Managed-Pressure-Drilling Technology in Offshore HP/HT Gas/Condensate Fields

Fig. 1—MPD choke manifold rigged up on the main deck.

The paper discusses two gas/condensate-development projects offshore Vietnam that deploy managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) technology. Bien Dong POC in 2010 commenced planning for the Bien Dong 1 high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) gas/condensate-development project. The Bien Dong 1 development is a complex HP/HT project ranking as one of the most difficult and challenging projects of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. The second project covered by this paper is the gas‑condensate development for Cuu Long JOC.


The Bien Dong drilling team decided to deploy MPD technology in the planning phase of the development drilling and mobilized it for the first well drilled in the project. This decision was made because of the very low kick-and-loss margin and potential for ballooning and kick events, given the very high pore pressure. The frequency of well-control incidents can be higher in HP/HT wells; MPD enables easier control of kicks with the automated choke manifold.

A semisubmersible tender assist rig is being used to drill all the current development wells; it is the largest of its type in the world and incorporates a quad mast. The MPD equipment was integrated into the rig on a flexible “plug-and-play” basis.

The Cuu Long JOC wells, drilled from a cantilever jack-up over the platform, had somewhat different drivers, given that a number of wells in this field had previously encountered challenges that MPD could mitigate. These included low rates of penetration and fracture-induced losses because of the equivalent-circulating-density (ECD) effect. Managing the ECD became the main driver as experience was gained with MPD.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 171429, “The Deployment of Managed-Pressure-Drilling Technology To Assist in the Development of Offshore HP/HT Gas/Condensate Fields in Vietnam: Planning, Engineering, and Implementation,” by Ben Gedge, Tan Chai Yong, Jordan Rao, Harpreet Kaur Dalgit Singh, Joseph Oracion, and Bao Ta Quoc, Weatherford; Nguyen Viet Bot, PVD Well Services; Nam Hong Tran, Tri Le Tran Minh, Richard Buitenhuis, and Lich Tran Dai, Bien Dong POC; and Alan E. Wittry, Peter Malpas, Aldric Beaugeois, Nhieu Nguyen Huu, and Nguyen Van Que, Cuu Long JOC, prepared for the 2014 SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Adelaide, Australia, 14–16 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Managed-Pressure-Drilling Technology in Offshore HP/HT Gas/Condensate Fields

01 February 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 2


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