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

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

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

In underbalanced reservoir drilling the well is designed to allow the reservoir to flow to surface whilst drilling. 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. 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. Objectives The objective of this introduction is to provide an awareness of underbalanced reservoir drilling technology and the associated operations. explaining how. when and why underbalanced drilling is carried out. 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. discover potential bypassed pay.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. It also provides a starting point and basic orientation for identification of hazards and corresponding risk assessment. 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. • • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 5 of 154 .

This is normally achieved by using gas or air as a circulation medium.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. 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.

The objectives are to ascertain the downhole pressure environment limits and to manage the annular hydraulic pressure profile accordingly. 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 .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. One of these techniques is Managed Pressure 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.” It means that the annular pressure profile is controlled in such a way that the well is balanced at all times.

nitrogen or air to the liquid phase of the drilling fluid. The induced state may be created by adding natural gas. This in effect means that in underbalanced reservoir drilling. the result may be an influx of formation fluids which must be circulated from the well and controlled at surface. 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.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. 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 . Whether the underbalanced status is induced or natural. The hydrostatic head of the fluid may naturally be less than the formation pressure or it can be induced.

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. This introduction concentrates on underbalanced reservoir drilling and the associated equipment and techniques. not on the performance drilling or managed pressure drilling aspects. UBD and PD Technology These three techniques have equipment in common but are all applied in different circumstances. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 9 of 154 .

The friction Pressure is a dynamic pressure (It changes with pumps on or off) and results from circulating friction of the fluid used.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. circulation friction losses and surface pressure applied at the choke. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 10 of 154 . The BOP stack remains as the secondary well control barrier. In underbalanced reservoir drilling. but this pressure is maintained to be always below the reservoir 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. It must be pointed out that a UBD well operates on a single barrier. the wellbore pressure is maintained below the reservoir pressure at all times. friction pressure and surface choke pressure. The choke pressure arises from annular back pressure applied at surface. The bottom hole circulation pressure is a combination of hydrostatic pressure. and the resulting inflow from the reservoir is carefully controlled during the entire drilling process. This helps to improve productivity of the wellbore and reduces any pressure related drilling problems. Underbalanced Drilling P reservoir > P bottomhole = P hydrostatic + P friction + P choke The well is still controlled by controlling the wellbore pressure. These three pressures are controlled at all times and ensure that flow control is maintained whilst drilling underbalanced. 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. 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.

First use of gasified fluids to drill Dusting or air drilling becomes popular. Until 1895 all wells were drilled underbalanced. 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. The introduction of rotary drilling technology in 1895 required fluid circulation. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 11 of 154 . First high pressure gas well drilled underbalanced in Austin Chalk. 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. First UBD wells drilled in Germany First UBD wells drilled offshore. just after the third international underbalanced drilling conference was held. As deeper and larger reservoirs were encountered the reservoir damage issues became less of an issue. To enhance safety and hole cleaning.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. Since 1997.1895 1895 1920 1928 1932 1955 1988 1993 1995 1997 First cable tool wells drilled in China All wells drilled underbalanced. First UBD wells drilled in Canada. mud systems were developed in 1920 and drilling continued overbalanced. better co-operation between operators internationally was initiated. First BOP’s used. which initially was water. This proved to be the introduction to modern underbalanced drilling which started in the early 1990’s in Canada. 1284 1859 . 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. Until in the 1980’s the first underbalanced wells were drilled in the Austin Chalk. First mud systems used. Rotary drilling with water. This committee developed the underbalanced classification matrix and continues today to develop safer and more efficient methods and procedures for underbalanced drilling operations. 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.

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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 12 of 154 .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. operators are now considering underbalanced drilling to characterize the reservoirs whilst drilling. More recently. Reduction of skin factor is then the main justification for UBD. Another reason was to improve reservoir productivity by eliminating reservoir damage caused by drilling fluids and fines and filtrate migration into the reservoir formations.

