P. 1
Wft Introduction to Ubd Bookmarked

Wft Introduction to Ubd Bookmarked

|Views: 95|Likes:
Published by Omitta Gilbert

More info:

Published by: Omitta Gilbert on Sep 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/03/2014

pdf

text

original

Sections

  • Introduction
  • Objectives
  • Performance Drilling
  • Managed Pressure Drilling
  • What is Underbalanced Drilling?
  • Underbalanced Reservoir Drilling
  • History of Underbalanced Drilling
  • Why Drill Underbalanced?
  • Underbalanced versus Overbalanced
  • Disadvantages of Underbalanced Drilling
  • Limitations
  • Classification System for Underbalanced drilling
  • How To Drill Underbalanced?
  • Data Collection
  • Reservoir Data
  • Reservoir Screening Tool (RST)
  • SURE Phase II
  • Reservoir Damage Assessment
  • Drilling Data
  • Analog Data
  • Evaluation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Candidate Selection
  • UBS Well Type Matrix
  • High Level Cost Estimates
  • UBS Feasibility
  • Detailed Well Planning
  • Circulation System Design
  • Fluid Selection
  • Formation Damage
  • Gaseous Fluids
  • Mist Systems
  • Foam Systems
  • Gasified Systems
  • Single phase fluids
  • Gas lift systems
  • Drillpipe injection
  • Annular injection
  • Parasite string injection
  • Gases for Underbalanced Drilling
  • Natural Gas
  • Cryogenic Nitrogen
  • Membrane Nitrogen
  • Exhaust Gas
  • Flow Modeling
  • Pressure calculations
  • Flow modeling
  • Equivalent Motor Throughput versus Gas Injection Rate
  • Hole cleaning
  • Annular Friction Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate
  • Annular Liquid Hold Up versus Gas Injection Rate
  • Drillstring Injection Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate
  • Drillstring Liquid Hold Up versus Gas Injection Rate
  • Reservoir Inflow
  • Drillstring and Down Hole Tool Design
  • Pressure While Drilling (PWD)
  • Conventional MWD Tools in Underbalanced Drilling
  • Electromagnetic Measurement While Drilling (EMWD)
  • Non Return Valves
  • Wireline Retrievable Float Valves
  • Down Hole Isolation Valves
  • Drillstring Design
  • Drillpipe
  • Hard banding
  • Drillpipe Rubbers
  • Jars
  • Down Hole Motors
  • Equipment Selection
  • Gas Injection Equipment
  • Air compressors
  • Nitrogen Generation System
  • Booster Compressors
  • Well Control Equipment
  • Rotating Diverters
  • Snubbing systems
  • Separation Equipment
  • Horizontal separators
  • Vertical Separators
  • Vertical Separator
  • UBD Choke manifold
  • Data acquisition
  • Flares
  • Well Control Strategy
  • Well Kill Strategy
  • Well Control
  • Erosion
  • Corrosion Management
  • Corrosion Inhibitor Types
  • Personnel Selection
  • Training and Competency
  • Operational Procedures
  • Completing Underbalanced Drilled Wells
  • Snubbing
  • Workover of an Underbalanced Drilled Well
  • Underbalanced Drilled Multi-Lateral Wells
  • Subsurface Services
  • Process Flow Diagrams
  • Rig and Lease Layout
  • Health Safety and Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Aspects
  • Safety Aspects
  • Detailed Cost Estimates
  • UBS Program
  • Underbalanced Records
  • References
  • Weatherford
  • Halliburton
  • Shaffer
  • Tesco
  • LEAding Edge Advantage
  • Blade Energy Partners
  • Scandpower
  • Neotec
  • Abbreviations

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Introduction To Underbalanced Drilling

Prepared by:

Steve Nas Asia Pacific Regional Engineering Manager Weatherford Underbalanced Systems 238a Tompson Road #16-01/04 Novena Square Tower A Singapore 307684 Tel +65 6511 3688 Email: steve.nas@ap.weatherford.com

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 1 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 5 OBJECTIVES .......................................................................................................................................... 5 PERFORMANCE DRILLING ..................................................................................................................... 6 MANAGED PRESSURE DRILLING ........................................................................................................... 7 WHAT IS UNDERBALANCED DRILLING? .................................................................................... 8 UNDERBALANCED RESERVOIR DRILLING ........................................................................................... 10 HISTORY OF UNDERBALANCED DRILLING............................................................................. 11 WHY DRILL UNDERBALANCED? ................................................................................................. 12 UNDERBALANCED VERSUS OVERBALANCED ...................................................................................... 14 DISADVANTAGES OF UNDERBALANCED DRILLING ............................................................................. 15 LIMITATIONS ...................................................................................................................................... 15 CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM FOR UNDERBALANCED DRILLING......................................... 16 HOW TO DRILL UNDERBALANCED? .......................................................................................... 18 DATA COLLECTION ............................................................................................................................ 19 Reservoir Data .............................................................................................................................. 19 Reservoir Screening Tool (RST).................................................................................................... 20 SURE Phase II .............................................................................................................................. 22 Reservoir Damage Assessment ..................................................................................................... 22 Drilling Data................................................................................................................................. 24 Analog Data .................................................................................................................................. 24 EVALUATION ...................................................................................................................................... 25 Risk Assessment ............................................................................................................................ 26 CANDIDATE SELECTION...................................................................................................................... 29 UBS Well Type Matrix .................................................................................................................. 30 HIGH LEVEL COST ESTIMATES ........................................................................................................... 31 UBS FEASIBILITY ............................................................................................................................... 31 DETAILED WELL PLANNING ........................................................................................................ 33 CIRCULATION SYSTEM DESIGN .......................................................................................................... 33 Fluid Selection .............................................................................................................................. 33 Formation Damage....................................................................................................................... 38 Gaseous Fluids.............................................................................................................................. 40 Mist Systems.................................................................................................................................. 42 Foam Systems................................................................................................................................ 43 Gasified Systems ........................................................................................................................... 46 Single phase fluids ........................................................................................................................ 47 Gas lift systems ............................................................................................................................. 48 Drillpipe injection......................................................................................................................... 49 Annular injection .......................................................................................................................... 51 Parasite string injection................................................................................................................ 52 Gases for Underbalanced Drilling................................................................................................ 53 Air ................................................................................................................................................. 53 Natural Gas................................................................................................................................... 53 Cryogenic Nitrogen....................................................................................................................... 54 Membrane Nitrogen ...................................................................................................................... 57 Exhaust Gas .................................................................................................................................. 58 FLOW MODELING ............................................................................................................................... 59 Pressure calculations.................................................................................................................... 59 Flow modeling .............................................................................................................................. 67
Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 2 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Equivalent Motor Throughput versus Gas Injection Rate............................................................. 75 Hole cleaning ................................................................................................................................ 76 Annular Friction Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate .................................................................. 78 Annular Liquid Hold Up versus Gas Injection Rate ..................................................................... 79 Drillstring Injection Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate ............................................................. 80 Drillstring Liquid Hold Up versus Gas Injection Rate ................................................................. 81 Reservoir Inflow............................................................................................................................ 82 DRILLSTRING AND DOWN HOLE TOOL DESIGN .................................................................................. 83 Pressure While Drilling (PWD) .................................................................................................... 83 Conventional MWD Tools in Underbalanced Drilling ................................................................. 83 Electromagnetic Measurement While Drilling (EMWD) .............................................................. 83 Non Return Valves ........................................................................................................................ 86 Wireline Retrievable Float Valves ................................................................................................ 87 Down Hole Isolation Valves ......................................................................................................... 88 Drillstring Design ......................................................................................................................... 89 Drillpipe........................................................................................................................................ 91 Hard banding ................................................................................................................................ 92 Drillpipe Rubbers.......................................................................................................................... 92 Jars ............................................................................................................................................... 92 Down Hole Motors........................................................................................................................ 93 EQUIPMENT SELECTION ...................................................................................................................... 94 Gas Injection Equipment............................................................................................................... 94 Air compressors ............................................................................................................................ 94 Nitrogen Generation System ......................................................................................................... 95 Booster Compressors .................................................................................................................... 97 Well Control Equipment................................................................................................................ 99 Rotating Diverters....................................................................................................................... 100 Snubbing systems ........................................................................................................................ 105 Separation Equipment................................................................................................................. 106 Horizontal separators ................................................................................................................. 107 Vertical Separators ..................................................................................................................... 108 UBD Choke manifold .................................................................................................................. 109 Data acquisition.......................................................................................................................... 110 Flares .......................................................................................................................................... 112 WELL CONTROL STRATEGY ............................................................................................................. 113 Well Kill Strategy........................................................................................................................ 113 Well Control................................................................................................................................ 113 Erosion........................................................................................................................................ 115 Corrosion Management .............................................................................................................. 116 Corrosion Inhibitor Types........................................................................................................... 118 PERSONNEL SELECTION .................................................................................................................... 119 TRAINING AND COMPETENCY ........................................................................................................... 120 OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES ............................................................................................................ 121 COMPLETING UNDERBALANCED DRILLED WELLS ........................................................................... 123 Snubbing ..................................................................................................................................... 123 Workover of an Underbalanced Drilled Well ............................................................................. 127 Underbalanced Drilled Multi-Lateral Wells............................................................................... 127 SUBSURFACE SERVICES .................................................................................................................... 128 PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAMS .............................................................................................................. 129 RIG AND LEASE LAYOUT .................................................................................................................. 130 HEALTH SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING ......................................................................... 131 Environmental Aspects................................................................................................................ 131 Safety Aspects.............................................................................................................................. 131 DETAILED COST ESTIMATES ............................................................................................................. 133 UBS PROGRAM ................................................................................................................................ 134 UNDERBALANCED RECORDS ..................................................................................................... 136
Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 3 of 154

...............................................................................................................................................................................APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling REFERENCES ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 154 Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 4 of 154 ................................................. 153 TESCO............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 153 SHAFFER ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 153 NEOTEC ........................................................... 153 LEADING EDGE ADVANTAGE ............. 153 ABBREVIATIONS................... 153 BLADE ENERGY PARTNERS ............................................... 153 SCANDPOWER ...... 153 HALLIBURTON .................................................................................................................................. 138 SUPPLIERS OF UNDERBALANCED DRILLING SERVICES ....................................... 153 WEATHERFORD .....

and increase reserves by allowing access to these reserves thus ultimately increasing net NPV. It should serve as a guide to the current UBD technology. explaining how.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Introduction This introduction is intended to provide an overview of current underbalanced drilling technology and is therefore by no means exhaustive. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) With MPD the intention is to precisely manage and control the annular pressure to allow the bottom hole pressure to be within close limits to “walk the line” Underbalanced Drilling The intention of underbalanced drilling is to reduce formation damage. This introduction covers a very brief introduction to managed pressure drilling and performance drilling to ensure a complete overview of the technologies associated with underbalanced drilling. when and why underbalanced drilling is carried out. Weatherford underbalanced drilling division currently offers three sub product lines under the underbalanced umbrella and these can be listed as : • Performance Drilling (PD) This technology is intended to achieve maximum penetration rates through reducing the well bore pressure to a minimum possible value. discover potential bypassed pay. It also provides a starting point and basic orientation for identification of hazards and corresponding risk assessment. Objectives The objective of this introduction is to provide an awareness of underbalanced reservoir drilling technology and the associated operations. • • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 5 of 154 . In underbalanced reservoir drilling the well is designed to allow the reservoir to flow to surface whilst drilling.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Performance Drilling This is the original air drilling technique to increase penetration rate. This is normally achieved by using gas or air as a circulation medium. Fig 3 Performance Drilling Definition Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 6 of 154 . Reducing the bottom hole circulation pressure significantly increases the penetration rate. Performance Drilling P formation >>>P bottomhole = P hydrostatic + P friction + P choke The objective of performance drilling is to reduce the drilling costs by drilling faster. In performance drilling. the bottomhole pressure is as low as possible to increase drilling performance.

or in mathematical format: Managed Pressure Drilling P reservoir = P bottomhole = P hydrostatic + P friction + P choke Fig 2 Managed Pressure Drilling Definition Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 7 of 154 .” It means that the annular pressure profile is controlled in such a way that the well is balanced at all times.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Managed Pressure Drilling A number of related technologies have now been established in the industry as a result of tools used originally in underbalanced drilling. which has been defined as follows: Managed Pressure Drilling is an adaptive drilling process used to more precisely control the annular pressure profile throughout the wellbore. One of these techniques is Managed Pressure Drilling. The objectives are to ascertain the downhole pressure environment limits and to manage the annular hydraulic pressure profile accordingly.

Underbalanced Drilling P reservoir > P bottomhole = P hydrostatic + P friction + P choke Fig 1 Underbalanced Reservoir Drilling Definitions Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 8 of 154 . The hydrostatic head of the fluid may naturally be less than the formation pressure or it can be induced. Whether the underbalanced status is induced or natural. The induced state may be created by adding natural gas.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling What is Underbalanced Drilling? Underbalanced reservoir drilling is defined by the IADC UBO committee as: Drilling with the hydrostatic head of the drilling fluid intentionally designed to be lower than the pressure of the formations being drilled. nitrogen or air to the liquid phase of the drilling fluid. the result may be an influx of formation fluids which must be circulated from the well and controlled at surface. This in effect means that in underbalanced reservoir drilling. the effective downhole pressure within the wellbore is always maintained to be lower than the reservoir pressure and it is intended to have reservoir inflow into the wellbore.

This introduction concentrates on underbalanced reservoir drilling and the associated equipment and techniques. UBD and PD Technology These three techniques have equipment in common but are all applied in different circumstances. not on the performance drilling or managed pressure drilling aspects. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 9 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Equipment used for Managed Pressure Drilling Underbalanced Drilling Performance Drilling UBD RCD Gas Handling Choke Manifold Float Subs PD MPD RCD = Rotating Control Device Fig 4 Shared Equipment for MPD.

The hydrostatic pressure is considered a passive pressure and is a result of the fluid density and the density contribution of any drilled cuttings and a small contribution of any gas in the well. Underbalanced Drilling P reservoir > P bottomhole = P hydrostatic + P friction + P choke The well is still controlled by controlling the wellbore pressure. and the resulting inflow from the reservoir is carefully controlled during the entire drilling process. The lower hydrostatic head avoids the build-up of filter cake on the reservoir formation and avoids the invasion of whole mud and drilling solids into the formation. the wellbore pressure is maintained below the reservoir pressure at all times. circulation friction losses and surface pressure applied at the choke. but this pressure is maintained to be always below the reservoir pressure. In underbalanced reservoir drilling. The choke pressure arises from annular back pressure applied at surface. This helps to improve productivity of the wellbore and reduces any pressure related drilling problems. The BOP stack remains as the secondary well control barrier. The friction Pressure is a dynamic pressure (It changes with pumps on or off) and results from circulating friction of the fluid used. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 10 of 154 . The bottom hole circulation pressure is a combination of hydrostatic pressure. These three pressures are controlled at all times and ensure that flow control is maintained whilst drilling underbalanced. friction pressure and surface choke pressure. Primary well control is no longer an overbalanced barrier of a column of fluid but is replaced by flow control using a combination of hydrostatic pressure.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Underbalanced Reservoir Drilling This introduction concentrates on underbalanced reservoir drilling and the associated techniques and equipment used in this drilling method. It must be pointed out that a UBD well operates on a single barrier.

Until 1895 all wells were drilled underbalanced. First mud systems used. All cable tool drilled wells were drilled underbalanced and most of us have all seen the pictures of blowouts and gushers as an oil reservoir was struck. This proved to be the introduction to modern underbalanced drilling which started in the early 1990’s in Canada. As deeper and larger reservoirs were encountered the reservoir damage issues became less of an issue. just after the third international underbalanced drilling conference was held. The development of better flow modeling systems and training systems together with international experiences shared between operators has helped to develop underbalanced drilling as one of the primary technologies for enhanced production from depleted fields and reservoir understanding in newly developed fields. To enhance safety and hole cleaning. Since 1997.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling History of Underbalanced Drilling Underbalanced drilling has been around since the start of the oil exploration. First use of gasified fluids to drill Dusting or air drilling becomes popular. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 11 of 154 . First UBD wells drilled in Germany First UBD wells drilled offshore. The first committees were developed as a result of Shell and Mobil requesting more information and co-operation to ensure that offshore wells could be drilled safely underbalanced. Until in the 1980’s the first underbalanced wells were drilled in the Austin Chalk. which initially was water. In 1998 the IADC took the safety lead in underbalanced drilling and the IADC UBO committee was formed in order to enhance the safety of underbalanced drilling operations. 1284 1859 . Rotary drilling with water.1895 1895 1920 1928 1932 1955 1988 1993 1995 1997 First cable tool wells drilled in China All wells drilled underbalanced. First high pressure gas well drilled underbalanced in Austin Chalk. better co-operation between operators internationally was initiated. mud systems were developed in 1920 and drilling continued overbalanced. First UBD wells drilled in Canada. First BOP’s used. The introduction of rotary drilling technology in 1895 required fluid circulation. This committee developed the underbalanced classification matrix and continues today to develop safer and more efficient methods and procedures for underbalanced drilling operations.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 12 of 154 . Reduction of skin factor is then the main justification for UBD. operators are now considering underbalanced drilling to characterize the reservoirs whilst drilling. Productive features in the reservoir can be identified whilst drilling and well trajectories and well lengths can be optimized to increase reservoir productivity and to identify potentially productive horizons in the reservoir. Another reason was to improve reservoir productivity by eliminating reservoir damage caused by drilling fluids and fines and filtrate migration into the reservoir formations.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Why Drill Underbalanced? The reasons for underbalanced reservoir drilling can be broken down into three main categories: • Minimizing pressure related drilling problems • Reducing formation damage and enhancing productivity • Reservoir characterization while drilling Fig 5 Reasons for Underbalanced Drilling The first reason for underbalanced drilling was often to reduce losses and to avoid pressure related drilling problems such as differentially stuck pipe and penetration rate improvements. This became known as drilling enabling UBD and is still widely used as a justification for underbalanced drilling but it is now more correctly classified as managed pressure drilling. More recently.

the characterization of the reservoir is now becoming an increasing reason for operators to consider the practice of underbalanced drilling in the reservoir. especially once reservoir depletion starts and infill drilling of horizontal wells becomes more challenging as losses and differential sticking increases and it is a primary reason for operators to consider underbalanced drilling. As more experience and better underbalanced systems are developed. Production Increase by Rock Type 900% 800% 700% 600% 500% 400% 300% 200% 100% 0% Average 360% Mode 200% it e it e ne d ne to S an ds ne it e ne ne ne ar ne ne ne it om om es to na ha to om to om to to nd to to to ds ds bo ds ds ol ds ta im an ol ds ol ol /S ds an an an an an an ar . A ac Fr ct nc ar Fr ar Fr Fr ra U C C F BP Drilling and Co mple tio n Co nfe re nc e 2001 Fig 6 Production Increases By Rock Type (From BP 2001) Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 S an ds to S an D D D D S ds to Page 13 of 154 ne e te le .L C ne S . Finding productive features such as fractures and high permeability streaks in the reservoir has resulted in reduced drilling costs and increased reservoir productivity. Penetration rate increase in reservoir drilling has never been a significant driver for underbalanced drilling as tripping operations become slower and more complex if the reservoir is to be maintained underbalanced. previously masked by overbalanced pressures have now been discovered and developed. it was noted that reservoir productivity increased approximately 300% (SPE paper 91559) with underbalanced drilling and completion of the wells. ac ac b. new reservoir zones. In certain areas of the world.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The avoidance of drilling problems in the reservoir. as a result of drilling problems.S S S 'd S t' d S S ac t' d rg t' d on t' d 'd & & ac Fr b. With underbalanced drilling.

resulting in better production. which can result in large sections of a well (especially horizontal wells) being unproductive. The lower permeability and porosity zones may never be properly cleaned up. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 14 of 154 . Lost circulation and differential sticking can often result in severe drilling problems and many wells in depleted reservoirs never get to their planned TD. including the tighter sections of a well.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Underbalanced versus Overbalanced Comparing overbalanced drilling and underbalanced drilling allows us to establish the main differences between the two drilling techniques. is often difficult or complicated to remove or clean up once production starts. Reservoir damage. No damage or minimum damage is done to the reservoir rocks. No losses or differential sticking as the fluid pressure is below the reservoir pressure. Overbalanced Drilling Underbalanced Drilling “Hidden” zone: didn’t produce Skin damage: • Not all zones contribute “New” zone: produced while drilling No skin damage • All zones contribute •Increased ROP and Bit life • Lost circulation. Underbalanced Operations New productive horizons are often identified when drilling. • Differential sticking • Problems getting to TD •Well testing while drilling •Different Issues •(ECD) Fig 7 Overbalanced Versus Underbalanced Comparison Overbalanced Operations Mud fluid invasion and the hydrostatic pressure in the well bore can mask potentially productive zones. especially in horizontal wells.

high pressure. • High producing zones close to the beginning of the well trajectory will adversely affect the underbalanced conditions along the borehole. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 15 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Disadvantages of Underbalanced Drilling It is of introduction reasonable to assume. • Slim hole wells with high annulus friction pressures. • Excessive formation water. Before starting an underbalanced drilling operation. • Deep. highly permeable wells can be problematic due to flow control & safety issues. • Operators interfering with the UBD experts. • Handling and disposal of produced fluids. • Not following established design guidelines. Underbalanced Reservoir drilling Advantages Disadvantages Decreased formation damage Possible wellbore stability problems Eliminate risk of differential sticking Increased daily costs Reduce risk of loss circulation Generally higher risk with more inherent problems Increased ROP More complex tripping operations Improved bit life Possible increased torque and drag Reservoir Characterization More complex drilling system More people required Limitations There are not only advantages to underbalanced drilling. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of underbalanced drilling will allow operators to start initial considerations and candidate selection. • Wells that require hydrostatic fluid or pressure to kill the well during certain drilling or completion operations. • Increased complexity and HSE issues on H2S wells. There are a number of technical limitations as well as safety and economic limitations to underbalanced drilling. that there are also specific disadvantages associated with underbalanced drilling. • Flaring of produced gas. • Wells that contain significant pressure or lithology variations. Conditions that can adversely affect any underbalanced operation: • Wellbore stability issues. • Erosion and corrosion issues and risks. the limitations of the process must also be reviewed. aside from the positive aspects of underbalanced reservoir drilling.

a third component of the classification system addresses the underbalanced technique used. Classification A= Low head .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Classification System for Underbalanced drilling A classification system developed by The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) is helping in establishing the risks associated with underbalanced drilled wells Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Performance enhancement only. Well is 'inherently stable' and is low level risk from a well control point of view Well capable of natural flow to surface but enabling conventional well kill methods and limited consequences in case of catastrophic equipment failure Geothermal & non-hydrocarbon production. no hydrocarbon containing zones Well incapable of natural flow to surface. Maximum shut-in pressures less than UBD equipment operating pressure rating. This system combines the risk management categories defined above (Levels 0 to 5) with a sub-classifier to indicate if wells are drilled “underbalanced” or with a “low head” using underbalanced technology. In order to provide a complete method of classifying the type of technology used for one or more sections of a well. Maximum shut-in pressures less than UBD equipment operating pressure rating. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 A matrix is referenced below to easily classify the majority of known underbalanced applications. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences Hydrocarbon production. B= UBD Gas drilling Mist Drilling Foam drilling Gasified Liquid Drilling Liquid Drilling 0 A 1 2 3 4 5 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5 1 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5 2 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5 3 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5 4 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5 5 B 1 2 3 4 5 Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 16 of 154 . or multiple wells in a particular project. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences Maximum projected surface pressures exceed UBO operating pressure rating but are below BOP stack rating.

More information can be found on the IADC website at www. All wells classified as a level 4 or level 5 underbalanced well will require significant planning to ensure that these wells can be safely drilled underbalanced.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Example of Classification System Use – a horizontal section of a well is drilled in a known geologic area using a drilling fluid lightened with nitrogen gas to achieve an underbalanced condition through the reservoir section.iadc.org Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 17 of 154 .000 psi with a potential surface shut-in pressure of 2500 psi. The maximum predicted bottomhole pressure is 3. This well would be classified as a 4-B-4 indicating Classification Level 4 risk. and UBD drilling with a Gasified liquid.

This road map leads the way to a successful underbalanced drilling operation. One of the complexities of underbalanced drilling is ensuring that all the issues associated with drilling and flowing a well simultaneously are understood.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling How To Drill Underbalanced? Before mobilizing or selecting equipment. What happened in conventional drilling is now all changed as the reservoir will be dictating what actions are taken during drilling and tripping operations. To ensure that all off the issues are addressed before starting an underbalanced drilling operation. the correct well and of course the correct way to drill underbalanced. a standard sequence of al the issues has been developed shown as a road map. it is essential that the correct reservoir candidate is selected. Fig 8 Underbalanced Drilling Road Map Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 18 of 154 .

or to quantify the results that could be expected. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 19 of 154 . provides in-depth analysis with the Reservoir Damage Assessment (RDATM) software. a significant amount of data needs to be collected and analyzed. The SURE collection of reservoir data will include issues such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Reservoir depth Reservoir pressure Reservoir temperature Lithology Net to gross Fracture data if it is a naturally fractured reservoir Oil water / oil gas contacts Permeability and porosity What fluids are being produced? Is there core data available for the reservoir and is there core available to carry out damage analysis? What production data is available from offset wells? What reservoir models are being followed? Why are the reservoir targets chosen? The more information that can be gathered on a reservoir. there was no easy and reliable way to identify underbalanced prospects. Weatherford's SURE team and our new Suitable Underbalanced Reservoir Evaluation (SURE) Process change all of this. to highlight the technical challenges presented by them. underbalanced fails to live up to its potential either because unsuitable reservoirs are drilled or inappropriate drilling technology is applied. Too often. The objectives and reasons for an underbalanced drilling project will need to be determined early on in a project. the better the analysis that can be made to see if underbalanced drilling is indeed beneficial to the reservoir. SURE simplifies the candidate selection process with the Reservoir Screening Tool (RSTTM). DATA COLLECTION RESERVOIR DRILLING ANALOGS Reservoir Data Reservoir data collection is the first step to a successful underbalanced drilling project.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Data Collection To understand if a reservoir can be drilled underbalanced. and these must remain in focus during the project preparations. Until now. and produces a risk-based economic model to aid decision making.

