The purpose of this paper is to address the key drivers and risks associated with the use of Applied Back Pressure Managed Pressure Drilling. One of the two key issues to understand early on is whether the well can be drilled statically overbalanced or needs to be drilled with a statically underbalanced fluid. The second issue to comprehend is the level of service needed to avoid compromising safety and well objectives. Answering these two questions defines the path to be followed for adequate planning.

Detailed planning aspects, such as flow modeling, crew training, operational procedures, process flow diagrams and HAZID / HAZOPs meetings are also described in this paper. By asking the ‘what if’ questions prior to operations, it should become apparent what additional surface equipment is required to safely and efficiently drill in MPD mode. Control of the ‘what if's should help to keep the planning and rig up both reasonable and cost effective.

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