Procedures for top-hole drilling should emphasize the maintenance of hydrostatic control of the well. Crew and rig safety, together with environmental protection, are the most important factors used both in the design of drilling procedures and in choosing among alternative drilling methods. This paper discusses the detailed engineering design of operating procedures, seismic interpretation, selection and maintenance of equipment, contingency planning, and crew training that are key elements to successfully drilling offshore in areas prone to have shallow gas.

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