Cuttings transport in highly deviated wellbores is more challenging and critical than in vertical wells. By optimizing drilling practices and sweep programs, on bottom drilling time can be increased and the need for wiper trips minimized. Data from two geological side tracks drilled from the same vertical wellbore are used to demonstrate the improved efficiencies possible when using weighted sweeps rather than high viscosity sweeps for hole cleaning in deviated wellbores. In the examples discussed in this paper, over $500,000 in savings were realized by the operator through using optimized drilling practices and engineered sweeps. Optimizing the use of rotation and circulation versus continuous sliding also can contribute to improved drilling efficiency. In addition, computer simulation data are presented to support the field observations. The use of sweep reports is an integral component of tracking sweep performance.

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