The utilization of managed pressure drilling (MPD) techniques has grown significantly over the past three years in the Russian Federation. This paper describes the application of MPD surface back pressure technique using both single and multiphase drilling fluid systems in several oil and gas fields located in Russia.

The Komi Republic is one of the biggest oil and gas producing areas in the European part of Russia and among Russia's top ten producers. Although the Yurkharovskoye oil and gas condensate field in Western Siberia is in the Tazov Peninsula, most of the field is situated offshore. That part of the field is developed from onshore locations using horizontal and extended reach development wells. In Eastern Siberia, the Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye field is one of the biggest oilfields and presents highly fractured carbonates. Each field presents a different challenge and requires a specific approach.

The application of MPD technology improved drilling performance and helped avoiding non-productive time. Utilization of reduced mud weight with MPD procedures using a semi-automated system helped reduce lost circulation and safely control background gas, thus avoiding well control events in the Lambeyshorkoye, Komandirshorkoye, and Alabushina fields. In the Yurkharovskoye field, a high-pressure, high-temperature well was successfully drilled to TD with application of a fully-automated MPD system, which facilitated precise control of bottomhole pressure during drilling, pumps-off events, and tripping operations. A multiphase MPD technique helped achieve planned TD in horizontal sections in Riphean formations of the Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye field without catastrophic fluid losses. By injecting oil-base mud with nitrogen, the equivalent circulating density (ECD) was drastically reduced, lowering the volume of losses up to 5 times. In addition, near balance conditions increased the ROP while drilling. The first ever multi-lateral well drilled with multiphase MPD was successfully completed on Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye field with minimal mud losses and no well control events.

This paper will present details about how MPD technology makes it possible to drill formations with narrow mud weight windows where traditional approach was ineffective. The application of MPD technology helped successfully drill wells while reducing non-productive time, improving performance, and increasing the safety for personnel.

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