This paper was prepared for the 1972 Deep Drilling Symposium of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Amarillo, Texas, September 11–12, 1972. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon requested to the Editor of the appropriate journal, provided agreement to give proper credit is made.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers Office. Such discussions may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.

Abstract

Many deep well development drilling programs have now been in progress for ten years programs have now been in progress for ten years or more. During this time it has been necessary to modify previously existing drilling techniques and create new procedures in order to drill deep wells economically. Costs related to deep drilling have increased substantially during this period. As a result it is primarily through the use of improved technique primarily through the use of improved technique coupled with advancements in drilling equipment and materials that has enabled operators to these cost increases. Continual improvement mandatory in order to overcome the financial burden placed on the operator by constantly rising costs of materials and services.

Introduction

Deep well development drilling became reality almost ten years ago with the discovery of the Gomez field in Pecos County, Texas. The definition of deep drilling for the purpose of this presentation will be any well drilled below 20,000 feet. It is readily apparent that a revision of this definition will be necessary in the future.

During this ten year period of deep development drilling, it has been necessary to continually improve drilling equipment and techniques in order to economically develop the deep fields which have been discovered. Many techniques which are now utilized routinely were either not acceptable or unavailable ten years ago. The purpose of this paper is to point out the more purpose of this paper is to point out the more important refinements in drilling technique which are now acceptable to many operators.

DRILLING RIG EQUIPMENT

During this first decade of deep development drilling, changes made in the basic drilling rig which have improved operations have been relatively minor. It is commendable that the manufacturers and the contractors had rigs ready for deep drilling before the demand for such rigs became as evident as it is now. Of course, the rigs now drilling deep wells have been continually upgraded. Available horsepower has been increased on many rigs. This has been done primarily because of increased power requirements primarily because of increased power requirements for pumps. Mud pits are now larger in order to facilitate treating and maintaining the large volumes of drilling fluids necessary at depth.

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