Managed Pressure Drilling technology became popular and widespread in Western countries in the early 2000s and has long been successfully used for drilling complex wells onshore and offshore projects (for example in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and etc.) In Russia this technology has found its application relatively recently and still has never been used for offshore drilling.
This article describes the results of the first MPD offshore application in Russia for drilling an HTHP exploration well in the Caspian Sea. A fully automated MPD set with early kick detection system (EKD) and back pressure pump (BPP) was applied, allowing to control pressure and drilling fluid outflow besides drilling, during connections. The drilling conducted using reduced mud weight in «near balanced» conditions, which compared to conventional strategy sufficiently reduced formation overbalance and losses risk as well.
Specialized MPD tests used to determine formation and fracturing pressure limit in uncertainty geological conditions, optimizing core sampling drilling and mud roll-over strategy.