Surface BOP: Testing and Completing Deepwater Wells Drilled With a Surface BOP Rig
- David L. Mason (Shell International Ltd.) | Curtis L. Wilie (Power Well Services) | Wade Tharp (Shell Intl. E&P Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 2005
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 54 - 61
- 2005. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference
- 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 1.7 Pressure Management, 2.2.2 Perforating, 3.3 Well & Reservoir Surveillance and Monitoring, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.7.5 Well Control, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.5.7 Controls and Umbilicals, 1.6.10 Running and Setting Casing, 4.5.10 Remotely Operated Vehicles, 4.2.4 Risers, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 2 Well Completion, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.1 Hydrates
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Many deepwater-development projects in operators' portfolios require lowercosts to meet internal economic thresholds.Because of this, Shell haslooked at extending surface-blowout-preventer (BOP) activities to include welltesting and completion techniques for deepwater wells in conjunction withsurface-BOP drilling.
The cost advantages of surface-BOP-drilled wells have been demonstrated(notably in the Far East), but the recent surface-BOP-drilled well in Brazil isa milestone in terms of extending the applicability to deeper water and harsherenvironments.The enabling technology has been the subsea isolation device(SID).Testing and completion techniques have been developed to becompatible with surface-BOP wells drilled with an SID.
This paper focuses on the following aspects:
•Well testing using surface-BOPs from a moored rig and
•Well completions using surface-BOPs from a moored rig.
Shell has developed a testing configuration to carry out a DST, essentiallyusing standard equipment. The well-testing equipment configuration is currentlyready for use and has been run in a subsea-BOP well.
In completion operations, the availability of a high-pressure (HP) riserdoes not add significant complexity and even actually simplifies some of thecompletion activities.Conceptual studies and early hazard/riskassessments have shown there are no obvious "showstoppers," and the duration ofa surface-BOP-rig completion is expected to be very similar to a subsea-BOP-rigcompletion.
This paper describes the results of the conceptual studies, early hazardassessment exercises used to define the basic design parameters, and moredetailed hazop studies.
As deepwater exploration and development move into even deeper water andmore arduous environments, operators are looking at ways to reduce well coststo make prospects and developments economically more attractive.One ofthe key avenues seen to do this is to accomplish drilling, testing, andcompleting wells by use of smaller deepwater rigs, consequently resulting in areduction in rig rates.Surface-BOP technology facilitates the deploymentof smaller rigs in deeper water, thus lowering day rates, well costs, andfield-development costs.
To date, most ultradeepwater wells (in which water depth is greater than5,000 ft) have been executed using the latest generation of new or converteddrilling vessels (these will be referred to as "Generation V" rigs).Over150 subsea wells in varying water depths have now been executed with floatingrigs with surface-BOPs in locations around the world.In 1967, asemisubmersible rig (Sedco-135) was used to drill a subsea well by use ofsurface-BOPs offshore Nigeria in EA-3.Since then, a number of operatorshave pioneered the use of surface-BOPs with moored rigs in the benignenvironmental conditions of the Far East.Shell has recently usedsurface-BOPs on a Generation V dynamically positioned (DP) rig to extend the7,500-ft-water-depth capability of the rig—drilling a deepwater explorationwell in 9,474 ft of water offshore Brazil.1 The trend is to take this techniqueand apply it in a number of deepwater-operating areas with older Generation IIIand IV rigs that were not specifically built for deepwater operation.Thispaper outlines the well-testing and well-completion approaches that are plannedto meet these challenges.
The overall surface-BOP system will be described followed by the descriptionof well-testing and well-completion methodologies.It should be noted thatthese methodologies are continuously worked on and refined; once actualexperience is gained, they will, of course, change and be furtheroptimized.
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1.Mitchell, C.G. et al.: "Drilling in Brazil in 2887-m WaterDepth Using a Surface BOP System and a DP Vessel," paper IADC/SPE 87113presented at the 2004 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, 2-4 March.
2.Brander, G., Taklo, T., and Magne, R.: "Risk Management Process forUltradeepwater Surface BOP Operations From a DP Drilling Rig," paperIADC/SPE 87112 presented at the 2004 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, 2-4March.
3.Newman, T. et al.:"Surface BOP : Equipment Developmentfor Extending the Water Depth Capability of a DP Semisubmersible to 10,000 Ftand Beyond," paper IADC/SPE 87109 presented at the 2004 IADC/SPE DrillingConference, Dallas, 2-4 March.
4.Demong, K., Rivenbark, M., and Mason, D.: "Breakthroughs Using Solid ExpandableTubulars to Construct Extended Reach Wells ," paper IADC/SPE 87209presented at the 2004 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, 2-4 March.