Towards the later part of the 20thcentury, the oil industry has been looking for more safer and beneficial drilling methods, especially in deep waters. The high well/field costs pushed the need for attractive technologies which would optimize drilling. Also ever since the catastrophic events of April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil industry has been constantly scrutinized for the health and safety standards or rather the lack of it. The consequences of the blowout highlighted the need for improved kick detection and well control. In deepwater wells, there exists a narrow window between the fracture pressure and the pore pressure. This narrow margin poses a safety hazard both for the well and the crew operating on it. Drilling in these sort of fields require distinctive methodologies to achieve both objectives of safe and optimized drilling.
Thus one such method which would optimize drilling and improve well control is Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD). This has been defined as "an adaptive drilling process to accurately control the annular pressure profile throughout the well". This technique would create a pressure profile in the well to be within tolerance and close to the boundaries or limits controlled by the pore and fracture pressure.
For the understanding of kick detection, well control and circulation when MPD is being employed, a hypothetical well data with a narrow pressure window is selected and a kick is simulated to be controlled using MPD. The pump rate & mud density is studied and kick detection, well control and circulation is analyzed and interpreted. Obviously with the usage of the MPD tools and equipments during drilling, there would be a difference from conventional kick detection, which could probably be enhanced well control. MPD would thus, be able to properly manage any influxes from the formations thereby protecting the system and structure above and have a telling effect on the Non Productive Time (NPT).
This paper aim to differentiate the conventional and MPD method of kick circulation based on simulations of lost time and lost circulation. By obtaining the desired result, we can justify the usage of MPD in a narrow pressure window field/reservoir for improved kick detection, control and circulation and thus drilling optimization.