Drilling engineering design tools have been used to investigate torque/drag behaviour, tubular buckling in highly inclined and horizontal wells and casing wear susceptibility. Used in concert or separately, these drilling simulators are useful tools for the design of extended reach and horizontal wells. Work to date has proven the use of these computer programs in the field. This paper addresses the application of these drilling engineering tools for horizontal wells. Their application and effectiveness is illustrated in the planning of the the North Sea's first horizontal well drilled from a floating vessel. Furthermore, their use in the pre-planning of developments is discussed, with emphasis placed on developing a strategy to identify the mechanical limitations of horizontal drilling.

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