Some reservoirs are simply too technically challenging to be drilled underbalanced. and minimum/most likely/maximum values for porosity. risk of borehole instability. the drive mechanism. These may include. RST Deliverables At the end of an RST screening study. The type (positive or negative). a number of modules are incorporated in the software through which each candidate reservoir is run. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 20 of 154 . pressure. RST Process Methodology In RST. These modules are a combination of classical formation damage theory coupled with proprietary experience of underbalanced analog reservoirs around the world. tornado charts are provided that help understand which input variables have the greatest correlation to the risked suitability score. a decision can be made to proceed with the indepth analysis phase of the SURE process. presence of fractures. The RST employs a Monte Carlo simulation as an integral part of the software. RST accounts for exclusionary factors. and strength of correlation indicate the degree to which the range of each input variable is influencing the range of outcome. you are presented with a quick look summary report containing: • • • • • The suitability rating of each candidate reservoir in the form of statistical distributions A ranking of each candidate reservoir within all reservoirs examined A comparison of the candidate reservoirs to analog reservoirs with proven underbalanced drilling success Discussion on factors influencing the scoring of candidates Sensitivity analysis Based on this information. Within the simulation. RST produces a distribution of the scores for each reservoir. As well as statistical distributions of a reservoir’s suitability for underbalanced drilling. At the end of several thousand iterations. So. water saturation. The possible values for each uncertain reservoir variable are defined by a probability distribution. borehole instability or an extremely low pore pressure gradient. reservoir thickness. For each reservoir studied.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Reservoir Screening Tool (RST) To run the Reservoir Screening Tool (RST). reservoir heterogeneity. Risked Suitability scores range from -100 (stick to conventional techniques) to +100 (drill UB without hesitation). clay content. basic reservoir data. the software randomly picks possible reservoir values from each of these probability distributions to calculate an underbalanced risked suitability rating. the RST enables sensitivity analysis. etc are entered. high reservoir pressure. regardless of other positive indicators. with 0 as the break-even point.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Suitability Excellent Good Average Poor Non candidate RST Score 70 to 100 40 to 69 0 to 39 -21 to 0 -21 to -100 Recommendation Drill Underbalanced Drill Underbalanced or proceed to SURE Phase II Proceed with RDA or SURE phase II study Eliminate candidate or proceed with RDA study Eliminate candidate for underbalanced drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 21 of 154 .

) and the results of previous drilling and completion techniques. for more complex reservoirs. etc. After a formal QA/QC assessment. The reduction in permeability due to damage is converted into skin to feed a Babu & Odeh-based analytical model within RDA. the permeability reductions can be input into a numerical simulator for a more rigorous productivity evaluation. The software models 11 formation damage mechanisms for nonstimulated underbalanced or overbalanced wells.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling SURE Phase II The goal of SURE Phase II is to provide a risk-based approach to underbalanced systems payback for RST screened reservoirs. focusing on detailed reservoir definition (lithofacies. Additionally RDA considers damage effects on productivity due to factors such as a real positioning and partial penetration. the production forecasts produced are then used as input to the next stage of the Phase II SURE process – economic modeling. x-ray diffraction. Gathering this data is a joint effort between the SURE Team and the client. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 22 of 154 . the Reservoir Damage Assessment software is a uniquely rigorous model that predicts radial isotropic near wellbore formation damage. Phase II predicts and compares formation damage and productivity for overbalanced and underbalanced drilled wells. along with an effective radius of damage. robust data is then input to Weatherford’s proprietary Reservoir Damage Assessment (RDA) software. The calculated permeability reduction due to each damage mechanism is segregated as near and deep. Alternatively. We created this model based on classical damage theory augmented with pseudo empirically calculated damage assessments mined from a large database of core and laboratory data contained within RDA. Reservoir Damage Assessment Developed in cooperation with Hycal Energy Research Laboratories. production and reservoir data. cores. The first step of the in-depth analysis is amassing a wealth of geological.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 23 of 154 .

Analog data from around the world is collected by UDB providers and stored and can be used to establish the best underbalanced methods to be used for a specific reservoir. Of course the SPE papers also provide an excellent source of reservoir information. mainly to ensure that underbalanced drilling can be executed safely and efficiently. Using the production data from these offset reservoirs may provide useful offset information for a UBD operation. The more that is know about the field and the reservoir. Some of the drilling data that would be collected is: • • • • • • • • • • • Where are casing strings set and what is the casing design for the well? What kind of completion is to be run? What are the objectives of the well? Directional profile of the well Reservoir target area’s and expected reservoir penetration Drilling parameters normally used in the reservoir Drilling history of the field and offset wells.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Drilling Data Besides reservoir data. the better the solution is that ultimately is applied to the reservoir and surprises will no doubt still be encountered once underbalanced operations start. a review of any similar reservoirs that may have already been drilled underbalanced should be conducted. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 24 of 154 . Drilling problems encountered in the reservoir Pore and fracture gradients in the well What drilling fluids have been used to drill this reservoir? Finally cost and time information will be required to ensure that it is cost effective to drill underbalanced. Analog Data As a part of the entire selection process for wells and reservoirs. a large amount of drilling and well data is collected.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Evaluation
As part of the data collection the reservoir needs to be evaluated, and it needs to be established if the reservoir does indeed benefit from underbalanced drilling technology. Some reservoirs cannot be drilled underbalanced and other reservoirs will only show marginal benefits.

Of course a part of the whole reservoir selection process is the economic screening of the candidate reservoirs and wells. The business drivers behind a project must never be forgotten. If the business benefits cannot be achieved then the project must be reviewed and maybe cancelled. The improvements from an underbalanced operation must pay for the additional cost of the technology. This is often the most difficult limitation of underbalanced drilling to overcome. If the reservoir / production engineers cannot be convinced that there is a sound reason for drilling underbalanced and can see productivity improvements, the whole underbalanced project may never get further than the feasibility study. To drill a well underbalanced extra equipment and people are required and this additional cost of the well must be paid back. Once this information has been gathered and reviewed, and, from the data it is thought that underbalanced drilling is the absolute best method to recover more hydrocarbons in an economic and technically successful manner, it is time to review the next set of steps in the design process.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 25 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Risk Assessment
The risk assessment forms an integral part of the underbalanced selection process and ensuring that operators are made aware of the potential risks, the risk assessment is carried out during the candidate selection process. The IADC well Classification form an essential fist step in the overall risk assessment. The IADC classification for underbalanced wells should be assigned to every well drilled underbalanced. This gives the first indication of the potential risks.

IADC Well Classification
Level 0 – Performance enhancement only; no hydrocarbon containing zones. Level 1 – Well incapable of natural hydrocarbon flow to surface. Well is 'inherently stable' and is low-level risk from a well control point of view. Level 2 – Well capable of natural hydrocarbon flow to surface but enabling conventional well kill methods and limited consequences in case of catastrophic equipment failure. (Flowing oil well) Level 3 – Geothermal & non-hydrocarbon production. Maximum shut-in pressures less than UBD equipment operating pressure rating. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences. Level 4 – Hydrocarbon production. Maximum shut-in pressures less than UBD equipment operating pressure rating. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences. (Oil/gas well) Level 5 – Maximum projected surface pressures exceed UBO operating pressure rating but are below BOP stack rating. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences.

Classification Level A – Low Head, or B – UBD Gas Drilling Mist Drilling Foam Drilling Gasified Liquid Drilling Liquid Drilling
Fig 9 Underbalanced IADC Classification

0 A 1 2 3 4 5 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5

1 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5

2 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5

3 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5

4 B 1 2 3 4 5 A 1 2 3 4 5

5 B 1 2 3 4 5

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 26 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

The next step in the risk assessment is the review of the reservoir and the produced fluids

Reservoir and Production
Produced fluids Oil/Condensate Gas Water Gas production rate 0 - 4 mmscf/day 4 - 11 mmscf/day 11 - 32 mmscf/day > 32 mmscf/day Water production rate 0 - 315 bbl/day 315 - 1260 bbl/day > 1260 bbl/day H2S expected Yes No Oil/Condensate Production rate 0 - 315 bbl/day 315 - 1260 bbl/day > 1260 bbl/day True Vertical Depth: Reservoir Pressure: feet psi Measured Depth: feet

The risk assessment for the reservoir reviews the kind of fluids that are expected, the gas rates and the production profile. It also reviews if any H2S is being produced and of course it looks at the depth of the reservoir and the pressure in the reservoir. A deep high-pressure sour gas reservoir would obviously have a classification with a higher risk compared to a low-pressure oil producer.

Technical/Equipment
Rank the reasons for considering UB operations: 1 2 3 4 Minimize reservoir skin damage Minimize drilling problems: Diff. Sticking, Lost circulation, etc. Performance enhancement (e.g.. ROP) Other (specify): Separation Compression Membrane N2 Cryogenic N2 Mist Pump Rotating Diverter Fluids Upper zones will be open while drilling production section Underbalance Horizontal/high angle well Foam is to be used in operations BOP Drill String Floats Equipment to be involved in the operation: Involved WFT Provided

The reasons and objectives for underbalanced drilling are also very much a part of the risk assessment. A well drilled underbalanced to minimize skin damage will need to be maintained underbalanced at all times, thus adding complexity to the operation. As part of the QHSE section of the risk assessment, the equipment required and fluid systems to be used are also recorded as is the number of people on location and the experience of the rig crew.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 27 of 154

Sensty Low Medium High Fluid system to be used N2/Nat. QHSE Environ. Gas only Air only Water based fluid Oil based fluid UBS Pers.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The tripping method in an underbalanced drilled well is crucial. Operator/Producer Experience The operator has less than 3 years of general underbalanced experience The operator has minimal underbalanced experience in this field The drilling engineer has less than 3 years of general underbalanced experience The drilling engineer has minimal underbalanced experience in this field A feasibility study has not been performed on this field How would the operator prefer the job be performed? Commodity based With full Applications Engineering Once this is done. Avoiding pipe light and snubbing can reduce the risk level significantly. This provides a rapid assessment of the potential risk and provides the service provider with the required equipment and personnel for the job. a risk assessment score will be allocated to the job. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 28 of 154 . Tripping method: DDV Snubbing Flow while tripping Conventional tripping Pre engineered WFT Program/Template not available Equipment operator SOP's not available The Drilling Contractor crews have less than 3 years of underbalanced experience Finally the experience of the operator is taken into account together with a look at how the job will be performed.

Will benefit from UBD Formations that usually suffer major formation damage during drilling or completion operations.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Candidate Selection Although it is true to state that most reservoirs can probably be drilled underbalanced. Wells with skin factors of 5 or higher Formations that exhibit differential sticking tendencies Formations with zones with severe losses or fluid invasion from drilling or completion operations Wells with large macroscopic fractures Low permeability wells Wells with massive heterogeneous or highly laminated formations characterized by differing permeabilities. porosities and pore throat throughput High production reservoirs with low to medium permeabilities Formation with rock fluid sensitivities Formations that exhibit low ROP with overbalanced drilling Will not benefit from UBD Wells in areas of very low conventional drilling cost Wells drilled in areas of extremely high ROP (that is ROP ≥ 1000 ft/day) Extremely high permeability wells Ultra low permeability wells Poorly consolidated formations Wells with low borehole stability Wells with loosely cemented laminar boundaries Wells that contain multiple zones with different pressure regimes Reservoirs with interbedded shales or claystones Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 29 of 154 . the complexities will vary greatly from reservoir to reservoir. The table below shows reservoir types that will and will not benefit from underbalanced drilling. It is important that the right reservoir is selected for an underbalanced drilling operation. Candidate selection for underbalanced drilling must not only focus on the benefits of underbalanced drilling but must also consider a number of additional considerations that will need to be appreciated when selecting candidates. Some reservoirs cannot safely be drilled underbalanced because of pressure or geological issues mainly associated with rock stability issues.

443 psi/ft 0. Underbalanced Classification Matrix Productivity Enhancement et Oi Swe et G Swe ells as W Sour We Gas lls Sour ells Oil W Drilling Optimization Pres nce orma Perf ling Dril al therm Geo ling Dril aged Man Drilling sure lls l We 0.520 psi/ft 0. This example provides a guide to risk assessment and these should be prepared for each project during the HAZID / HAZOP reviews.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling UBS Well Type Matrix The next step in risk assessment is a quick look at the type of well that is to be drilled and this will give further insight in the planning and equipment requirements for a job.208 psi/ft 1 2 4 4 4 5 1 2 4 4 4 5 1 2 4 4 4 5 1 1 2 4 5 5 4A 4A 4A 4A 4A 4A 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 3 3 HIGH RISK 0.624 psi/ft LOW RISK Fig 10 Risk Matrix MODERATE RISK Some type of risk matrix will need to be designed to reduce operational risks and provide a system for effective hazard (QHSE) and change management by giving an indication of risk levels for the selected well. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 30 of 154 .624 psi/ft > 0.364 psi/ft 0.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling High Level Cost Estimates One of the first issues an operator wants to be solved is after it has been confirmed that his reservoir can be drilled underbalanced is how much budget is required. UBS Feasibility The UBS feasibility is the output and report part of the initial underbalanced drilling review. Of course if the feasibility shows that underbalanced drilling is not feasible. reviews and describes all of the previous aspects such as reservoir and well candidate selection combined with the risk matrix. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 31 of 154 . it should also explain why UBD might not be the correct method and what alternative methods could be used instead. These budgetary costs are normally further defined later on in the project by the project manager once more of the detailed engineering has been finalized. The high level cost estimates that are created at this point of an underbalanced drilling project are normally budgetary cost estimates based on the expected equipment and expected people for the project. The feasibility report also allows the service provider to look at his equipment and personnel availability and schedule the job. This report also provides a summary of the methodology that needs to be applied for the selected wells based on the matrix. An underbalanced drilled well can cost as much as double the cost of a conventional well depending obviously on the complexities that are anticipated during the drilling operations. This feasibility report allows the operator’s senior management to review and approve the full underbalanced drilling project before starting with the detailed engineering. This point provides the operator with a stop / go point in an underbalanced drilling project. This feasibility report.

There is a second stop/go point in any underbalanced drilling project and that is normally arrived at once all the detailed planning has been completed and the detailed program and procedures have been completed.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling UBD Project definition Project Definition Design & Planning Execution Review Candidate Selection Tender UBD Services Award Contracts Complete detailed HAZOP Modify Equipment Mobilise Equipment Commision Equipment Rig Up Technical Feasibility Detailed Design Economic Feasibility Preliminary Procedures Carry out Rig Mods Train Crews Drill Underbalanced End of well report Capture Lessons Produce Project Approval Final Go-Ahead Approval Cost Saving potential Costs Costs Project Time The first stop and go point in a UBD project is reached when the candidate selection has been completed and the feasibility report has been provided to the operator. Prior to starting rig modifications and starting to mobilize equipment a project can be delayed. postponed or cancelled. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 32 of 154 .

and environmental requirements as well as the required technical requirements. formation lithology. environmental impact. comprises of the base fluid plus any reservoir and formation fluids that enter as a result of the underbalanced state. well fluid characteristics. data transmission. drilling BHA. as well as the primary objective for drilling underbalanced all have to be taken into consideration before the final fluid selection can be made. The objective of the fluid selection system is to select the optimum drilling fluid for underbalanced drilling operations that meets all the health. Fluid Selection Fluid selection for underbalanced drilling operations can be extremely complex. in an underbalanced situation. compatibility. safety. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 33 of 154 . temperature stability. Circulation System Design The well planning will start with the design of the circulation system. surface fluid handling and separation. health and safety. The base drilling fluid is the fluid that will be pumped down the drillpipe. corrosion. the detailed well planning will start at this point. Key issues such as reservoir characteristics.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Detailed Well Planning Providing that the feasibility report recommends that underbalanced drilling is profitable and operator management has provided the OK for the project to continue. This should not be confused with the annular fluid that. The first step in this is the design of the base fluid. fluid source availability. well geometry. These steps ensure that all UBS well planning covers all of the issues and will result in a complete detailed UBS drilling program. geophysical characteristics. hole cleaning.

simply convert the reservoir pressure and the drawdown into an equivalent fluid density. Where: Equivalent Fluid Weight 0 to 2 ppg 2 to 4 ppg 4 to 7 ppg 7 to 8. This value is likely to be further refined. it is relatively simply to obtain the first indication of the fluid system that may be used for underbalanced drilling. Fluid gradients are calculated based on the following formula: fluid gradient (ppg) = Reservoir Pressure .5 ppg 8. with a given drawdown. Once an equivalent mud weight is calculated. In underbalanced drilling.Surface Pressure .5 to 10 ppg 10 to 12 ppg 12 ppg or higher Fluid System Nitrogen or gas Stable foam system Gasified fluids or Foam systems Native crude or Diesel Waterbased fluid systems Brine systems Not recommended for underbalanced drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 34 of 154 . This density value provides us with a starting point for the selection of a fluid system. In overbalanced drilling. the fluid weight is selected so that it provides a minimum hydrostatic pressure of some 200 psi plus a trip margin above the reservoir pressure.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling One of the most important aspects of the base fluid is the density of the fluid that is required to achieve an underbalanced condition in the wellbore whilst circulating.Drawdown 0. a fluid needs to be selected that provides a suitable hydrostatic pressure below the reservoir pressure.052 x Reservoir TVD (ft) Where: Surface Pressure is assumed to be approximately 150 psi And the reservoir Drawdown is assumed to be 250 psi Note : These numbers can vary significantly for different reservoirs and must be determined during the reservoir evaluation and review. To calculate this initial fluid density required. depending on the circulation system pressure losses and the expected reservoir inflow.

liquids and gases.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The fluid selection for underbalanced drilling has a density range that covers the entire spectrum from gas through to weighted fluids.0 SO_00591 2/4/98 Fig 11 Fluid Classification and selection As the density of the required fluid increases the associated reservoir pressure of the reservoir will normally be higher and the IADC well classification must be considered when selecting fluids. 3. 2. just like in overbalanced drilling. 7 Oil Weighted Mud (Barite) 0 Air 150 20. 0. which may require a high fluid density will also require significant planning to ensure that the risks associated with the higher pressures can be managed. There are basically 5 fluid systems that are recognized with underbalanced drilling that allows us to achieve drilling fluids with densities ranging from gas to weighted liquids. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 35 of 154 . 1. • • • • • Gas systems Mist systems Foam Gasified Liquids Liquids The base drilling fluid for underbalanced drilling operations has three basic functions. Lubricity of the drillstring and bit Particular the cooling of the bit. Hole Cleaning Lubrication Cooling Transportation of solids. It must be remembered that an IADC level 5 well.

Rheological Control . Not Over-Expensive. a) b) c) d) e) f) Non-Damaging. Good Hole Cleaning.Viscosity and Friction.Surface. Fluid Selection Matrix Fluid System Gas Base Fluid Water Sea water Fresh water Formation Water Gas Gas Injection Method Mist Increasing Density Air Drill string Injection Oil Foam Diesel Oil Native Crude Vegetable Oils Distillates Nitrogen Annular Injection Gasified Fluids Mud Single phase Fluids waterbased mud oil based mud Natural Gas Exhaust Gas Combined string / annular Injection Brines Brines KCL Brines Chloride Brines Bromite Brines Zinc Brines Formate Brines Weighted Fluids Fig 12 Fluid Selection Matrix The fluid selection matrix shown in fig 12 describes how many combinations are possible to obtain the required bottom hole pressures associated with the fluid system for underbalanced drilled wells. or even fluid injection. Fluid densities can be changed using gas injection. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 36 of 154 . Lubrication. But the safety considerations in fluid selection always need to be maintained.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The goals and functions of the base drilling fluid for underbalanced drilling can be further broken down into a number of further categories. Ease of Separation and Measurement .

Fluid System Gas Mist Foam dry Foam wet Gasified diesel Gasified water Diesel oil Water Fluid System Density Pressures at reservoir 0. With a reservoir pressure of 4115 psi in the example below the maximum surface pressures can be estimated quickly. Surface Pressures Mud System Surface Pressure need to be controlled Surface Pressure Too High Water Diesel oil Fluid System Gasified water Gasified diesel Foam wet Foam dry Mist Gas 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 Surface Pressure (psi) Fig 13 Surface Pressure Control During Fluid Selection Process A graph. a maximum surface pressure will be provided by the service provider. as shown in fig 13 above.5 ppg 3394 7.1 ppg 45 0.0 ppg 4073 Surface Pressure 4071 3980 2532 1400 1491 721 857 314 42 It is normal practice to limit the surface pressures to a safe operating value as defined during HAZOP or HAZID reviews. the downhole pressure and surface pressure for a given fluid system. This is also one of the selection criteria for underbalanced drilling.4 ppg 3802 9.0 ppg 2715 5. with a certain reservoir pressure. as shown below.5 ppg 1584 6.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Maintaining well control during underbalanced drilling is a primary concerns.8 ppg 2625 7. Using a simple table. quickly show the implications on surface pressures when selecting different fluids. For most separation systems. The rotating control device has a certain maximum operating pressure which cannot be exceeded. can be quickly assessed.2 ppg 3259 8. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 37 of 154 . and an essential part of this is keeping the surface pressures as low as possible.3 ppg 135 3.

It can also be caused by the precipitation of waxes. weighting agents. fluid loss agents. solids or asphaltenes caused by a reduction in temperature or pressure associated with the drilling process. One of the main issues here is the introduction of bacteria that over time result in the formation of sulphates. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 38 of 154 . but must also take into account the type of formation that is being drilled and the potential formation damage mechanisms. due to friction and insufficient cooling or due to downhole fires. Detailed studies and coreflush testing with a selected fluid may be required to assess the damage mechanisms of a certain reservoir. and the potential for separation of the reservoir fluids from the base drilling fluid. Other key issues for fluid selection considerations are not only associated with formation pressures. coreflush testing with the final selected base fluid may have to be performed to ensure that reservoir damage is minimized. Four main damage mechanisms have been identified: Mechanical Damage Mechanical damage is mainly caused by the introduction of solids from the mud system. One of the most important aspects of the fluid selection is formation damage. artificial bridging agents (LCM) or naturally occurring drilled solids and whole mud invasion. heating of the formation occurs which in turn results in glazing of the formation. causing a reservoir to become sour over time. especially if the objective of underbalanced drilling is to improve reservoir productivity and to minimize formation damage.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Formation Damage The fluid selection must also take into account any potential reservoir and formation interaction. reservoir damage once again needs to be reviewed. Chemical Damage Chemical damage is mainly caused by the swelling of clay in the formations as a result of fluid filtrate invasion. as well as the production engineers. will need to understand the damage mechanisms associated with the reservoir. Thermal Damage Thermal damage is mostly associated with air and gas drilling where. Biological Damage Biological damage results from the introduction of bacterial agents during drilling and completion processes. with the selection of the drilling fluid. Reservoir engineers and geologists. Although this will have been looked at in some detail during the candidate selection. The assessment of the formation damage with a given fluid becomes an essential element for the engineering and fluid selection for an underbalanced project. As stated earlier.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling All four of these main damage mechanisms will need to be taken into account when selecting a drilling fluid for underbalanced operations. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 39 of 154 . Fig 14 Main Formation Damage Mechanisms. These four main categories are further broken down into a number of more detailed damage mechanisms and the chart below shows these main damage mechanisms.

If a gas reservoir is being drilled underbalanced. The use of air in hydrocarbon bearing formations is not recommended as the combination of oxygen and natural gas may cause an explosive mixture. Although the gaseous fluids are normally associated with performance drilling in some reservoir applications the density requirement for the fluid may well require gas systems to achieve an underbalanced status. nitrogen is normally used. Characteristics of gaseous drilling: • Fast penetration rates • Longer bit life • Greater footage per bit • Good cement jobs • Better production • Requires minimal water influx • Slugging can occur • Mud rings can occur in the presence of fluid ingress • Relies on annular velocity to remove cuttings from the well Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 40 of 154 . There have been a number of reported cases where downhole fires have destroyed drillstrings and of course there is the obvious potential of the rig burning down if a gas/air mixture gets to surface and forms an explosive mix in a surface system.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Gaseous Fluids Gaseous fluids are the gas systems. Natural gas for underbalanced drilling operations has been proven to be a worthy alternative in drilling operations. This avoids the use of nitrogen and may provide a cheap drilling system. The experience with nitrogen in well servicing operations made it a first choice for underbalanced drilling operations. Nitrogen has a number of options in as far as liquid nitrogen or generated nitrogen and this will be further discussed under the gas systems in this introduction. To avoid the use of air. a producing well or an export pipeline well may produce sufficient gas at the right pressure to drill.

The basic setup for air drilling and foam drilling is not significantly different. The flare line or blooie line is normally routed into a flare pit. The diagram above shows a typical rig set up for nitrogen or air drilling. The return line has a T-junction to route any fluid slugs to the shale shakers. The gas injection system is tied into the standpipe and gas is injected through the conventional standpipe manifold directly into the standpipe. and these are routed to the shakers. A gas buster in the return line ensures that any produced liquid can be returned to the pits.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Fig 15 Air Drilling / Foam Drilling Setup On a Rig. A gas buster is used to separate any produced fluids. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 41 of 154 . The above depicted setup will also work for foam drilling by mixing nitrogen/air with a fluid and a surfactant.

Mist drilling should only used in special applications since hole cleaning is even more difficult with mist drilling system when compared with air drilling. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 42 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Mist Systems Mist Drilling is normally used when formations begin to produce small amounts of water (10 to 100 bbls per hour) during air/gas drilling operations. with attendant pressure increase Fig 16 Mist Exiting Blooie Line At Surface. Characteristics of mist-drilling: • Similar to air drilling but with addition of liquid • Relies on annular velocity to remove cuttings from the well • Reduces formation of mud rings • High volumes required (30%-40% more than dry air drilling) • Pressures generally higher than dry air drilling • Incorrect air/gas-liquid ratio leads to slugging. the fluid added to a gas environment will disperse into fine droplets and form a mist. This solution entraps the water influx and enables the air phase to lift the cuttings and influx to surface. Gas or air volumes are increased and a mist pump skid is used to inject small quantities of water and a foaming agent solution. In general this technique is used in areas where some formation water exists which prevents the use of complete 'dry air' drilling. In mist drilling.

