Although Extended Reach Wells (ERW) have recently reached limits that would not even be dreamed a few years ago, most of those wells were drilled from onshore locations. Even though there are some experiences offshore, they are related to wells drilled on shallow waters from fixed platforms.

In Brazil, where the major oil field producers are located in deep waters, ERW may be in some cases the only technical and economical viable solution to the development of such fields. ERW, besides minimizing problems related to fluid flow, will also diminish the cost of development in large extension fields by reducing the number of production units per field. Also it may be the mandatory option in case of development of a large field by means of using a dry completion system (a TLP for example).

To drill ERW in deep water from a floating vessel such as a semi-submersible rig or a drill ship, is much more complex than performing the same job onshore. In Campos basin, Brazil, some of the problems that may be faced when drilling ERW in deep water fields are the presence of very unstable formations and small sedimentary coverage above the reservoir.

Due to studies indicating the feasibility of the use of ERW to develop oilfields in that basin, an R&D project was created aiming to develop techniques and operational procedures to be used when drilling those wells. Main tasks of the project were:

  • Well planning;

  • Wellbore stability;

  • Horizontal completion and sand control;

  • Drilling and completion fluids;

  • Cuttings transport.

This paper shows which methodology was used to manage the project and also some results and benefits obtained.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.