Primary drilling challenges related to the Greater Natural Buttes (GNB) field involve lost circulation, gas influxes, and the constant challenges related to accelerating a program in its mature stages of development. The majority of production is derived from naturally fractured tight sandstone members of the Wasatch formation and Mesaverde groups of the Tertiary & Cretaceous periods, which are the drilling targets of concern.

Through the utilization of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) a decrease in cycle times and a possible increase in production in the GNB field have been observed. The decrease in cycle times can be directly attributed to higher ROP, mitigated gas influxes, and minimized lost circulation management. Continuing research of how the effect of MPD has subsequently contributed to decreasing near wellbore damage and potentially increasing overall production is being conducted.

This paper will quantify the benefit MPD has yielded through ROP advancements, tool life length, mud cost & material reduction, and time related to lost circulation & gas influx management. This paper will also detail our MPD procedures, and take a look at how the effects of a more balanced state between wellbore and formation pressure possibly yields better production related to decreased drilling related invasion.

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