During connections and trips. the foam remains stable and provides a more stable bottom hole pressure. up the annulus and out of the well. Foams can have extremely high viscosities. Foam has good rheology and excellent cutting transport properties. their viscosities are greater than that of both the liquid and the gas that they contain. One of the problems Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 43 of 154 . The drilling fluid remains foam throughout its circulation path down the drillstring. The fact that foam has some natural inherent viscosity as well as fluid loss control properties. makes foam a very attractive drilling medium. the volumes of liquid and gas injected into the well are carefully controlled. which can be generated with foam systems. Adding surfactant to a fluid and mixing the fluid system with a gas generates foam. During foam drilling. Fig 17 Foam Structure Foam consists of a continuous liquid phase.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Foam Systems Drilling with foam has some appeal due to the fact that foam has some attractive qualities and properties with respect to the very low hydrostatic densities. Foam used for drilling has a texture not unlike shaving foam. at the surface. in all instances. This ensures that foam forms when the liquid enters the gas stream. which may inhibit fluid losses. forming a cellular structure that surrounds and entraps a gas. The more stable nature of foam also results in a much more continuous downhole pressure condition due to slower fluid and gas separation when the injection is stopped. It is a particularly good drilling fluid with a high carrying capacity and a low density.

in general. In earlier foam systems. Due to the high carrying capacities of foam. due to the hydrostatic pressure of the annular column.95 ppg).6 ppg – 6. The backpressure adjusts the downhole pressure and slows down the velocities in the annulus.8sg (1. rely on either a chemical method of breaking and making the foam.2 to 0. and this can cause problems on a rig if the foam cannot be broken down fast enough. An average acceptable bottom-hole foam quality (FQ) is in the region of 50%-60%.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling encountered with the conventional foam systems is that foam does what it says on the tin. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 44 of 154 . The foam quality at surface used for drilling is normally between 80% and 95%. Downhole. The foam normally remains stable. the amount of defoamer had to be tested carefully so that the foam was broken down before any fluid entered the separators. The quality of foam means that the system is 80% to 95% gas. and the liquid can also be refoamed so that less foaming agent is required and a closed circulation system can be used. stable foam could cause particular problems with carry over. with the remaining 5 to 20% being liquid. even when it returns to the surface. or the utilization of an increase and decrease of pH to make and break the foam. Experience has proven that foam is able to handle over 100 bbls/hr of water influx. It remains stable. this ratio changes as the volume of gas is reduced. The compressible bubble structure of foam provides up to 10 times the carrying capacity of normal liquid based circulation systems. Fig 18 Foam drilling (note the cuttings floating on top of the foam) Fluid densities for foam range from 0. The density ranges are adjusted with the make up of the foam by adjusting the LVF (Liquid Volume Fraction) through the injection of liquid and gas by adjusting the backpressure on the well. These systems. In closed circulation drilling systems. The recently developed stable foam systems are simpler to break. annular velocities as low as 1 ft/min have proven to provide effective hole cleaning.

5 gpm 300 – 1000 scft/min Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 45 of 154 .05 – 0.0% by weight 0.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Characteristics of foam drilling: • Extra fluid in the system reduces the influence of formation water • Very high carrying capacity • Reduced pump rates due to improved cuttings transport • Stable foam reduces slugging tendencies of the wellbore • The stable foam can withstand limited circulation stoppages without affecting the cuttings removal or ECD to any significant degree • Improved surface control and more stable downhole environment • The breaking down of the foam at surface needs to be addressed at the design stage • More increased surface equipment required Gas volume percentage 99.55% 0 – 55% Name Mist Foam Gasified Liquid Liquid injection volume Soap injection volume Gas injection volume Guidelines for Foam Drilling 16 – 80 gpm 0.3 to 1.99 – 96% 96% .

slugging will occur. especially at surface.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Gasified Systems The next system after a foam system is a gasified fluid system. complicates the hydraulics in the wellbore and the ratio of gas and liquid must be carefully calculated to ensure that a stable circulation system is used. which is used to control slightly higher pressures. less gas is required • Slugging of the gas and fluid must be managed correctly • Increased surface equipment will be required to store & clean the base fluid • Velocities. Characteristics of gasified-mud systems: • Extra fluid in the system will almost eliminate the influence of formation fluid unless incompatibilities occur • The mud properties can easily be identified prior to commencing the operation • Generally. If too much gas is used. as a circulation system in a well. If not enough gas is used. a liquid is gasified to reduce the density. will be lower. The use of gas and liquid. the required bottom hole pressure will be exceeded and the well will become overbalanced. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 46 of 154 . There are a number of methods that can be used to gasify a liquid system and these methods are discussed within the injection systems section. reducing wear & erosion both downhole and to the surface equipment. In these systems.

Glass beads are not recommended for prevention of differential sticking. especially offshore. since the glass beads come out over the shakers in the solids separation system or get crushed and damaged throughout the whole system. Water can be easily separated or viscosified. free of pits and excess air bubbles. Oil Systems If reservoir conditions are such that water is deemed unsuitable. Remember that fluids must be effectively degassed in the separation system. Water based systems Water. The glass beads are a transparent. Any viscosity in the system may cause issues with degassing of the fluid. this will ultimately turn into a crude oil system since base oil or diesel cannot be separated from crude oil. can be a first consideration because it is cheap and easily accessible. The main use for hollow glass beads in drilling is to reduce friction and torque within deviated holes. then crude oil. However. providing that an underbalanced situation can be achieved when circulating at the required rates. This is the simplest form of underbalanced drilling and. to ensure that the crude is sufficiently degassed before entering a closed pit system. base oil or diesel can be considered as a drilling fluid with the understanding and acceptance that when drilling an oil-bearing reservoir. has been used in an attempt to lighten a fluid. General Description of the beads Super-Slide – Coarse – 12-20 mesh Super-Slide – Medium – 20-40 mesh Super-Slide – Fine – 170-325 mesh Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 47 of 154 . A crude oil system can be chosen as long as the system exists. and the circulation system is almost as in a conventional drilling operation. an expensive option and not very effective in lightening the fluid. Fig 19 Glass Beads The glass beads are chemically inert and do not effect the chemical characteristics of the mud system. The risks of using a crude oil system must be addressed in a HAZOP when selecting the fluid system. Any viscosity added to a system must be carefully considered when drilling underbalanced. Other Systems The use of additives. The addition of glass beads is therefore. new beads need to be continuously added. a single phase fluid system should be a first consideration. solid soda lime glass.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Single phase fluids A well drilled underbalanced with a single phase fluid is sometimes referred to as “flow drilling”. Solid glass spheres act as tiny ball bearings to reduce friction and reduce differential pressure. such as glass beads.

the use of a gas injection into the fluid flow is an option. If during the drilling process. This offers a choice into not only the gas used but also in the way the gas is injected into the circulation system. natural gas or nitrogen is used as a lift gas. Normally. a potentially explosive situation could arise. hydrocarbons enter the borehole (expected in an underbalanced environment). However.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Gas lift systems If a fluid needs to be reduced in density. but both CO2 and O2 can also be utilized. • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 48 of 154 . resulting in either downhole fires or surface equipment explosions. gasses containing oxygen are not recommended for two main reasons: • The combination of oxygen and saline fluids with the high bottom hole temperatures can cause severe corrosion to tubulars used in the well and drillstring.

Specialist MWD tools such as electromagnetic may have to be used if high gas injection rates are required. This technique has previously been used very successfully with ` Fig 20 Drillstring Injection coiled tubing as the drillstring. Compressed gas is injected at the standpipe manifold where it mixes with the drilling fluid. Positive displacement motors (PDM's) are especially prone to fail when the rubber components get impregnated with the injection gas and then tripped back to surface. The main advantage of drillstring injection is that no special downhole equipment is required in the well. The use of reliable non-return valves is required to prevent flow up the drillpipe. wet connects can be utilized. and low bottom hole pressures can be achieved using this system. however. Once a trip is made. The gas rates used when drilling with drillpipe injection system are normally lower than with annular gas lift. Liquid Gas Reservoir The use of pulse type MWD tools is only possible up to 20% gas by volume. This results in an increase in bottom hole pressure. If drill pipe is to be used. A further drawback for drillstring injection is the impregnation of the gas into any downhole rubber seals. The disadvantages of this system include the need to stop pumping and the bleeding of any remaining trapped pressure in the drillstring every time a connection is made. This effect (explosive decompression) destroys not only the motors. One alternative is to connect the MWD back to surface using an electric cable. It may then be difficult to obtain a stable system and avoid pressure spikes at the reservoir when using drillpipe injection. the rubber can explode or swell as a result of the expanding gas not being able to disperse out of the stator quick enough. the additional time consumed using this technique can be limiting.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Drillpipe injection Drillstring injection is the first and simplest method of gas injection into the circulation system. these tools do not work very well offshore or if a significant amount of evaporates are drilled. If higher gas volumes are used. but also affects Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 49 of 154 . However. the pulse system deployed on MWD transmission systems will no longer work.

resulting in a high turnover of motors. if drillpipe injection is an option.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling any rubber seals used downhole. the use of all metal turbines should be considered. But. Special rubber compounds have been developed and the design of motors is changing to allow for this expansion. depending on the operational demands. The majority of motor suppliers can now provide PDM’s specifically designed for use in this kind of downhole environment. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 50 of 154 . Care must be taken at surface when breaking out the drilling assembly in case there is any high-pressure gas trapped in the tool string. This can be very costly to the drilling operation.

thus. For a new drill well. Gas is injected in the casing liner annulus to facilitate the drawdown required during the drilling operation. This method is worthwhile if a suitable casing or completion tubing scheme is installed in the well. As the gas is injected. Drilling a larger hole to accommodate the system and the well control issues associated with the annular injection system must also be considered. only a single-phase fluid is pumped down the drillstring. There may also be some modifications required to the wellhead for the installation of the tie back string and the gas injection system. which can have a positive affect on the operational cost of a project. the drawbacks of this system are that a suitable casing/completion scheme must be available and that the injection point must be low enough to obtain the required underbalanced conditions. The liner is then tied back to surface using a modified tubing hanger to suspend the tie back string. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 51 of 154 . This has the advantage that conventional MWD tools operate in their preferred environment. creating a more stable bottom hole pressure. The tie back string is then pulled prior to installation of the final completion. Liquid Gas The drawback with this type of operation is that the hole size and tools required are restricted by the minimum ID of the completion. a liner should be set just above the target formation. However. the main advantage of using an annulus to introduce gas into the system is that gas injection can be continued during connections. Reservoir ` Fig 21 Annular Injection (Concentric String) However. The alternative is for an older well to have a completion in place incorporating gas lift mandrel pockets. These can be set up to provide the correct bottom hole pressures during the drilling operation.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Annular injection Annular injection through a concentric casing string is most commonly used in a number of offshore projects. via the annulus.

For redundancy reasons. Gas is pumped down the parasite string and injected onto the drilling annulus. Wellhead modification is normally required to provide surface connections to the parasite strings. However. Gas Reservoir ` Fig 22 Parasite string Injection Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 52 of 154 . two 1” or 2” coiled tubing strings are normally strapped to the casing string above the reservoir as the casing is run in. This system is not recommended for deviated wells as the parasite string is easily ripped off with the casing on the low side of the hole. The installation of a production casing string and the running of the two parasite strings makes this a complicated operation. the principles of operation and the advantages of the system remain the same as with annular injection.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Parasite string injection Liquid The use of a small parasite string strapped to the outside of the casing for gas injection is really only used in vertical wells.

The use of air hammers with gas drilling is another option that can be used to increase ROP. virtually eliminating the need to flare the gas. The gas produced from the system can sometimes be re-routed to the compression system and be re-used. The use of natural gas injection through a coiled tubing system is also not recommended. These are: • • • • • Air Natural Gas Liquid Nitrogen Generated Nitrogen Exhaust Gas Air Although air is not the most obvious choice in a hydrocarbon environment. A flow regulator and a pressure regulator are normally used to control the amount of gas injected during the drilling process. Natural gas has greater solubility in hydrocarbons when compared to nitrogen. air and foam can still be used providing that foam stability is ensured and that defoaming does not cause explosive mixtures. It must also be stated that outside of drilling in hard rock formations and dry gas formations. This is an option used in tight gas reservoirs. The most efficient use of natural gas is normally through annular injection. The use of natural gas through the drillstring is not recommended. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 53 of 154 . Natural Gas If a source of high-pressure natural gas at the correct volumes is available. drilling with natural gas is a very good option. as a pinhole in the coil could not be isolated and gas maybe released to form an explosive mixture inside the wraps of the coiled tubing reel. which may result in the potential for greater disengagement problems and asphaltene precipitation. Natural gas is also non-toxic and non-corrosive if sweetened correctly. as gas will have to be vented every time a connection needs to be made although this can be done safely. thus. drilling operations using air in combination with liquids have been fraught with significant corrosion and oxidation problems in addition to well documented instances of downhole fires and explosions.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Gases for Underbalanced Drilling Several options for gas exist when drilling underbalanced.

It is produced by extraction from the air through fractional distillation. non-flammable and noncorrosive.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Cryogenic Nitrogen Nitrogen is by far the most common gas that is currently being used to lighten the circulating fluid column in underbalanced drilling operations. odorless and tasteless gas that makes up four fifths of the earths atmosphere. Liquid air boils at -317°F Liquid nitrogen boils at -320°F Liquid oxygen boils at -297°F.98 % can be obtained.11 % Other gases Nitrogen used in well operations is normally delivered to the rig in liquid format. Nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by the Swedish druggist Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Scottish botanist Daniel Rutherford. Nitrogen is a colorless. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 54 of 154 .03 % Nitrogen 20. All the liquids and equipment to handle these cold liquids are labeled cryogenic liquids and cryogenic equipment. Nitrogen forms a major part of our atmosphere in the fact that the atmosphere comprises of: 78. In this process the air is liquefied and the liquid is then separated though the following factors. Nitrogen is non-toxic. Only within recent years have materials and equipment been developed to handle very cold liquids like nitrogen on a commercial scale. This type of nitrogen is also known as cryogenic nitrogen.93 % Oxygen 0. The field of science that deals with the technology of handling liquids colder than -187°F is called cryogenics. By repeating the boiling and condensing processes high purity of liquid nitrogen up to 99. It has very low solubility in water and hydrocarbons.93 % Argon 0. Oxygen starts to evaporate leaving Nitrogen rich liquid. Nitrogen does not tend to form hydrate complexes or emulsions. and is compatible with virtually any fluid used in drilling operations. Special steels and aluminum are the most widely used cryogenic construction materials.

100000 24.450000 2.… Specific gravity of vapour at 14.561300 0. Thermal Conductivity @ 60ºF…………………… Density of saturated vapour………………….. Normal boiling point………………………………..019820 0.45°F 492.072400 6.443 lb/cu ft In underbalanced operations in the field.800000 1. 1 gallon of Liquid N2……………………………… Latent Heat of Evaporation……………………….000000 0.010750 0.148300 0.7 psia and 60 deg F Nitrogen is more expensive than straight air.580000 liquid (gal) liquid (cu ft) 0. the remaining liquid is cooled.401 0..320000 1.050000 696. Nitrogen tanks are provided with pressure relief valves to release nitrogen gas as the pressure builds up in the tank due to gas expansion by heat.000000 93. As the pressure is released..………………….016 .… N2 28. Nitrogen is mostly extracted through the process of separation of nitrogen molecules and air molecules through a membrane system..9°F @ 1.82 psi 93. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 55 of 154 . The volume of an offshore nitrogen tank is normally 2000 gallons. Density of liquid nitrogen at boiling point…….320. Conversion data for Nitrogen Nitrogen conversion data lb 1. Critical pressure…………………………………… Critical temperature………………………. Ratio of Specific Heat…………………………….……… Triple point………………………………………….743000 50.232.000000 1 lb 1 scft of gas 1 gal of liquid 1 cu ft of liquid 1 Liter of liquid Standard conditions for nitrogen are 14. This can be a significant issue in desert or tropical locations when Nitrogen has to be transported over long distances. The cost of nitrogen is mainly driven by the fuel costs to generate nitrogen and by the equipment rental costs of the generation system.133700 7.01462 BTU/sq ft hr 0.67 BTU/lb 0.035310 liquid (L) 0.. Specific Heat (cp) @ 77ºF……………………….03635 lb/cu ft 0..785000 28. Commercial trucks will carry as much as 7000 gallons and rail cars will hold as much as 12.001436 1.967 50.12 scft of gas 85.7 psia (air = 1). the use of pure air is not recommended for underbalanced drilling.4471 BTU/(lb)(ºF) 0. but as discussed in other sections.87°F .345.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Chemical symbol………………………………….000000 0. Cryogenic nitrogen is normally transported to locations in vacuum jacket tanks made out of stainless steel and tested to 50 psi.3 psi .. This is also known as nitrogen generation or membrane technology.040680 3.782000 scft of gas 13.000000 0.264200 0. Liquid nitrogen in storage loses gas continuously. Specific Heat (Cv) @ 70ºF……………………….3197 BTU/(lb)(ºF) 1.900 gallons of liquid nitrogen. Molecular Weight…………….481000 1.

Generally. If drilling is ongoing at this rate for several days. Fig 23 Cryogenic Nitrogen and N2 Converter In Use For UBD Operation The use of cryogenic nitrogen offshore is sometimes not recommended. with additional tanks being provided as necessary. where the fluid is pumped under pressure prior to being converted to gas. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 56 of 154 . this would depend on the application. Moving this on and off an offshore platform is a significant task and therefore could present some serious safety implications. and this can result in logistical difficulties. In order to move away from tank transport for large nitrogen dependant drilling operations. the use of nitrogen generators is recommended.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Cryogenic nitrogen in 2000-gallon transport tanks provides high quality nitrogen and utilizes equipment that is generally less expensive. Pumping 1500 scft/min of nitrogen for a 24hr-drilling period requires 15 tanks of 2000 gal each. then two dedicated supply boats would be required to maintain supply. the requirement is for the nitrogen converter and a work tank. Liquid nitrogen is passed through the nitrogen converter. The gas is then injected into the string. For operations in excess of 48 hrs. the requirement for liquid nitrogen could be quite large.

At 95% purity. Fig 24 Membrane Technology for Nitrogen Production Theoretically. which is likely greater than 8% oxygen content. One of the important issues associated with nitrogen generation is the purity of the nitrogen. which preferentially separate oxygen and other rich gases from the air leaving high purity nitrogen at around 95%. it is also inversely related to individual gas component partial pressures. a corrosion program will have to be implemented to combat the effects of oxygen in the drilling system. although this is not enough oxygen to cause explosion levels. only the nitrogen will flow the entire length of the hollow tube membrane system to exit as the product stream with the oxygen rich permeate stream and water vapour being vented before reaching the exit point. Nitrogen gas is generated by introducing compressed air into hollow membrane fibers. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 57 of 154 . the purity will vary. Fig 25 N2 Membrane In normal operation during underbalanced drilling. the oxygen content is limited to 5%. The corrosion is made worse when salt brine systems are used at elevated temperatures. 5% oxygen will be delivered. it is sufficient oxygen to cause significant corrosion problems. In many underbalanced operations using generated nitrogen. The system uses banks of modules to separate nitrogen from the atmosphere. The separation of nitrogen and oxygen is dependent on the concentration and quality of the individual fibers. and is directly related to inlet pressure and flow rate across the membrane. A percentage oxygen probe device is included in modern systems to ensure shutdown of the flow of oxygen if it exceeds hazardous limits. Depending on the amount and pressure of nitrogen required. The remaining 5% is normally oxygen.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Membrane Nitrogen In 1995 a US patent was issued for a process to use membrane gas separation technology to drill oil and gas wells with nitrogen produced onsite to replace higher cost cryogenically produced nitrogen as an alternative gas source for underbalanced drilling.

when using diesel fired engines. But the availability and transportation issues associated with propane gas in remote locations have left the exhaust gas technology in the experimental stage. burn much cleaner and this results in much less oxygen (often less than 2%) in the effluent gas. thus accelerating the corrosion process. Propane fired exhaust gas systems is the focus of the new exhaust gas system and one unit has gone through field trials in a major oilfield in the Western Canadian Basin after two years of research and development. the combustion process is relatively inefficient and the flue gas can contain 10 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Exhaust Gas A potentially very attractive source of gas is the waste gas stream from selfcontained propane units or diesel fired rig engines themselves. To date. 2% carbon monoxide and 2% other gases. The exhaust gas from a diesel engine is usually composed of approximately 83% nitrogen. there are no recorded cases of underbalanced drilling operations using diesel generated exhaust gas. 10% carbon dioxide. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 58 of 154 . The original diesel exhaust gas system has its limitations due to its ineffective combustion process. when well tuned. 3% oxygen. However. Propane fired engines.15% oxygen plus corrosive gases such as CO2 and NO2 which may react adversely with produced hydrocarbons.

friction and acceleration pressure work in conventional single-phase hydraulics programmes? Static Pressure In a conventional hydraulics model. Multiphase. the friction pressure calculation is a 4-step process. or compressible fluids. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 59 of 154 . Pressure calculations The pressure drop in any tubing or conduit for any fluid is a function of three components: 1) Static pressure 2) Friction pressure 3) Acceleration pressure Conventional Single Phase Fluid Models How do the three components of static.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Flow Modeling Multiphase flow calculations are unlike any other hydraulics calculations. Friction Pressure In a conventional hydraulics program. Multiphase flow is probably the most complex fluid engineering known in the industry. The use of computer models has in many cases led to drilling engineers working a multiphase flow model without truly understanding what happens inside the model. the static pressure is directly related to the fluid density. and the large number of assumptions that are used knowingly or unknowingly in the various models are poorly understood by most drilling engineers. change considerably with pressures and temperatures. The result of this poor understanding is that programmes for modeling specific hydraulics are being widely used for modeling of two phase fluids or even for modeling of pure gas drilling operations.

Conventional Hydraulics Start Newtonian Bingham As can be seen in conventional hydraulics models. this factor is normally ignored in conventional hydraulics software programmes.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Determine fluid type. Acceleration pressure Since there is no expansion (or very little expansion) of the fluid between the bottom of a well and the surface. the calculation of the system pressure losses is normally a very simple and straightforward process. a spreadsheet can easily be built to determine the pressure losses in a well. Based on the flow regime determine the pressure loss. Determine flow regime turbulent or laminar. Surface Pressure In conventional drilling the BOP’s are open and no surface pressure is applied to the system. Calculate Shear Rate Calculate Reynolds Number Calculate critical velocity Determine flow regime Calculate Pressure drop END Fig 26 Conventional Hydraulics Flow Modeling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 60 of 154 . Determine fluid type Power law Herschel Bulkley Robertson Stiff Calculate Velocity Casson In single-phase hydraulic models. This is normally based on one of the following 6 types: Newtonian Fluid Bingham Plastic model Power Law model Herschel-Bulkley Robertson-Stiff Casson Determine the Reynolds number.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Multiphase hydraulics models In multiphase models the whole system is more complex as there are many more factors to take into account.018cp Surface Tension of oil constant at 30 dynes/cm Surface Tension of water constant at 70 dynes/cm Input data Reservoir Pressure Reservoir Temperature Calculate Specific gravity of oil Gas gravity Water Density Calculate W ater oil Ratio Oil Gravity in Deg API Oil Flow Rate Calculate Mass of 1 bbls stock tank liquid Water Flow rate Gas Liquid ratio Calculate Oil FVF Determine flow regime Calculate Solution Gas Oil ratio Bubble Slug Transition Mist Calculate Density of Liquid Phase Calculate hold up correlating function Calculate Gas compressibility factor Depending on flow pattern the following calculations are carried out Calculate Density of gas phase Determine secondary hold up factor Calculate liquid hold up Calculate slip velocity or bubble rise velocity Calculate oil Viscosity and water viscosity Calculate two phase reynolds number Calculate Liquid mixture viscosity Determine Moody friction factor Calculate Liquid surface tension Calculate average mixture density Calculate mixture velocity Calculate Liquid viscosity number Calculate mixture velocity Calculate Pressure Drop Calculate superficial liquid velocity Calculate Pressure Drop Calculate superficial gas velocity Determine Moody friction factor Calculate average mixture density Calculate gas velocity number Check flow Regime Bubble Flow Other Flow Fig 27 Multiphase Hydraulics Flow Modeling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 61 of 154 . Multiphase flow models Tubing Diameter Assumptions Gas Viscosity Constant at 0.

the flow regime in the annulus must be known. many more variations need to be considered. again. In underbalanced drilling. only laminar or turbulent flow is considered.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Flow Regimes In order to predict friction factors and liquid hold up. In overbalanced drilling operations. The flow regime varies with the inclination of the well and. a number of methods and correlations are known to predict flow regimes. Flow regimes are generally broken down into two main areas: Fig 28 Flow Patterns For Vertical and Horizontal Multiphase Flow Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 62 of 154 .

It is understandable that this has to be done with a computer because of the resource and time requirement to undertake such complex calculations. cuttings density. cuttings shape (or roundness). etc and variable interaction makes multiphase flow calculations a difficult undertaking. density. These variables are calculated over every iteration element of the well model.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The complexity of multiphase flow modeling calculation is best presented with the diagram in the figure below: Multiphase components Drill String Injection Annular Surface pressure Water Phase of Drilling fluid Drill string injection Pressure Oil Phase of Drilling fluid Nitrogen Water Phase of Drilling fluid Oil Phase of Drilling fluid Nitrogen Air Cuttings Oil Phase of Reservoir fluid Water Phase of Reservoir fluid Free Hydrocarbon Gas Dissolved Hydrocarbon Gas Drillstring Air Annulus Reservoir Pressure Oil Phase of Reservoir fluid Water Phase of Reservoir fluid Free Hydrocarbon Gas Dissolved Hydrocarbon Gas Bit Cuttings Fig 29 Variables in Multiphase Flow Calculations The number of variables – fluids (gas and liquid). viscosity. compressibility. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Reservoir Page 63 of 154 . fluid composition.

The most widely used multiphase model for underbalanced is the Neotec Wellflo 7 model. but the surface separation system must also be able to work within the design parameters of the well and the reservoir.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Current Multiphase Models These are some of the models that were or are for modeling multiphase flow in underbalanced drilling: Company Maurer Engineering Inc Shell/Landmark Nowsco Weatherford Petrobas Schlumberger Neotec Wellflo Dynamics Signa Engineering Scandpower Name of Model Mudlite 2 Flodrill Circa AMFM (foam only) SIDHAM Sidekick (dynamic) Wellflo Flow Model (dynamic) HUBS Ubits Design Basis Chevron foam model Mechanistic (steady state) model Combination of various correlations. For dynamic simulations and training purposes. Although this is a static model. Tubing/Gaslift design Olgas OLGAS blowout model competition with sidekick Mechanistic (steady state) model in Dynamic simulator based on Olgas model. Chevron foam model Unknown OLGAS (blowout and well control) model designed for HPHT wells. the bottom hole pressure must be maintained below the reservoir pressure. The separation system must be capable of handling sudden productivity increases from the well from fractures or flush zones and retain the ability to “choke” back production if well outflow is more than what can be safely handled by the surface separation equipment. it has developed with the help from underbalanced drilling engineers over the past 10 years and is now considered as the most comprehensive model available in the industry. Circulation Design Calculations When designing an underbalanced circulation system. the Scandpower Ubits software is the most widely used. whilst. Not only must the bottom hole pressure be controlled. at the same time the surface separation system must have sufficient capacity to handle the flow rates and pressures expected while drilling. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 64 of 154 .

