Exploration wells normally employ a gamut of advanced well construction and formation evaluation technologies to be able to ensure the success of the operation. Among these technologies are managed pressure drilling (MPD), pore pressure prediction (PPP) and in-line gas chromatography (IGC). However, since these technologies normally belongs with different end users, with PPP and IGC under the purview of the geologists and MPD with the drilling department, the full utilization of the combined capabilities of these technologies have yet to be realized.

MPD, PPP and IGC techniques can be combined to enhance and increase the information collected about the formations being drilled. This paper describes how the advanced flow detection capabilities of MPD can be utilized to safely allow for the collection of data required for PPP purposes and even enable verification of predicted values and the collection of additional pore pressure information. It also details how IGC in tandem with MPD can further enhance data collection by enabling full characterization of the events detected by the MPD system, instead of losing the same at the mud – gas separator, whenever flow is routed there as a precaution. Conversely, this also provides validation for the events detected by the MPD equipment thereby minimizing the chances of having false alarms with the system.

When synergized, MPD, PPP and IGC technologies have the potential to greatly enhance the characterization and evaluation of wells, especially those drilled for exploration purposes.

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