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.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The avoidance of drilling problems in the reservoir.S S S 'd S t' d S S ac t' d rg t' d on t' d 'd & & ac Fr b. ac ac b. new reservoir zones. 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 . Finding productive features such as fractures and high permeability streaks in the reservoir has resulted in reduced drilling costs and increased reservoir productivity.L C ne S . 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. it was noted that reservoir productivity increased approximately 300% (SPE paper 91559) with underbalanced drilling and completion of the wells. as a result of drilling problems. previously masked by overbalanced pressures have now been discovered and developed. 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 . In certain areas of the world. With underbalanced drilling. the characterization of the reservoir is now becoming an increasing reason for operators to consider the practice of underbalanced drilling in the reservoir.

is often difficult or complicated to remove or clean up once production starts. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 14 of 154 . Reservoir damage. Lost circulation and differential sticking can often result in severe drilling problems and many wells in depleted reservoirs never get to their planned TD. which can result in large sections of a well (especially horizontal wells) being unproductive. No losses or differential sticking as the fluid pressure is below the reservoir pressure.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. • 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. 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. resulting in better production. especially in horizontal wells. No damage or minimum damage is done to the reservoir rocks. Underbalanced Operations New productive horizons are often identified when drilling. including the tighter sections of a well. The lower permeability and porosity zones may never be properly cleaned up.

aside from the positive aspects of underbalanced reservoir drilling. • Handling and disposal of produced fluids. • Wells that require hydrostatic fluid or pressure to kill the well during certain drilling or completion operations. There are a number of technical limitations as well as safety and economic limitations to underbalanced drilling. high pressure. • Not following established design guidelines. • Wells that contain significant pressure or lithology variations. • Deep. • Operators interfering with the UBD experts. 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. Before starting an underbalanced drilling operation. the limitations of the process must also be reviewed. • Slim hole wells with high annulus friction pressures. 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. • Increased complexity and HSE issues on H2S wells. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of underbalanced drilling will allow operators to start initial considerations and candidate selection. that there are also specific disadvantages associated with underbalanced drilling. • Excessive formation water. • Flaring of produced gas. highly permeable wells can be problematic due to flow control & safety issues. • High producing zones close to the beginning of the well trajectory will adversely affect the underbalanced conditions along the borehole. Conditions that can adversely affect any underbalanced operation: • Wellbore stability issues. • Erosion and corrosion issues and risks.

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 . 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. Catastrophic failure has immediate serious consequences Hydrocarbon production. or multiple wells in a particular project. a third component of the classification system addresses the underbalanced technique used. 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.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. 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 Maximum projected surface pressures exceed UBO operating pressure rating but are below BOP stack rating. Classification A= Low head . Maximum shut-in pressures less than UBD equipment operating pressure rating. 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.

More information can be found on the IADC website at www. and UBD drilling with a Gasified liquid.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.000 psi with a potential surface shut-in pressure of 2500 psi.iadc. The maximum predicted bottomhole pressure is 3. 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.org Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 17 of 154 . This well would be classified as a 4-B-4 indicating Classification Level 4 risk.

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

The objectives and reasons for an underbalanced drilling project will need to be determined early on in a project. provides in-depth analysis with the Reservoir Damage Assessment (RDATM) software. DATA COLLECTION RESERVOIR DRILLING ANALOGS Reservoir Data Reservoir data collection is the first step to a successful underbalanced drilling project. underbalanced fails to live up to its potential either because unsuitable reservoirs are drilled or inappropriate drilling technology is applied. the better the analysis that can be made to see if underbalanced drilling is indeed beneficial to the reservoir. and produces a risk-based economic model to aid decision making. there was no easy and reliable way to identify underbalanced prospects. to highlight the technical challenges presented by them. 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. a significant amount of data needs to be collected and analyzed. Too often.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. Weatherford's SURE team and our new Suitable Underbalanced Reservoir Evaluation (SURE) Process change all of this. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 19 of 154 . or to quantify the results that could be expected. SURE simplifies the candidate selection process with the Reservoir Screening Tool (RSTTM). Until now.

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

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 .

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

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 23 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. Using the production data from these offset reservoirs may provide useful offset information for a UBD operation. mainly to ensure that underbalanced drilling can be executed safely and efficiently. 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. a review of any similar reservoirs that may have already been drilled underbalanced should be conducted. The more that is know about the field and the reservoir. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 24 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. Analog Data As a part of the entire selection process for wells and reservoirs. a large amount of drilling and well data is collected. the better the solution is that ultimately is applied to the reservoir and surprises will no doubt still be encountered once underbalanced operations start.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Drilling Data Besides reservoir data. Of course the SPE papers also provide an excellent source of reservoir information.

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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.

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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

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 28 of 154 . This provides a rapid assessment of the potential risk and provides the service provider with the required equipment and personnel for the job. 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. Gas only Air only Water based fluid Oil based fluid UBS Pers. 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. QHSE Environ. Avoiding pipe light and snubbing can reduce the risk level significantly.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling The tripping method in an underbalanced drilled well is crucial. Sensty Low Medium High Fluid system to be used N2/Nat. a risk assessment score will be allocated to the job.

