This document presents the successful application of pro-active Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) to drill one section through three different sands; the one in the middle with a low fracture pressure, the lower sand with a formation pressure higher than the frac gradient of the weak formation. The wrong decision to apply MPD in a reactive way leads to NPT, influxes, mud losses and increased risks.

It is shown how the conventional procedures to drill and make the trips are replaced by tailored MPD procedures leading to successful results. The Client understands the high value of proactive MPD, not only to drill but also to during trips. The drilling commenced with a MW of 1.6 g/cc and after 100 m the MW was increased to 1.62 g/cc (it is a routine procedure in the field to increase the mud density prior to reaching the expected high pressure zones while drilling conventionally). Some meters after start drilling the low frac gradient sand total mud losses were observed. The MW was reduced from 1.62 to 1.52 g/cc and MPD was implemented in a proactive manner whereby the BHP was maintained constant. The big challenge was to control the well at all times avoiding a catastrophic condition.

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