Drilling activities have increased in the State of Kuwait to enable the production of more gas from the Jurassic formations. The wells drilled to these prospects are challenging because of HPHT conditions, sour reservoir fluids and narrow drilling window.

Only vertical and deviated wells have been drilled to date, and in order to augment the production requirements horizontal wells were planned. For effective development of these reservoirs, horizontal well profiles were planned to increase the ability of the wells to access a permeable interconnected vertical fracture network which could result in high productivity and reserve recovery.

After detailed study, well SA-297 was selected as an appropriate candidate for a horizontal pilot project. In this pilot, the objective was to drill the first horizontal well through the Najmah reservoir in the North Kuwait fields. The project, being the first of its kind, posed many challenges. These included: drilling and casing 16" hole at 60° well trajectory to 13,500 ft.; drilling the salt-anhydrite high pressure Gotnia at 60° inclination; drilling a slim pilot hole in the reservoir with K-formate WBM to facilitate positioning of the lateral; plug back this pilot hole and execution of a high DLS sidetrack just below 10 3/4" shoe; casing off formations with borehole stability concerns; drilling 6" lateral hole by geo-steering; tubing plugging concerns during DST testing.

Due to plugging of the tubing during testing, an intervention job was carried out with a workover rig to clear the tubing with coiled tubing in a live well and subsequently retrieve DST tools. This was a unique job carried out for the first time in Kuwait.

This paper will give details on the well construction, the complexities in the drilling operations and technical challenges faced while drilling the directional trajectory and in the special workover operations.

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