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. 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. The table below shows reservoir types that will and will not benefit from underbalanced drilling. the complexities will vary greatly from reservoir to reservoir. 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 . Will benefit from UBD Formations that usually suffer major formation damage during drilling or completion operations. Some reservoirs cannot safely be drilled underbalanced because of pressure or geological issues mainly associated with rock stability issues. It is important that the right reservoir is selected for an underbalanced drilling operation.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.

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.624 psi/ft > 0.364 psi/ft 0. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 30 of 154 .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.443 psi/ft 0.208 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. 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 report also provides a summary of the methodology that needs to be applied for the selected wells based on the matrix. The feasibility report also allows the service provider to look at his equipment and personnel availability and schedule the job. This feasibility report allows the operator’s senior management to review and approve the full underbalanced drilling project before starting with the detailed engineering. 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. it should also explain why UBD might not be the correct method and what alternative methods could be used instead. UBS Feasibility The UBS feasibility is the output and report part of the initial underbalanced drilling review. This feasibility report. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 31 of 154 . Of course if the feasibility shows that underbalanced drilling is not feasible. 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. reviews and describes all of the previous aspects such as reservoir and well candidate selection combined with the risk matrix.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. 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 point provides the operator with a stop / go point in an underbalanced drilling project.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 32 of 154 . Prior to starting rig modifications and starting to mobilize equipment a project can be delayed.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. postponed or cancelled. 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.

drilling BHA. corrosion. safety. environmental impact. Circulation System Design The well planning will start with the design of the circulation system. compatibility. The base drilling fluid is the fluid that will be pumped down the drillpipe. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 33 of 154 . This should not be confused with the annular fluid that. well fluid characteristics. hole cleaning. The first step in this is the design of the base fluid. health and safety. surface fluid handling and separation. and environmental requirements as well as the required technical requirements. well geometry.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. as well as the primary objective for drilling underbalanced all have to be taken into consideration before the final fluid selection can be made. fluid source availability. in an underbalanced situation. temperature stability. formation lithology. geophysical characteristics. data transmission. Key issues such as reservoir characteristics. 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. comprises of the base fluid plus any reservoir and formation fluids that enter as a result of the underbalanced state. the detailed well planning will start at this point. These steps ensure that all UBS well planning covers all of the issues and will result in a complete detailed UBS drilling program.

depending on the circulation system pressure losses and the expected reservoir inflow. In overbalanced drilling.5 ppg 8. 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. Once an equivalent mud weight is calculated.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. This value is likely to be further refined. In underbalanced drilling. with a given drawdown. Fluid gradients are calculated based on the following formula: fluid gradient (ppg) = Reservoir 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 . Where: Equivalent Fluid Weight 0 to 2 ppg 2 to 4 ppg 4 to 7 ppg 7 to 8.052 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. simply convert the reservoir pressure and the drawdown into an equivalent fluid density.Drawdown 0. it is relatively simply to obtain the first indication of the fluid system that may be used for underbalanced drilling.Surface Pressure . This density value provides us with a starting point for the selection of a fluid system. a fluid needs to be selected that provides a suitable hydrostatic pressure below the reservoir pressure.

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. • • • • • Gas systems Mist systems Foam Gasified Liquids Liquids The base drilling fluid for underbalanced drilling operations has three basic functions.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. 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. It must be remembered that an IADC level 5 well. Lubricity of the drillstring and bit Particular the cooling of the bit. 7 Oil Weighted Mud (Barite) 0 Air 150 20. 2. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 35 of 154 . liquids and gases. just like in overbalanced drilling. Hole Cleaning Lubrication Cooling Transportation of solids.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. 1. 0. 3.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 36 of 154 . 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. a) b) c) d) e) f) Non-Damaging. Fluid densities can be changed using gas injection. Lubrication. or even fluid injection.Viscosity and Friction. Ease of Separation and Measurement . Rheological Control . But the safety considerations in fluid selection always need to be maintained. Good Hole Cleaning.Surface.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. Not Over-Expensive.

