Abstract

Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) dynamic influx control techniques offer substantial advantages over conventional well control, including reduced influx size, and the ability to control and circulate an allowable influx without requiring conventional methods. With careful planning and execution, MPD dynamic influx control can yield considerable increases in safety and efficiency.

Many issues with conventional well control, particularly in deepwater operations, can be mitigated or even eliminated using dynamic influx control. Notably, conventional methods passively rely on the influx to increase wellbore pressure sufficiently to balance reservoir pressure, resulting in needlessly large influx volumes. In contrast, MPD methods quickly detect and actively apply pressure to control an influx in a fraction of the volume.

Furthermore, conventional influx removal methods are typically slow, leading to drawn out well control events with high likelihood of further complication, such as stuck pipe and secondary influxes. Conversely, using dynamic influx control, an allowable influx may be controlled and removed from the wellbore in a few hours, not days.

In this work, methods that address concerns with current well control practices through application of dynamic influx control are outlined. In addition, transient, multiphase simulation is used to demonstrate comparison between dynamic influx control and conventional well control, clearly quantifying potential benefits of adopting these new methods.

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