Case History: High-Pressure/High-Temperature Underbalanced Drillstem Testing

Topics: Drilling operations HP/HT Reservoir characterization
Fig. 1—Well schematic.

This paper describes the method developed to achieve underbalanced drillstem testing (DST) in a deepwater field offshore India. DST tools rated to 450°F and 15,000-psi differential pressure were configured to maintain integrity and successfully evaluate the well potential. By use of a multicycle DST tool string, the reservoir potential was tested safely and effectively with an underbalanced test fluid in two deepwater wells, achieving the desired test objectives.


An operator in India needed to conduct high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) drillstem testing on a deep­water well with low-density clear brine in the annulus. Performing DST was necessary to assess hydrocarbon potential in the deep­water block for further field-­development plans. The DST tools performed satisfactorily for approximately 18 days during the test on a semisubmersible rig.

The well was completed in a 6-in. hole, which resulted in a 5-in. casing program, thereby creating a significant challenge. The retrievable packer suitable for the 7-in. casing was set above the 5-in.-­liner-hanger top, resulting in a tail pipe of approximately 350 m. Well killing at the end of the DST with such a long tail pipe was a challenge.

The method of operating DST tools in both underbalanced brine and kill-weight mud was developed along with a meticulously designed well-test program and a well-kill procedure with a long tail pipe below the 7-in. retrievable packer. Before lowering the DST tools, a well-integrity test was performed by conducting an inflow test for a 5-in.-liner shoe, a 5-in.-liner-hanger top, and a 7-in.-­liner-hanger top. Hermetic tests were performed to ensure that casings sustained the required annulus pressure for operation of the DST tools.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 178089, “Case History: HP/HT Underbalanced Drillstem Testing, Deepwater KG Offshore,” by Mahesh Sarode and Milind Khati, Halliburton, prepared for the 2015 SPE Oil and Gas India Conference and Exhibition, Mumbai, 24–26 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Case History: High-Pressure/High-Temperature Underbalanced Drillstem Testing

01 February 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 2