during the drilling campaigns.

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