This paper details how a major international operator was able to work directly with a Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) service provider during the global pandemic to mobilize to a deep water Tension Leg Platform (TLP) in the Gulf of Mexico in fewer than four weeks from notification to being operationally ready. Apart from the time crunch, the challenging part was achieving it virtually without face-to-face meetings or rig visit. The legacy hydraulically controlled MPD system used on the previous well had proven to be very challenging. It could not provide the desired precise control to maintain the annular pressures within the operational window, thus necessitating a change. Furthermore, the deck space limitations had significantly restricted the equipment that could be used to gain accurate pressure control.

Despite COVID, all the planning stages were performed, albeit virtually, and a compact modular electric servo choke MPD system was deployed, installed, and commissioned within four weeks from the initial discussions. The new MPD system, which replaced the legacy system, was successfully utilized on this project executing the constant bottom hole pressure (CBHP) MPD variations. It achieved bottom hole pressure (BHP) control within a 0.1 - 0.2 ppg operational window.

This paper will discuss how, operationally, this 1-man per shift MPD crew communicated with the rig and operator personnel, delivered accurate pressure control on connections, performed dynamic formation integrity tests (FITs), delivering flawless execution, and meeting the client's expectations. Global pandemic made big changes in our work, learning and interact with people with social distancing.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.