Extended reach and highly deviated wellbores are becoming more and more commonplace in the oil and gas industry, bringing with them a host of challenges related to many aspects of the well construction process. Multilateral wells are an excellent example of this situation due to the doglegs formed when milling and drilling side tracks, the deviation of the hole, and the necessity of getting equipment to bottom and setting weight down to set and operate that equipment, especially during casing exits. Advanced technology has been developed to drill multilateral wells, but even this equipment can run up against its limitations in extremely challenging wells as operators continue to push the technology envelope. It is in these scenarios that combining technologies can provide the solution to safely and successfully manage downhole operations like casing exits and the drilling and completion of multilateral and extended reach wells.

Such technology combinations can have a significant effect, not only on the ability to achieve far reaching targets, but also on the well construction time required and therefore the overall operational costs. In this paper the authors will focus on the combination of technologies to create multilateral wells in Extended Reach Well (ERW) scenarios where excessive torque and drag effects can adversely impact:

  • Torque and weight while milling – associated with sidetracks through cased hole.

  • Getting tools to target depth.

  • Getting the loads at depth that are required to activate, set or release equipment downhole.

They will review a hollow whipstock multilateral system and sub-based torque and drag reduction tools and present case studies of wells drilled successfully with these technologies, including the creation of the worlds’ deepest known horizontal casing exit.

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