This paper examines the progression of drilling performance in the top sections of offshore wells within the Arab Gulf region. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of well trajectory design, drill bit selection, directional bottomhole assembly (BHA) configurations, mud systems, and the application of advanced drilling optimization techniques. In the offshore fields under study, the top section typically involves drilling through formations at a range of depths with moderate inclinations. Despite the relatively straightforward technological requirements, such as using motor BHA in combination with rock bits and sea water as the base fluid, this section presents significant operational challenges.

Drilling Evolution in the Top Section Offshore Arabian Gulf

The initial drilling approach in these wells, characterized by frequent total losses and execution complications, led to considerable inefficiencies. Key challenges included dealing with anti-collision risks, managing complex geophysical dynamics, and addressing issues arising from soft formation drilling, such as lack of directional control and frequent stuck pipe incidents. The use of sea water as a mud system added to these complications, particularly in deeper sections where its inability to effectively transport cuttings increased the risk of pack-offs.

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