Abstract

Dozens of deepwater wells have been drilled in western South China Sea with about 30 percent have characteristics of high temperature and high pressure, which brought a series of difficulties and challenges to field operations. After incorporating the analysis of engineering and geological environment for deepwater HTHP wells in Lingshui block of western South China Sea, it is suggested that the solution of drilling problems for deepwater HTHP wells should start from drilling fluid. Several major technical problems are required to be addressed by drilling fluid, such as co-exist of low temperature and high temperature that lead to difficulty of drilling fluid maintenance and narrow density margin caused by deepwater and high pressure. Based on the above problems, combining with geological features of HTHP wells, researchers developed a novel water based drilling fluid system compatible with deepwater HTHP wells in Lingshui block on the basis of conventional HEM drilling fluid and further optimization. It has been recently applied in three wells and as can be seen from the application results, this system greatly reduced the incidence of complex situations in deepwater HTHP wells and gives consideration to the conflict of high temperature and low temperature. It can also be compatible with temperature difference and increase holding pressure.

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