Since the spudding of the first well in the Burgan Field in 1937, continuous improvements have been made in the drilling of wells in Kuwait. This paper will address the drilling optimization performance that has occurred during the development of the deeper high pressured formations.
Continued optimization performance in the deeper high pressured wells has proved to be the greatest challenge as a result of the adverse geological environment that has had to be addressed while drilling. This adverse geological environment consists of salt/anhydrite sections where formation pressure nearly equals fracture strength, pressure reversals, highly fractured thief zones and the presence of H2S.
While there was some earlier deep drilling in Kuwait, development of the deeper high pressured horizons began in earnest in the early to mid 80's and is still ongoing. Four major field studies will be addressed in the paper which encompasses the majority of the deeper high pressure drilling activity. The inherent problems that had to be overcome, the solutions that were found and the problems still to be faced will be depicted in this paper.
Abduliyah Field drilling has improved by a reduction of 77% in drilling days over a 12 year period. Magwa Field drilling has improved by a reduction of 58% in drilling days over a 10 year period. Minagish Field drilling has improved by a reduction of 74% in drilling days over a 14 year period. Umm Gudair Field drilling has improved drilling by a reduction of 72% in drilling days over a 13 year period. Total well depths for the above fields has ranged from 11800' to 16800’
Improvements which will be detailed in this paper will include well design changes, methods dealing with lost returns, mud cap drilling, bit optimization, and others.