This is an essential part of underbalanced well control. Reservoir inflow performance and control The productivity of the reservoir whilst drilling underbalanced is a function not only of bottomhole pressure but also reservoir characteristics like permeability. but designing the well with a maximum surface pressure of 250 psi. at bottom hole pressure and temperature. the bottomhole pressure must be controlled by either hydrostatic of the drilling fluid or via the choke to control reservoir inflow performance. porosity. Tuning an underbalanced system is something that requires experience. will likely cause a mis-match in the system can ultimately lead to down time during the drilling operation. It must be recognized that gas. the flow rate through the motor should be sufficient to deliver the required performance and be within motor operating envelope. Drawdown is one of the most important factors in controlling reservoir inflow since most of the other reservoir parameters are relatively fixed by the geology. This difference creates the driving force that drives well productivity. drainage radius and drawdown. For hole cleaning to be effective. This is normally referred to as ELV (Equivalent Liquid Volume) • • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 65 of 154 . Therefore. drilling system and surface separation system must all work within the same parameters. Motor performance in multiphase flow environment While drilling with multiphase fluids. the fluid annular velocity has to be at least twice the cuttings settling velocity. In underbalanced drilling. and it is something that needs to be fully understood to optimize an underbalanced operation. and length of reservoir exposed to the wellbore. • Cuttings transport and hole cleaning Cuttings generated whilst drilling must be removed from the wellbore by the hydraulic action of the drilling fluid. the gas phase is not taken into account for cuttings transport but it is generally assumed that a certain minimum liquid annular velocity is required for hole cleaning. just like in conventional drilling operations. The entire system from reservoir wellbore. The design of an underbalanced drilling circulation system must take into account factors such as: • Bottomhole pressure The bottom hole pressure must be less than the effective reservoir pressure under static and dynamic conditions to enable reservoir fluid inflow into the wellbore. acts more like a fluid and as more gas is pumped. it is important that the motor performance is not compromised by the hydraulics. the down hole motor will see more flow.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Using a surface separation system that requires 1000 psi to function properly. that is.

The surface separation system must be designed to handle the expected inflow of fluids. It is therefore important that a thorough borehole stability study should be conducted in evaluating the feasibility of a reservoir as a candidate for underbalanced drilling. the surface separation system has to be designed for total containment of the produced cuttings and reservoir fluids inflow – oil. If the stresses exceed the strength of the formation. underbalanced drilling operations may have to be carried out with reduced or zero emissions (without gas flaring). gas and water. hole collapse could occur. The exposure of overlying formations to underbalanced pressures whilst drilling also needs to be considered when reviewing underbalanced well designs. • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 66 of 154 . An essential part of the underbalanced well control is the capacity of the surface separation system and the associated erosional velocities at surface resulting from the reservoir inflow. Where this is the case. but the slugging and intermittent production causes significant challenges.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling • Surface equipment capabilities and limitations The productivity of the reservoir while drilling and the length of reservoir that is exposed in an underbalanced drilled well is the driving factor. • Environmental considerations Either due to governmental legislation and/or operators’ policies. Surface equipment capacity must always be designed to handle the maximum expected production from the well whether instantaneous or steady state. Gas recovery systems are currently under development. Casing strings should be placed to isolate potentially unstable formations. Wellbore Stability Exposing the wellbore to pressure drawdown imposes stresses on the surrounding formation.

The reservoir inflow is normally ignored in the initial design. There are a number of other issues that will need to be reviewed but these graphs will provide the operating window for underbalanced drilling and provide some insight into well behavior. the following graphs should be presented to the operator. All the required parameters can be selected from these graphs.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Flow modeling When designing an underbalanced drilled well. Fig 30 Neotec Multiphase Flow Model Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 67 of 154 . • • • • • • • Annular Bottom Hole pressure versus Gas injection rate Equivalent Motor Throughput versus gas Injection rate Minimum hole cleaning velocity versus gas injection rate Annular friction pressure versus gas injection rate Annular liquid hold up versus gas injection rate Drillstring injection pressure versus gas injection rate Drillstring liquid hold up versus gas injection rate These graphs will provide a complete operational picture for an underbalanced operation. First of all it must be ensured that an underbalanced status can be achieved in the reservoir even if there is no assistance from the reservoir.

So as more gas enters the system. but the friction pressure starts to increase as more gas enters the well and expands on its way back to the surface. The operating envelope is bounded by a number of curves.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Annular Bottom Hole pressure versus Gas injection rate This graph provides the operating envelope for underbalanced drilling. The annular bottom hole pressure graph is a combination chart of hydrostatic pressure versus gas injection rate. the hydrostatic pressure will drop as more and more gas enters the system. As gas is injected into a fluid system. the so called “J: curve can be seen as shown overleaf: Pressure Friction Pressure Gas injection rate Fig 32 Hydrostatic Pressure Reduction and Friction Pressure Increase With Gas Injection Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 68 of 154 . the friction pressure in the well increases as shown below. then the very typical pressure versus gas rate curve. As the amount of gas in the system increases. the gas is compressed at the bottom of the well and the gas will expand as it rises to the surface of the well. the hydrostatic pressure drops as more gas is injected. If these two effects are combined into a single curve. Hydrostatic Pressure Pressure Gas injection rate Fig 31 Hydrostatic Pressure Reduction With Gas Injection Hydrostatic Pressure As can be sees.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 69 of 154 . the friction pressure in the well will also increase as a result of the gas expansion. So contrary to popular belief in the oilfield. the bottom hole pressure will start to increase as a result of the friction pressure. more gas is not always better. The flatter part of the pressure curve is known as the friction dominated part of the curve. As the amount of gas increases. In the first part of the curve. As the gas injection rate increases further.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Hydrostatically Dominated Friction Dominated Hydrostatic Pressure Pressure Friction Pressure Gas injection rate Fig 33 Bottom Hole Pressure Decrease With Gas Injection The brown curve now shows the combined curve of hydrostatic pressure and friction pressure. This part of the curve is known as the hydrostatically dominated part of the design curve. the rapid decline of pressure ca be seen with increasing amounts of gas.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Bottom Hole pressure stability When designing a circulation system that provides stable bottom hole pressures. Any point on the performance curve with a negative slope is dominated by hydrostatic pressure losses. the operating envelope can not only confirm the feasibility of underbalanced drilling." does not necessarily imply that the frictional pressure loss is greater than the hydrostatic pressure loss. Operating on the hydrostatic dominated slope will mean that severe slugging is encountered while drilling. gas) injection is better. the cost of nitrogen (as the injection gas). However. the system should not only avoid pressure spikes but it should also avoid slugging. and the influence of those rates on the Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 70 of 154 . this means that the reduction in hydrostatic pressure loss associated with an increase in the gas injection rate is less than the increase in frictional pressure loss due to the increased gas rate.e. Saponja recommended that underbalanced drilling be carried out in the frictiondominated part of the pressure curve. but also offers valuable insights into both the acceptable and optimal gas injection rates. and exhibit increasing bottomhole pressure with decreasing gas flow rate. These points are inherently stable and exhibit increasing bottom-hole pressure with increasing gas flow rate. Operations conducted on the hydrostatic part of the curve often report that a cyclic bottom hole pressure occurs and that it is very hard to obtain a stable system. One of the most common misconceptions in underbalanced drilling is that more nitrogen (i. increasing the gas injection rate will not only increase the bottom-hole pressure. Note: "dominated by frictional pressure loss. but may dramatically increase the cost associated with nitrogen used while drilling. These points are inherently unstable. for a particular gas injection rate. if the drilling operation is frictionally dominated. show large pressure changes with small changes in gas flow rate. This information can be used in several ways. Points on the performance curve with a positive slope are dominated by frictional pressure loss. Further. a decrease in gas injection (the obvious answer to someone only familiar with single-phase flow) will lead to an increase in bottom-hole flowing pressure if the flow is hydrostatically dominated. More gas is the answer here to move onto the friction-dominated part of the design curve. The operating envelope allows the drilling engineer to determine. where an increase in the gas injection rate can lead to significant decreases in the bottom-hole pressure. for a specific design case. whether the flow is dominated by hydrostatic or frictional pressure loss. if bulk liquid nitrogen is used. Instead. This stems from observations of drilling operations that are hydrostatically dominated. can be one of the most significant costs associated with UBD operations. If a reduction in bottom hole pressure is required. Thus.

Hydrostatically Dominated Friction Dominated Flowrate 1 Pressure Gas injection rate Fig 34 Bottom Hole Pressure Decrease With Gas Injection For Single Flow Rate The first issue is. A target pressure will normally be established at some given value below the known reservoir pressure. well configuration. valuable additional information can be gathered by analyzing profiles of the in-situ liquid hold-up. pressure. The first graph shows the wellbore pressure versus gas injection. As this first graph is constructed. Each point on the operating envelope corresponds to a single wellbore calculation for a specific gas injection rate. the only concern is the wellbore (bottom hole) pressure. For all such calculations. drill string and surface pressure. At a given flow rate. and temperatures. However.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling bottom hole flowing pressure. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 71 of 154 . a number of other issues will also need to be considered. of course. We need to establish if and underbalanced pressure can be achieved in the well bore. actual gas and liquid velocities. the reservoir pressure. the wellbore pressure in the well is calculated for a given fluid system. the operating envelope cannot tell the entire story. At the moment. Operating envelopes should be developed for a range of design parameters.

as will be seen later on in the graphs. The frictiondominated part of the design curve is below the reservoir pressure and this provides the first operating parameters for flow modeling. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 72 of 154 . Hydrostatically Dominated Friction Dominated Flowrate 1 Reservoir Pressure Pressure Target Pressure Flowrate 2 Gas injection rate Fig 36 Bottom Hole Pressure Decrease With Multiple Gas Injection Rates and Reservoir Pressure Window This curve is normally created with 3 or 4 different flow rates.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Hydrostatically Dominated Friction Dominated Flowrate 1 Reservoir Pressure Pressure Target Pressure Gas injection rate Fig 35 Bottom Hole Pressure Decrease With Gas Injection and Reservoir Pressure Window It can be seen that a pressure loss occurs in the well bore system that is able to achieve an underbalanced status below the reservoir pressure.

It is not always possible to have the motor limits on the same graph. Note: The maximum motor flow rate may be of the maximum gas injection rate. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 73 of 154 . Hydrostatically Dominated Friction Dominated Flowrate 1 Maximum Motor Minimum Motor Flow rate Flow rate Reservoir Pressure Pressure Target Pressure Flowrate 2 Gas injection rate Fig 37 Operating Window for Bottom Hole Pressure This provides the minimum required volume through the down hole motor that is required to drive the bit.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Once four or five fluid rates are calculated. the remaining set of operating parameters can be added and the operating window can be defined. The next set of curves that are introduced in the graph are the minimum and the maximum flow rate through the down hole motor. it also provides the maximum flow rate that the down hole motor can handle without being damaged.

Again. Hydrostatically Dominated Friction Dominated Flowrate 1 Maximum Motor Minimum Motor Flow rate Flow rate Reservoir Pressure Pressure Target Pressure Flowrate 2 Minimum Hole Cleaning Flow rate Gas injection rate Fig 38 Complete Operating Window for Bottom Hole Pressure Bottom Hole Pressure vs Gas Injection rate Well name : Test Well 4000 Single NPU 1500 Client : Oil Company Second NPU 1500 3500 3000 Bottom hole pressure (psi) 2500 2000 1500 flowrate = 100 gpm flowrate = 150 gpm 1000 flowrate = 200 gpm flowrate = 250 gpm Operating Window choke pressure = 150 psi No Reservoir inflow Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone 600 800 1000 Gas rate (scft/min) 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 500 Reservoir Pressure Target Pressure Max Motor ELV 0 0 200 400 Fig 39 Real Projection of an Underbalanced Operating Window.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The last information on this curve is the minimum liquid velocity for hole cleaning. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 74 of 154 . it is sometimes impossible to show this on the design graph as the annular velocity maybe high enough without the gas injection.

The bottom hole pressure will vary with the gas rate.6 x bottom hole pressure (psi) ⎪ ⎪ ⎜ ⎟⎪ ⎪ 460 + Temperature (deg F) ⎝ ⎠ ⎩ ⎭ Bottom hole pressure and temperature.00 Client : Oil Company 350. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 75 of 154 . as will the motor throughput.00 250. are taken into account. Equivalent Motor Throughput Well name : Test Well 400. as well as liquid and gas rates through the motor.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Equivalent Motor Throughput versus Gas Injection Rate To ensure that a sufficient flow rate is provided through the down hole motor.00 150.00 200.00 flowrate = 100 gpm flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm 50.00 choke pressure = 150 psi No Reservoir inflow Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone Fig 40 Equivalent Flow Rate Through the Down Hole Motor The formula associated with this graph is displayed as follows: ⎧ ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ gas rate (scft/min) ⎪ ⎪ Equivalent motor flow rate (gpm) = ⎨ ⎬ x 42 x Liquid rate (gpm) ⎛ ⎞ 198.00 flowrate = 250 gpm Minimum Flow Rate Maximum Flow Rate 0. The maximum and minimum parameters must be obtained from the motor provider for the motor that is being used. the equivalent liquid rate through the motor is calculated.00 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Gas Injection Rate (scft/min) 100.00 Equivalent Motor Throughput (gpm) 300. This graph is also important in ensuring that the motor is not working past its design envelope.

as there is limited reservoir inflow here. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 76 of 154 . and the region immediately behind the bit.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Hole cleaning Hole cleaning whilst drilling underbalanced must be closely monitored. The area immediately behind the bit can become the critical hole cleaning area. The addition of a gas medium generates a turbulent flow regime. Hole cleaning efficiency and solids transport are primarily controlled by liquid phase velocities and solids concentration. Liquid velocity is the critical parameter controlling the system’s ability to transport solids. Minimum Hole Cleaning Velocity Well name : Test Well 200 180 160 Annular Velocity Open Hole (ft/min) 140 120 100 80 60 choke pressure = 150 psi 40 20 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Gas Injection rate (scft/min) No Reservoir inflow Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone flowrate = 100 gpm flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm flowrate = 250 gpm Minimum Hole Cleaning Velocity Client : Oil Company Fig 41 Hole Cleaning Velocity Continuous observation of returned drilled solids. it has been concluded that a minimum liquid phase annular velocity of 180 to 250 feet per minute is required in a wellbore with a deviation greater than 10°. is undertaken at the shakers to confirm hole cleaning efficiency and to determine if modifications to the circulation system are required. Liquid phase velocity and hole cleaning in this area is only a function of the fluid(s) and rate(s) being pumped or injected down the drill string. There is a reduced fluid rheology (a very thin. which minimizes solids bed formation. Two-phase hole cleaning is largely dependent on the same criteria as for single phase. A positive result of two-phase flow will be acceleration of fluid and cuttings’ transport velocities (due to gas expansion) as the fluid moves upwards from the bit. From past experience. Studies and field experience have shown removal of cuttings is more efficient with two-phase fluid. an increased ROP. turbulent two-phase flow) and normally. non-solids suspending fluid. The main areas of concern for hole cleaning are where the hole angle is from 45° to 50°. including cuttings size and size distribution.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

For a two-phase circulation system, rate of penetration is limited by the percentage of solids in the liquid phase. If the solids concentration is too high, overbalanced BHP spikes, hole cleaning problems and increased surface pipework erosion can result. The percentage of solids in the liquid phase has been assessed during actual underbalanced drilling operations and should not exceed 2.5% to 4.0% The formula for calculating this can be displayed as follows:

Max penetration rate (ft/hr) =

0.025 x flowrate (gpm) x 0.1337

π ⎛ Bit size (inch) ⎞ x ⎜ ⎟ 12 4 ⎝ ⎠
2

x 60

The design curve associated with hole cleaning is the minimum liquid annular velocity versus gas injection rate. This number is associated with the largest annular diameter. Although much debate is still ongoing with the hole cleaning issues in multiphase flow, the liquid annular velocity is assumed to be a good parameter.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 77 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Annular Friction Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate
The annular friction pressure will provide an indication about the pressure losses seen in the annulus as a result of the flow rates. A high annular pressure loss is normally the result of small annular diameters. If the annular pressure loss is high, then this must be taken into account when making connections. Shutting down the gas and liquid flow rates will result in a rapid decrease of bottom hole pressure, and this will result in a high reservoir influx. This will be circulated out once drilling resumes and may cause the system to slug or be unstable until this influx is circulated out of the hole. A low annular pressure loss may result in the well going overbalanced sooner if appropriate measures are not taken.
Friction pressure vs Gas injection rate Well name : Test Well
750 flowrate = 100 gpm 700 650 600 550 Friction Pressure (psi) 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 choke pressure = 150 psi 150 100 50 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Gas Injection rate (scft/min) No Reservoir inflow Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm flowrate = 250 gpm

Client : Oil Company

Fig 42

Annular Friction Pressure Versus Gas Injection Rate

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 78 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Annular Liquid Hold Up versus Gas Injection Rate
The annular liquid hold up graph is created to understand what happens in the well once circulation is stopped for tripping or connections. Shutting down the circulation of gas and liquids will result in the gas and fluid separating down the hole. Knowing the average percentage of gas and liquid in the annulus allows us to calculate the top of the fluid level, the total amount of liquid in the well and the resulting bottom hole pressure.
Annular Liquid Hold Up / Quality Well name : Test Well
70% flowrate = 100 gpm flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm flowrate = 250 gpm

Client : Oil Company

60%

50% Liquid Hold Up (%)

40%

30%

20% choke pressure = 150 psi No Reservoir inflow 10% Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone 0% 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Gas Injection Rate (scft/min)

Fig 43

Gas Percentage in the Annulus versus Gas Injection Rate

The graph shows the percentage of gas by volume in the annulus versus the gas injection rate.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 79 of 154

then the drillstring injection pressure must be estimated to ensure that sufficient pump pressure capacity is provided to inject gas and liquids into the drillstring when circulating. the injection pressure is too high for the nitrogen system and the rig pumps. If. Although the standpipe pressure is not directly used for any of the underbalanced parameters. as in the graph shown below. the drillstring design or the MWD and motors may have to be reviewed. the injection pressure will still provide indications when drilling. Injection Pressure vs Gas Injection Well name : Test Well 4500 Client : Oil Company 4000 3500 Injection Pressure (psi) 3000 2500 2000 1500 choke pressure = 150 psi 1000 No Reservoir inflow Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen 500 Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Gas Injection rate (scft/min) flowrate = 100 gpm flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm flowrate = 250 gpm Maximum Injection pressure (psi) Fig 44 Injection Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 80 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Drillstring Injection Pressure versus Gas Injection Rate If drillstring gas injection is used.

this graph is intended to provide an indication of where fluid levels are once circulation is stopped. In combination with the annular liquid hold up.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Drillstring Liquid Hold Up versus Gas Injection Rate As in the annular hold up graph. it allows calculation of the total amount of fluid in the well. Injection Liquid Hold Up / Quality Well name : Test Well 50% flowrate = 100 gpm 45% 40% 35% Liquid Hold up % 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0 200 400 600 800 1000 choke pressure = 150 psi No Reservoir inflow Fluid System Waterbased + Nitrogen Bit Depth 16000 ft Reservoir Formation Sandstone 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm flowrate = 250 gpm Client : Oil Company Gas Injection rate (scft/min) Fig 45 Gas Percentage in Drillstring versus Gas Injection Rate Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 81 of 154 .

reservoir fluids will start to flow into the wellbore. However. the reservoir rock properties are fixed and the only variable that is adjustable is the drawdown (bottom hole pressure) to control reservoir fluid inflow. the inflow performance of a well represents the ability of the reservoir to produce fluids under a given condition of drawdown. As previously defined.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Reservoir Inflow In underbalanced drilling. on the drawdown and reservoir rock properties (the differential pressure between circulating bottomhole pressure and reservoir pressure). in part. the stabilized multiphase flow regime in the well prior to reservoir fluid entry must be adjusted to account for inflow without upsetting the circulating system or moving out of the underbalanced window already established. It must not be assumed that the well flow will be stable when drilling underbalanced. The rate of reservoir fluid inflow depends. The unexpected events of flush production (after drilling into a fracture) can have a significant impact on drilling operations. Once this happens. as soon as the bit penetrates the reservoir. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 82 of 154 . There are a number of models that can be used to estimate the reservoir fluid inflow based on the rock and fluid parameters. The reservoir fluid inflow performance is one of the most important parameters in underbalanced operations because of its impact on well production and safety.

Inc. Electromagnetic Measurement While Drilling (EMWD) The history of annular pressure measurements extends as far back as the mid 1980’s when Gearhart Industries. signal strength generated at the tool. liquid-phase fluid. Signal strength at the surface depends on many factors including the mud properties. quite a number of these sensors have proved problematic because of the vibration problems and fast drilling rates encountered with underbalanced drilling. Since then. these small pressure pulses have to be transmitted in a compressible fluid medium. This variation in the dynamic pressure is detected at the surface where it is demodulated back into the real measurements and parameters from the down-hole sensors. drill-string arrangement. a few issues need to be addressed for drilling underbalanced. telemetry frequency. A solution for this is the use of electromagnetic telemetry for MWD and PWD tools. Adding a down hole gauge or sensor in the drillstring will definitely enhance the underbalanced drilling operation and help the team optimize the drilling process and increase the knowledge of the reservoir. provided annular pressure sensors on their measurements-while-drilling (MWD) tools. It involves the sequential operation of a down hole mechanism to selectively vary or modulate the dynamic flowing pressure in the drillstring and thereby sends the real-time data gathered by the down hole sensors. However. Transmission of pressure pulses in a compressible fluid environment is difficult and experience to date indicates that mud-pulse telemetry systems are best applied to scenarios with a maximum gas percentage of 20% (by volume at the standpipe). flow rate. Pressure While Drilling (PWD) Pressure while drilling sensors have proved invaluable in every underbalanced drilling operation to date where they have been included in the drillstring and operated without downtime. MWD pressure pulse technology is problematic. Mud-pulse telemetry transmits data to the surface by modifying the flow of mud in the drill-pipe in such a way that there will be changes in fluid pressure at surface. Conventional MWD Tools in Underbalanced Drilling The most common technique for transmitting MWD data uses the drilling fluid pumped down through the drill string as a transmission medium. profile. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 83 of 154 . drill-string/bottom hole assembly. When drillstring gas injection is selected for underbalanced drilling. But for drillstring gas injection. and many others. pumping pressure and flow rates. Anadrill and other service companies have developed sensors for down hole annular pressure measurements while drilling. This ratio can be extended somewhat depending on well depth.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Drillstring and Down Hole Tool Design When looking at drillstring and down hole tool design.

but the dipole efficiency can be increased somewhat by adding ferrite cores to the coils. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 84 of 154 . The metal drillpipe acts as a long focusing antenna because of the large conductivity contrast between it and the rock (10.g.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Electromagnetic telemetry transmits data to the surface by pulsing low-frequency waves through the earth. There are essentially two ways of doing this: one that induces an axially symmetric electric field around the drill-pipe. This creates an electric dipole with one long end (to the surface) and one “short” end (to the bit). The former is referred to as “Imag” and the latter as “Emag”.000.000 to 1). and a second that Transmitter Surface Antenna Bi-directional Transmission Transmitting Antenna Bit Induced Currents Fig 46 Electromagnetic MWD Tools drives current directly from one part of the drill-pipe to another. across a motor. It has an advantage in that its transmission is essentially independent of mud properties and layering within the rock formation. Signals are generated from a voltage difference on the drill-collar. The contrast in magnetic properties of metal versus rock is only about 100 to 1. Signals are generated by wrapping solenoid coils around the drillpipe to create a magnetic dipole. Imag transmission is typically used for short-hop systems. which is either induced from toroidal coils wrapped around the collar or created directly by adding an insulating “gap” to the drillpipe. e. Emag transmission is typically used to send data over longer distances.

Emag signals can in theory be detected by measuring voltage differences on the seabed or the current flow returning to the riser.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Emag has a disadvantage that contrasts in rock properties and in particular very high resistivity formations such as evaporates will strongly attenuate the signal. the PWD sensor will provide valuable information about the PI of the reservoir. the PWD sensor should be used. Once reservoir inflow starts. For offshore applications. Pressure while drilling tools or PWD tools have enhanced the underbalanced process significantly. Shales and low conductivity water sands are particularly attenuative. Both Imag and Emag are subject to an increasing attenuation as the frequency increases. Certainly on the initial trips in an underbalanced well. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 85 of 154 . but in practice there remain many challenges to running Emag operations offshore. Emag signals on land can be received by measuring the voltage difference between stakes on the surface.

Bottom Hole Pressure Floats Standpipe Pressure Annulus Pressure Two types of non-ported drill string floats that are commonly used are the flapper and plunger floats. Wireline cannot be run through flapper valves since the flapper closes once the tool is passed and the tool cannot be pulled.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Non Return Valves Non return valves are necessary for underbalanced drilling to prevent influx of reservoir fluids up inside the drillstring either when tripping or making connections. This top valve is often a wireline retrievable float valve that can be retrieved. The flapper valve uses a spring loaded flapper valve and allows passage of balls for coring or shut off tools. the well may have to be circulated to kill weight fluid and a string trip undertaken to replace or repair the float valves. often referred to as the string float valve because it aids operational efficiency by reducing the time it takes to bleed off the pressure before making connections. In general. Bit Reservoir Fig 47 Well Control U-Tube Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 86 of 154 . The positions of the float valve in the drillstring depend on the tools in the BHA and the policy of the operating philosophy underpinning the safety management of the operation. It is good practice to install a float valve in the top of the drillstring. as access through the string is required. Annulus Drill Pipe If the drilling float valve(s) should all fail. It must be recognized that there is pressure below non-return valves. a double float valve is installed just above the BHA and a further double float valve is installed above the bit so that there is redundant service. The number of float valves in the BHA and the drillstring is also a matter of company policy consistent with perceived risks and management thereof. when using drillstring gas injection.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 87 of 154 . The valves are positioned in a locking profile sub that is part of the drillstring. For normal drilling operations. The flapper valve opens fully during circulation. as there is no diversion of fluid against the drill collar ID. quenched. and tempered alloy steel to resist wear and erosion. Fig 49 Model F Plunger Type Valve Wireline Retrievable Float Valves Wireline retrievable float valves are normally run in the upper section of the drillstring. the flapper closes instantly. Fig 48 Model G Flapper Valve Size 3F Model "F" Plunger Type floats The Baker Model "F" Drill Pipe Float Valve provides a positive and instantaneous shut-off against high or low pressure.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Size 3F Model "G" Flapper Type floats The Baker Model "G" Drill Pipe Float Valves are made of normalized. The valve prevents the entire drillstring gas volume having to be bled off every connection and the valve also adds another well control barrier to the upper part of the drillstring. the durable Model "F" is the most economical choice and is available in all sizes. The purpose of the wireline retrievable valve is to allow the gas in the drillstring to be bled off rapidly and allow connections to be made. When circulation stops. assuring continuous control of fluid flow during drilling. thereby effectively prolonging the life of the valve and drill collar. providing an unrestricted bore through the valve. Fig 50 Wireline Retrievable Non-Return Valve The valve can be retrieved if wireline operations through the drillstring are required or if the valve has to be moved to a higher position in the string.

