The growing interest in deepwater exploration drilling in the Asia Pacific region has resulted in the first exploration wells being drilled in the deepwater area's of South East Asia. As these deepwater exploration wells were being drilled, the first well control issues associated with kicks and losses in the carbonate formations have also been encountered. Over 200 wells have been drilled to date in South East Asia using managed pressure drilling techniques. MPD technologies are now routinely used on floating rigs to solve the loss kick scenario's encountered in the fractured carbonates, the use of MPD equipment in deepwater (+400m) operations provides a number of additional technical challenges that are now also being addressed.

This paper provides an overview of the current MPD applications and techniques used from floating rigs. The paper then highlights the unique challenges that are associated with the implementation of managed pressure drilling in a deepwater environment. In the near future as reserves are discovered and developed in the deepwater carbonate reservoirs, solutions to the drilling challenges will have to be found to allow commercial development of these deepwater reserves in the Asia Pacific Region.

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