5 ppg 3394 7. quickly show the implications on surface pressures when selecting different fluids.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.2 ppg 3259 8.8 ppg 2625 7.0 ppg 2715 5. This is also one of the selection criteria for underbalanced drilling. 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. Using a simple table. a maximum surface pressure will be provided by the service provider. the downhole pressure and surface pressure for a given fluid system.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Maintaining well control during underbalanced drilling is a primary concerns.1 ppg 45 0. For most separation systems. Fluid System Gas Mist Foam dry Foam wet Gasified diesel Gasified water Diesel oil Water Fluid System Density Pressures at reservoir 0. with a certain reservoir pressure.3 ppg 135 3. as shown below. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 37 of 154 . as shown in fig 13 above.4 ppg 3802 9. and an essential part of this is keeping the surface pressures as low as possible. can be quickly assessed. The rotating control device has a certain maximum operating pressure which cannot be exceeded. With a reservoir pressure of 4115 psi in the example below the maximum surface pressures can be estimated quickly.5 ppg 1584 6.

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

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. nitrogen is normally used. The use of air in hydrocarbon bearing formations is not recommended as the combination of oxygen and natural gas may cause an explosive mixture. To avoid the use of air. 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. This avoids the use of nitrogen and may provide a cheap drilling system. Natural gas for underbalanced drilling operations has been proven to be a worthy alternative in drilling operations. 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. a producing well or an export pipeline well may produce sufficient gas at the right pressure to drill. 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. 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 . The experience with nitrogen in well servicing operations made it a first choice for underbalanced drilling operations.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Gaseous Fluids Gaseous fluids are the gas systems.

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. The above depicted setup will also work for foam drilling by mixing nitrogen/air with a fluid and a surfactant. The return line has a T-junction to route any fluid slugs to the shale shakers. and these are routed to the shakers. The basic setup for air drilling and foam drilling is not significantly different. A gas buster is used to separate any produced fluids. The diagram above shows a typical rig set up for nitrogen or air drilling. The flare line or blooie line is normally routed into a flare pit. The gas injection system is tied into the standpipe and gas is injected through the conventional standpipe manifold directly into the standpipe. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 41 of 154 .

In mist drilling.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. This solution entraps the water influx and enables the air phase to lift the cuttings and influx to 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. Gas or air volumes are increased and a mist pump skid is used to inject small quantities of water and a foaming agent solution. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 42 of 154 . with attendant pressure increase Fig 16 Mist Exiting Blooie Line At Surface. Mist drilling should only used in special applications since hole cleaning is even more difficult with mist drilling system when compared with air drilling. In general this technique is used in areas where some formation water exists which prevents the use of complete 'dry air' drilling. the fluid added to a gas environment will disperse into fine droplets and form a mist.

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

Experience has proven that foam is able to handle over 100 bbls/hr of water influx. Downhole. 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. Fig 18 Foam drilling (note the cuttings floating on top of the foam) Fluid densities for foam range from 0. In earlier foam systems. rely on either a chemical method of breaking and making the foam. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 44 of 154 . even when it returns to the surface. 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. These systems. The compressible bubble structure of foam provides up to 10 times the carrying capacity of normal liquid based circulation systems. the amount of defoamer had to be tested carefully so that the foam was broken down before any fluid entered the separators. in general.8sg (1.6 ppg – 6. 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. The foam normally remains stable. or the utilization of an increase and decrease of pH to make and break the foam. this ratio changes as the volume of gas is reduced. and this can cause problems on a rig if the foam cannot be broken down fast enough.95 ppg). The foam quality at surface used for drilling is normally between 80% and 95%.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. It remains stable.2 to 0. The backpressure adjusts the downhole pressure and slows down the velocities in the annulus. with the remaining 5 to 20% being liquid. In closed circulation drilling systems. The quality of foam means that the system is 80% to 95% gas. due to the hydrostatic pressure of the annular column. An average acceptable bottom-hole foam quality (FQ) is in the region of 50%-60%. Due to the high carrying capacities of foam.

3 to 1.99 – 96% 96% .5 gpm 300 – 1000 scft/min Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 45 of 154 .0% by weight 0.55% 0 – 55% Name Mist Foam Gasified Liquid Liquid injection volume Soap injection volume Gas injection volume Guidelines for Foam Drilling 16 – 80 gpm 0.05 – 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.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 46 of 154 . If too much gas is used.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. In these systems. as a circulation system in a well. The use of gas and liquid. the required bottom hole pressure will be exceeded and the well will become overbalanced. reducing wear & erosion both downhole and to the surface equipment. If not enough gas is used. a liquid is gasified to reduce the density. which is used to control slightly higher pressures. will be lower. 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. especially at surface. slugging will occur. 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. 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. 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.

