Innovative Tool Improves Hole-Cleaning Efficiency in Extended-Reach Wells

Topics: Directional/extended reach wells
Source: Getty Images.

Saudi Aramco operates a large offshore oilfield development that has driven achievements in multilateral and extended-reach directional wells. One challenge the operator faces is to maintain proper hole cleaning in extended 8½-in. tangent sections at 85–87° inclinations, which are drilled in excess of 10,000 ft. In an effort to drill efficiently, a new technology to increase cuttings removal was trial tested on Well A1 from an onshore location of the field.


Historically, drilling very long tangent sections required the use of several tandem sweep pills, wiper trips, and reaming and back reaming to maintain hole quality and remove cuttings from the wellbore efficiently. Poor hole cleaning can lead to tight intervals, increased torque and drag, and, eventually, stuck pipe.

Extended-reach Well A1 was drilled to a measured depth (MD) of 30,480 ft [8,650-ft true vertical depth (TVD)] into a stratigraphic environment composed of limestone, shale, and siltstone. The objective of the trial test for the tool was to improve the drilling efficiency. To obtain the best possible hole cleaning, a simulation was performed by placing the new tools every three stands along the tangent section in the 8½-in.-hole section.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 175165, “Use of an Innovative Tool To Improve Hole-Cleaning Efficiency in Extended-Reach Wells in Saudi Arabia,” by Mike Okot, Marlio Campos, German Muñoz, and Alawi G. Alalsayednassir, Saudi Aramco; Matt Weber, Frank’s International; and Zahid Muneer, SPE, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2015 SPE Kuwait Oil and Gas Show and Conference, Mishref, Kuwait, 11–14 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Innovative Tool Improves Hole-Cleaning Efficiency in Extended-Reach Wells

01 May 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 5