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Underbalanced Coiled Tubing Drilled Horizontal Well in the North Sea

Underbalanced Coiled Tubing Drilled Horizontal Well in the North Sea

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COILEDTUBING
UnderbalancedCoiIed=Tubing-DrilledHorizontalWellintheNorthSea
PhilipWodka,SPE,HenrlkTirsgaard,SPE,CarstenJ.Adamsen,SPE,
andf
AndersP.Damgaard,SPE,McerskOlie&GasA/SSummary
M@rskOlie&GasA/S(MamskOil)hasdrilleda3,309-ft-longnear-horizontaldrainholewithcoiledtubingtoatotalmeasureddepth(MD)of1I,000ftintheDanishsectoroftheNorthSea.ThewellwascompletedinMay1994asa3Yz-in.openholeproducerintheGermfieldchalkreservoir.Partofthewellwasdrilledatunderba-Iancedconditions,andoilproductionratesofupto1,100STB/Dwerereachedduringdrilling.Conventionalwell-testequipmentwasusedforhandlingreturns,Anearbyprocessfacilitiesplatformsuppliedliftgasandreceivedtheproducedhydrocarbonsduringthedrillingphase.Worthnotingarethepenetrationofseveralchertlay-ers,thefairlylongreach,andtheapplicationofgeosteering.Indica-tionswerethatthewellproductivitywassignificantlyimprovedcomparedwiththatofaconventionallydrilledwell,butproblemswereexperiencedwithboreholeslabilityinafracturedregion.
Introduction
Ma-s.kOilproduces=180,000STB/Dofoilfromsoftchalkreser-voirsintheDanishsectoroftheNorthSea.Thelargestproducingfieldshavereachedastagewherethemajorityofthedevelopmentac-tivitiesconcentrateoninfilldrillingandimplementationofsecondaryrecoverybymeansofwaterinjection.Since1989,developmentacti-vitieshavebeenconcentratedalmostexclusivelyonhorizontalwells,withmorethan100wellsdrilledinfivefields.Mostofthesewellsarecompletedwitha7-in,cementedlinerandperforatedinmultiplein-tervals,witheachintervalstraddledby4Yz-in,tubingforstimulationandproductionmanagementpurposes.1,2Thestraddlingisachievedbyrunningaperforate/stimtrlate/isolate(PSI)assembly;todate,morethan900oftheseassemblieshavebeenrun,Aspartofthecontinuingeffortstoproducethereservoirscost-effec-tivelyandincreaseultimaterecovery,theemergingtechnologyofcoiled-tubingdrillingisseenasonepossiblemethcdofachievinglow-costwellse-entries(e.g.,forsidetrackingandwellextensions).Theat-tractivenessofthistechniqueisknowntodependonlong-termprodu-ctionperformance,inchrdingboreholestability,andonitscapabilitytodecreasecosts(e.g.,byperformingthedrillingoperationfromexistingwellheadplatforms).OntherelativelysmaltwellheadplatformsintheDanishsector,limiteddeckspacenecessitatingplacementofequip-mentontwobridge-connectedwellheadplatformsandlimitedcrane-liftingcapacityarcthemainproblemsinthisrespxt.Nofield-provenmethodhadbeendevelopedforsidetrackingfromahorizontalwellwithacoiled-tubing-drillingassembly.Therefore,surfacetestswereinitiatedonshoreinacoiled-tubingtestloopduringAug.1993.Theobjectivewastotestthetechnicalfeasibilityofperformingsi&tracksandwellextensionsfromexist-inghorizontal,4%-in.PSIcompletionswith3.688-in.restrictions.Severalmethodsweretested,andasuccessfulhorizontalthrough-tubingsidetrackwasachievedinthesecondattempt,Furthertestingconfirmedthatthemechanicalaspectsofacoiled-tubingsidetrackoperationoutofboth7-and9%8-in.horizontalcasingandwellex-tensionscouldbehandledwiththepresenttechnology.Thesecondstepwascoiled-tubingdrillingofa3,309-ft-long,near-horizontalreservoirsectionatunderbalancedconditionsin-WellN-49intheGermfield.Tomaximizethechanceofsuccess,theoperationwasperformedinanewwelltoachieveasimplewellgeo-
Copynght19963cxIelv01PetmfeumEngheersOriginalSPEmanuscriptreastiedIorreviewFeb.28.1995RevisedrnanusctiplreeeivedFeb.21,1SS6.Paperpeerapprcn.edFeb.21,1S96Paper(SPE29359}firstpmsant-atlhe1995SPE/lAtXDrillingConferenceheldinAmsterdam,Feb284Aa1ch2.
