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Field Development Projects

Managed-pressure drilling (MPD) is a relatively new technology, but its use is becoming more and more frequent in the industry.

The principle of MPD is to provide full control of the annular-pressure profile during drilling.

MPD is allowing the possibility of drilling wells that could not be drilled with conventional methods, where the bottomhole pressure is controlled exclusively by controlling the density of the drilling fluid.

Wells with severe-lost-circulation zones are an example of scenarios where MPD is bringing good results.

Although the use of MPD is helping drilling operation by allowing better pressure control in the annulus, there are also new risks to be taken into consideration. When using MPD, drillers normally are working in a narrow window between pore and fracture pressure, so the margin of error is smaller. The well-control process with MPD is also different from that of conventional drilling.

Because of the risks involved, appropriate training is mandatory for all personnel involved with the operation: everyone from people on the project team to those working on the rig. This is the key for the success of MPD.

Please enjoy the papers selected, one of which (SPE 165893) includes a discussion on MPD.

This Month's Technical Papers

Combining Pressurized-Mud-Cap-Drilling and Early-Kick-Detection Techniques

Three Semisubmersible Floating Production System Options With Steel Catenary Risers

Achieving Drilling-Performance Improvement in Horizontal Tight-Gasfield Development

Recommended Additional Reading

OTC 24358 Optimized Well-Path-Planning Decisions in Real-Time Monitoring Operations by Célia Falcone, Petrobras, et al.

SPE/IADC 163425 Optimal Bit, Reamer Selection and Operating Procedures Improve Hole-Enlargement Performance in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico by T. Ho, Baker Hughes, et al.

SPE 164018 Integration of Fracture, Reservoir, and Geomechanics Modeling for Shale-Gas-Reservoir Development by Jugal K. Gupta, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, et al.

Mauricio Pestana Rebelo, SPE, is the offshore well-control manager for Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro. His 26-year career at Petrobras spans engineering and management positions in drilling and completion activities and includes participation in projects in South America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Gulf of Mexico. Rebelo holds an electrical-engineering degree from Universidade Gama Filho, Rio de Janeiro, and serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

Field Development Projects

Mauricio Pestana Rebelo, SPE, Offshore Well-Control Manager, Petrobras

01 October 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 10

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