Deployment Valves are currently available in 7”. To avoid the use of a snubbing unit. or the need to kill the well in order to trip the drill string during underbalanced drilling operations. at which time the deployment valve is closed and the annulus above the valve bled off. at that point Fig 51 Position of DDV in a Well the pressures are equalized and the valve can be opened and the drillstring run in to continue drilling operations. 9-5/8” and 103/4” casing sizes with differential pressure ratings up to 5000 psi. there are a number of options when tripping the string. or the well is killed and tripping is conducted overbalanced. When it becomes necessary to trip the drill string. Flapper Actuator Mandrel Flapper Spring Fig 52 DDV System Flapper Valve and Actuator Sleeve Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 88 of 154 . the string is tripped out until the bit is above the valve. two types of down hole isolation valves have been developed. In underbalanced drilling. thus reducing rig time requirements and providing improved personnel safety. The drillstring can then be tripped back into the well until the bit is just above the deployment valve. allowing full bore passage for the drill bit when in the open position. The well can be allowed to flow. The down hole valve or deployment valve is run as an integral part of the casing program. Killing the well is not an option if reservoir productivity improvement is the objective for underbalanced drilling. Now the drill string can be tripped out of the well without the use of a snubbing unit and at conventional tripping speeds. the well is shut in and a snubbing unit is used to trip the pipe.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Down Hole Isolation Valves The down hole deployment or down hole isolation valves have been designed to eliminate the need for snubbing operations.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Drillstring Design
Drill string design has the same purpose as casing or tubing design. The purpose of drillstring design is to provide a drillstring assembly that will perform satisfactorily under the anticipated drilling conditions. A drill string must be designed to fulfill the following functions: • • • • Transmit and support axial loads Transmit and support torsional loads Transmit hydraulic power Provide a well control barrier (UBD)

In order to fulfill that purpose, the drill string design must: • • • • Keep the maximum stress at any point in the drill string less than yield strength derated by a design factor. Retard fatigue as much as economically practical. Be resistant to hydrogen sulphide if H2S is expected. Be pressure sealing and gas tight (UBD)

The ranking and importance of each of these functions is dependent upon the well design and objectives. The drillstring for underbalanced drilling can be jointed pipe as well as coiled tubing. Hole size and reservoir penetration as well as directional trajectory will determine whether coiled tubing or jointed pipe is the optimal drillstring medium. If the hole size required is larger than 6-1/8", jointed pipe may have to be used. For hole sizes of 61/8" or smaller coiled tubing can be considered. The size of coiled tubing currently used for underbalanced drilling operations is between 2" & 2-7/8" OD and the sizing criteria for coiled tubing includes many factors such as hydraulics, weight and tension requirements and total weight of the coil. Occasionally the ideal coiled tubing for an operation may be excluded due to such factors as crane or transport limitations or that the life of the coil may not be feasibly economical. Generally, coiled tubing has several advantages and disadvantages over jointed pipe systems. For jointed pipe systems, drill string properties and tripping under pressure will need to be considered. The installation of a rotating head or snubbing system on a platform or rig with a fixed distance between rotary table and wellhead may cause severe challenges in rig up. Several previous operations on land rigs had to be redesigned to accommodate rotating control devices and rig assist snubbing systems.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 89 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Coiled Tubing versus Jointed Pipe Coiled Tubing Jointed Pipe No connections made during drilling Connections require gas injection shut down causing pressure peaks Higher pressure containment Pressure of Rotating Diverters limited to 5000 psi static pressure. Stiff wireline makes MWD systems simpler in MWD systems unreliable in gasified gasified fluids systems No snubbing system required Pressure deployment requires snubbing unit Maximum hole size 6” No hole size limit Hole cleaning more critical Hole cleaning can be assisted by rotation Potential for pipe collapse in high pressure Special drillstring connections required for wells gas fields Thru tubing drilling work possible Thru tubing work requires special rig floor tools on conventional rigs BOP stack smaller BOP stackup requires rotating diverter system. Lower costs Higher costs as a result of rig. Limited with drag for outreach Ability to drill long horizontal sections If hole size and well trajectory permits, coiled tubing is likely to be the simplest system to drill underbalanced wells. But this technical advantage also has to be considered against the economics of having a full-size drilling rig and a coiled tubing system installed just to drill underbalanced. Underbalanced drill string design is simplified compared with traditional drill strings. Since common problems with overbalanced drilling are avoided. Drill strings are normally slick with no jars and minimal number of stabilizers. Stabilizers create issues when tripping through rotating diverters under pressure. Any drill collars that are to be run must be slick so that well control can be maintained during trips. Spiral drill collars will leak when they are being pulled through a rotating diverter.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 90 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Drillpipe
Conventional drillpipe can be used in underbalanced drilling operations. The connections are more important for several reasons. Torque and drag friction factors in underbalanced drilling are often double of what they are in overbalanced drilling operations. So more torque is required to turn the pipe and this has a direct impact on the connections as well as on the maximum reach with the given surface equipment.

Not too many connections can be legitimately classified as gas tight connections in the market place today. Although many manufacturers will recommend a number of connections they will not guarantee that the connections are gas tight. In fact, only Grant Prideco XTM (eXtreme Torque Metal seal) connection is guaranteed by its manufacturer as a gas tight connection. The XTM connections are designed with radial metal-to-metal seal, which ensures the gastight capability of the connection. Hydril WT (wedge) connection series can be used although field experience has shown that they are not gas tight under all conditions. However, most long doubleshouldered connection (e.g. DSTJ or VAM, XT and HT) will be gas tight if they are properly doped and maintained. The following tool joints are commonly used in underbalanced drilling: Hydril WT38 or WT39 and HT38 comparable NC connection. For more information see (www.hydril.com) Grant Prideco XTM39 For more information see (www.grantprideco.com) It is also important that drill pipe being used for underbalanced drilling not be plastic coated. In a gasified fluid, the plastic coating is likely to be stripped off and plug the string. The new abrasion-resistant, liquid-applied, modified epoxy-phenolic or the ceramic particle loaded epoxy resin coated systems for drillpipe can be used for underbalanced drilling operations.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 91 of 154

There are two reasons for this.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Hard banding Any hard banding on the drillpipe must be reviewed carefully. Some bottom hole assembly components can be hydraulically operated (locking/unlocking) by means of the pressure differential between drill string and annulus that occurs when circulation is stopped and started. mainly due to the different fluid compositions in the drill string and annulus. drilling jars can be used and they are just as effective as in overbalanced drilling. Hard banding on the pipe will wear out the rotating diverter rubbers much more quickly then pipe without hard banding. If hard banding is required. The snubbing force required for pushing or pulling the pipe while tripping in or out of hole may be enough to set and/or trip the drilling jar on a number of occasions to an extent that compromises the operational effectiveness of the drilling jar. Drillpipe Rubbers Drillpipe protection rubbers cannot be run when drilling underbalanced. The one issue with jars that needs to be considered is tripping jars using a snubbing unit. In underbalanced drilling. then it must be as smooth as it can be. Differential sticking does not occur during underbalanced drilling. The second issue is running the drillpipe rubbers through the rotating diverter will cause blow-by when tripping and drilling. Jars The use of drilling jars in underbalanced drilling with jointed pipe is not a straightforward decision. One is that they suffer from gas impregnation when run deeper into the well and will explosively de-compress when pulling out of the hole. It may be prudent not to include drilling jar in cases where there is evidence that its inclusion may make tripping more difficult or may compromise the effectiveness of the jar. Tools with these mechanisms are likely to be disturbed when drilling underbalanced. Several operators have started using Armacor™ hard banding on their drillpipe. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 92 of 154 .

When Fig 53 Turbine and PDM Differences pumping a compressible fluid during a motor stall. Hence.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Down Hole Motors The selection and use of down hole motors is of importance in underbalanced drilling as many UBD wells are horizontal wells or directional wells. PDM motors are susceptible to fluids that will attack the rubber stator and cause deformation and jamming. Both positive displacement motors (PDM) and vane motors and turbines have been successfully used in underbalanced drilling operations. the pressure increase will be masked by the gas compressibility. One of the major problems with motors in compressible fluids is the ability to detect a motor stall. Once the driller notices that the motor has stalled he will pick up off bottom. The main issue with motors arises when drillstring gas injection is used and a compressible mixture drives the motor or turbine. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 93 of 154 . This often results in the gas pressure being released from the drill string and the result is that the motor will exceed its maximum flow rate and overspeed. both bottom hole temperature and well fluids are important in defining motor selection. High temperatures may also cause swelling of the stator and result in the motor jamming. causing damage. Gas will increase the speed of the motor but will decrease the torque output from the motor. Multiphase fluids will reduce the operating window of a motor or turbine.

two-stage helical screw compressors. and for a nitrogen generation system a nitrogen generation unit is added. It must be taken into account that compressors need to be de-rated in flow rate by 3% for every 1000ft of ground elevation. Air compressors Primary air compressors used in underbalanced operations are normally after cooled direct drive. with a horsepower rating of approximately 380 BHP at 1800 rpm. the same compressors and boosters are used. Gas Injection Equipment Gas injection equipment for underbalanced drilling comprises of various items. The compressors are powered by a diesel engine and are skid mounted. For air drilling operations.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Equipment Selection The equipment selection is started on the injection side of the underbalanced drilling operation and will be worked through the surface equipment via the wellhead and separation system to the flare. Fig 54 Quincy Air Compressor Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 94 of 154 . Most compressors produce a maximum air flow of 900 scft/min at 300 psi to 350 psi.

Proper operation and maintenance of this filtration system will prevent oily water condensate. The product vent valve will vent off-spec nitrogen. carbon filter. which is too high with oxygen impurity. coalescing filter. airborne particles. Nitrogen Generation System Air Cooler Air Demister Air Cooler Heater Oil Filter Particulate Filter Carbon Bed Particulate Filter Nitrogen Oxygen Fig 55 Flow Path Through a Nitrogen Generator (NPU1500) Membrane performance is generally described as a function of the nitrogen purity. moisture separator. operating temperature. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 95 of 154 . In general.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Nitrogen Generation System The nitrogen production unit is a single containerized system with compressed air into the system and nitrogen produced at the outlet. and operating pressure. High and low oxygen impurity set points are entered into the processor via an electronic control system. Typical equipment includes an air receiver. The product valves allow on spec nitrogen to flow into the outlet line. The membrane modules are completely encased in ASME coded cylindrical pressure vessels. Purity Assurance Most nitrogen generation units are equipped with two purity assurance valves. and a particulate filter. Flow metering is provided internally in the unit through the use of an orifice meter. An NPU will normally produce a maximum of 1500 scft/min of nitrogen through the membrane system as described in the gas section of this manual. A Nitrogen Production Unit or NPU contains all the equipment required to properly condition the feed air supplied to the membrane modules. pipe scale from contaminating and/or clogging the membrane fibre openings. productivity increases with an increase in pressure and temperature.

especially on an offshore location. then 3000 scft/min of air needs to be pumped into the nitrogen generation system. The final high pressure booster raises this pressure from 1800 psi to 4000 psi into the standpipe. Nitrogen Generation System Air Compressors N2 Generators Low pressure Booster Compressors High pressure Booster Compressor Fig 56 Nitrogen Generation System for 3000 scft/min of Nitrogen at 4000 psi The system as show in fig 54 has the capability of generating approximately 3000 scft/min of nitrogen at 4000 psi. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 96 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling A nitrogen generation system is 50% efficient. The two Nitrogen Generators deliver 2850 scft/min of N2 at 350 psi. A full single nitrogen generation system can deliver 1500 scft/min of nitrogen and requires three or four large air compressors to deliver the required air. A booster compressor will be used on the outlet to boost the nitrogen flow up to the required standpipe injection pressure. • • • • Six 950 scft/min feed air compressors deliver 5700 scft/min of air at 350 psi. The low pressure boosters raise this pressure from 350 psi to 1800 psi. This means that if 1500 scft/min of nitrogen is required. This equipment will take up significant space on a location.

reciprocating. The higher the volume.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Fig 57 Nitrogen Generation System for 3000 scft/min Rigged Up on Location The nitrogen volume and pressure requirements must form an essential part of the planning process for an underbalanced drilling operation. Fig 58 WB-12 Low Pressure Booster (1800psi) Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 97 of 154 . As not only equipment requirements must be known. single or two-stage. Booster Compressors Two types of boosters are normally used on an underbalanced drilling job. 7 1/2” x 5” pressure booster. the lower the maximum pressure. low pressure boosters and high pressure boosters. The low pressure boosters boost the outlet from the nitrogen generator from 165 psi to approximately 1800 psi. double acting. The volume of nitrogen that can be boosted depends on the configuration of the booster compressor. The low-pressure booster is capable of boosting with an inlet pressure of 165 PSI. Low pressure Boosters The low-pressure boosters are normally composed of a two cylinder. space and diesel supply for the equipment must also be planned. inter-cooled and after-cooled.

2. Clearance Flow rate 3000 SCFM 2150 SCFM 1550 SCFM Pressure 650 PSIA 1400 PSIA 1850 PSIA High Pressure Boosters The high-pressure booster is normally a single cylinder.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The table below provides some indication of the volume and pressure relationship. Fig 59 WB-11 High Pressure Booster (4000 psi) Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 98 of 154 . reciprocating. The high-pressure booster may be volume restricted and this will need to be confirmed with the equipment supplier. The high pressure booster needs an inlet pressure of 1400 psi and can boost up to a pressure of 4000 psia. Clearance Max. after-cooled. Set up Single stage Two-stage Two-stage Clearance Min Clearance Min. double-acting.75” x 7” pressure booster.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Well Control Equipment The conventional BOP stack used for drilling should not be compromised for underbalanced drilling operations. Typical BOP Stack Up Sketch Not to scale for Information only Rig Floor Snubbing System Potentially required 1. The conventional BOP stack must not be used for routine UBD operations and must not be used to control the well except in case of emergency. additional rams can be added under the BOP stack to provide operational functions for underbalanced operations. It is recommended that any additional RAMS be operated through a separate KOOMEY system.79 m Fig 60 Typical BOP Stack Up for Underbalanced Drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 99 of 154 . If required. This ensures that the BOP remains the secondary well control system.24 m A rotating diverter system and flow line with ESD valves is normally installed on top of the conventional BOP to provide underbalanced well control. The drilling kill and choke lines must be left in place to allow for conventional well kill operations to take place. Rotating Control Head system Flow Spool Primary Flowline ESD Valve Annular Preventer Pipe Rams Variable Rams Flow Spool Drilling spool Choke / Kill Lines Blind / Shear Rams Working Blind Ram Secondary Flowline Skid Deck 1.00 m 5.

There are currently two types of rotating diverters recognized: Active The active type use external hydraulic pressure to activate the sealing mechanism. and normally active rotating control diverters increase the sealing pressure as the annular pressure increases. Passive The passive type uses a mechanical seal with the sealing action activated by well bore pressure. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 100 of 154 . • The expected pressures.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Coiled Tubing Drilling Pack Port Upper Guides Retract Port Packing Arrangement Well control using a coiled tubing drilling system is performed using a dual stripper rubber and not a rotating head. The key to making the right choice of diverter for each particular underbalanced drilling operation is in the careful consideration and pre-planning of the possible well conditions. All surface BOP systems have limitations. which are: • The expected flow rates. The annular seal must be effective over a wide range of pressures and for a variety of equipment sizes and operational procedures. • The type of pipe rotation to be conducted through the diverter system. in both the amount of pressure they can seal off and the degradation of the sealing equipment from the flow and composition of the different reservoir fluids and gases over time. The rig up for underbalanced coiled tubing drilling will however need to take into account deployment and recovery of the coiled tubing BHA under pressure. regardless of the type of surface BOP control system chosen. Fig 61 Coiled Tubing Side Door Strippers Rotating Diverters The principle use of the rotating diverter system is to provide an effective annular seal around the drillpipe during drilling and tripping operations. The rotating control diverter system achieves this by packing off around the drillpipe. The rotating control head system comprises of a pressurecontaining housing where packer elements are supported between roller bearings and isolated by mechanical seals.

but has not issued any documentation or certification on these systems although this is currently under development by the IADC/UBO committee.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The selection criterion for rotating diverters is mainly based on expected static and dynamic pressures. Currently there are four types of rotating equipment suitable for high pressure applications. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 101 of 154 5000 500 . which they were never designed for in the first place. This latest generation of rotating control diverters is compatible with top drive and power swivel systems and has been found to be excellent pipe stripping tools. The API does now recognize the rotating head as a diverter. These are: • Weatherford /RTI RBOP • Shaffer PCWD • Williams 7100 • RBOP The present rotating control diverter systems are capable of operating at 3000 psi while rotating at 200 rpm with a maximum static pressure of 5000 psi and a maximum pressure while stripping of 3000 psi. 3000 Rotating Diverter Selection Chart 2500 2000 Dynamic Pressure (psi) RPM 3000 Sour Service 1500 Williams 7100 Sour Service Shaffer PCWD Williams 7000 RBOP 1000 Strata RFD 5000 RBOP 500 Williams IP-1000 Williams 8000/9000 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 Static Pressure (psi) Fig 62 Rotating Diverter Selection Chart The API does not currently recognize rotating control diverters as blowout preventers.

and drilling conditions. IP 1000: Model 7000: Model 7100: Fig 63 Various Williams Rotating Diverters Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 102 of 154 . All of the Weatherford Williams systems are passive systems. down hole conditions.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Passive Rotating Control Diverters The Williams diverter systems serve a wide range of surface pressures. c Working Pressure d Static Pressure c 1500 psi d 3000 psi c 2500 psi d 5000 psi c 500 psi d 500 psi c 1000 psi d 1500 psi Model 9000: .

The PCWD is capable of safely shutting in on 5000 psi in the static mode and 2000 psi at 200 rpm.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Active Rotating Control Diverters Weatherford supplies three active RCD systems. The unit allows stripping of tool joints while rotating and is capable of completely shutting off an empty wellbore at 50% of the rated working pressure (2500 psi). The major components of the pressure control system are very similar to a conventional annular BOP. Fig 64 Shaffer PCWD Rotating Diverters The PCWD design uses the standard 11-inch spherical annular preventer element with a piston arrangement similar to a standard annular preventer. c Stripping Pressure d Rotating Pressure e Static Pressure c 1000psi d 1500psi e 3000psi c 1000psi d 1500psi e 3000psi c 2500psi d 3500psi e 5000psi RPM 3000 7” ID RBOP 2K 7” ID RBOP 5K 7” ID Shaffer PCWD The Pressure Control While Drilling Preventer (PCWD) The pressure control while drilling system has combined the features of the spherical BOP with a hydraulic and electronic system that allows the spherical BOP to rotate while containing pressure. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 103 of 154 .

Mechanical and Material. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 104 of 154 . expected flow rates. Issues to considered for improving the life of the seals on a RCD are : A Top Drive is preferred. operating pressures and temperatures.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling RBOP One of the first active rotating diverter systems was known as the RBOP. Design Standards and Specifications. Identification ring grooves should be filled in or removed. Sealing mechanism. Size of through bore. This was the first system developed to have two seals with active pressure control on the seals directly dependent on the wellbore pressure. Inspection of the drillstring prior to underbalanced drilling is recommended. Square Kelly’s can not be used with RCD’s. Active/Passive. The cooling of the bearings was effected by an oilcooled system. Certification. Test program including stripping and media of test fluids (gas or liquid). As the main seal started to wear. if a Hex Kelly is used it will require to have smooth edges. Fig 65 Precision RBOP Rotating Diverters The following items are important when selecting a rotating diverter system: • • • • • • • • Design Criteria. Proven Track records. The smoother your drillstring the longer the stripper rubbers last. The drill pipe should be smooth with minimal grooves and tong marks. the back up seal would provide the sealing mechanism until the main seal could be replaced. Experience. Finally the BOP stack must be aligned to within 1/2” of the rotary table.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 105 of 154 . The current snubbing systems used in underbalanced drilling are called rig assist snubbing systems. Fig 66 Sub Rig Floor Snubbing Unit (Dolsnub 6) Push-pull machine in the down and in the up position Fig 67 Rig Assist Push-Pull Unit (Courtesy Tesco) The stroke of this unit is 10ft and the maximum snubbing capacity of the unit is 50. Snubbing with an onshore rig where there is no space under the rig floor to install a snubbing unit will have to be conducted on the rig floor. The ability to install a snubbing system below the rig floor allows the rig floor to be used in the conventional drilling way. These units need the rig draw works to pull and run pipe and are designed to deal only with pipe light situations. A jack with a 10ft stroke is used to push pipe into the hole or to trip pipe out of the hole. In order to facilitate snubbing. a snubbing system will have to be installed on top of the rotating control head system.000lbs of force or equivalent to snubbing 5” pipe with 6-1/4” tool joints with 1500 psi surface pressure.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Snubbing systems If tripping is to be conducted underbalanced without a down hole deployment valve. so called push-pull units are installed on the rig floor.

Fluid streams while drilling underbalanced are often described as four phase flow. A number of approaches in separation technology have emerged recently: Remove Gas Remove Solids Separate oil & Water Drilling Fluid Reduce Pressure Remove Solids Remove Gas Separate oil & Water Drilling Fluid Reduce Pressure Remove Solids Remove Gas Separate oil & Water Drilling Fluid Reduce Pressure Remove Gas Remove Solids Separate oil & Water Drilling Fluid Reduce Pressure Fig 68 Approaches to Separation The approach taken is largely dependent on the expected reservoir fluids. but if erosion is expected to be a problem. 4.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Separation Equipment In all underbalanced operations. as the return flow is comprised of: 1. 3. and there are many similarities with the process industry. the separation system that is to be used has to be tailored to the expected reservoir fluids. 2. The surface separation system in underbalanced drilling can be readily compared with a process plant. and it must be able to separate the drilling fluid from the return well flow in order for it to be pumped down the well once again. Normally the first approach is taken. The separation system must be designed to handle the expected influx fluids and gasses. the solids can be removed first. Oil Water Gas Solids The challenge for the separation equipment is to effectively and efficiently separate the various phases of the return fluid stream into their individual streams whilst at the same time returning a clean fluid back to the drilling process. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 106 of 154 .

gas and solids. Gas Out Gas Fluids In Oil Oil Oil Out Water Fluid Oil/water Mixture Solids Solids Slurry out Water Out Fig 69 Horizontal Separator Solids predominantly settle in the first compartment from where they can be removed by a solids transfer pump. The separator should be fitted with adequately sized pressure relief valves and an emergency shutdown valve. Liquid passes over the partition plate into the second compartment where further solids separation takes place and the liquids begins to separate by virtue of their density difference and residence time. Horizontal and vertical separators can be used. 2) water.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling In a lot of situations. up to 180 to 225 psi 230 to 250 psi. The rate at which gasses and solids are separated from a liquid is a function of temperature and pressure. Horizontal separators In horizontal separators. up to 600 to 700 psi 750 to 5000 psi Separation of liquids and gasses is achieved by relying on the density differences between liquid. Separators are classified as “two-phase” if they separate gas from the total liquid stream and “three phase” if they also separate the liquid stream into its crude oil and water components. well returns enter and are slowed by the velocity-reducing baffles. and high and/or low Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 107 of 154 . Vertical separators are more effective when the returns are predominantly gas. Separators can be classified as: Classification Low pressure Medium pressure High-pressure Operating Pressure 10 to 20 psi. In underbalanced drilling. the term “four-phase” separation is used to indicate the separation of 1)oil. the separator is the first process equipment that receives the return flow out of a well. triggered on high/low liquid level. The water component and liquid hydrocarbon are discharged from different levels of the third compartment. The liquid spills over to the third compartment where separation is completed. 3) gas and 4) solids. while horizontal separators have higher and more efficient fluid handling capacities.

Sufficient capacity to handle fluid surges of liquid from a well. The remainder of the liquids and gasses are separated by their density differences with gas at the top. Proper backpressure and liquid-level controls. rate of throughput. Remove bulk of the solids from the liquid. It should be fitted with sight glasses to indicate liquid levels and observe the solids level. Fluids In Oil Oil Out Water Fig 70 Vertical Separator A separator must have the following abilities: • • • • • • • • Remove the bulk of the liquids from the gasses. Sufficient length. Vertical Separators Vertical Separator Gas Out Mist Extractor In a vertical separator the solids predominantly settle at the bottom of the vessel. or those too small to settle by gravity. The efficiency of a separator to remove gas from oil is dependent on physical and chemical characteristics of the crude.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling pressure. The rate of throughput and liquid depth in a separator determine the “residence” or “settling” time of the liquid phase. A means of reducing turbulence in the main body of the separator so that proper settling may take place. to allow the small droplets to settle out by gravity. Separate oil from water. size and configuration of the separator. or height. from where they can be removed. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 108 of 154 . separator operating pressure and temperature. The advantage of vertical separators is their reduced footprint and better gas handling capabilities. A mist extractor to capture entrained droplets. The water component and liquid hydrocarbon are discharged from different levels of the vessel. oil in the middle and the water lower down on top of the solids.

pressure. The choke manifold used for underbalanced drilling will be a separate manifold from the standard drilling choke manifold.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling UBD Choke manifold Chokes. Both manifolds will remain fully independent of each other. The choke manifold should be designed to handle the maximum expected volumes from the well (4-inch minimum piping) equipped with dual chokes (one hydraulic and the other manual). This redundancy allows one choke to be operating while the other is isolated and maintained. gases and solids. Without the proper piping and flow control at surface. the annular and injection flows integral to the system can become a hazard to the overall surface control system. All choke manifolds involved with underbalanced operations should be designed to accommodate flow. Fig 71 UBD Choke Manifold Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 109 of 154 . temperature. possible erosion and corrosion from the return flow of the drilling fluids. choke manifolds and standpipe manifolds are all important parts of any underbalanced drilling operation and play an integral role in the overall improved safety process involved in all underbalanced drilling operations.

