The Shaybah oil field is a major oil-producing field for Saudi Aramco. The field has been extensively developed by exploiting horizontal drilling technology for the last two decades. A typical Shaybah well is a shallow extended reach drilling (ERD), fork-type multilateral, targeting the oil reservoirs in the Shu'aiba formation. Because of low reservoir permeability, drilling maximum reservoir contact (MRC) wells has been a needed practice in Shaybah field.

In a quest to maximize reservoir contact in the Shu'aiba formation, Saudi Aramco has adopted strategies to increase both the lateral section lengths and the number of laterals via ERD and deep openhole sidetracks. The main challenges that are faced drilling extended reach laterals and performing deep sidetracks are severe drilling dynamics experienced by downhole drilling equipment; causing considerable nonproductive time (NPT), and drill string strength and buckling limitations; preventing weight transfer to conventional steerable systems.

In SHYB-A, Saudi Aramco implemented new drilling technologies and procedures to manage the adverse drilling dynamics challenges, maximizing reservoir contact to new field records and extending the drilling envelope to record laterals and new horizons.

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