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

hydrocarbons enter the borehole (expected in an underbalanced environment). resulting in either downhole fires or surface equipment explosions. Normally. the use of a gas injection into the fluid flow is an option. 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. natural gas or nitrogen is used as a lift gas. but both CO2 and O2 can also be utilized. If during the drilling process. 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. a potentially explosive situation could arise. • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 48 of 154 . This offers a choice into not only the gas used but also in the way the gas is injected into the circulation system.

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

The majority of motor suppliers can now provide PDM’s specifically designed for use in this kind of downhole environment. But. resulting in a high turnover of motors. This can be very costly to the drilling operation. 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. 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. depending on the operational demands. Special rubber compounds have been developed and the design of motors is changing to allow for this expansion. the use of all metal turbines should be considered.

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

However. Gas Reservoir ` Fig 22 Parasite string Injection Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 52 of 154 . 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. 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. 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. For redundancy reasons. The installation of a production casing string and the running of the two parasite strings makes this a complicated operation. two 1” or 2” coiled tubing strings are normally strapped to the casing string above the reservoir as the casing is run in.

The use of natural gas through the drillstring is not recommended. air and foam can still be used providing that foam stability is ensured and that defoaming does not cause explosive mixtures. This is an option used in tight gas reservoirs. Natural gas has greater solubility in hydrocarbons when compared to nitrogen. A flow regulator and a pressure regulator are normally used to control the amount of gas injected during the drilling process. The most efficient use of natural gas is normally through annular injection. 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. The gas produced from the system can sometimes be re-routed to the compression system and be re-used. Natural gas is also non-toxic and non-corrosive if sweetened correctly. It must also be stated that outside of drilling in hard rock formations and dry gas formations. which may result in the potential for greater disengagement problems and asphaltene precipitation. The use of air hammers with gas drilling is another option that can be used to increase ROP. 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. as gas will have to be vented every time a connection needs to be made although this can be done safely.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. thus. drilling with natural gas is a very good option. These are: • • • • • Air Natural Gas Liquid Nitrogen Generated Nitrogen Exhaust Gas Air Although air is not the most obvious choice in a hydrocarbon environment. 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. virtually eliminating the need to flare the gas. The use of natural gas injection through a coiled tubing system is also not recommended.

93 % Argon 0. Nitrogen is non-toxic. Oxygen starts to evaporate leaving Nitrogen rich liquid.93 % Oxygen 0.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.03 % Nitrogen 20. This type of nitrogen is also known as cryogenic nitrogen. Liquid air boils at -317°F Liquid nitrogen boils at -320°F Liquid oxygen boils at -297°F. odorless and tasteless gas that makes up four fifths of the earths atmosphere. It has very low solubility in water and hydrocarbons. The field of science that deals with the technology of handling liquids colder than -187°F is called cryogenics. Only within recent years have materials and equipment been developed to handle very cold liquids like nitrogen on a commercial scale. By repeating the boiling and condensing processes high purity of liquid nitrogen up to 99.98 % can be obtained. Nitrogen forms a major part of our atmosphere in the fact that the atmosphere comprises of: 78. and is compatible with virtually any fluid used in drilling operations. All the liquids and equipment to handle these cold liquids are labeled cryogenic liquids and cryogenic equipment. Nitrogen is a colorless. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 54 of 154 . Nitrogen does not tend to form hydrate complexes or emulsions. It is produced by extraction from the air through fractional distillation. Nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by the Swedish druggist Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Scottish botanist Daniel Rutherford. non-flammable and noncorrosive. In this process the air is liquefied and the liquid is then separated though the following factors. Special steels and aluminum are the most widely used cryogenic construction materials.11 % Other gases Nitrogen used in well operations is normally delivered to the rig in liquid format.

