Saudi Arabia's first offshore high rate dry gas field has an over pressured reservoir. Successful pressure control during drilling required the use of barite in the water based drilling mud. Barite is very abrasive and is insoluble in any acid or solvent. Any barite left in the reservoir due to mud losses has to be produced back to surface after completing the wells. This cleanup is crucial for the safety and longevity of permanent facilities, especially when high rate gas wells are involved; due to the high rate of impact of any solids that may be produced with the gas. It is also critical to design the cleanup job carefully to ensure proper equipment and safety measures are taken to avoid washouts and related safety hazards.

To ensure solids free production from day one, a procedure was implemented and successfully executed during the development of this first offshore high rate high-pressure sour gas field. This was achieved by using the rig as a main support and complementing the safety with the incorporation of the selected Solids Management System. In addition to the proper equipment, a detailed cleanup procedure, which covered systematic production ramp up and defined solids free criteria, was implemented. The added value and safety from having the rig on location during well cleanups is the expertise to kill the well in case of any well control problems. So far, this well cleanup setup and program has been implemented on 14 wells on three platforms with minor erosion and no safety issues. One platform with five wells is already producing and is flowing trouble free. This paper will describe the details of the setup of the rig facilities to clean these barite laden fluids from the wells, and the solids control equipment used and the cleanup procedure.

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