However. A number of standard plots are normally provided during the underbalanced process. This will also allow for optimization of the drilling process on subsequent wells. Recording the data and providing the ability to analyze this data afterwards in combination with reservoir engineers and geologists can provide significant insight into the reservoir and the drilling process. but also to allow the maximum amount of information to be obtained from the reservoir whilst drilling. the safety aspect of data acquisition should not be overlooked as well control is directly related to the pressures and flow rates seen at surface. These are: Against Time Reservoir Pressure Standpipe Pressure Bottom Hole Annulus Pressure Wellhead Pressure Liquid Rate In Nitrogen Rate In Against Time Reservoir Pressure Bottom Hole Annulus Pressure Wellhead Pressure Liquid Rate In Liquid Rate Out Nitrogen Rate In Gas Rate Out Provides pressure comparison. and flow rate Provides calibration modeling. A good functioning data system will also allow for formation analysis whilst drilling and of course increasing reservoir knowledge is one of the primary benefits of underbalanced drilling.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Data acquisition The data acquisition used on a underbalanced system should provide as much information as possible not only to ensure that the drilling process remains within the required limits for safety and efficiency. The data acquisition system must be designed to obtain all the required data from the underbalanced drilling Fig 72 Gas Flow Meter process. chart for flow Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 110 of 154 . It must also provide the ability to analyze drilling and reservoir data whilst drilling underbalanced.

measured depth Provides reservoir PI data vs. vertical depth Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 111 of 154 . Liquid Out Cum.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Against Time Liquid Rate In Liquid Rate Out Nitrogen Rate In Gas Rate Out Cum. Liquid Out Cum. Gas Out Provides reservoir inflow Provides reservoir PI data vs. Gas Out Against Measured Depth Reservoir Pressure Bottom Hole Annulus Pressure Wellhead Pressure Liquid Rate Out Gas Rate Out Against Vertical Depth Liquid Rate In Liquid Rate Out Nitrogen Rate In Gas Rate Out Cum.

To reduce the amount of possible heat radiation. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 112 of 154 . Fig 75 Clean Burner (courtesy of FG Engineering Services BV) Non visible flame flares are now also available. Fig 74 Flaring Gas During the planning stage. gas re-compression and export injection can now be considered as a viable alternative to flaring. it is necessary to know the amount of thermal radiation that will be transmitted through the water curtains. a realistic maximum acceptable radiation level for personnel and equipment should be determined to allow a practical and economic flare and burning system to be installed. Where environmental regulations preclude flaring. Gas is normally flared whilst crude oil and condensate are stored and then pumped to a processing facility. The equipment layout should also maintain adequate separation distances from the wellhead and all external sources of ignition. Even with the use of water curtains as a means of preventing the spread of fire and thermal radiation. A flare stack or flare pit should always be positioned downwind of the prevailing winds in the area. Separation criteria must meet applicable regulator or operator specifications. heat shielding or typically water spray systems are used on offshore systems to maintain safe and operable conditions.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Flares As hydrocarbons are produced whilst drilling underbalanced. radiated heat. Flaring is either done in a flare pit or through a flare stack. For onshore systems a heat radiation survey can dictate the required height of the flare stack. The flare stack or flare pit should be equipped with an automatic ignition system and flame propagation blocks. these must be handled on the drilling location. For safety reasons a great deal of consideration should be given to the Fig 73 Top of a Flare Stack surface equipment layout to avoid unnecessary rig crew exposure to noxious fumes. noise and flammable liquids.

the well must be designed for 100% underbalanced condition.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Well Control Strategy It is important that a distinction be made between well kill and well control in underbalanced drilling operations. Well killing may be necessary when: • Drill string integrity is lost. such as drawdown. In underbalanced drilling. • During a failure of the emergency/safety shutdown system. This is a summary of flow control actions as a function of reservoir gas inflow rate and flowing wellhead pressure. These should all be addressed in the HAZOP and HAZID documents completed for a UBD operation. • A down hole problem exists or complex fishing operations are required. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 113 of 154 . • During a persistent inability to maintain underbalanced flow control. Well kill is done when: • At any time where personnel safety or the installations are threatened. this is normally only done if safety of equipment or personnel is compromised when operational controls have strayed outside a pre-determined safe and acceptable operating envelope or where equipment failure requires the well to be killed to control the well. • The casing integrity is lost. Well Kill Strategy The well kill strategy adopted for underbalanced drilling is to isolate the wellbore and return the operations to conventional overbalanced operations. however. In underbalanced drilling flow control is used by manipulating the bottomhole pressure and surface pressure to keep well productivity within safe and acceptable operating limits. permeability. Well Control The inflow from the reservoir into the wellbore depends on a number of factors. length of reservoir exposed to the wellbore and reservoir productivity index. is actually displacing the well to kill weight mud and restoring overbalanced conditions. a Flow Control Matrix is prepared prior to the start of the underbalanced drilling phase. Well kill in this context. In underbalanced drilling. • Where specialized underbalanced drilling equipment fails and the only way of retrieving the situation is to revert to overbalanced conditions. The above lists are not necessarily exhaustive and there may be other situations that may necessitate a well kill. This means that the well must be able to contain a full column of reservoir fluid to surface. During underbalanced drilling control of the reservoir is maintained by maintaining the reservoir drawdown within a predetermined limit consistent with the PI of the reservoir and the capacity of the surface separation equipment. In an underbalanced drilling operation. • Non-return valves and the contingency DISV (drop in safety valve) system fails.

and using traffic light colors makes the matrix easily understandable: • Continue underbalanced drilling as normal green light • Per the flow control matrix.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Underbalanced Flow Control Matrix Surface Pressures For Williams 7100 Rotating Head Flow rates 0 to 1250 psi 1250 to 2250 psi Adjust System bottom hole pressure Adjust System bottom hole pressure >2250 psi 0 to 5 MMscft/day Managable Adjust System bottom hole pressure Shut in on Rig BOP 5 to 10 MMscft/day Shut in on Rig BOP >10 MMscft/day Shut in on Rig BOP Shut in on Rig BOP Shut in on Rig BOP Pressures Range 1 = 50% RCD dynamic rating. annular bottomhole pressure readings or standpipe pressures should be investigated with other surface data and the necessary course of action should be decided if well control procedures have to be activated. Range 2. Depending on the changes observed and other information available. three possible actions are likely. Surface Flow Rates Range 1 = 60% of the flow rate capacity or the upper erosion limit. = 50% to 90% of the RCD dynamic rating. any change or deviation from trends in fluid returns. perform corresponding action • Stop drilling and shut-in well on the rig BOP Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 114 of 154 . Range 2 = 60% to 90% of the separation system flow rate capacity or the upper erosion limit (Erosional velocity is normally taken as 180 ft/min) Once a baseline trend of flow rates and pressures have been established.

Where well productivity is higher than expected. Hydrate prevention strategy. The flow velocity limits applied by the industry to control erosion are defined in the API recommended practice RP14. In general.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The option to shut in the well on the rig’s BOP should only be used as a last resort where the wellhead pressure will exceed UBD surface equipment pressure rating or when choke control is incapable of restricting well productivity within the surface separation equipment’s safe operating limits. Erosion monitoring and prediction is essential for safe operations. how will it be replaced and what redundancy exists in the rig up to cope with the scenario? BOP systems operations requirement – ensure that the rams and sealing elements of the BOP are capable of gas service and can cope with the volume of gas expected during underbalanced drilling operation and for the length of time required. • • Overall. One drawback. FLOW CONTROL and not PRESSURE CONTROL is the way of controlling reservoir fluid inflow. however. Wear inspection regime and procedures for BOP sealing elements and pipe work associated with routing of reservoir fluid and control. The following well control issues should also be considered as part of the planning for any UBD project: • • Barrier philosophy Is a snubbing system required? Snubbing requirement determines what level of compressional load will be imposed on the wellhead during snubbing. NRV inserts and subs. • • • • • Pressure rating of well control equipment vis-à-vis reservoir productivity and expected wellhead pressure. Sour service requirement – if there is a chance that sour gas might be encountered? It is wise to plan the UBD process to deal with the contingency. On a platform. In the event of wear of the sealing element of the RBOP. Erosion Although not directly a well control issue. replacement parts for critical well control equipment. target 'T's should be used wherever necessary and Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 115 of 154 . it is important to know if the platform can stand this additional load. consideration should be given firstly to reducing well productivity by decreasing the drawdown. Erosion in surface pipe work must be considered as part of the design process. What back up equipment are needed for well control purposes? For example. the potential for erosion of surface and down hole equipment must be considered when drilling underbalanced. always remember that in underbalanced drilling. The management of erosion and the use of erosion monitoring systems must be considered as part of the surface and down hole design. of these guidelines is that the amount of solids in production operations is significantly lower than in underbalanced drilling operations. and in high rate gas wells this can be a significant cost for a UBD operation.

Field experience has shown that where quantities of sand/solids are expected. Wall thickness of all equipment should be checked at least yearly. Corrosion Management One of the aims of any UBD drilling project should be to minimize or manage corrosion. e. Different companies have different levels of tolerance with respect to corrosion. Corrosion mechanism identification begins by analyzing the following items: a. and every time equipment has returned from a location where corrosive. This is first defined by setting goals for drill string corrosion rates. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Reservoir fluid type and chemistry Bottom hole temperature Bottom hole pressure Acid gas (H2S or CO2) concentrations Electrical conductivity of fluids Page 116 of 154 . abrasive and/or erosive materials have been processed. In order to avoid potential erosion problems. the production rate of a well should be limited to ensure the flow velocity is reduced to the API RP 14E recommended maximum of approximately 150 ft/sec.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling these should include a method of quickly replacing them for inspection and changeout purposes. b. Temperature (° C) Velocity (m/s) <1 1–5 5 – 20 > 20 Targeted Corrosion Rate (mpy) < 10 10 – 50 ~ 50 < 60 60 – 120 > 120 Certain information can greatly enhance the effectiveness of a corrosion management program. defined in millimetres of metal lost or dissolved per year (mpy) as measured by corrosion coupons. the following table may be considered as a place to start. Erosion engineering is required to ensure that wall thickness on piping and equipment will stay within the minimum required values to prevent leaks and consequent rupture of piping. c. If a company does not have pre-set standards. erosion problems are likely to be encountered if the flowing velocity is allowed to exceed the erosional velocity. d.

two probes should be installed in the following locations prior to UBD operations commencing: • • In the stand pipe manifold after the fluid and gas have been commingled. Two types of monitoring devices can be used: • Drill pipe circular ring coupons • Electrical resistance probes. In the inlet of the primary separator system. Another coupon should be placed in the top drive saver sub close to the surface. the most common form of corrosion. Fig 77 Electrical Corrosion Measuring System Oxygen Oxygen is the most common corrosive agent of primary significance in a corrosion monitoring and inhibition program. Fluid velocity A full corrosion monitoring and chemical treatment program should be conducted on all underbalanced drilled wells. it will always produce unacceptable corrosion rates if not properly treated.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling f. In the presence of moisture. Fig 76 Corrosion Coupon Ring Electrical Corrosion Monitoring Probes If electrical corrosion probes are used. the drill stem is continually exposed to potentially severe conditions. The ring coupons should then be exposed for more than 40 hours. normal exposure time is about 100 hours. oxygen causes rusting of steel. Membrane nitrogen systems produce inert gas with oxygen concentrations ranging from 3% to 8%. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 117 of 154 . Drill Pipe Circular Ring Coupons A circular ring coupon should be placed in the toolbox joint of the first joint above the drill collars. Since oxygen is soluble in water. Although this is not as high as the 20% oxygen found in compressed air. The aim for a corrosion inhibition program should be to maintain a specified corrosion rate as measured by API approved corrosion drill pipe circular ring coupons.

oxygen sensors should be routinely monitored by operations personnel and concentrations listed on the morning operations report. even in oil based UBD mud systems. This is because monatomic oxygen can penetrate the amine film on the pipe wall. If membrane nitrogen is employed. The second group of corrosion inhibitors is called anodic inhibitors because they pacify the cathode of the corrosion cell. The film disrupts the circuit of the corrosion cell through the electrolyte. Oxygen concentration is a function of membrane retention time. Corrosion Inhibitor Types Corrosion control chemicals can be divided into groups according to their function. If the decision is made to treat with corrosion inhibitors. Cationic inhibitors are typically called filming amines. Cationic filming amine corrosion inhibitors are incompatible with foaming agents and do not perform well in the presence of dissolved oxygen. Corrosion inhibitors should always be considered. they are compatible with foaming agents and their performance in the presence of dissolved oxygen is excellent. Corrosion inhibitors that are cationic produce a film on the surface of the pipe. These inhibitors are anionic and react with the cathodic areas of the pipe to neutralize them and control corrosion.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Corrosion rates can still be controlled even at 9% oxygen by adding more chemicals. The result is severe pitting corrosion on the pipe wall. The average oxygen content of a nitrogen system should not exceed 5% if possible. Higher flow rates may dictate a higher oxygen concentration. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 118 of 154 . Anodic inhibitors are the most effective in underbalanced drilling systems. Because they are anionic. a corrosion engineer or technician on site can monitor the performance of the chemical inhibition program.

potentially boosting the requirements on bed space. This must be considered. especially on offshore operations. Competency of underbalanced drilling personnel is important. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 119 of 154 . Although. and the use of competent and experienced operators is essential for a successful underbalanced drilling operation. reducing the number of people to 20.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Personnel Selection Personnel selection for an underbalanced drilling operation is normally left to the service provider. Sometimes specialists such as corrosion engineers or snubbing crews are also required during an underbalanced drilling operation. UBD engineer and UBD supervisor can sometimes be shared. Normally the following personnel would be brought out to a location for a large underbalanced drilling operation: Dayshift 1 UBD Supervisor 1 UBD Engineer 1 Separation Supervisor 2 Separation Operators 1 DDV / RCD Operator 1 DAQ Operator 1 Compression Supervisor 1 Compression Operator 1 Nitrogen Specialist 1 Mechanic 11 Nightshift 1 UBD Supervisor 1 UBD Engineer 1 Separation Supervisor 2 Separation Operators 1 DDV / RCD Operator 1 DAQ Operator 1 Compression Supervisor 1 Compression Operator 1 Nitrogen Specialist 1 Mechanic 11 Supervision Engineering Separation RCD/DDV Data Compression Total This implies that a total of 22 people are required for a full underbalanced drilling operation.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Training and Competency
Training of personnel on a UBD rig site is critical to a safe operation. In a UBD operation, training becomes even more important because of the number of interdependent services and personnel involved. Training, competency and PPE requirements for the entire crew must be assessed prior to operations commencing. A competency system must be in place by both the operator and service provider to ensure that all personnel on the well site are competent. Competence standards must describe the standards that need to be achieved in a variety of company / contractor work roles and how competency is assessed. UBD impact Typically Standards of Competence will be required for: • Operator site supervisor • Tool pushers • Drillers • Assistant Drillers • Derrickmen • UBD Supervisor • UBD Engineers • Equipment Supervisors for both separation and compression • Well Engineering Project Coordinator • Snubbing Engineers • Snubbing Supervisor • Gas Injection Supervisor • Surface Separation Supervisor Regardless of whether the training takes place off-site, on-site or both, training for a UBD operation may have a substantial associated cost. The training programme can be area and well specific, and to minimize costs must be fit for purpose; but training is not optional. Due diligence requires us to ensure only trained competent personnel are allowed to work on a UBD site and personnel in the process of becoming competent are properly supervised by competent staff. Although there are variations in the approach to competency-based training throughout the world, the objective is the development of a competent workforce. This requires a system that sets standards for what competencies are required for a task or role, how competent staff will be trained to develop these standards, and how competence is assessed. In line with this objective, IADC has approved the UBO Rig Pass accreditation system and Underbalanced WellCAP Curriculum, which emphasizes flow control with different equipment and procedures from conventional drilling operations. Underbalanced WellCAP is aimed at training the well-site supervisors and the intent is to ensure that conventional well control thinking and procedures do not compromise UBD well objectives.
Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 120 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Operational Procedures
Operational procedures for underbalanced drilling operations are normally subdivided into four sets of procedures:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Pre and Post Operational Procedures Operations Procedures Equipment Procedures Emergency Procedures Administration Procedures

Pre-operational procedures cover all the transportation, rig up, testing and commissioning procedures. Post-operational procedures cover rig down and post-job inspection procedures. Pre and post operational procedures cover: • Loading and Unloading Equipment • Transportation of Equipment • System Flushing • Pressure Testing • Signage • Spotting of UBD Equipment • UBD Equipment Rig Up • Post Rig Down Equipment Inspection • UBD Equipment Rig Down • Fluid System Commissioning • ESD Testing • Nitrogen Injection Line Testing

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 121 of 154

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006

Revision 001

Introduction to underbalanced drilling

Operational Procedures will need to cover: • Non-return Valve Pressure Testing • Non-return Valve Bleed Off • Make Up & Running BHA • Pull, Break & Lay Down BHA • Connections • Wireline Retrievable Valve Operations • Underbalanced Initiation • Drilling Underbalanced • Radio Communications • Tank Farm Management • Produced Oil Export • Solids Handling and Sampling • Tripping Emergency Procedures need to cover: • Bull-Head Kill Well • Equipment Failure Downstream of BOP • Failure of Rig BOP • Failure of Drilling Fluid Circulation System • Loss of Air or Rig Power Failure • Drillstring Failure • NRV Failure • Drillstring Washout • Plugged Bit or Drillstring • ESD Event • Fluid Management Event • Nitrogen Generation System Failure Equipment Procedures need to cover: • Start Up & Operation of Boosters • Compressor Equipment Start Up and Operations • Nitrogen Unit Start Up & Operations • RCD Element Change Out • Line Heater Operations • Flare Stack Operations • RCD Operations • Fuel Supply System

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001

Page 122 of 154

Irrespective of the completion lining required for the reservoir. In an underbalanced system the well can be allowed to flow via the surface separation package. the weight of the assembly will be less than the upward force. the installation process for a completion will have to be carefully reviewed during the planning process to ensure that underbalanced status is maintained during the completion installation. This is an advantage over Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 123 of 154 . Depending on the completion fluid type. The damage may not have been as severe for completion brine as it might have been with drilling mud.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Completing Underbalanced Drilled Wells The majority of early wells drilled underbalanced could not be completed underbalanced. then the well could possibly be killed and a conventional completion approach can be taken. It is generally not possible to cement a liner in an underbalanced mode. If the purpose of underbalanced drilling is for reservoir improvement. although the use of foamed cements may provide some solutions in certain circumstances. This means that a snubbing system is required to get the packer assembly in the hole. If the well is maintained underbalanced. and productivity is not impaired. The majority of the early UBD wells were displaced to an overbalanced kill fluid prior to running the liner or completion. The use of cemented liners in an underbalanced drilled well is not recommended if the gains in reservoir productivity are to be maintained. The completion requirements for a UBD well must be reviewed and analyzed as part of the feasibility study prior to commencing an underbalanced operation. If the well has been drilled underbalanced for drilling problems. Snubbing With well pressure acting upwards on the completion. A number of completion methods are available for underbalanced drilled wells: • Liner and perforation • Slotted liner • Sandscreens • Barefoot All of the above options can be deployed in underbalanced drilled wells. The production packer and tailpipe are run and set on drill pipe with an isolation plug installed in the tailpipe. some formation damage would take place. If a packer type completion is installed. the use of a float collar may have to be considered to maintain well control. but significant reductions in productivity of underbalanced drilled wells have been encountered after the installation of the completion. If a liner top completion is used in a monobore well drilled underbalanced. well pressure will normally require the production packer and tailpipe to be snubbed into the well against well pressure. it is important that the reservoir is never exposed to overbalanced pressure with a non-reservoir fluid.

the well can be lubricated to kill fluid on top of the plug and displaced via the slotted liner when the drill string is sealed by the rotating diverter. This retrieving tool unseats the isolation plug and then swallows the isolation plug or packer. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 124 of 154 . Both the packer and retrieval tool are specifically designed to be released by the liner.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling conventional snubbing operations as the surface pressure of a flowing well is normally lower than shut in pressure. If necessary. There are very few mechanical methods of down hole isolation available for the running of a slotted liner. The complete procedure for running of a slotted liner and the completion in an underbalanced drilled well is outlined in the following diagrams. Special snubbing BOP’s and a rotating diverter must be used in addition to the conventional drilling BOP’s. The swallowing action of the retrieval tool ensures that the plug and retrieving tool are rigid and can be run to TD without hanging up in the open hole. The Baker “Underbalanced Liner Bridge Plug (ULBP) System” is one of the few systems currently on the market. This system allows a retrievable plug to be set in the last casing. At no time during the snubbing operations should the conventional well control BOP stack be compromised. A retrieving tool that is attached to the bottom of the slotted liner releases this isolation plug. The use of a down hole isolation valve can significantly simplify the installation of a completion.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Step 1 Drilling Completed Step 2 Out of the Hole Step 3 Run Underbalanced Liner Bridge Plug Production Casing Production Casing Production Casing Reservoir Reservoir Reservoir Step 4 Underbalanced Liner Bridge Plug Set Step 5 Run Slotted Liner Step 6 Run Slotted Liner Production Casing Production Casing Production Casing Reservoir Reservoir Reservoir Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 125 of 154 .

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Step 7 Run Slotted Liner Step 8 Pull Running String Step 9 Run Packer Production Casing Production Casing Production Casing Reservoir Reservoir Reservoir Step 10 Production Packer Set Step 11 Completion Production Casing Production Casing Reservoir Reservoir Fig 78 Completion Sequence for Underbalanced Drilled Wells Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 126 of 154 .

This ensures that formation damaging kill fluid does not come into contact with the reservoir at any time. The isolation plug in the tailpipe will be retrieved during the well commissioning. the production packer with a plug installed in the tailpipe is snubbed into the live well and the production packer is set on drill pipe. Getting sufficient flow through the lateral to lift fluids and solids can be a challenge. If leg isolation is required. Once the production packer is set. but the drawdown on the reservoir will be small. more detail as to the exact requirements from a multilateral system will need to be reviewed. a flow sleeve can be installed at the junction to allow selected stimulation or production as required. Underbalanced Drilled Multi-Lateral Wells The setting of the production packer with a mechanical plug allows the lower leg in a multilateral well to be isolated and remain underbalanced whilst the second leg is drilled. The completion is now run conventionally. After retrieving the completion. the completion can be run and a second packer can be installed and stabbed into the lower packer. Once a well is drilled and completed underbalanced for reservoir improvement purposes. Once the completion has been installed. i. The packer assembly would be lubricated into the well by utilizing the snubbing system or a down hole deployment valve. In the case of completion. Drilling a multilateral well underbalanced with the main bore producing can be done. This can be achieved with coiled tubing or with a sliding sleeve. the simplest method is to isolate the reservoir prior to running the completion. Flow modeling in a multilateral well can also be a challenge. the drillpipe can be used to pump completion fluid to provide an additional barrier that can be monitored if required. Once again. After running the liner in the second leg. Before pulling this plug. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 127 of 154 . especially as highly productive reservoirs can prove difficult to control if a small lateral requires a significant drawdown.e. Careful analysis of the lateral and the mainbore will have to be conducted prior to embarking on underbalanced drilling. This includes all subsequent workovers and well operations. A further setback will be that cleaning up of the lateral is difficult if the main bore is a good producer. However. the packer picking assembly is run to the packer depth and the well is returned to an underbalanced condition prior to retrieving the packer. No clean up or stimulation is required in the case of underbalanced drilled wells. the underbalanced status should be maintained for the life of the well. the well is ready for production. the BOP will no longer seal around the pipe. Re-entry into both legs is also possible utilizing a selective system. a suspension plug is installed in the production packer tailpipe and the well is lubricated to kill fluid.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The main problem with running the completion in a live well is the installation of the SSSV control line. Once the control line is connected. the fluid should have been displaced out of the completion string. Workover of an Underbalanced Drilled Well The workover procedure is a reversal of the completion running.

cuttings coming to the surface can be indexed to the formation at depth and its geological character evaluated. Wireline logging can be conducted using a wireline lubricator. Gas Gas logging systems can detect the volume of gas in the circulating drilling fluid and detect the C1-C5 components in the gas stream. Installation of non-return valves above the core barrel. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 128 of 154 . Recovery of the corebarrel. Gas samples can be taken from the separation or flare system. coring and seismic surveys that may have to be collected whilst drilling underbalanced. The use of a side entry sub and a Rotating Control Diverter will not work. memory tools should be considered. Gamma Ray. Coring Coring can be carried out in underbalanced drilling operations. Cuttings Regardless of the drilling fluid being used in the underbalanced operation. Issues that need to be considered are the well control aspects of a logging operation. The need to obtain cuttings and gas specimens in the circulating drilling fluid must be identified early in the well planning process to ensure the appropriate surface equipment and technicians are available at the location. but appropriate safety systems must be installed. as well as other data requirements.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Subsurface Services This is where the evaluation requirements of a well are reviewed with the operator and includes issues such as logging. potentially under pressure. Neutron and Caliper type logs. logging should be limited to Induction Electric. Electric Logging Any electric logging of underbalanced drilled wells can be designed just like conventional logging programs. Due to the general lack of a conductive fluid in underbalanced drilling operations. Most logging and coring. although special tools and techniques must be used to ensure that the following issues are addressed: • • • Dropping of balls to seal the corebarrel. If pipe conveyed logging needs to be done. can normally be obtained providing that the requirements and operational procedures are identified early on in an underbalanced project. Pipe conveyed logging is more complex as the pipe and annulus needs to be controlled.

location of breathing apparatus. Symbols and legends must be clearly marked. These drawings can be listed as: an UBD BOP Stack Up Compression and Separation Equipment Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Compression Equipment Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Separation Equipment Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Oil Export Pump Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Valve Identification Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Hazardous Areas (noise and fire and explosion) Fire protection. as a large number of drawings will be reviewed several times during the preparation of an underbalanced drilling project. The use of colors should be avoided so that diagrams and drawings can be copied on site if required. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 129 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Process Flow Diagrams A number of drawings are normally associated with underbalanced drilled well. A formal approval for drawings must be implemented and all drawings should be audited against actual prior to operations commencing. gas sensors and alarm positions 9) Escape Routes and ESD Stations 10) ESD Loop 11) Services Supply to UBS systems 12) Equipment spotting sequence 13) General rig and site layout 14) Process Flow Diagram 15) Primary search route 16) Secondary search routes (For Sour wells) 17) Grounding 18) Lighting and Emergency Lights Drawings should be numbered and should also be assigned a date and sequence number.

Fig 79 Location Layout Drawing Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 130 of 154 . all of the equipment and access and escape routes are also normally shown.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Rig and Lease Layout An example of a rig / lease layout complete with zonal area’s is shown below On most lease layout diagrams.

