Abstract

Managing downhole pressure and temperature is critical, particularly in deepwater, high-pressure, high-temperature (HP/HT), extended reach drilling (ERD), and other challenging operating conditions.

A large percentage of all drilling hazards related to wellbore pressure occur when mud pumps are cycled off and on during connections, causing fluctuations in equivalent circulation densities (ECD) and downhole pressure and temperature spikes. These conditions can result in expensive downtime, safety issues, and the inability to drill a well within extreme scenarios.

Continuous flow system (CFS) technology mitigates the hazards of wellbore pressure drilling even while mud pumps are cycled off and on during connections. Unregulated, these cycles can cause ECD fluctuations and downhole pressure spikes. The system ensures constant bottomhole pressure. This variant of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) can reduce expensive downtime, minimize safety issues, and enable safe and efficient drilling in otherwise undrillable wells.

This technology can enable the drilling team to decrease nonproductive time by providing continuous circulation, which improves hole cleaning and maintains ECD.

Test results of the use of a continuous flow system under development reveal that the system can maintain bottomhole pressure constant consistently and continuously.

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