The Canadian SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) industry continues to grow with more wells being drilled in Alberta that cannot be mined. Drilling issues addressing low reservoir pressure, tight well spacing, highly pressurized steam injection, cap rock integrity and tight drilling windows are currently some of the challenges that are being faced today.

As the industry looks for a way to improve and mitigate both drilling and environmental issues, this paper presents a drilling solution on applying an automated MPD (Managed Pressure Drilling) technique proven to identify and react to the actual wellbore pressures. This can detect and control any gain and losses within liters, while still having the ability to maintain a CBHP (Constant bottom hole Pressure) while drilling through tight windows.

This document demonstrates the successful application of advanced automated MPD technologies on Suncor's Dover well close to Fort McMurray, Alberta and will also elaborate on recommended operational procedures, equipment set up and to process flow diagrams along with the analyzed graphical data. The results demonstrated a successful re-drill of a producer well within an over pressured reservoir induced by steam injection, by using near water density mud weights, minimizing mud losses, preventing any steam or bitumen intrusion by monitoring return density to surface while maintaining bottom hole pressure within a narrow operating window.

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