Normal boiling point………………………………. Specific Heat (Cv) @ 70ºF……………………….450000 2.016 .050000 696. The cost of nitrogen is mainly driven by the fuel costs to generate nitrogen and by the equipment rental costs of the generation system. The volume of an offshore nitrogen tank is normally 2000 gallons. 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. Cryogenic nitrogen is normally transported to locations in vacuum jacket tanks made out of stainless steel and tested to 50 psi.000000 0. 1 gallon of Liquid N2……………………………… Latent Heat of Evaporation……………………….580000 liquid (gal) liquid (cu ft) 0. Critical pressure…………………………………… Critical temperature……………………….000000 0.. Specific Heat (cp) @ 77ºF……………………….9°F @ 1..019820 0.. Nitrogen is mostly extracted through the process of separation of nitrogen molecules and air molecules through a membrane system.01462 BTU/sq ft hr 0.001436 1.3 psi .320. the use of pure air is not recommended for underbalanced drilling. Thermal Conductivity @ 60ºF…………………… Density of saturated vapour…………………. This is also known as nitrogen generation or membrane technology. Commercial trucks will carry as much as 7000 gallons and rail cars will hold as much as 12. the remaining liquid is cooled. Ratio of Specific Heat……………………………. This can be a significant issue in desert or tropical locations when Nitrogen has to be transported over long distances..03635 lb/cu ft 0.232. Density of liquid nitrogen at boiling point…….785000 28.320000 1.… Specific gravity of vapour at 14.45°F 492. Conversion data for Nitrogen Nitrogen conversion data lb 1. but as discussed in other sections.7 psia and 60 deg F Nitrogen is more expensive than straight air.000000 0. As the pressure is released. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 55 of 154 . Liquid nitrogen in storage loses gas continuously..481000 1.561300 0.12 scft of gas 85.133700 7.035310 liquid (L) 0.401 0.7 psia (air = 1).345...82 psi 93.000000 1 lb 1 scft of gas 1 gal of liquid 1 cu ft of liquid 1 Liter of liquid Standard conditions for nitrogen are 14.800000 1.… N2 28.148300 0.87°F .………………….100000 24. Molecular Weight……………..743000 50.010750 0.……… Triple point………………………………………….967 50.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Chemical symbol………………………………….072400 6.3197 BTU/(lb)(ºF) 1.000000 93.900 gallons of liquid nitrogen.443 lb/cu ft In underbalanced operations in the field.264200 0.67 BTU/lb 0.4471 BTU/(lb)(ºF) 0.782000 scft of gas 13.040680 3.

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

Nitrogen gas is generated by introducing compressed air into hollow membrane fibers. The system uses banks of modules to separate nitrogen from the atmosphere. Fig 25 N2 Membrane In normal operation during underbalanced drilling. a corrosion program will have to be implemented to combat the effects of oxygen in the drilling system. Fig 24 Membrane Technology for Nitrogen Production Theoretically. At 95% purity. One of the important issues associated with nitrogen generation is the purity of the nitrogen. although this is not enough oxygen to cause explosion levels. and is directly related to inlet pressure and flow rate across the membrane. it is sufficient oxygen to cause significant corrosion problems.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. which is likely greater than 8% oxygen content. the purity will vary. In many underbalanced operations using generated nitrogen. Depending on the amount and pressure of nitrogen required. A percentage oxygen probe device is included in modern systems to ensure shutdown of the flow of oxygen if it exceeds hazardous limits. 5% oxygen will be delivered. the oxygen content is limited to 5%. The remaining 5% is normally oxygen. it is also inversely related to individual gas component partial pressures. which preferentially separate oxygen and other rich gases from the air leaving high purity nitrogen at around 95%. The corrosion is made worse when salt brine systems are used at elevated temperatures. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 57 of 154 . 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. The separation of nitrogen and oxygen is dependent on the concentration and quality of the individual fibers.

2% carbon monoxide and 2% other gases. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 58 of 154 . Propane fired engines.15% oxygen plus corrosive gases such as CO2 and NO2 which may react adversely with produced hydrocarbons.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. the combustion process is relatively inefficient and the flue gas can contain 10 . But the availability and transportation issues associated with propane gas in remote locations have left the exhaust gas technology in the experimental stage. To date. 10% carbon dioxide. when well tuned. there are no recorded cases of underbalanced drilling operations using diesel generated exhaust gas. The original diesel exhaust gas system has its limitations due to its ineffective combustion process. 3% oxygen. burn much cleaner and this results in much less oxygen (often less than 2%) in the effluent gas. However. The exhaust gas from a diesel engine is usually composed of approximately 83% nitrogen. when using diesel fired engines.

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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 59 of 154 . Multiphase. or compressible fluids. friction and acceleration pressure work in conventional single-phase hydraulics programmes? Static Pressure In a conventional hydraulics model. 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. change considerably with pressures and temperatures. the static pressure is directly related to the fluid density. 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. the friction pressure calculation is a 4-step process. and the large number of assumptions that are used knowingly or unknowingly in the various models are poorly understood by most drilling engineers. 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.