I,f
v
metry.Thecoiled-tubingdrillingwasconductedfromaconvention-aljackupdrillingrigtofacilitateasimplerigup(e.g.,largedeckspaceandalongriser).Theobjectivesweretoprovethetechnicalfeasibilityofunderbalancedcoiled-tubingdrilling,toevaluatethecompletionefficiencyachievedwithunderbalanceddrilling,andtotestthelong-termproductionperformanceofanopenholecomple-tioninarelativelysoftchalkformation.Thethirdstepwassidetrackingfromanexistinghorizontalwellthrough4Y1-in.productiontubingand7-in.casing.Weperformedthewindowmillingwithacoiled-tubing-drillingassemblyandthendrilleda980-ft-longhorizontalreservoirsection.Ajackuprigwasalsousedassupportforthisoperation,whichwassuccessfullyexecutedintheKrakafield.ThispaperdescribestheplanningandexecutionoftheGermWellN-49drillingoperation.
Candidataselection
Wedecidedtoconductthefirstcoiled-tubing-drillingoperationinanewdevelopmentwell,whichwouldensureasimplewellgeome-trywithnorequirementformillingthroughcasingortubing.Theselectedwell,GermWellN-49,wasplannedasaconventionallydrilled,multiplehydraulicallyfractured,horizontaloilproducerwith4Yz-in.productiontubing.Thestandardcompletionwouldin-corporateasubsurfacesafetyvalve,asurfacereadoutdownholepressuregauge,andtwoside-pocketmandrelsforgaslift.Byre-placingthecasedoffmultiplefracturedreservoirsectionwithacoiled-tubingdrilledopenholesection,wecouldobtaininformationondrillingperformanceaswellaslong-termproductivityandpro-ducibilityinafairlywell-definedreservoirenvironment.TheGermfieldisinthewesternpartoftheDanishContinentalShelf(Fig.1).Thestructurewasformedbyacombinationofsaltmovementandfaulting.3Itcovers3,200acresattheoi~watercon-tactandiscutbyamajorfaulttoformtwodistinctblocks(Fig.2).ThereservoircomprisesLowerTertiary(Danian)chalkoverlyingsoftUpperCretaceous(Maastrichtian)chalk.Significantporosity(25%to45%)andpermeability(0.1to5md)variationsareobservedbetweendifferentdepositionalsubunits.Tooptimizewellproductivity,WellN-49waspositionedina20-to40-ft-thickzoneconsistingofReservoirSubunitMl,2andtheup-perpartofReservoirSubunitM1.3(Fig.3),Theminimumreservoirpressureinthetargetarea[2,000psiaat6.800titotalverticaldepth(TVD)subsea]wassignificantlylessthanhydrostatic(3,050psia)owingtodepletion(F!g.3).Becausethetrialwouldalsoevaluatetheeffectofunderbalanceddrillingoncompletionefficiency,gaslitihadtobeintroducedaspartofthedrillingsetup.Toensureasafeops-a-tionandtoprovidegaslift,wedeemeditnecessarytodrillthereser-voirsectionthroughaproductiontubingintowhichliftgascouldbeinjectedthroughside-pocketmandrels.Thenearbyprocessplatformwouldsupplyliftgasandreceivetheproducedhydrocarbonreturns.AnadditionalbenefitofselectingGermWellN-49wasthatplanscalledforadrillingrigtostayontheGorntFplatformforanex-tendedpenodtodrillnewdevelopmentwells.Thisprovidedauop-tionforaquickworkovershouldthelonger-termproductionperfor-manceprovedkappointing.
