Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) has gained industry-wide acceptance as a technology that enables drilling into the challenging zones. Narrow pore pressure – fracture pressure window, depleted reservoir zones, highly fractured reservoirs and deep-water wells are few examples of such challenges. Weatherford’s MPD system has proved its effective application in drilling challenging wells. Its unique early kick and loss detection capability helps to identify such event in very early stage, take corrective action and hence to minimize the nonproductive time. Early detection of a kick / loss event helps in minimizing the potential risk posed by the event and ensure safety during the operations.
Weatherford’s advanced gas extraction and analysis system uses an innovative membrane technology and high speed gas chromatograph to improve surface gas detection and analysis in real time. This capability was utilized in conjunction with accurate flow metering capability of MPD system. Various tests were carried out to validate the advanced gas detection system’s capability to detect and analyses gas in mud. During circulation of the influx, data from gas detection system helped to plan the strategy gas on the surface. The test data was validated by the data from real wells.
Feedback from the advanced gas detection system also helped to control the break out of the dissolved gas from oil based mud by varying surface back pressure through automated chokes. This is very critical to ensure that gases containing hydrocarbons are handled safely on the surface. It also provided quantitative analysis of the lighter and hence volatile hydrocarbon components. Circulation rates and surface back pressure can be used to mitigate potential hazards. Use of advanced gas extraction system in combination with MPD system added significant HSE value by making well control operations more efficient and safer.