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. the calculation of the system pressure losses is normally a very simple and straightforward process. 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. Determine flow regime turbulent or laminar. Based on the flow regime determine the pressure loss. a spreadsheet can easily be built to determine the pressure losses in a well. Surface Pressure In conventional drilling the BOP’s are open and no surface pressure is applied to the system. Determine fluid type Power law Herschel Bulkley Robertson Stiff Calculate Velocity Casson In single-phase hydraulic models. this factor is normally ignored in conventional hydraulics software programmes. 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 . Conventional Hydraulics Start Newtonian Bingham As can be seen in conventional hydraulics models. Acceleration pressure Since there is no expansion (or very little expansion) of the fluid between the bottom of a well and the surface.

Multiphase flow models Tubing Diameter Assumptions Gas Viscosity Constant at 0.018cp 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 .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.

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. a number of methods and correlations are known to predict flow regimes. the flow regime in the annulus must be known. In underbalanced drilling. many more variations need to be considered. only laminar or turbulent flow is considered. again. The flow regime varies with the inclination of the well and. In overbalanced drilling operations. 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 .

fluid composition. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Reservoir Page 63 of 154 . etc and variable interaction makes multiphase flow calculations a difficult undertaking. viscosity. 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. density. compressibility.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). These variables are calculated over every iteration element of the well model. cuttings shape (or roundness).

Not only must the bottom hole pressure be controlled. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 64 of 154 . 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. at the same time the surface separation system must have sufficient capacity to handle the flow rates and pressures expected while drilling. Although this is a static model. the bottom hole pressure must be maintained below the reservoir pressure. the Scandpower Ubits software is the most widely used. Tubing/Gaslift design Olgas OLGAS blowout model competition with sidekick Mechanistic (steady state) model in Dynamic simulator based on Olgas model.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. Circulation Design Calculations When designing an underbalanced circulation system. 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. whilst. Chevron foam model Unknown OLGAS (blowout and well control) model designed for HPHT wells. For dynamic simulations and training purposes.

the down hole motor will see more flow. and it is something that needs to be fully understood to optimize an underbalanced operation. This is normally referred to as ELV (Equivalent Liquid Volume) • • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 65 of 154 . 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. the bottomhole pressure must be controlled by either hydrostatic of the drilling fluid or via the choke to control reservoir inflow performance. drilling system and surface separation system must all work within the same parameters. For hole cleaning to be effective.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. Tuning an underbalanced system is something that requires experience. It must be recognized that gas. In underbalanced drilling. and length of reservoir exposed to the wellbore. it is important that the motor performance is not compromised by the hydraulics. 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. porosity. drainage radius and drawdown. that is. acts more like a fluid and as more gas is pumped. • Cuttings transport and hole cleaning Cuttings generated whilst drilling must be removed from the wellbore by the hydraulic action of the drilling fluid. just like in conventional drilling operations. This is an essential part of underbalanced well control. the flow rate through the motor should be sufficient to deliver the required performance and be within motor operating envelope. the fluid annular velocity has to be at least twice the cuttings settling velocity. 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. 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. will likely cause a mis-match in the system can ultimately lead to down time during the drilling operation. Motor performance in multiphase flow environment While drilling with multiphase fluids. The entire system from reservoir wellbore. at bottom hole pressure and temperature. Therefore. This difference creates the driving force that drives well productivity.

The exposure of overlying formations to underbalanced pressures whilst drilling also needs to be considered when reviewing underbalanced well designs. hole collapse could occur. The surface separation system must be designed to handle the expected inflow of fluids. • Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 66 of 154 . 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. gas and water.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. Gas recovery systems are currently under development. • Environmental considerations Either due to governmental legislation and/or operators’ policies. the surface separation system has to be designed for total containment of the produced cuttings and reservoir fluids inflow – oil. Where this is the case. but the slugging and intermittent production causes significant challenges. If the stresses exceed the strength of the formation. Wellbore Stability Exposing the wellbore to pressure drawdown imposes stresses on the surrounding formation. Surface equipment capacity must always be designed to handle the maximum expected production from the well whether instantaneous or steady state. Casing strings should be placed to isolate potentially unstable formations. underbalanced drilling operations may have to be carried out with reduced or zero emissions (without gas flaring). 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.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Flow modeling When designing an underbalanced drilled well. The reservoir inflow is normally ignored in the initial design. Fig 30 Neotec Multiphase Flow Model Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 67 of 154 . 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. the following graphs should be presented to the operator. All the required parameters can be selected from these graphs. 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. • • • • • • • 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.

