Drilling in Colombian foothills have been a big challenge since BP drilled on this area in 1987, currently operating by Ecopetrol S.A foothill implementing innovative well design and new technologies. This basin has been characterized by its complex geological conditions, structure full of faults and high stresses that make drilling operation a big challenge.

New well construction engineering based on thorough offset wells and NPT events analysis in addition to the implementation of lessons learned from previous wells in the area, combined with state-of-the-art rotary steerable system have changed the way of drilling in Colombian foothills field overcoming all the challenges faced in the past.

To achieve this success, the following approach was followed:

  • Concatenate well profile to balance dogleg severity to minimize tortuosity to allow running the casing smoothly

  • Innovative well design to achieve exploration objectives in Cupiagua XD45, a well drilled by Ecopetrol S.A. in 2022.

  • BHA optimization including state-of-the-art rotary steerable system to enhance the drilling performance.

  • Transient finite element simulation for 12 ¼" × 14 ¾" section to determine optimum rotary steerable BHA and underreamer cutting structure configuration to achieve smooth drilling condition and borehole quality.

This integrated approach allowed to:

  • Optimize well trajectory design process achieving lower and concatenated dogleg severities driven by formation dips bedding to avoid wellbore instability problems

  • Optimum BHA design and stabilization to minimize stuck probability and assure an optimal BHA dynamic while drilling the well

  • Minimize borehole tortuosity using last generation of RSS system to achieve smooth borehole quality enhancing tripping, drilling, and running the surface casing and intermediate liner, improve drilling, tripping and casing run performance.

  • Simulation and technical analysis to choose the proper bit profile and design correct underreamer’s cutters to run on 12 ¼" × 14 ¾" section to deliver good wellbore quality and allow smooth 11 ¾" × 11 7/8" liner.

This new well construction engineering approach represent an effective solution to overcome Andean foothill challenges achieving optimum borehole quality and improving drilling performance in complex drilling environment by incorporating state-of-the-art RSS

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