The Bela Well is situated on Makran accretionary prism with several active mud volcanoes that makes conventional drilling challenging due to the extremely high pore pressure i.e. in excess of 15,000 psi and a very narrow window between pore pressure and fracture pressure. This adverse condition was observed in the 9 offset wells drilled within this basin with problems related to wellbore instability, lost-circulation zones and over-pressured formations leading to kick/loss well control scenarios that resulted in the well being abandoned prior to reaching the geological target.

The constraint to drill the planned and 8-3/8" section in the well was the unpredictability of the pore/fracture pressure in the Panjgur formation representing a high-level operational risk. Solutions to tackle such a high pressure well included incorporating heavy grade casing i.e. 9-7/8"- 72 ppf in the planning stage, utilization of a 3000 HP rig to cater to extreme axial and hydraulic loads. Whereas MPD was planned as a technique to cater to the narrow window between pore pressure and fracture pressure.

A managed pressure drilling (MPD) system was utilized to enable drilling the 8-3/8" hole section. An MPD system that applies constant bottom hole pressure enabled drilling the section with statically underbalanced mud weight by keeping a constant surface back pressure to prevent any influx. The drilling window for MPD was validated by determining the Bottom Hole Pressure where both, an influx from the formation and fluid losses occurred. These values were later used to establish the target Equivalent Circulating Density-ECD to drill the hole accordingly. Trips for BHA change or BOP test were performed by placing a pressurized mud cap in the wellbore.

This paper describes in detail the successful MPD application resulted in the first well being drilled in the Makran accretionary prism to a depth of 5000 m. Lessons learned and challenges encountered will also be discussed in this paper

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