The Rita gas field was the first dual lateral well aimed at carboniferous reservoirs drilled in the UK Southern North Sea. This method enabled both the East and West fault segments of the field to be produced from the same upper well bore, thus reducing drilling costs and improving field economics. An invert emulsion drilling fluid was chosen for this field application due to the risk of shale instability over the long horizontal sections of each wellbore.

The West segment was drilled and suspended with a whipstock placed above the sand screen completion. The positioning of this whipstock would not allow for re-entry, making remediation of the West lateral impractical. A remediation treatment for this leg was required as the planned suspension fluid was an invert emulsion system that would be in contact with the completion screens and reservoir for more than a month whilst the East leg was drilled and completed. The chosen suspension fluid in the East leg removed the requirement for remediation with enhanced well productivity. This paper describes the design and testing of the reservoir drilling and suspension/completion fluids that were used on this multi-lateral project to minimise drilling time and maximise productivity.

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