Casing running operation is a crucial step in drilling a wellbore. With more and more horizontal wells and extended-reach wells are drilled, there is an increasing demand for a technology, which will be able to circulate the drilling fluid and rotate the casing while lowering it simultaneously to avoid pipe stuck occurs. This paper introduces the Top Drive Casing Running (TDCR) technology, which will greatly meet the challenges that are associated with casing running operations in the drilling activity.

In a seven (7) inch casing running operation of a horizontal gas well in southwest of China-Sichuan Basin, which is notorious for its complicated geological formation, the TDCR successfully set the casing to the target depth. The TDCR provided the ability to rotate, reciprocate and circulate when difficult hole conditions were encountered in the long horizontal section. The TDCR technology employed were considered as the key in the operation.

The TDCR technology extends the benefits of a top drive such as accurate torque control of makeup connections, which is especially important when making up premium connections. The ability to circulate while running casing through trouble zones will ensure wellbore integrity and avoid complicated downhole accident. Since no stabbing board operation is required, non-productive time is reduced, safety and efficiency are improved.

The TDCR technology has the potential to become a major player in casing running operation and will gain wider application in the future.

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