Drilling applications and technology continue to improve as todays wells are more challenging than ever. One of the biggest challenges faced in the drilling industry is, understanding what happens downhole and how we can engineer the project to react to these changes. With technology advancements, new drilling software products are providing accurate and precise calculations in order to execute drilling projects successfully. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) Hydraulics software is one of the most complicated and difficult to precisely calculate the exact bottomhole pressure while drilling. There are lots of hydraulics software products in the market which were developed based on academic or scientific experiment and calculation methods. However, due to drilling fluid behaviors, it was difficult to calculate accurate bottomhole pressures in single phase High Pressure/High Temperature (HPHT) wells.

In Northern BC, Canada, while drilling a HPHT well using Managed Pressure Drilling technology along with Electromagnetic downhole pressure sensor tool, the bottomhole pressure data recorded from the tool and calculated from the MPD software were collected and analyzed for future reference. Wellbore Pressure data in HPHT wells are critical when it comes to drilling with tight pressure (Pore/Frac) windows. The well data analyzed was from 700m MD to 2,400m MD, observing that the BHP recordings were quite different from each other. The EM tool, which provides real pressure value from the downhole sensor along with well profile while drilling, was reading 6,845 kPa to 21,261 kPa. While the real-time MPD Hydraulics modeling software provided BHP calculations from 8,361 kPa to 25,430 kPa. At 2,400m MD during a trip the EM tool was laid down and re-calibrated, while the MPD hydraulics modeling was re-modelled in order to compare pressure values after the trip. After the calibration of the EM tool, from 2,400m MD to 3,400m MD both values began to trend together. The results observed at a specific depth, showed the EM MWD tool reading 25,239 kPa while the real-time MPD Hydraulics Modeling software was reading 25,430 kPa.

From the data analyzed, the observation was made that if computer software can be programmed accurately while incorporating appropriate scientific calculation methods, the results obtained will be accurate and precise based on the overall well conditions, conversely pressure sensors in the BHA could read incorrect results due to inaccurate calibration. This digital software product will also be capable of improving the overall drilling operation by aiding engineers to visualize the real-time downhole operation and manage the parameters.

This paper will present the bottomhole pressure data analysis between real-time MPD hydraulics modeling calculations as compared to EM MWD tool pressure sensor data. It will further include the detailed explanation of real-time MPD software visualization system benefits, along with real-time screen-shots from the actual HPHT drilling project and how the reliability of this software aided in calculating, monitoring, and controlling the overall downhole pressures.

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