Drilling Fluids Project Engineering Guidance and Most Common Fluids Related Challenges for Deepwater and HPHT Offshore Wells

Articles & Papers - August 2021


This paper discusses both technical and project management aspects of drilling fluids services for deepwater and high pressure high temperature (HPHT) offshore drilling projects.

The technical discussion part includes deepwater and HPHT specific fluids related concerns such as logistics, narrow drilling window, shallow hazards, gas hydrates, HPHT conditions and low temperature rheology; together with practical solutions for each of them. As some of these challenges cannot be met by only fluids itself, technologies such as managed pressure drilling (MPD), dual-gradient drilling (DGD) and use of special downhole tools are also included in the discussions.

The project management aspect is covered for both the planning and execution phases. A newly developed Four Stage Planning Guideline (4SPG) with a recommended timetable is proposed for high-profile offshore drilling projects. Starting from fluids selection to preparation of the contingency plans is discussed in detail for the planning phase. Execution phase is discussed mainly for service company representatives on how to follow main or contingency plans effectively and ensure good communication is achieved with all parties involved.

Work model presented in this paper can be used as a complete guideline by operating and service company representatives in order to increase the success rate of these high-risk offshore drilling projects and ensure learnings are captured in a structured way for continuous improvement.

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