WellPositioning
PositioningandsteeringofconventionallydrilledhorizontalwellsintheDanishchalkreservoirsareusuallybasedonbiostratigraphicandhydrocarbonshowevaluationofcuttings,supplementedwith4C6May1996=JPT
 
I
Fig.
l—LocationofDanishoil
and
gas
flelets.logging-while-drilling(LWD)informationwherehighlyaccurateplacementrelativetofluidcontactsisnecessary.4Weexpectedbiostra[igraphicinterpretationtobedifficultinWellN-49.Owingtotbelimitedbittypesavailablefor3Yi-in.hole,weplannedtousepolycrystalline-diamond-compact(PDC)bits,andpreviousexperiencewithlargerPDCbitswasthatthetirre-grainedcuttingsmadebiostratigraphicinterpretationdifficult,Furtherun-knownsweretheamountofcuttingstransportedtosurfaceandthequalityofthesamplingduringunderbalanceddrilling.Wedecidedtodrilltheuppermost,mainlyDanianchalkpartofthereservoiroverbalanceduntilbiostratigraphyshowedthattbewellhadencounteredthehigh-porosityMaastrichtiantargetreser-voirzone.Thiswouldensureaccuratewellplacementandyieldex-periencewiththebehaviorofcoiled-tubing-drillingassembliesbe-foregoingunderbalanced.Withinthetargetreservoirzone,weplannedtodrillthewellunderbalancedwithgeometricsteeringalongatangentsection,simplyfollowingthedipofthestructure.Detailedoptimization,orcompensationforvariationsinthestruc-turebelowseismicresolution,wasnotexpectedtobepossible.Thedistalpartofthewellwaspositionedinanareaoflimitedwellcon-trol,andthereforetheuncertaintyonthedipofthestructurewouldincreaseasthewellprogressed.Atthesametime,indicationswerethatthetargetzonewasthinning.BeforedrillingofWellN-49,twonearbywellswereanalyzedbiostratigmphically,whichmadeitpossibletorelatebiozonestoreservoirunits.Ifhigh-resolutionbiostratigraphycouldbeuseddur-ingunderbalanceddrilIing,itwouldthusnotonlybepossibletocompensateforvariationsinthedipofthestructureandadjustthetrajectorybutalsotooptimizethepaitionofthewellcontinuouslywithrespecttothebestporosityzonesofthereservoir.
!!-
maxo25mmmm4m34smsclmHCUWONTAI.DISTAJWEFFOMPLATFORM(W)
Fig.2-Crossseetlon
withwell
trajeclotyandastimatedformationpressure.JIT
q
May
1996
I
Fig.
2-Germfielddepthstructure
msp,topchelk.EquipmentSelectionDowrtboleEquipment.Thewell
trajectorydesignwasbasedpri-marilyonthesteeringabilitiesofthecoiled-tubing-drillingassem-bly,whichcomprisedrillbit,downholemotor,measurement-while-drilling(MWD)tool,orientingtool,drillingconnector,anddimpleconnector.Twopossiblesteeringstrategieswerepossibleowingtotheuseofanorientingtool:thehelical(corkscrew)orsinusoidal(snaking)welldesign.Ahelicalwelldesignrequiresmorefrequentcyclingoftheorientationtool,whichfortheselectedcontractorturns300/cycle.Thesinusoidalwelldesignrequiresafull180cyclewheneverachangeindirectionhastobemade.butitcanbeusedinverythinoilrimsbecausethewellboremovespredominant-lyinthehorizontalplane.Wechoseahelicalwelldesignbecauseitseemedmostsuitableforthetypeoforientingtoolsuppliedbythecontractor.
A
rightrumwasincorporatedinthewelltrajectorytostayawayfromareasdepletedbyexistingproductionwells(Fig.2).Becauseoftherequirementsforlongreachandacceptablecirculationratesforhole-cleaningpur-poses,weselecteda2-in.coiledtubing,Thecoilwastapered,with7,320ftof0.156-in.wallthicknessand7,280ftofO.134-in.wallthickness.Thematerialyieldstrengthwas80,000psi.WeplannedtousePDCbitsowingtothelimitedbittypesavailablefor3%-in.hole.Asitlaterturnedout,bitperformanceprovedtobecrucial.
Drilling-FluidSystem.
