The success of recent applications in underbalanced drilling (UBD) and managed pressure drilling (MPD) has accelerated the development of technology in order to optimize drilling operations. The increased number of depleted reservoirs and the necessity for reducing formation damage has also increased the need to apply UBD/MPD to such candidate fields. Several methods used the latest mechanistic multiphase flow models in order to predict bottomhole circulation pressure when performing UBD/MPD operations. A new model is developed that utilizes the latest mechanistic multiphase flow models; the developed model calculates the bottomhole circulation pressure as a function of surface injection rates, choke pressure and time.

The developed model can be used in designing and optimizing UBD/MPD operations in terms of determining the correct injection rate and/or choke pressure. In addition, the developed model is used to utilize the reservoir energy to attain correct bottomhole conditions. The developed model in addition to utilizing the latest mechanistic models also reduce the error in calculating the bottom hole pressure by incorporating an algorithm in which the injection rates are calculated in-situ rather than assuming constant injection rates.

The model is validated against data from literature and against a commercial simulator. Results show that the developed algorithm has increased the accuracy in predicting bottomhole pressure by incorporating the changes in new gas and liquid injection rates.

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