Abstract

The Troll field in Norway is a large gas field with a thin oil column. The thin oil column requires the wells to be drilled as long horizontal oil producers and development of the field has relied entirely on water based drilling fluids. As the pressure in the reservoir is depleting there is a requirement to reduce the density of the drilling fluid used to avoid losses. The latest development that is described in this paper is the design and implementation of a reservoir drill-in fluid with a maximum density of 1,07 SG, which at the same time maintains all the technical requirements necessary to avoid formation damage. The laboratory evaluation and verification was performed together with the operator to ensure no operational problems arose from changing to a new system. New technology was introduced to allow for clay inhibition without the use of salt to reduce the density of the base fluid. Bridging was optimized to match the requirements for the high permeability reservoir with minimum concentrations of solids. Product selection was driven by the need to ensure minimum formation damage. The initial field trial and the resulting implementation on subsequent wells and different rigs are described. The difference in performance related to other types drilling fluid systems is discussed. In addition, the effect of the differences in solids control equipment and storage capacity on different rigs is evaluated.

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