Access to previously unattainable offshore drilling targets continues to expand through advancements in Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) and Dynamic Annular Pressure Control (DAPC) technologies since their first application on the Mars TLP in 2005. Shell Exploration & Production Company successfully executed a second MPD operation, eliminating lost circulation and hole instability risks by utilizing a DAPC system on the Auger TLP.

Redevelopment drilling in maturing deepwater fields is challenged by high circulating density (ECD) and depletion induced fracture gradient (FG) reduction for intervals that still require original mud weights (MW) for borehole stability. The DAPC system provides automated control of surface applied annular backpressure to the wellbore to a specified bottom hole pressure (BHP) set point. This allowed drilling on the Auger TLP with a surface mud weight lower than required by conventional drilling, effectively reducing the ECD magnitude on the open hole.

The well design will be discussed, along with the equipment, methods, planning, preparation and training to successfully execute MPD offshore. Execution results and key learnings will be summarized.

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