The operator controlled losses and a significant salt water kick in a deep gas well using a new dual-action lost-circulation material after fighting losses for 10days. Severe losses were experienced while drilling the Miocene age (Qwassim and Sidi Salim) formations in the Nile Delta region of Egypt. The mud weight was increased to 15.3+ ppge based on pore pressure response until losses started to occur. The losses got beyond 150 bph which hampered operations to drill ahead. Several attempts to cure losses with various commonly used lost circulation formulations were not successful and the choice was either to run casing earlier than planned and compromise the final hole size or attempt a new approach to controlling losses.

This paper will discuss the new approach applied in controlling lost circulation. It involves the use of a "dual-action LCM" that contains multiple-sized particles to enhance fracture tip screenout, along with a synthetic polymer that hydrates in water. When mixed with fresh water and spotted downhole, the polymer can swell up to 400 times its original size. The effectiveness of such treatments help alleviate a lot of the industry troubles by addressing revenue loss from huge mud losses and the non-productive time spent with the rig not drilling ahead.

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