IADC/SPE 112669 Challenges of Directional Drilling Through Salt in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

R.R. Israel, P. D'Ambrosio, A.D. Leavitt, Schlumberger, J.M. Shaughnessey, BP America Inc., J. Sanclemente, Chevron North America E & P Co.

Agenda Introduction Directional Well Planning Challenges in Salt Drilling Enabling Technologies Case Studies Lessons Learned Conclusions & Questions 2 .

Introduction Salt drilling almost mandatory in deepwater GoM – Drilling the tertiary trend will require more salt drilling 3 .

Introduction GoM salt fairly well understood – First sub-salt discovery in 1990 – Salt is unique due to its ability to creep Multiple drivers for directional drilling in salt – DW sub-salt developments coming online – Trajectory limitations due to completion/step-out – Geology issues 4 .

Directional Well Planning Where to kick-off – KO above & hold angle through salt – KO and build in salt Managing formation tendencies – Consider salt trend vs. maximum build rate of BHA – Difficult to manage in tight anti-collision situations Managing drilling mechanics – Increasing vibrations with inclination Geomechanical issues – Creep – Hole quality can impact on long term life of well 5 .

Riserless Drilling & Salt Entry Riserless Drilling – – – – Limited mud volume BHA must maximize salt ROP Directional Control Salt footage may drive decisions SALT Salt Entry – Risks of wellbore stability and/or losses – Control drilling parameters prior to entry 6 .

Challenges in Drilling & Exiting Salt Shocks & Vibration Issues – Bit selection & pre-drill vibration modeling – Real-time diagnosis & intervention SALT Inclusions – High uncertainty regarding pressure. loss circulation risk – Shocks from drilling non-homogenous formation Base of salt Tar – Avoid it! Salt Exit Strategy – What mud weight to use? – Go slow – control drilling parameters 7 – Develop local exit strategy . stability.

hydraulics.Enabling Technologies Deepwater Rigs – Increased torque. & pick-up required Directional Drilling Components – Rotary steerable systems – Improved bits & under-reamers 8 .

sonic & seismic while drilling Real-time Monitoring – Maximize data available to optimize drilling – Remote support for leveraging expertise 9 .Enabling Technologies Sub-salt Imaging & LWD – 3D pre-stacked depth images – Gamma ray at bit.

Case Study #1 Objectives & Challenges Kick-off and drill & under-ream salt in 18.25-in x 20-in hole Nudge the well to mitigate collision risks Steering against salt tendency Results & lessons Learned Drilled to TD in one run w minimal shocks Casing successfully run to bottom Successfully managed anti-collision risks & preserved ability to drill other slots 10 .

75-in x 16.Case Study #2 Objectives & Challenges Kick-off and drill & under-ream salt in 14.5-in hole Drill 11000-ft in one run Severe shocks & vibrations in offset wells Results & lessons Learned Drilled to TD in one run w minimal shocks Casing successfully run to bottom Optimized bit design 11 Use of Eccentric stabilizer to aid in shock mitigation – above the reamer .

Lessons Learned Rotary steerable best option – Can be optimized in combination w high toque motor • More common on older rig applications • More common on big PDC bit sizes – Optimize PDC bit design Include geomechanical considerations in trajectory design Account for salt tendency in planned build rates Control drilling parameters on entry and exit Real-time monitoring of shock & vibrations 12 .

Conclusion Increasing trend of directional drilling in salt will continue – Sub-salt horizontals? Understand & plan within current limits – Equipment – Rig – Formation Technology will continue to develop as limits are pushed – Collaboration required between operators. drilling contractors and service providers 13 .