Horizontal Drilling With Dual-Channel Drillpipe

A new drilling method provides a solution for challenges encountered in drilling of long horizontal wells, incorporating a dual drillstring with a separate channel for the return fluid from the well. This arrangement enables managed-gradient drilling (i.e., to drill with a constant downhole pressure gradient that can be controlled to be nearly independent of the flow rate). The solution is similar to managed-pressure drilling (MPD) but differs in that the downhole pressure gradient is managed instead of the pressure at one depth in the well.


The technology for drilling and completion of long horizontal sections has improved significantly in recent years. However, challenges such as hole c-leaning, equivalent-circulating-density (ECD) control, and torque-and-drag reduction still exist. ECD is linked to hole cleaning and is often a limiting factor. Long-reach horizontal wells can also be limited by the torque and drag of the drillstring. 

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 184683, “Horizontal Drilling With Dual-Channel Drillpipe,” by O.M. Vestavik and J. Thorogood, Reelwell; E. Bourdelet, Total; and B. Schmalhorst and J.P. Roed, DEA Deutsche Erdoel, prepared for the 2017 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition, The Hague, The Netherlands, 14–16 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Horizontal Drilling With Dual-Channel Drillpipe

01 November 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 11


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