Detection and control of gas kicks in OBM/SBM while drilling through narrow pore - fracture windows has always been a challenge due to gas solubility and mud compressibility. Continuous closed loop monitoring of the well and automated early kick detection and control helps to keep the influx volume at a minimum before it reaches the "well control" threshold margin in the kick tolerance matrix.

This paper presents a case study and detailed analysis of the event through advanced simulations to examine the benefits of automated influx detection and control using MPD system in comparison to conventional well control method. In the case study, an automated MPD system successfully detected and controlled a gas influx in OBM while drilling onshore Western Canada. The analysis employed dynamic well control simulations to regenerate the event and a close match with the field data was achieved. A sensitivity analysis was then conducted to study the effect of total response time on pressures at the surface and at the casing shoe during the application of conventional Driller’s method of well control.

The findings from the study demonstrate how automated early kick detection and control minimizes influx volume and increases operational safety. The implementation of MPD system with such capabilities significantly reduces NPT by enabling influx circulation at full rate and eliminating the need for flow-check, BOP closure and operational delays inherent in conventional well control.

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