Kuwait Oil Company has embarked on an ambitious project of drilling development wells to exploit the Najmah-Sargelu and Middle Marrat reservoirs at depths of 14,000 to 17,000 ft. These Jurassic formations consist of layered shales and limestones, which can be heavily fractured and highly pressured. The wells drilled to these prospects are very challenging because of HPHT conditions, narrow pore/fracture pressure windows, and high levels of H2S and CO2.

During drilling and production high concentrations of H2S and CO2 have been recorded. Given the strategic importance of these gas prospects, a study was undertaken into the metallurgy of materials planned for these production wells. With high levels of toxic gases and HP conditions, the severity of sour service was evaluated to be within the most severe area when referencing NACE standards. Dependent on well bore fluid and onset of any water production, Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) and Weight Loss Corrosion could occur leading to material failure and lost production. After this study, the use of CRA materials was recommended in future wells to counter these challenges.

The application of CRA for down hole tubular and surface wellhead equipment has gained wide acceptance in sour fluid service in recent years especially in HPHT wells. CRA usage has increased to; eliminate intensive corrosion inhibition programs, reduce maintenance costs and enhance safety. Considering the key parameters influencing corrosion properties of CRA (temperature, partial pressure of H2S and CO2, pH environment, chloride concentrations), it was decided to specify the use of 28 Cr CRA material for these Jurassic gas wells. This paper will discuss the initial study of the material metallurgy, the well design, the specification of tubulars and wellhead, special procedures necessary to run these exotic materials plus details of actual operations in the first wells.

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