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Managed Pressure Drilling—Niche Technology
or the Future of Drilling?

20 – 25 October 2013:: Vilamoura, Portugal


About this forum

Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD), which has its roots in Underbalanced Drilling (UBD) technology, has been growing steadily since its inception a decade ago. UBD, despite its long history, has remained a niche technology for some operators—will the same happen with MPD?

Managed Pressure Drilling offers some compelling advantages compared to conventional drilling, especially the ability to quickly map the downhole drilling pressure environment and rapidly respond to unknown pore pressures. In addition to maintaining constant bottomhole pressure, MPD allows drilling closer to pore pressure (‘walking the line’) which increases drilling rates and reduces non-productive time associated with higher overbalance pressures. In some cases, where the pore pressure/fracture gradient window is sufficiently narrow, drilling by any other means becomes impossible.

Despite these advantages there are still significant disadvantages with this technology, especially as this is still seen as a novel way of drilling to many people and requires different procedures and equipment. In addition, the perception that it involves extra cost, equipment and people (requiring justification from a cost/benefit perspective) and justifying the value of reduction of non-productive time (NPT) and any production enhancement is difficult.

The benefit of drilling with a ‘closed’ system is still not clear from a risk perspective and despite the fact that the safety record of this technology is good, many people consider drilling with, for example, a statically underbalanced drilling fluid, to be more risky than conventional drilling.

This forum will evaluate how participants, as industry leaders, should work together to change the MPD industry in the future. It is an opportunity to network, exchange ideas, and build consensus, bringing together like-minded professionals so that they can collaborate to shape the future.

What is a Forum?

SPE forums are unique, by-invitation-only SPE events that bring together top technologists, innovators, and managers to address a specific industry challenge. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to contribute their experience and knowledge, rather than be spectators or students.

The objective is to create a collaborative, idea-generating arena that stimulates new ideas and innovation about future challenges facing the E&P industry.

Who Should Participate

The forum is a limited-attendance meeting for up to 75 people, designed for professionals in the oil and gas industry interested in the development and application of technologies to enhance the drilling process. The forum is aimed at people whose principal job falls into any of the following categories:

  • Academics
  • Petroleum Engineers and Managers
  • Regulators
  • Research and Development Managers
  • Rig Manufacturers and Designers
  • Well Engineers and Managers
  • Well Product Line Managers
  • Well Technology Engineers and Managers

These exciting topics will be discussed in an open setting designed for optimal input from all participants.

Benefits to You and Your Organisation

  • Gain insight and perspective through conversations with peers who share your interests.
  • Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of learning through one-on-one interaction.
  • Meet with other experts from international companies, research institutes, and universities in an off-the-record format.
  • Form professional relationships that will continue after the forum has ended.

Forum Guidelines

The following will prepare attendees for what to expect when attending a forum:

  • Participants are expected to attend every session.
  • Slides are limited, allowing maximum time for informal discussions and exchange of experience.
  • Forums are conducted off the record to support the free interchange of information and ideas.
  • Extensive note-taking is not allowed.
  • Recording of any forum session is prohibited.
  • Information disclosed at a forum may not be used publicly without the originator’s permission.
  • Participants are requested to omit reference to forum proceedings in any subsequent published work or oral presentation.
  • A written summary may be prepared and distributed to attendees after the forum with unanimous attendee agreement and at the discretion of the steering committee and SPE approval.
  • No commercialism.