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SPE Managed Pressure Drilling, Underbalanced Drilling and Well Controls

23 – 26 February 2014

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa | Phuket, Thailand

About this workshop


Considerable advances have been made over the last two years in Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) technology that have resulted in increased application in deepwater and high pressure high temperature (HPHT) wells to enhance operational safety, well control, and efficiency. Underbalanced Drilling (UBD) has become the norm in tight and shale gas exploitation and development, as well as in some pressure depleted formations. MPD equipment and procedures are used to enhance well control with early kick detection and constant bottom hole pressure technology being applied on formations with narrow kick/loss margins. This applied technology workshop will review the most recent progress and technology developments, as well as the results from recent programmes and projects. MPD and UBD now have a global footprint in its application; hence, the workshop will focus not only on Asia Pacific, but globally.

MPD is defined by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) as a technique that accurately controls annular pressure while drilling and completing wells. MPD technologies require specifically designed fit-for-purpose equipment specifications and operational procedures, which can vary significantly (with some options having large cost implications) depending on project objectives.

Both UBD and MPD can be used to dramatically reduce well construction time, which in today’s high-rig-rate market is appealing to any exploration, appraisal, and field development team. In fractured carbonate formations, MPD is now considered a necessity, by many operators, as it increases drilling efficiency. Both UBD and MPD technologies can, to a greater or lesser extent, reduce or eliminate drilling-fluid-related formation impairment, and can dramatically reduce the high cost of mud loss, and non-productive time related to well control. They can also deliver a wide range of information (differing with UBD, MPD, and operations design) that can be used to optimise well designs and field development plans to reduce well numbers required to achieve similar recovery efficiencies.

Well control is very much in the forefront of well planning and execution today. MPD is not in itself primary well control, but can significantly enhance well control capability, especially in operations in deepwater and HPHT environments, as well as in fractured and karstified carbonates, where drilling fluid loss can be significant to total, and often with the result that hydrocarbons enter the wellbore at high rates.

This workshop will review the considerable advances made in the application and deployment of the technology over the last two years, and will be used to update the understanding of operators, drilling contractors, and service providers of the value delivered by all the aspects of MPD and UBD and their ability to enhance well control. The recent developments in MPD technology will be reviewed during the workshop in addition to the further development required to address the ever more challenging needs of the industry, particularly in deepwater and HPHT.

Focus and Objectives

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Equip management and engineering staff with options to reduce Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) risk, reduce well cost, reduce environmental impact, increase drilling efficiency and well productivity.
  • Provide an understanding on how MPD and UBD impacts primary well control issues and where the operation is handed over to secondary well control.
  • Ensure new equipment and service options that are available are understood and review equipment needs of the future.
  • Ensure that global issues associated with MPD/UBD/Well Control technology are understood, giving engineering and management staff better insight as to means of capturing and delivering value for their companies.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is primarily aimed at professionals in the oil, gas, geothermal, coal seam gas, and unconventional resources industries who are involved in design, implementation, operation and management of exploration, appraisal, or field development programmes. Reservoir, production, petrophysical, and drilling engineers working on onshore, offshore and deepwater and HPHT assets would benefit greatly from this workshop, as will rig designers and builders of the latest offshore units. Registrants will be encouraged to discuss their own case histories and experiences.

Workshop Guidelines


  • Proceedings will not be published; therefore, formal papers and handouts are not expected from speakers.
  • Work in progress, new ideas, and interesting projects are sought.
  • Professionally-prepared visual aids are not required; handwritten viewgraphs are entirely acceptable.
  • Note-taking by participants is encouraged. However, to ensure free and open discussions, no formal records will be kept.

Workshop Deliverables

  • The committee will prepare a full report containing the highlights of the workshop discussions. This report will be circulated to all attendees. A one-page summary will be prepared by the workshop cochairpersons, which will be posted on the SPE website, and published in the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT), if space permits. The copyright of the summary report will belong to SPE.
  • PowerPoint presentation materials will be posted on a specific SPE URL address after the workshop. Provision of the materials by the discussion leaders will signify their permission for SPE to do so.


In keeping with workshop objectives and the SPE mission, excessive commercialism in posters or presentations will not be permitted. Company logos must be limited to the title slide and used only to indicate the affiliation of the presenter and others involved in the work.

Attendance Certificate

All attendees will receive an attendance certificate attesting to their participation at the workshop. This certificate will be provided in exchange for a completed workshop questionnaire.

Continuing Education Units

This Workshop qualifies for SPE Continuing Education Units (CEU) at the rate of 0.1 CEU per hour of
the workshop.

Attendees’ Information

General and detailed accommodation information will be forwarded to registrants with the attendee package prior to the scheduled workshop in December 2013.

Dress Code

Casual clothing is recommended. The workshop atmosphere is informal.


Delegates are advised to book their international/domestic airline tickets early from their country/city to Phuket,Thailand. Further detailed transportation information will be available and included in the attendee package, which will be sent to registrants in December 2013.

All travellers to Thailand must be in possession of passports valid for at least six (6) months with proof of onward passage either return, or through  ticket. Visa requirements depend on country of origin. Please check with your travel agent or the Thai Embassy on regulations relating to immigration/visa before your departure.