Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) is an enabling technology that is highly sought after in the drilling industry in recent years. MPD is generally associated with narrow pressure windows, i.e., staying between either pore pressure (Pp) or formation stability and fracture pressure (Fp). However, operators are starting to realize MPD has a broader range of application, beyond navigating narrow pressure windows and other traditional applications such as Dual Gradient Drilling and Pressurized MudCap Drilling.

Over the past couple of years, MPD's range of application has increased, as can be seen from the examples presented in this paper. New offshore and onshore MPD projects in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), North Sea, North America, South America, Africa and Europe are being designed for objectives like improving Rate of Penetration (ROP), reducing formation invasion, validation of pore pressure data, reducing incidents of stuck pipe and mitigating the effects of differential sticking, reducing ballooning or hole breathing and minimizing Non-Productive Time (NPT).

MPD is not a universal solution or panacea and improper application of the technique may ultimately cost more than conventional drilling methods. However, with comprehensive planning and execution by experienced engineers, MPD can help actualize project objectives that otherwise might be impossible with conventional techniques.

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