Subsea-mud-lift-drilling (SMD) technology is a form of managed-pressure drilling (MPD). As with other MPD systems, SMD technology offers early detection of influxes (kicks) and minimizes downhole losses to weak subsurface formations. However, significant differences are built into the SMD system. This paper will highlight the benefits of single-gradient SMD (SMD-S) technology, the execution of the most recent deployment, and test results that represent the final steps in moving toward continued MPD operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM).
SMD is a sophisticated subsea MPD technology development and commercialization project that has just completed its fourth offshore deployment. With every deployment, the learnings have been captured and addressed successfully. The most recent deployment in the deepwater GOM has demonstrated that the technology works as designed by successfully accomplishing nearly all test objectives. The confidence is now very high that the industry will see the successful commercial delivery of a drilling technology that offers potential for a more-efficient drilling operation. In addition, this technology will lead ultimately to enhanced production and recovery from deepwater assets. SMD has two operational modes, SMD-S and dual-gradient SMD (SMD-D), as illustrated in Fig. 1 (above)....
Single-Gradient Subsea-Mud-Lift-Drilling Technology in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico
26 January 2016