Abstract

The rapid development of unconventional energy plays such as shale oil & gas necessitates "assembly line" approach to well construction and completion technologies. Due to very high number of wells being drilled to explore such promising resources, novel approach to optimize well construction process is necessary. This requires an industrial engineering approach to not only remove non-productive time out of the assembly process, but also drive out the invisible flat time and unrealized inefficiencies of the manufacturing process. This paper will discuss the application MPD to maximize drilling efficiency by optimizing drilling parameters to minimize Mean Specific Energy (MSE) for drilling.

Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) techniques have gained industry wide acceptance for drilling technically challenging prospects and also helping to minimize risks associated with well control and lost circulation hazards. The well construction process in shale plays might be perceived as more benign than some of the challenging environments such as deep-water. However application of MPD to maximize drilling efficiency in shale plays can minimize cost by reducing the field development time.

MPD has been shown to reduce the drilling time by almost 50% through the elimination of known and unknown drilling inefficiencies. Overall drilling performance is impacted through the inherent ability of MPD to quickly identify and control any pressure events and continue drilling versus spending costly time fighting down hole problems. MPD also significantly impacts performance through the optimization of parameters such as mud weight and Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD).

MSE has been a great tool to quantify drilling efficiency. Effect of different drilling parameters such as mud weight, weight on bit and torque on MSE will be discussed. Application of MPD has significant impact on MSE during drilling. This paper will describe how the use of MPD on shale developments, along with other unconventional developments improves the overall drilling efficiency hence allowing for quicker & safer well construction and field development. It will also investigate the added benefit of MPD improving field production through better understanding of productive zones and fracture identification.

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