The entire range of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) applications (Traditional, Advanced, and Expanded) has continued to progress in the last few years, thanks to technological advances in equipment, software, and processes, along with changes in approach to solve complex drilling problems. Even though the term “MPD” was first coined in 2003, several of its variations have been tested and used in the industry for a very long period of time, dating back to as early as the 19th century. Until now, several MPD wells have been drilled for purposes and objectives ranging from ‘fighting narrow pressure windows’ to ‘pore-pressure prediction’, more so in the last decade.
However, the big question for any upcoming project always remains: “to MPD or not to MPD”. Even with all the advances in science and technology and increased availability of equipment and expertise, the industry still lacks a Candidate Identification Mechanism (CIM)/Candidate Selection Model (CSM) that is exclusively developed for MPD and its applications, and considers the engineering and economic aspects of the given project.
A new MPD CIM described in this paper provides a basic tool that takes into consideration the available engineering data and determines if MPD is a solution for the given project/field/well. This MPD CIM is a result of constant interaction between the petroleum industry and the Petroleum Engineering research program at Texas A&M University (TAMU). The candidate selection model and software, which comprehensively explain the MPD CIM, are supported by an MPD wells database and the TAMU research thesis.