Extended-Reach Drilling (ERD) with narrow pressure margin or uncertain geo-pressure is a challenge with respect to accurate pressure control. The back-pressure Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) method has been widely used in drilling operations with the aim of controlling annulus pressure within safe bounds, and may also be applicable for ERD wells. However, the ability to control the pressure accurately is limited by several factors. Some of which are related to back-pressure MPD operations in general and some of which are more specific to ERD wells. In this paper a study is presented on how pressure control is affected and sometimes limited by the actual data availability and quality, equipment, hydraulic models, control algorithms, and downhole conditions during an MPD operation in an ERD well. By using a transient well flow model, the theoretically obtainable MPD performance can be simulated. In particular, the benefit by utilizing real-time downhole pressure measurements transmitted by a wired drill pipe is demonstrated by simulations. It is shown quantitatively how variations in sensor delay and bandwidth will influence the ability to control downhole pressure accurately in an ERD well.

Benefit by this approach is a more accurate prediction of what is obtainable with MPD and how various factors may influence the ability to control downhole pressure.

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