As in any management system. this is accomplished by focusing on key activities. Safety Aspects Besides the full HAZOP. exported or flared. The hydrocarbons produced during the UBD process can be routed to the platform process plant. The potential for HSE problems increases whenever a new operation that is different from the normal activity is introduced. During underbalanced drilling. A drilling crew has been instructed during its entire career that if a well kicks it must be shut in and killed. in setting up an Underbalanced Drilling (UBD) project. These operations are significantly different from the conventional drilling approach. a sour reservoir can be safely drilled using an underbalanced drilling system. the supervisors and crews executing these operations have to be familiar with the process. it is critical that HSE issues are considered from the very early phases of the project planning cycle. Performance is measured and reported. A detailed and approved document for HSE management of underbalanced drilling operations is available from the IADC UBO website. the equipment and the procedures. It is not the intention to drill a reservoir and produce it to its maximum capacity. Recovering this gas provides an environmental benefit and an economic benefit. There is work currently being undertaken to reduce flaring and recover the hydrocarbons for export. The pressures and flow rates are kept as low as possible. To ensure a safe and efficient operation. Environmental Aspects The underbalanced drilling system is a fully enclosed system. on the environment and on the equipment or installation being used. This ensures that: • • • • Critical activities are effectively controlled. Areas for improvement are identified. Such is the case of reduced head or underbalanced operations on a drilling site. In a prolific well. Procedures and documentation are in place. HSE Management Systems A Company’s HSE management system describes the way in which it will manage its stated HSE objectives. A well test can be carried out during underbalanced drilling to provide some productivity information. Oil and condensate recovered are normally exported via stock tank into the process train. a significant amount of gas can be flared during the drilling process. When combined with a cuttings injection system and an enclosed mud pit system. Therefore. the single item to be avoided is to kill the well. many of the activities have the potential for negative impact on the health and safety of workers. a significant amount of crew training is required for underbalanced drilling. This may undo all the benefits of underbalanced Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 131 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Health Safety and Environmental Planning During the execution of drilling and testing operations.

The drilling crew will need to be trained in this change of operating. Working on a live well is not a normal operation for a drilling crew and good training is required to ensure that accidents are avoided.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling drilling. the liquid pump rate. The reservoir is the driving force in the UBD process. The underbalanced drilling process is more complex when compared to conventional drilling operations. Gas injection. Yet the drilling crew will move back to conventional drilling once the well is completed. It must be stated that few accidents occur during underbalanced drilling. The driller must understand the process and all the interaction required between the reservoir. a number of service hands are on the rigs that now need to start working with the drilling crew. When tripping operations start. and snubbing maybe required on a well. So besides a more complex operation. the well must remain under control. and a specialized snubbing crew is normally brought on to snub the pipe in and out of the hole. it may be an option to consider batch drilling of the reservoir sections. this is mainly believed to the high emphasis on safety during live well operations. surface separation. it is clear that drilling is no longer a stand-alone operation. If a number of wells are to be drilled underbalanced in a field. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 132 of 154 . The extra equipment also brings a number of extra crew to the rig. the gas injection and the separation process system to safely drill the well. Snubbing pipe in and out of the hole is not a routine operation. If the hydrocarbons produced are then pumped into the process train. This saves mobilization and it also sets a routine with the drilling crew.

and the monthly invoices for a project can be rapidly checked against these rates. These detailed cost estimates are normally provided as a part of the commercial contract between the UBD service provider and the Operator.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Detailed Cost Estimates The detailed cost estimates provide all the rates for equipment and personnel that will be used on the project. One of the issues is often re-dress charges as a part of the operation and disputes often arise as a result of interpretation of the contract and refurbishment costs. Many contracts have these detailed rates included in the contract. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 133 of 154 . Detailed cost estimates can normally be provided once all the engineering issues have been reviewed and the complete range of additional services and requirements is known.

Expected reservoir Properties Reservoir Name Depth TVDSS Gross thickness (ft) Net/Gross Average Porosity Net Pay Thickness Average SW Formation Type Permeability Porosity Influx Top Depth (ft) Influx Bottom Depth (ft) Reservoir Fluid GOR (scf/stb) Reservoir PI (bbls/d/psi/ft) Reservoir Pressure Temperature Gas Specific Gravity Oil API Well Name/ No Section Objectives A short review of why the well is being drilled underbalanced and what the objectives of the operation are. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 134 of 154 .APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling UBS Program An underbalanced drilling program can form part of the general drilling program or it can be presented as a separate drilling program. As a minimum requirement. deviation and hole size is normally provided at this point. the risk classification of the well and the reasons for the well operations. a UBS program should have the following chapters: Introduction Introducing the objectives of underbalanced drilling. The TD criteria for a well should also be included if the well program calls for the maximum production or maximum depth/length of the well. build rates. reservoir targets and well trajectory as well as a short reservoir description complete with reservoir pressures and depths. An overview of the expected well condition and installed casing and tubulars used prior to underbalanced drilling is useful. Well trajectory such as length. Well Information Basic well information such as location.

Once the detailed program has been written. the details of the coiled tubing and the associated underbalanced drilling equipment are normally a useful addition to a drilling program. in the case of a coiled tubing operation. UBD Hydraulics All of the flow modeling charts and underbalanced drilling parameters should be listed here including the fluids and gases that will be used. Drillstring Design and Composition This section lists the detailed drillstring design for the underbalanced operation and what equipment is run where in the string and why. reservoir pressure. Well Trajectory and Directional Issues This section lists the directional requirements and any directional drilling issues that may be encountered during the underbalanced drilling operation. If a down hole motor is to be used. list the manufacturer’s details including the maximum flow rates and pressures expected through the motor. Timings List the expected rate of penetration and associated timings. Equipment Details of the underbalanced drilling equipment and. Drilling Parameters Provides a listing of the expected bits to be used and also provides details of the expected drilling parameters. and velocities expected in the well should be listed here.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Operational Program Provides a step-by-step process of the underbalanced drilling operation. Well Control The expected well control matrix must be a part of the underbalanced drilling program. considerations can be made to put all this practice into an actual operation. This detailed listing often can save considerable time during HAZOP / HAZID reviews and meetings. the expected bottom hole pressure. Also. Also the location and type of the non-return valves should be listed here. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 135 of 154 .

Oseil Field Sicily Galleon & Barque Horizontal oil wells Onshore Brazil Estreito Field First offshore well in Krisna Field Rhourde El Baquel Field Southern North Sea First lowhead well from a floater Horizontal oil wells Coiled tubing underbalanced in the Yibal field First UBD well from floater in North Sea using coiled Tubing New wells in Oil field Onshore in Cooper Basin New wells in Oil field Second CTD well from floater Arun gas field (depleted) 2001 Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 136 of 154 . but migrated offshore with the first well drilled underbalanced offshore by Shell in Lowestoft in June 1997. First Offshore Well Offshore well GOM Arun gas field (depleted) Offshore Barque & Clipper Hatfield Moors Field K17 offshore UBD trails. Year 1995 Country Germany Australia Denmark Netherlands UK UK Mexico Indonesia Spain Algeria Oman Argentina UK UK Netherlands Indonesia Italy UK Sharjah Brazil Indonesia Algeria UK Brazil Sharjah Oman UK Lithuania Australia Lithuania UK Indonesia 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Operator BEB RWE-DEA WAPET Maersk NAM Pentex Shell Pemex Mobil SESA Sonarco PDO YPF Shell Edinburgh Oil & Gas NAM Kufpec Agip/SPI Shell BP Amoco Petrobras YPF Maxus Sonarco Shell Petrobras BP Amoco PDO Talisman Minijos Nafta Santos Minijos Nafta Talisman Exxon Mobil Details Ulsen Breitbrunn gas storage Coiled Tubing Coiled Tubing Oil field onshore using coiled tubing. Wells were initially drilled onshore.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Underbalanced Records Underbalanced drilling in Europe started with the technology from Canada in 1995.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 137 of 154 . One new well and two sidetracks were drilled. the number of underbalanced drilled wells has increased continuously and more and more operators are using underbalanced technology to access reserves and to increase productivity and decrease drilling problems. Drilled two new wells underbalanced through the Shiranish Sandstone Drilled several UBD wells in Carmopolis field in the Alagoas basin Drilled 1200 ft horizontal section lowe head in Eastern Venezuela.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Year 2001 2002 Country Oman Colombia Sarawak China UK UK Colombia Lithuania Indonesia Oman Operator Occidental BP Shell Daqing Talisman Shell BP Minijos Nafta Pertamina PDO Jordan NPC Jordan 2003 Syria Brazil Al Furat Petrobras Venezuela Venezuela Venezuela PDVSA PDVSA PDVSA Details Onshore in Safah Field Five wells in Cusiana/Cupiagua First wells in Miri drilled UBD First UBD wells in Daqing oilfield Further wells drilled on Buchan Further wells drilled in Southern North Sea Drilling underbalanced with coil in the Cusiana/Cupiagua fields Continue previous UBD program Onshore 1600 ft Horizontal lateral Continued operations in Nimir Field in Oman a total of 8 wells were drilled in 2002 New well in Eastern Jordan through gas bearing dubeibed Sandstone. Underbalanced jointed pipe drilling on Lagomar block in Lake Maracaibo Onshore operation in Barinas field using nitrified oil based mud system Since 2003.

1999. presented at the 1986 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas. and D. M. Canada.V. R. B. T. 1998. paper presented at the SPE/Icota Coiled tubing round table held in Houston.S. D. Koper. presented at the SPE/IADC drilling conference held in Amsterdam. Graham. presented at the SPE/IADC drilling conference held in Amsterdam. paper presented at the SPE Rocky Mountain low permeability reservoir symposium held in Denver Colorado 5-8 April 1998.L Purvis. Nas. February 10-12 1986 Saponja. Netherlands 9-11 March.D. Time. Robichaux.F Bietz. “Application of multiphase flow methods to underbalanced horizontal drilling”.D. presented at the SPE/IADC drilling conference held in Amsterdam. SPE paper 14734. Texas 15. 27-30 September 1998. 1-4 November 1998. D. Smith SP. “Successful Use of the Hydraulic Workover Unit Method for Underbalanced Drilling” SPE paper 52827.R.. “Corrosion Issues with underbalanced drilling in H2S reservoirs” SPE 46039. ”Underbalanced Drilling in the Williston Basin”. TX.F. SPE. Munro. Texas 15. B. J. 1999. SPE paper 51500.F. SPE paper 48982. A. Canada. BJ Services. E. 18-20 November. 37066 37138 39303 39924 46042 46039 48982 51500 52826 52827 52829 Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 138 of 154 . “Drilling With a Parasite Aerating String in the Disturbed Belt. G. Saintpere S. H. 18–20 November. paper presented at the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition held in New Orleans. J.16 April. Brent. paper presented at the SPE/Icota Coiled tubing round table held in Houston. “Development and Application of an underbalanced drilling simulator”.A. Saponja. held in Calgary. R. Chitty. Louisiana. SPE paper 52829.”Challenges With Jointed-Pipe Underbalanced Operations” Paper SPE 37066 first presented at the 1996 SPE International Conference on Horizontal Well Technology held in Calgary. Hertzhaft. N. Lage. Smith. Netherlands 9-11 March. paper presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Dallas. E. Vefring.16 April. SPE 39303. Gallatin County. “Stability and flowing properties of aqueous foams for underbalanced drilling”. Gregory G. R. R. SPE. paper presented at SPE international conference on horizontal well technology. Bijleveld. Texas 3-6 March 1998. Brant. A. 1999. Netherlands 9-11 March. 1998.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling References 14734 Westermark. “Planning for underbalanced drilling using coiled tubing”. Montana “. Rommetveit. “Formation Damage and Horizontal Wells A Productivity Killer?” SPE paper 37138 presented at the 1996 SPE International Conference on Horizontal Well Technology held in Calgary. SPE 39924. “Full-scale Experimental Study for Improved Understanding of Transient Phenomena in Underbalanced Drilling Operations”. Nakagawa.A. Alberta. “Underbalanced drilling in a depleted gas field onshore UK with coiled tubing and stable foam” SPE paper 52826. SPE 46042.

O. L. “Underbalanced Drilling gains acceptance in Europe and the International Arena.W. “Case Histories of Design and Implementation of Underbalanced Wells”. SPE. V. “An Overview of Air/Gas/Foam Drilling in Brazil “. presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Roundtable held in Houston.. D. 3–6 October 1999. D R. “ SPE Paper 52832” presented at the 1999 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. A. 4–6 March 1997.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 52832 52833 52889 54483 54717 55036 55606 56633 56865 56684 56877 56920 57569 Alvaro Felippe Negrão. A.P. van Kruijsdijk. and A. SPE paper 57569 presented at the 1999 SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference held in Abu Dhabi.”SPE paper 56920 presented at the 1999 Offshore Europe Conference held in Aberdeen. Lyons. Nilo Azevedo Duarte Planning an Effective Aerated Drilling Operation in Hard Formation Based on Cost Analysis. SPE paper 52889. 1999. Herzhaft. Lupick. 27– 29 March 1996. The Netherlands. “Rheological Properties of Aqueous Foams for Underbalanced Drilling”. “Industry Guidelines for Underbalanced Coiled Tubing Drilling of Critical Sour Wells”. 3– 6 October 1999. and G. Nilsen. “Application of Diamond-Enhanced Insert Bits in Underbalanced Drilling” SPE paper 56877 presented at the 1999 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. “Horizontal Underbalanced Drilling of Gas Wells with Coiled Tubing” SPE paper 55036 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. 3–6 October 1999. SPE paper 56865 presented at the 1997 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam.B. Texas. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 139 of 154 . Texas.S. “Dynamic Underbalanced Drilling Effects are Predicted by Design Model. Thomas.C. 7–9 September 1999. F. A. L. R. B. 15-18 May 1999. Georges.C. R. presented at the SPE/IADC drilling conference held in Amsterdam. 8–10 November 1999. Sharjah. Jollet. Jack. SPE paper 54483. S. Scotland. Nakagawa. Toure. Holland. C. Cox. Bietz. Wilde G. 4-6 March. 25–26 May 1999. Cox. Tetley. Sævareid. UAE”. IADC. “Inflow Predictions and Testing While Underbalanced Drilling”.F and Bennion.W. UAE. “Underbalanced Drilling: Praises and Perils”.J. Lage. W. Hazzard.J. Texas.”.F. Jeff Li. R. E. Giffin. Saintpere. Mathes. Lage.M. presented at the 1996 SPE Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Conference held in Midland. Halliburton Energy Services. SPE paper 56684 presented at the 1999 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. and T. Dual-Lateral Horizontal Well in the Sajaa Field. 9-11 March 1999. F. Wyoming. 31 May–1 June 1999. SPE paper 52833. Cor P. SPE paper 55606 presented at the 1999 SPE Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting held in Gillette. presented at the 1999 SPE European Formation Damage Conference held in The Hague. and J. Negra.B. C. A. Texas.B. Guarneri. S. D. A. “Testing While Underbalanced Drilling: Horizontal Well Permeability Profiles” SPE paper 54717. Bijleveld. Netherlands 9-11 March. Bennion. SPE paper 56633 presented at the 1999 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. “Successful Drilling of an Underbalanced. Neciri. N. B. and Richard J. Cunha. Texas.V.J..W. Luft H. Rommetveit. Larsen. R. Gedge.

A Weihe. C. L. SPE paper 60708 presented at the 2000 SPE/ Icota Coiled Tubing Roundtable held in Houston Texas 5-6 April 2000. Cortes-Monroy. Tinkham. Y. Queiroz. “A New Drill-In Fluid Used for Successful Underbalanced Drilling”. 23–25 February 2000. S. D. C. Velázquez Cruz. Luo. SPE paper 58972 presented at the 2000 SPE International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Mexico held in Villahermosa. A. “Redeveloping the Rhourde el Baguel field with underbalanced drilling operations” SPE paper 62203 Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 140 of 154 . Szutiak. Zhang. D R. Louisiana. Meng. Nakagawa. L. E. Louisiana. Giffin. Louisiana. D. “ Integration of coiled tubing underbalanced drilling service to improve efficiency and value”. 3–5 April 2000. 23–25 February 2000. Zhang. “Wired BHA Applications in Underbalanced Coiled Tubing Drilling” SPE paper 59161 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in New Orleans. J. N van Beelen. S. Zhou. Tang. Y. Luo.Y. K. Meng. T. V.Y. Li. E. L. S. “System for the Hydraulics Analysis of Underbalanced Drilling Projects in Offshore and Onshore Scenarios”. Carmack. “Underbalanced Drilling in High-Loss Formation Achieved Great Success – A Field Case Study”. Alberta Canada. R. 1–3 February 2000. Mexico. and Y. H.M Lemay. S Shayegi. Staal. and S. “How Effective is Underbalanced Drilling at Preventing Formation Damage?” SPE paper 58739 presented at the 2000 SPE International Symposium on Formation Damage Control held in Lafayette. Santos. V. 8–10 November 1999. M. AzpeitiaHernández. Luo. Y. Robinson. C. J. Qin. Li. SPE paper 59743 presented at the 2000 SPE/CERI Gas Technology Symposium held in Calgary. SPE paper 59261 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in New Orleans. Hunt. 23–25 February 2000. SPE paper 58800 presented at the 2000 SPE International Symposium on Formation Damage Control held in Lafayette. Lyons. “A New Drilling Fluid for Formation Damage Control Used in Underbalanced Drilling” ”. Y. W. G. “Underbalanced Drilling Analysis of Naturally Fractured Mexican Fields through 2D Multiphase Flow”. A Fleck. D. W. Blanco-Galan. S. 23–24 February 2000.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 57571 58739 58800 58972 59054 59161 59166 59260 59261 59743 60708 62203 J van Venrooy. I. Hong. Rester. Leary. G Bell. Silva Jr. Hazzard. Meng. SPE paper 59260 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in New Orleans. A. UAE. “Reservoir Characterization During Underbalanced Drilling: A New Model”. H. 23–25 February 2000.” Underbalanced Drilling With Coiled Tubing in Oman” SPE paper 57571 presented at the 1999 SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference held in Abu Dhabi. Mexico. SPE paper 59054 presented at the 2000 SPE International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Mexico held in Villahermosa. Louisiana. T Hoekstra. Louisiana. 1–3 February 2000. S. Meek. D. Rodríguez-Hernández. H. J. 23–24 February 2000. Thatcher. ”Case Histories of Design and Implementation of Underbalanced Wells” SPE paper 59166 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in New Orleans. A. Louisiana. M.

16–18 October 2000. “Aqueous Foams for Underbalanced Drilling: The Question of Solids”. H. Texas. Australia. and P. 16–18 October 2000. J.H. Doan.V. SPE paper 62898 presented at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Dallas. Kneissl. The Netherlands.Lourenço. L. B.K. Lorentzen. Allyson. 27 February–1 March 2001. SPE paper 67688 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. Toure. The Netherlands. Kamp. P. Celis. Aponte. De gennaro. Frøyen. A. F. T.F. SPE paper 62743 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology held in Kuala Lumpur. A. Texas. and E.M. R. A. B. Jansen. Brett. Alberta Canada 58 Nov 2000. and R. F. SPE paper 67689 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. V. J. S. Márquez. “ Wellbore Stability Simulations for Underbalanced drilling operations in highly depleted reservoirs”.T. Sodersano. Brand. 11–13 September 2000. Texas. J. “Safety Critical Learnings in Underbalanced Well Operations”. “Reservoir Characterization Whilst Underbalanced Drilling”. Vining. Park. 13–16 February 2001. “Underbalanced Horizontal Drilling: A Field Study of Wellbore Stability in Brazil”. 27 February–1 March 2001.P.M. Time. Benoit. A.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 62742 62743 62896 62898 64379 64382 64999 65512 67688 67689 67690 67693 Q. Masuda. “Planning and Implementation of the Repsol-YPF-MAXUS Krisna Underbalanced Drilling Project”. A. Labat. SPE paper 65512 presented at the 2000 SPE petroleum Society of CIM international conference on Horizontal well Technology held in Calgary. M. SPE paper 64999 presented at the 2001 SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry held in Houston. A. Lage. SPE paper 67693 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. Oguztoreli. K. Australia. K. Y. S. Y. Fjelde. C. The Netherlands. Nævdal. P. “Stability and Rheological Behavior of Aqueous Foams for Underbalanced Drilling”. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 141 of 154 .M. and G. M. J. S. Herzhaft. Vefring. Bruni. Catchpole. The Netherlands. D. de Sá. K. Lage. Yonezawa. SPE paper 67690 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. 27 February–1 March 2001. Falcao and C. 11–13 September 2000. C. G. 27 February–1 March 2001. 1–4 October 2000. SPE paper 64379 presented at the SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition held in Brisbane. “Underbalanced Drilling at its Limits Brings Life to Old Field”. Kobayashi. A. C. Malaysia. SPE paper 62896 presented at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Dallas.G Parra. “Underbalanced Drilling: Real Time Data Interpretation and Decision Support”. Fjelde. R. “Foam Properties Requirements for Proper Hole Cleaning While Drilling Horizontal Wells in Underbalanced Conditions”. R. R. and G. SPE paper 62742 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology held in Kuala Lumpur. Saintpere. C. Sánchez.C. Kohnert.R. “Research Underbalanced Drilling Dynamics: Two-Phase Flow Modeling and Experiments”. 1–4 October 2000.Martins. A. “Modelling of Transient Cuttings Transport in Underbalanced Drilling”.J.W. S. Malaysia. SPE paper 64382 presented at the SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition held in Brisbane. Rojas. W. Fonseca.L. Kakadjian. J. D.

K. 7–8 March 2001. “Recovery Of Lost Reserves Through Application Of Underbalanced Drilling Techniques In The Safah Field”. efficiency and data management capabilities”. Texas. H. Recent Technology Developments and Field Applications”. Severo Rosa. C. J. Changliang. J. V. SPE paper 69490 presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference held in Buenos Aires. SPE paper 68491 presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Roundtable held in Houston. 22–24 October 2001. C. H. SPE paper 69449 presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference held in Buenos Aires.”A Comprehensive Model and Computer Simulation for Underbalanced Drilling in Oil and Gas Wells” SPE paper 68495 presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Roundtable held in Houston. 30 September–3 October 2001. Huixing. and E. Argentina. A. Frøyen. Pi and A. C. Lage. M. Texas. A. L. M. “Underbalanced EMWD-AP At La Concepción Block. Guo. 25–28 March 2001. Argentina. Louisiana. D. S. 7–8 March 2001. B. C. Stuczynski PE. SPE paper 72300 presented at the IADC/SPE Middle East Drilling Technology held in Bahrain. “Designing Underbalanced Thru Tubing Drilling Operations”. Lorentzen. 27 February–1 March 2001. SPE paper 71384 presented at the 2001 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in New Orleans. 25–28 March 2001.J. oil and gas flow in underbalanced drilling”. R. Argentina. D. 22–24 October 2001. “Underbalanced and Low-head Drilling Operations: Real Time Interpretation of Measured Data and Operational Support”. Rommetveit. K. M. Nas. Venezuela”. R. Malaysia 8-9 October 2001. “ Use of Spreadsheet and analytical Models to Simulate Solid. V. Water. “ New generation underbalanced drilling 4-phase surface separation technique improves operational safety. . Nas. F. SPE paper 67829 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam. Fjelde. Wiemers and S. Laird. R. “Underbalanced Operations Continue Offshore Movement”. McMillan. Romero. “Designing Underbalanced Thru Tubing Drilling Operations” SPE paper 69448 presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference held in Buenos Aires. Cinquegrani. S. 25–28 March 2001. Lage. Nævdal. J. G. Taihe. “Designing Underbalanced and Lightweight Drilling Operations. Karigan. Jun. G. M. Vefring. Bullock. SPE paper 72153 presented at the SPE Asia Pacific Improved Oil Recovery Conference held in Kuala Lumpur. SPE paper 69496 presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference held in Buenos Aires. Argentina. Maracaibo Basin. F. Zhongshen. F. Santos. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 142 of 154 . Hannegan.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 67829 68491 68495 69448 69449 69490 69496 71384 72153 72300 72328 S. SPE paper 72328 presented at the IADC/SPE Middle East Drilling Technology held in Bahrain. J. 25–28 March 2001. and Y. “Horizontal underbalanced drilling in northeast Bazil: a field Case history”. Cunha. A. Laird. T. The Netherlands. A.

L. Smith P. Weisbeck.F. SPE paper 74447. SPE paper 74841 presented at the SPE/Icota Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition held in Houston Texas. J. R. Direct qualitative comparison proves the technique!”. McCallister. Ravensbergen. “Case History of First Use of Extended-Range EM MWD in Offshore. Martins. Park. L Castro. C. USA. Kirvelis. J. G. S. “Underbalanced / Undervalued?. Fuller. Texas. R. Lourenço. 26–28 February 2002. de Sá. 9-10 April 2002. Ghalambor. R. Texas. A. 10-12 February 2002. “ An Innovation in designing underbalanced drilling flow rates: A gas-Liquid rate window (GLRW) Approach”. SPE paper 74461. C. 26–28 February 2002. Keenan. Hibbeler. “ Underbalanced Coiled Tubing leads to improved productivity in slotted liner completions”. B. R. “A Drilling Contractor’s View of Underbalanced Drilling”. Texas. T. Gonzalez and J. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 143 of 154 .. SPE paper 77237 presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Technology Conference held in Jakarta Indonesia 9-11 September 2002. D. Romero. G. “Foam Property Requirements for Proper Hole Cleaning While Drilling Horizontal Wells in Underbalanced Conditions”. Australia. A.16–18 October 2000. presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas. USA. Texas. Perez-Tellez.K Edwards. Haddad. 9-10 April 2002. SPE paper 74846 presented at the SPE/Icota Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition held in Houston Texas.D. presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas. Blackwell.P. presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas. K. SPE paper 74333 revised for publication from paper SPE 64382. 17–19 October 2001. “ Improving the performance of coiled tubing underbalanced horizontal drilling operations”. 26–28 February 2002.J. V. J.G Fraser. Brisbane.. presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas.M. Divine. Texas. A. Duque. “ A new comprehensive Mechanistic Model for underbalanced drilling Improves wellbore pressure predictions”. Thompson. and Cheatham. Hannegan and R. D. and C. Ohio. T Haselton. C. 26–28 February 2002. Pia. Hawkes. 26–28 February 2002. SPE paper 74446. Guo.M. L.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 72373 74333 74426 74445 74446 74447 74448 74461 74841 74846 77237 J. SPE paper 72373 presented at the SPE Eastern Regional Meeting held in Canton. McLellan “Coupled Modeling of Borehole Instability and Multiphase Flow for Underbalanced Drilling”. “Underbalanced Drilling–Perceptions and Realities of Today’s Technology in Offshore Applications” SPE paper 74448. first presented at the 2000 SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition.H. Smith and J. A. SPE paper 74445 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas. “Underbalanced Coiled-Tubing Drilling in a Thin Gas Storage Reservoir: A Case Study”. D. Murphy.R. Underbalanced Drilling”. SPE paper 74426 presented at the SPE International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Mexico held in Villahermosa Mexico. D. P. B. L.