Seawatertreatedtoinjection-waterspecifi-cationsattheprocessplatformwasusedasabasefordrillingfluidforavailability,handling,andsafetyreasons.Becausewewantedaclosedfluidssystemtobeabletoassessfluidgainsandlossesforthefirstdrillingtrial,tbedrillingfluidwasrecirculatedandtreatedwiththefinestscreensandthecentrifugesystemavailableontherig.Incaseofagas-liftshutdown.mostofthefluidlosttotheformationFig.4-Surfscehsndling+quipmentlayout,407
 
wouldbethefluidreturningfromthebit.Thisfluidwould,inanycase,becontaminatedwith~ortnationparticlesandtines.llterefor~,wedidnotconsideritworthwhiletotreatthefluidreturnstoinjec-tion-waterspecificationsortousenewinjectionwatercontinuously,evenifitwasavailablefromtheprocessplatform.Apotentialalwaysexistsforcreatingemulsionsbetweenseawa-terandcrudeoil.Thehighannularratecombhtedwithfinedrillsol-idscouldhaveatendencytostabtlizeanemulsionfurther,Emul-sion-formationtestingwasthereforeconductedtoestablishanycompatibilityproblemsbetweentheGermoilandtheseawaterdrill-ingfluid.Theconclusionwasthatademulsifierwouldnotbere-quiredonacontinuousbasisbecauseoffastseparation,butthatitmightoccasionallybenecessarytoinjectademulsifierupstreamofthechokemanifold,dependingontheactualshearconditions.Evaluationofhydrate-formationcharacteristicsandflowingtem-peraturesindicatedthataminimumfluidtemperatureofapproxi-mately100”Fatthefluid-pumpoutletwassutllcienttopreventhy-drateformationwithseawaterasdrillingfluid.Weavoidedstartupproblemsbycirculatingheatedseawaterintothewellbore.Theuseofseawaterfordrillingandcirculationwasnotexpectedtoresultintheformationofsignificantamountsofscale.WefoundthatgasfiftwasrequiredtodriffWellN49atun&rbalancedconditionswiththeselecteddrillingfluidgiventherelativelylowex-pxtedreservoirpressure(aslowas2,000psiaat6,800ftTVDsubsea).
Srtrface-FhridHandling.Thesurface-fluid-handlingequipment
wasselectedonthebasisofMzrskOilsexperiencefromsandcleanoutoperationsonproductionplatformsanddrillingrigs.How-ever,thenatureofthereturnsduringanopenholedrillingoperationcouldnotbepredictedaccurately.Therefore,wedesignedthefluid-handlingsystem
(Fig.4)
tohandlethereturnedfluidatanytime,in-cludingwhenexportingthehydrocarbonstotheprocessingplat-form(e.g.,duringaplatformshutdown)wasnotpossible.Weplannedtocollectcuttingsforanalysisfromafilterpackage,withtheintentiontoroutetheflowthroughthefiltersonlywhensam-plingwasrequired.Otherwise,wewouldbypassthefiltersandroutethefluidreturnsdirectlytoasandseparatorthroughachokemanifold.Gas,oil,andwaterseparationwouldtakeplaceinathree-phasewell-testseparator.Thegasandoilcouldbeexportedtotheprocessplatformthroughasingleline.Alternatively,theoilcouldberoutedtostoragetanksandthegastoflarebooms(e.g.,ifcontrollingthesep-arationprocesswasdifticultorifthepressurewastoolowforexport).Thestoredoilcouldthenbepumpedtotheprocessingplatform.Pro-ducedwaterwasroutedtotherigmudpitsbymeansoftherigfluid-handlingequipment.asmentionedintheprevioussection.Asacon-tingency,allfluidreturnscouldheroutedtobypassthefluid-handlingsystemandgodkectlytotheflareboomswithdiesel-assistedburners.
Safety
Fromanoperationalpointofview,coiled-tubingdrillingwasnotconsideredtobeanentirelynewprocess.Whenbreakingthedrill-ingoperationdown,experiencehadbeenestablishedwithintheor-ganizationonthefollowingoperations.1.Coiled-tubingoperationswithdownholemoto~andwell-testfa-cilitiesina“dirty”environment(e.g..millingjobsandsandcleanout).2.Coiled-tubingoperationsinwellsflowingtotheproductionplatform(e.g.,productionlogging).3.Flowingwellstorigseparationfacilitieswithcoiledtubinginthewellanddivertingthehydrocarbonstotheproductionplatform(e.g.,wellcleanupoperations).However,performinganopenholedrillingoperationwasnew.Therefore,weconductedageneralhazardandoperability(HAZOP)studyofcoiled-tubing-drillingoperationswithparticipationfromthecontractorsandcoiled-tubinglwell-testingpersonnel.Thestudycoveredthecoiled+rbingsurfacesetupandtherelateddownholeequipment,whilethewell-testsurfacesetuphadpreviouslybeencoveredinaseparateHAZOPstudy.Theconclusionwasthatcoiled-tubingdrillingcouldbeconductedsafely.Surfacesetupdrawingswerepreparedtohonorrigescaperoutesforboththewell-testareaandaroundthecoiled-tubingequipmentplacedonthecantileverdeck.Thewell-controlpanelwasplaced410
JL.
