The Louise (LSE) is one of the primary oil-producing fields in the Pertamina EP Asset V. This area has an issue with high potential of total losses in the top section [~400 m measured depth (MD)], which causes an inability to set the 13.375-in. casing at the required depth. As a result, this problematic zone must be drilled conventionally in two different sections, 17.5 in. and 12 .25 in., whilst combating losses. Pertamina EP spent up to 10 days as nonproductive time (NPT) to combat losses, resulting in high investment cost. A new innovative method was required to face this challenge with the objective of drilling deeper through the loss zone in a single run in a more effective and efficient and a safer way.

Nondirectional casing drilling technology was introduced to solve this problem. The casing drilling system simultaneously drills and runs the casing through the lost circulation zone in a single run, which provides a more efficient and a safer operation. Its plastering effect helps strengthen the wellbore by smearing cuttings into the wellbore wall, sealing pores in the formation to reduce fluid loss. At the same time, it saves the rig operating days by eliminating the loss-combating days and the dedicated casing run. The key driver of this technology is the drillable alloy casing bit specially made for drilling vertical or tangential wells, which can be drilled out by any standard PDC or milled tooth after it has drilled to total depth (TD) and the casing has been cemented in place.

On the pilot casing drilling project well, this system successfully drilled 351.25 m of 13.375-in. × 17.5-in. section to the casing point in a single run passing through the problematic loss zone. The 13.375-in. casing was cemented in place, and the casing bit was successfully drilled out using a conventional 12.25-in. PDC bit. Compared to the conventionally drilled offset wells, this technology enabled up to 220 m deeper 13.375-in. casing setting depth, which consequently eliminated the necessity of loss-combating activity in the 12.25-in. hole section.

The implementation of the casing drilling system solved the lost circulation problem and provided an additional benefit of eliminating a dedicated casing run. The casing drilling technology helped Pertamina EP to reduce the well drilling time by up to 4.75 operating days, saved up to USD 555,913 of drilling cost, and achieved 50 m deeper well TD compared to the plan. The pre-execution engineering work was one of the key activities leading to the success.

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