Pia. Davidson. Fjelde. J.S. G. “ Downhole Deployment Valve Addresses Problems Associated with Tripping Drill Pipe During Underbalanced Drilling Operations”. and P. Geldof. Grayson. W. Aasen. Cuthberson. “Light Annular MudCap Drilling .Sotomayor. P. accuracy and necessary data”. SPE paper 77529. R. Lorentzen. Kirvelis. Culen. Frøyen. Nygaard.A. Cuthberson. SPE paper 77241 presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Technology Conference held in Jakarta Indonesia 9-11 September 2002. Semi-Short Radius Drilling Case Study: Installation of a Seven Leg Multilateral Well”. K. D. Dewar and B. Skaugen. Vargas. A. presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Antonio. E. “Underbalanced Production Steering Delivers Record Productivity”. Wang. B. F. SPE paper 79857 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling conference held in Amsterdam. “ Completion of an underbalanced well using expandable sand screen for Sand Control”. G. Colbert. The Netherlands 19-21 February 2003. Truelove. SPE paper 79853 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling conference held in Amsterdam. and G. presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Antonio. Lage. Silva Filho. J. T. “ Pipe Buckling at surface in underbalanced drilling”. Silva Filho. “A New Look for an Old Field . P. The Netherlands 19-21 February 2003. T. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 144 of 154 . Lira and P. SPE paper 79852 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling conference held in Amsterdam. Alberta.J. A. Jenkins. S Harti. R. A. J. H. “ Well Control Considerations – Offshore Applications of underbalanced drilling Technology”. Brandao. C. K. SPE paper 77352. The Netherlands 19-21 February 2003. da Silva. A Green. Texas. G. The Netherlands 19-21 February 2003. H. “ Fully coupled chemico-geomechanics model and applications to wellbore stability in Shale formation in an underbalanced field conditions” SPE paper 78978 presented at the SPE International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium and international horizontal well technology conference held in Calgary. 29 September – 2 October 2002. Francis. M. L. Underbalanced.Multilateral. D. Medley. Texas. R. E.A. I.” The first underbalanced multilateral well branches drilled in Brazil. Y. M. B. SPE paper 79854 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling conference held in Amsterdam.A Well Control Technique for Naturally Fractured Formations”. a field case history”. R. H. 29 September – 2 October 2002. Lu. Texas. G. J. Lucena.W. Hannegan.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 77240 77241 77352 77529 77530 78978 79792 79852 79853 79854 79857 S. SPE paper 77240 presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Technology Conference held in Jakarta Indonesia 9-11 September 2002.Herbal. Grant. Canada 4-7 November 2002. T Haselton. “Low Risk/High reward strategy drives underbalanced drilling implementation in PDO”. D. G. SPE paper 77530 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Antonio. G. A. “Reservoir Characterization during Underbalanced Drilling: method. The Netherlands 19-21 February 2003. Wanzer. Hosie and B. Merlo and G. V. 29 September-2 October 2002. Lee. Nævdal. SPE paper 79792 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling conference held in Amsterdam. Sotomayor. Vefring. Fuller.

27-30 April 2003. A.A. Vargas. SPE paper 81622 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. P. U. Weisbeck. SPE paper 81620 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. R.L. L. Herzhaft.S. U. Davidson. D.. Neau.C. Texas.A. Shayegi. SPE paper 80207 presented at the SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry held in Houston. B.V. 25-26 March 2003. and J. P. H. G.S.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 80207 81069 81620 81621 81622 81623 81625 81626 81627 81628 S. 25-26 March 2003. R. H. Silva Filho.A.S. Anderson. J. SPE paper 81627 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. 25-26 March 2003. Texas. I. Texas. U.R. Gil.A. West Indies. Executing and Analyzing the Productive Life of the First Six Branches Multilateral Well Drilled Underbalanced in Brazil”.C. R. R. R. “Planning. U. Jennings. Medeiros .. 25-26 March 2003. Kakadjian.A. Shan. SPE paper 81069 presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference held in Port-of-Spain.A. “Comparison of Wellbore Hydraulics Models to Maximize Control of BHP and Minimize Risk of Formation Damage”. SPE paper 81623 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. A. Texas. Francis. 25-26 March 2003. Trinidad. Texas.S. U. Xiong and D. Texas. J.S.A.. SPE paper 81628 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Divine.A. U... I. U. “Northland Energy Services (UK) Innovative Technology Advances Use of Electromagnetic MWD Offshore in Southern North Sea”. Graham. Rodrigano. SPE. Texas. da Silva. “Reservoir Criteria for Selecting Underbalanced Drilling Candidates” SPE paper 81621 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. and T. R.A.S. 25-26 March 2003. Texas. P. “Snubbing Provides Options for Broader Application of Underbalanced Drilling Lessons”. Brett. “Planning is Critical for Underbalance Applications with Underexperienced Operators”.A. Kirvelis.S.C. MacPherson.. Lira and P. SPE paper 81625 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.S. Ramalho. “HP/HT rheology of Aqueous Compressible Fluids for Underbalanced Drilling Using A Recirculating Rheometer”. Harting. 25-26 March 2003. 25-26 March 2003.. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 145 of 154 . 5-7 February 2003. Sotomayor. S. L. T.A.S. Lage. “Drilling Near Balance and Completing Open Hole to Minimize Formation Damage in a Sour Gas Reservoir”. SPE paper 81626 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. “The Nimr Story: Reservoir Exploitation Using UBD Techniques”.. K. U.M. U. Texas. Schmigel. “Does Underbalanced Drilling Really Add Reserves?”.. Cade. Gent.

and A. Labbabidi. Hunt. “Design and Operational Considerations to Maintain Underbalanced Conditions with Concentric Casing Injection”. Texas. “Reservoir Characterization during UBD: Methodology and Active Tests”. “Using Fuzzy Logic for UBD Candidate Selection” SPE paper 81644 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. “A Closed Form Hydraulics Equation for Predicting Bottom-Hole Pressure in UBD with Foam” SPE paper 81640 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.V. SPE paper 81630 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. G. Fjelde. “Development of a probabilistic model to estimate productivity improvement due to underbalanced drilling”.M Lage.L.A. S. 25-26 March 2003..J.S.S. Texas. S. Culen. B. Nygaard.A. A. Ghalambor. Vefring.C. “Improvements in Dynamic Modeling of Underbalanced Drilling”. Rommetveit. Garrouch and H. S. Texas. Texas. U. Texas.A.M. Texas. J. 25-26 March 2003.S. SPE paper 81634 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.S.A. Coy. 25-26 March 2003. Suryanarayana. 25-26 March 2003.S. Oman” SPE paper 81629 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. 25-26 March 2003. U.A. 25-26 March 2003. I. Natarajan. 25-26 March 2003.A. T.. A. R. and A.S. Rahman.. C. Texas. SPE paper 81633 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.V.S.A. Saeed “Underbalanced Data Acquisition: A Real-Time Paradigm”. 25-26 March 2003. U. SPE paper 81632 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. U. Texas. “Multilayer Reservoir Model Enables More Complete Reservoir Characterization During Underbalanced Drilling”. and H.A. Frink. Lorentzen.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 81629 81630 81631 81632 81633 81634 81636 81638 81639 81640 81644 M.A. R. Malkowski. Mykytiw. U. U. U. Nævdal and K... SPE paper 81639 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.S. “Underbalanced Horizontal Drilling Yields Significant Productivity Gains in the Hugoton Field”.Devaul. Texas. R. G. U.A. Davidson.. Hashimi. K. SPE paper 81636 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. SPE paper 81638 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. ”The Challenge Of Well Control In Under Balance Drilling And The Role Of Training In Meeting It”.G. P. R.. “A Direct Comparison Between Conventional and Underbalanced Drilling Techniques in the Saih Rawl Field. S.A. U.A. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 146 of 154 .S.S. Rester.S.K. 25-26 March 2003. A. K.J. Texas.. R. . Harthi.S. U.S.K. 25-26 March 2003. E.H. Merlo. SPE paper 81631 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.. Texas..A. Guo. U. 25-26 March 2003. Fjelde. Sun. Reiley. P..

SPE paper 86558 presented at the SPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control.A.A. R. Brunei” SPE paper 85319 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. “ Underbalanced Drilling of Fractured Carbonates in Northern Thailand Overcomes Conventional Drilling Problems Leading to a Major Gas Discovery”. Peterson. Ravensbergen.A.V. 10-13 October 2004. and P. Louisiana. Doll.S. & Other Related Conventional Drilling Problems”. “Modeling of Transient Cuttings Transport in Underbalanced Drilling (UBD)”.A Comparison Between Underbalanced And Overbalanced Drilling”. Renard. Timms. Remedy for Formation Damage. T. Kamp. Q. held in Lafayette. A.W. Biswas. Yonezawa. Y.E. held in Lafayette. “Underbalanced Drilling For Production Enhancement in the Rasau Oil Field.T. R. presented at the 11th Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference held in Abu Dhabi. H. U. Vezza. 11-12 October 2004. and M. Texas. D.. Y.A. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 147 of 154 .S. Texas. Qutob “Underbalanced Drilling. and H. 9-10 April 2002.A. 25-26 March 2003. B. McMillan. Texas. 18-20 February 2004. Pinkstone.G Fraser. Lost Circulation. 11-12 October 2004. McMillan. 11-13 September.S. SPE paper 74841 presented at the SPE/Icota Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition held in Houston Texas. “Little Known Lubrication Method: Great Tool for UB Work” SPE paper 81645 presented at the 2002 IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Doan. U. SPE paper 90185 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.. M. Kobayashi. Hall. “A Safe Approach to Underbalanced Drilling in H2S Producing Fields”. U. J. 18-20 February 2004. Y. U.. “Near-Wellbore Formation Damage Effects On Well Performance . SPE paper 85061 presented at the 2000 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference. Oguztoreli. A. 11-12 October 2004. Ward. Malaysia. “Estimating Drilling-Induced Formation Damage Using Reservoir Simulation to Screen Underbalanced Drilling Candidates”. SPE paper 86465 presented at the SPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control. Nance. USA.. Naganawa. Kuala Lumpur.S.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 81645 84841 85061 85319 86465 86558 87986 88698 89324 90185 G. U. presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur.. Texas. M. D.A.A.. Elliott. S. H. Coy. M. A. D. Suryanarayana. Herzhaft and G. “ Improving the performance of coiled tubing underbalanced horizontal drilling operations”. S. U. and A. Kuru. Masuda. and S. SPE paper 88698. de Vries. 13-15 September 2004.S.S. U. Li and E. Ding. SPE paper 87986.. Louisiana. R. “Prediction of Critical Foam Velocity for Effective Cuttings Transport in Horizontal Wells” SPE paper 89324 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Sarssam.

S. Texas. U. U.A. Coy.A. Olsen. Culen. Texas. Tønnessen. 11-12 October 2004. U. M. R. SPE paper 91239 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.S. Golan. U. Texas.A. U. A.. Cavender and H. “Methodology for Manipulation of Wellhead Pressure Control for the Purpose of Recovering Gas to Process in Underbalanced Drilling Applications”. Graham and M.S.R. Texas. 11-12 October 2004. “MudCap Drilling When? Techniques for Determining When to Switch From Conventional to Underbalanced Drilling” SPE paper 91566 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.. Texas.A.E. T. Rommetveit.S. “Risk-Based Decision Support for Planning of an Underbalanced Drilling Operation”.S. Medley. SPE paper 91220 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. and K. SPE paper 91519 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. K. Restarick. D Hall and M.S.. B. “A Safe Approach to Underbalanced Drilling in an H2S Producing Field Leads to Operational Success and Productivity Improvement”. E. and C. Bjørkevoll. Texas. Chopty. SPE papers 91544 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. 11-12 October 2004. G. J.A.. Arild. 11-12 October 2004.I. K. Sandøy. Salimi . Moore. Boyce. S...E. “Well-Completion Techniques and Methodologies for Maintaining Underbalanced Conditions Throughout Initial and Subsequent Well Interventions” SPE paper 90836 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Guo and A. J. Vezza.K. “Enhancement Well Productivity— Investigating the Feasibility of UBD for Minimizing Formation Damage in Naturally Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs”.A.S. 11-12 October 2004.S. U. Texas. A.A.. D. U. Bencheikh.. Texas.. “Drilling Underbalanced in Hassi Messaoud”.S.R. Frøyen.L. Vollen and T. J.. U. Ghalambor. SPE paper 91556 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Ø.S. “Challenges in Implementing UBO Technology”. Olsen. U. 11-12 October 2004. Texas. R. 11-12 October 2004.A.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 90836 91220 91239 91242 91243 91356 91519 91544 91556 91566 T. “Use of Dynamic Modeling in Preparations for the Gullfaks C-5A Well” SPE paper 91243 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Stone. and J. SPE paper 91242 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. 11-12 October 2004. U. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 148 of 154 .S.D.A.W.A. G. 11-12 October 2004. Andersen. Nilsen. Fjelde. and M. “Pressure Stability Analysis for Aerated Mud Drilling Using an Analytical Hydraulics Model” SPE paper 91356 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Texas.A. 11-12 October 2004.S.

“Practical Use of a Multiphase Flow Simulator for Underbalanced Drilling Applications Design— The Tricks of the Trade”.” HSE Training. 23-25 February 2005.. SPE paper 91725. 11-12 October 2004.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 91558 91559 91581 91583 91593 91598 91607 91610 91725 T.. “Damage Interpretation of Properly and Improperly Drilled Underbalanced Horizontals in the Fractured Jean Marie Reservoir Using Novel Modeling and Methodology”. Brand. U. D. 11-12 October 2004.A. Amsterdam. Davidson. SPE paper 91598 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.A. University of Alberta. SPE paper 91558 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Voigt.. Friedel and H. and P. Suryanarayana. 11-12 October 2004. Okunsebor.A. Y. Texas. “Changing the Value Equation for Underbalanced Drilling”.S. R. 11-12 October 2004.S. Netherlands Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 149 of 154 .. Weatherford International. Texas..S. SPE paper 91607 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. U. U. J. Medeiros.. I. Texas. J. Texas. Kimery and T.V.A. Texas. D. presented at the SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition. presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. “Numerical Simulation of the Gas Inflow During Underbalanced Drilling (UBD) and Investigation of the Impact of UBD on Longtime Well Productivity”.. O.A. 11-12 October 2004. U. SPE paper 91610. R. 11-12 October 2004. May and J. van der Werken.S. U. Kuru. J. Reynolds. and M. U.S. SPE paper 91559 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. “Proving UBD's Value in Brownfields and Beyond”. Texas. Knight. Reitsma.R. 11-12 October 2004. P.A. and Production Results for a Long-Term Underbalanced Coiled-Tubing Multilateral Drilling Project”.M. Shelton. “Hydraulic Optimization of Foam Drilling For Maximum Drilling Rate”. “Underbalanced Drilling in Canada: Tracking the Long-Term Performance of Underbalanced Drilling Projects in Canada” SPE paper 91593 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Houston. Kimery and M. “Using Rotating Control Devices Safely in Today’s Managed Pressure and Underbalanced Drilling Operations”. Implementation. Smith. Cantu. Li.A. C. U. Texas Calvin Holt.A. E.S. 11-12 October 2004.S. SPE paper 91583 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. D. Pickles. McCaffrey. Texas.-D. B. SPE paper 91581 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Mykytiw.

Netherlands H. Meng. Kinder Morgan Inc. “Discussion of Foam Corrosion Inhibition in Air Foam Drilling”. Tubular Goods Research Center. Amerada Hess. M. Nick Christou. McClatchie.15. and D. Chen and G. Mar 12 . SPE.. Allistar Law Baker. Hughes Inteq. of Mining and Technolog. Amsterdam. Jakarta. Muir. and F.E. Aberdeen. SPE paper 93784 presented at the SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition. presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. Denton. Stilson. and L. and K. Weatherford UBS. 2005. Tom Kavanagh. BJ Services Co. N. “Underbalanced Coiled Tubing Drilling Update on a Successful Campaign”. 23-25 February 2005. Mykytiw. “Simulation of Inflow Whilst Underbalanced Drilling (UBD) With Automatic Identification of Formation Parameters and Assessment of Uncertainty”. “The SURE way to underbalanced Drilling”. Chen. Mtchedlishvili. Weatherford Intl.. Shell UBD Global Implementation Team. I. SPE paper 93974 presented at the SPE Europec/EAGE Annual Conference.E. Charlie Leslie. SPE. “Applications of Underbalanced Drilling Reservoir Characterization for Water Shut Off in a Fractured Carbonate Reservoir . “Hydraulics of Drilling with Aerated Muds under Simulated Borehole Conditions” . and C. Ahmed. Statoil ASA. R. The Woodlands. Xi'An ShiYou U. Indonesia T. Yu. Netherlands Randal Pruitt. Petroleum Development Oman. BP. Mar 12 . Ferreira. Takach. Precision Drilling UBD. Miska.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 92484 92513 93346 93695 93784 93974 94164 94169 94469 L. presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference.-D. Kingdom of Bahrain D. Wind. Daniel Borling. “Flow-Rate Optimization of Aerated Fluids for Underbalanced Coiled-Tubing Applications”. Petroleum Development Oman.. Busaidi and J. Spain M. Shell UBD Global Implementation Team. The Woodlands. Voigt.Z. SPE paper 93346. Great Wall Drilling Co. S. and L. L. presented at the SPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference.Case History”. 23-25 February 2005. SPE. Ozbayoglu and C. Häfner. 13 May 2005. Tony Woolham. Wan. 13-16 June 2005. SPE paper 94169 presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition. Omurlu. Bruce Smith. Qutob and H. United Kingdom Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 150 of 154 . SPE paper 93695 presented at the Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference.. H. Zhou. Arsenault. L. Amsterdam. Kennedy. Madrid. Timms. BP. “Downhole Deployment Valve . University of Tulsa.A Project Overview”. SPE paper 92513.. SPE paper 94469 presented at the SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Corrosion. Murphy. Schlumberger. King. G. Weatherford GSI. and J. Saasen. Kingdom of Bahrain A. Yang. Southwest Petroleum Inst. Inc. C. 2005. R. Weber and D. 5-7 April 2005. SPE paper 92484. 12-13 April 2005. Olivier Desplain. Freiberg U. Tubular Goods Research Center. A. Texas Y. Davidson. Blade Energy Partners. Halliburton Energy Services.. Wang. 12-13 April 2005. X. Wuest. Middle East Technical U. S. “Improving the Efficiency of GasStorage-Well Completions Using Underbalanced Drilling With Coiled Tubing”.M. Friedel*.15. Texas J. WUU. SPE paper 94164 presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition.

12-14 September 2005. Stim Lab Division of Core Laboratories. Dubai. Shell International Exploration & Production B. Gupta. Wu. Lafayette. Culen and D. Texas B. RF-Rogaland Research. R. SPE paper 97317 presented at the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition. and Z. Pitman.R. Gupta. SPE paper 97372 presented at the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition. Texas. J. Santos and P. A. Langlinais. The Netherlands P. 12-14 September 2005.V. Precision Drilling Services & Co. 6-9 September 2005. SPE paper 96646 presented at the Offshore Europe Conference. Field Test Preparation. and A.H. SPE paper 97025 presented at the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition. Dallas. United Arab Emirates. 9-12 October 2005. and E. Petroiran Development Co. E&P. “Utilizing an Automated Annular Pressure Control System for Managed Pressure Drilling in Mature Offshore Oilfields”. Texas S. Baker Oil Tools. Jones. SPE paper 94763 presented at the SPE European Formation Damage Conference. Nygaard. Dubai. Himes. B. Power Chokes. Zaferanieh.V.J.P. K. Nævdal. Killip. R. Guo. Louisiana State U. and Results”. Lorentzen. K.A.S. “Feasibility of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide as a Drilling Fluid for Deep Underbalanced Drilling Operation” SPE paper 96992 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.S. J. and E. United Arab Emirates. Impact Solutions Group. 912 October 2005. E. G. RF Rogaland Research. Shadizadeh.J. Suryanarayana. Dallas. 6-9 September 2005. 9-12 October 2005. M.-K. 15-17 February 2006. Webster and M. McCaskill. Dallas. Aberdeen. of Technology. “A Guideline to Optimizing Pressure Differential in Underbalanced Drilling for Reducing Formation Damage”.K. J. “Forensic Reservoir Characterisation Enabled with Underbalanced Drilling”.. Gravdal. Sheveningen. . H.H. Drilling Systems. “Dynamic Modeling of Invasion Damage and Its Impact on Production in Horizontal Wells” SPE paper 95861 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. and R. Dubai. and J. SPE paper 96282 presented at the Offshore Europe conference. SPE paper 98083 presented at the International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control. Petroleum U. United Arab Emirates G. BP. Fjelde. J. A. United Kingdom D. Reitsma. van Riet. and R. U. Pruitt. “Evaluation of Drillstring and Casing Instrumentation Needed for Reservoir Characterization During Drilling Operations”. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 151 of 154 . Reid.. Vefring. Shell Intl. of Louisiana at Lafayette. 25-27 May. Vefring. Louisiana U. Lorentzen. United Kingdom. “Worlds First Coiled Tubing Under-balanced Casing Exit Using Nitrogen Gas as the Milling Fluid”. 12-14 September 2005. Ghalambor. “Title Tuning of Computer Model Parameters in Managed-Pressure Drilling Applications Using an Unscented Kalman Filter Technique” SPE paper 97028 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Aberdeen. Fjelde.R. “The Feasibility Study of Using Underbalanced Drilling in Iranian Oil Fields”.E. “Developing the Micro-Flux Control Method—Part 1: System Development. Ramalho. Blade Energy Partners.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 94763 95861 96282 96646 96992 97025 97028 97317 97372 98083 M.

Miami. and C. Petrobras. USA A. Underbalanced Drilling Manual. Florida.M.H. Andrade Jr. Guzman. Soto. SPE paper 98926 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. Baker Atlas. USA L. Ong. Eastern Venezuela” SPE paper 99165 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. “Managed-Pressure Drilling (MPD) Field Trials Demonstrate Technology Value” SPE paper 98787 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. PDVSA. 21-23 February 2006. Published by Gas research Institute Chicago Illinois. SPE paper 99116 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. USA. Adeleye. Scandpower Petroleum Technology Inc. 21-23 February 2006.L. Statoil. Baker Atlas. and E. E. “Hole Cleaning During UBD in Horizontal and Inclined Wellbore”. PDVSA. 21-23 February 2006. Y.GRI-97/0236 Proceedings from 1st International Underbalanced drilling Conference & exhibition held in The Hague. 21-23 February 2006. Nakagawa. and R.H. P. USA Gas research Institute. Holland 1998 Proceedings from the 2000 IADC Underbalanced drilling Conference & exhibition held in Houston Texas Proceedings from the IADC Underbalanced drilling Conference & exhibition held in Aberdeen 2001 Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 152 of 154 .S. Florida. “Successful Field Use of Advanced Dynamic Models”. and D. Saponja. Rønneberg and B. Lourenço. Larsen. Underbalanced Drilling and Completion Manual. Florida. Florida.. Miami.. Holland 1997 Maurer Engineering Inc. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Rommetveit. SPE paper 99113 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. Zhou. Azeemuddin. Miami. K. Canada. Malavé. DEA 101 phase 1. A. Medina.F. “Underbalanced Drilling Borehole Stability Evaluation and Implementation in Depleted Reservoirs.A. and B. Díaz. SINTEF Petroleum Research. Anadarko Corp. Miami. A. J. Venezuela”. 21-23 February 2006.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling 98787 98926 99075 99113 99116 99165 J. Hucik. USA M. Miami. M. “Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD): Planning a Solution for San Joaquin Field. October 1996 Proceedings from the North Sea Underbalanced Operations Forum held in Aberdeen 1996 Proceedings from the first IADC Underbalanced drilling Conference & exhibition held in The Hague. SPE paper 99075 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. Miami. Florida. 21-23 February 2006. Maya. Martins. Florida. Holland 1995 Proceedings from 3rd International Underbalanced drilling Conference & exhibition held in The Hague. and S. Bjørkevoll. San Joaquin Field. Weatherford Canada Partnership. “Investigating Solids-Carrying Capacity for an Optimized Hydraulics Program in Aerated Polymer-Based-Fluid Drilling”. and A. USA R.

www.com Shaffer Shaffer supply rotating control head systems to the underbalanced drilling market Tesco Tesco corporation supplies rig floor mounted snubbing systems to the underbalanced industry. http://www. http://www.com Scandpower They also have developed a dynamic UBD simulator for training and wellsite purposes in conjunction with Scandpower.weatherford.lealtd.com Halliburton Halliburton provides underbalanced solutions focused on enhancing reservoir performance with concern for safety and the environment remaining a top priority. Alpine Oil Services and ECD Northwest and recently Precission Energy Services have launched Weatherford UBS as the main player in the global arena for underbalanced drilling solutions in offshore and deepwater environments. They also included advanced UBD training and UBD well control training as one of their products.neotec.scandpowerpt.com/ Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 153 of 154 . http://www.blade-energy. Dailey. http://www. http://www. http://www.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Suppliers of Underbalanced Drilling Services Weatherford Weatherford has the comprehensive solutions for safe and effective underbalanced drilling to meet growing production demands worldwide.halliburton.com Neotec WELLFLO 7 has also become the industry standard software for flow modeling of underbalanced drilling (UBD) operations worldwide.com LEAding Edge Advantage Leading Edge Advantage provides independent engineering management mainly focused on underbalanced coil operations. Extensive R&D and strategic acquisitions of leading UBS technologies from Tesco. Halliburton provide their own UBD separation systems and reservoir engineering.tescocorp.com and project Blade Energy Partners Blade provides independent engineering and project management to the underbalanced drilling industry.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Abbreviations BHA BHP BOE BOP ECD EMWD ERD ESD GPM HAZOP HPHT HSE IADC MMscft/day MWD NDT PCWD PDM PSI RCD RBOP ROP TD TVD UBD Bottom Hole Assembly Bottom Hole Pressure Barrel of Oil Equivalent Blow out Preventer Equivalent Circulating Density Electromagnetic Measurement While Drilling Extended Reach Drilling Emergency Shutdown Gallons Per Minute Hazard Analysis Operations High Pressure High Temperature Health Safety and Environment International Association of Drilling Contractors Million standard cubic foot per day Measurement While Drilling Non Destructive Testing Pressure Control While Drilling Positive Displacement Motor Pounds per Square Inch Rotating Control Diverter Rotating Blowout Preventer Rate of penetration Total Depth Total Vertical Depth Underbalanced Drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 154 of 154 .

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->