4.ATm:m,m
(~
WAT3,S01~SWAT7,URFT1=3W*4,=FT--@LJQEAT7,467FT/FKJEUATT,6c@F74-WTAWIPEAT7,001FTS-5@AT7,-1F73wc+ml-m.sTOAT11,930fl
Fig.5-Well-completiondlegrem.
outsidethecoiled-tubing-controlcabhtandincorporatedcontrolsforalltheChristmastreehydraulicvalves,thesubsurfacesafetyvalves,andthegas-liftvalve.Thepanelcouldbeactivatedeitherbyvarioushighpilots(pressuresensors)placedinthetestlines,byashutdownsignalfromtheGermprcxessplatform,ormanually.Additionalshutdownbuttonswerelocatedinthewell-testareaandattheentrancetotheaccommodation.Thelowercoiled-tubingblowoutpreventer(BOP)shear/blindramswereconnectedtoandoperatedfromtherig’sownBOP-controlsystem.Thisenabledop-erationfromtheremotestations,oneofwhichwaslocatedinsidetheaccommodation.Duringtheentireprojectexecution,allsafetypro-cedureswerefollowedandnosafety-relatedincidentsoccurred.
DrillingOperationsSummaryWellN-49wasspuddedonApril13,1994,fromthedrillingrigMm-skEndeavor.
Thewellwasdrilledconventionallyto7,666ft(alldepthsareMD)i.e.,approximately20ftabovethetopofthereservoirtopreventholeproblemsbecauseoflostcirculationintheseverelydepletedreservoir.Aftera95/8-in.casingwassetandcem-ented,theshoetrackwasdrilledoutandan83/~-in.holedrilleddownto7,691ft:topreservoirwasencounteredat7,680ft.Then,thefinal4%-in.completionstringwasinstalledwithawirelinere-entryguideat7,691ftandaChristmastreeontoptomakethewellreadyforthecoiled-tubingdrilling(Fig.5).Riggingupandtestingofthecoiled-[ubingdrilling-relatedequipmentwastimeconsumingow-ingtothecomplexnatureofthejob.Drillingthe3%-in.holewithcoiledtubingbeganat7,691ftonMay8,1994.DuringdrillingofthebuildupsectionintheDanianchalk,ween-counteredseverallargechertbeds,whichcausedveryslowprogress(Fig.
6).Atotal
of
12tripsweremade,
primarilyforbitchanges,be-foreweencounteredtheMaastrichtianchalkat8,101ft(Fig.7).Drill-ingcontinuedto8,294ti,wherereturnswerecompletelylostandthestringbecamedifferentiallystuck.Untilthispoint,thewellhadbeendrilledinanoverbalancedmodewithoutgaslift.Whhtheintroduc-tionofgaslift,thestringwasworkedfree.Wefoundsandproppantinthecuttingswhendrillingresumed,indicatingthepresenceofafractureorfracturesystemlocallydepletingthisarea.Fromthispointon,alldrillingwasperformedwithgasliftmaintainingabottomholepressure(BHP)of1,900to2,100psig[i.e.,belowthepredictedreser-voirpressureintheremainingpartoftheholesection(Fig.3)].Anadditionalfourtripsweremadebefore
total
epth(TD)wasreachedat1I,000ft(Fig.7).Duringabittripat9,506ft,thecoiledtubingbecametemporarilystuckatboth8,472and8,290ft.Asapre-caution,weundertookreamingonthewaybackinhole.Duringream-ing,thewellwasinadvertentlysidetrackedonthelowsideat8,450ft.Fortunately,wecouldre-entertheoldhole,andthesidetrackcausednofurtherproblemsduringtheremainingdrillingperiod.Occasionally,weloweredtheflowingBHPto1,700psigbutob-servedonlysmallamountsofoiltosurface(occasionallywithsomelargeslugs)untilwereached10,000ft.Duringthisphase,thesurfacereadoutgaugeprovedextremelyvaluablebecausemaintainingafinebalancebetweengettingfluidlossesandexperiencingcavingswasnecessary.Whha&creaseto71)~ofluidreturnstosurface,backflowMay1996..JPT

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