Use of Managed-Pressure Drilling Requires Adjustments To Bridge Gap to Well Control

Managed-pressure drilling (MPD) challenges the conventional drilling paradigm, along with drilling-contractor and operator policies and standards. Conventional drilling practices for connections, flow checks, tripping, and well control have been long understood and standardized both onshore and offshore. The addition of an MPD system to a drilling operation, inclusive of the recommended practices, requires bridging the gap between conventional policies and standards and those of MPD.


Often, an MPD bridging document that supplements the standard drilling-contractor and operator bridging document is seen as an operational requirement. The drilling contractor remains responsible for well control and well monitoring. The driller will continue to monitor the well at all times, using standard operating procedures while observing key drilling parameters.

The MPD system provides enhanced well-control-event-detection methods in addition to standard downhole-event-detection methods. In addition, it allows rapid and accurate control of bottomhole pressure (BHP), but it does not replace standard drilling-contractor or operator procedures during well-control events.

This is particularly critical in cases where conventional policies and procedures are not possible during MPD operations. A shift in practice from conventional drilling needs to be captured at the policy and procedural level.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper IADC/SPE 178810, “Bridging the Gap Between MPD and Well Control,” by Thiago Pinheiro da Silva, Landon Hollman, SPE, Gustavo Puerto Corredor, and Patrick Brand, SPE, Blade Energy Partners, prepared for the 2016 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 1–3 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Use of Managed-Pressure Drilling Requires Adjustments To Bridge Gap to Well Control

01 January 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 1


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