the hydrostatic pressure will drop as more and more gas enters the system. If these two effects are combined into a single curve. The operating envelope is bounded by a number of curves. then the very typical pressure versus gas rate curve. the friction pressure in the well increases as shown below. 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. As gas is injected into a fluid system. As the amount of gas in the system increases. The annular bottom hole pressure graph is a combination chart of hydrostatic pressure versus gas injection rate. but the friction pressure starts to increase as more gas enters the well and expands on its way back to the surface. 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 . Hydrostatic Pressure Pressure Gas injection rate Fig 31 Hydrostatic Pressure Reduction With Gas Injection Hydrostatic Pressure As can be sees.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. So as more gas enters the system.

the rapid decline of pressure ca be seen with increasing amounts of gas. In the first part of the curve. more gas is not always better. This part of the curve is known as the hydrostatically dominated part of the design curve.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. So contrary to popular belief in the oilfield. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 69 of 154 . the bottom hole pressure will start to increase as a result of the friction pressure. the friction pressure in the well will also increase as a result of the gas expansion. The flatter part of the pressure curve is known as the friction dominated part of the curve. As the gas injection rate increases further. As the amount of gas increases.

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

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

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 72 of 154 . The frictiondominated part of the design curve is below the reservoir pressure and this provides the first operating parameters for flow modeling. 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. as will be seen later on in the graphs.

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. it also provides the maximum flow rate that the down hole motor can handle without being damaged. Note: The maximum motor flow rate may be of the maximum gas injection rate. The next set of curves that are introduced in the graph are the minimum and the maximum flow rate through the down hole motor. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 73 of 154 . the remaining set of operating parameters can be added and the operating window can be defined. It is not always possible to have the motor limits on the same graph.

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. Again.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. it is sometimes impossible to show this on the design graph as the annular velocity maybe high enough without the gas injection. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 74 of 154 .

6 x bottom hole pressure (psi) ⎞ ⎪ ⎪ ⎟⎪ ⎪⎜ 460 + Temperature (deg F) ⎠⎭ ⎩⎝ Bottom hole pressure and temperature. The maximum and minimum parameters must be obtained from the motor provider for the motor that is being used.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 Client : Oil Company 350.00 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Gas Injection Rate (scft/min) 100. the equivalent liquid rate through the motor is calculated.00 flowrate = 100 gpm flowrate = 150 gpm flowrate = 200 gpm 50. as will the motor throughput.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. This graph is also important in ensuring that the motor is not working past its design envelope.00 150. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 75 of 154 .00 200.00 Equivalent Motor Throughput (gpm) 300.00 flowrate = 250 gpm Minimum Flow Rate Maximum Flow Rate 0. as well as liquid and gas rates through the motor.00 250. are taken into account. The bottom hole pressure will vary with the gas rate. Equivalent Motor Throughput Well name : Test Well 400.

including cuttings size and size distribution. turbulent two-phase flow) and normally. Liquid velocity is the critical parameter controlling the system’s ability to transport solids. There is a reduced fluid rheology (a very thin. 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. and the region immediately behind the bit. From past experience. 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°. as there is limited reservoir inflow here. The area immediately behind the bit can become the critical hole cleaning area.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. 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. is undertaken at the shakers to confirm hole cleaning efficiency and to determine if modifications to the circulation system are required. Studies and field experience have shown removal of cuttings is more efficient with two-phase fluid. Hole cleaning efficiency and solids transport are primarily controlled by liquid phase velocities and solids concentration. which minimizes solids bed formation. an increased ROP. The addition of a gas medium generates a turbulent flow regime. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 76 of 154 . The main areas of concern for hole cleaning are where the hole angle is from 45° to 50°. Two-phase hole cleaning is largely dependent on the same criteria as for single phase. non-solids suspending fluid.

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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 4 12 ⎝ ⎠
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.

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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

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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.

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the injection pressure will still provide indications when drilling. as in the graph shown below. the injection pressure is too high for the nitrogen system and the rig pumps. Although the standpipe pressure is not directly used for any of the underbalanced parameters. the drillstring design or the MWD and motors may have to be reviewed. 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 . If.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. 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.

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. 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 .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.

As previously defined. the inflow performance of a well represents the ability of the reservoir to produce fluids under a given condition of drawdown. on the drawdown and reservoir rock properties (the differential pressure between circulating bottomhole pressure and reservoir pressure). The unexpected events of flush production (after drilling into a fracture) can have a significant impact on drilling operations. in part.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Reservoir Inflow In underbalanced drilling. The reservoir fluid inflow performance is one of the most important parameters in underbalanced operations because of its impact on well production and safety. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 82 of 154 . However. as soon as the bit penetrates the reservoir. reservoir fluids will start to flow into the wellbore. It must not be assumed that the well flow will be stable when drilling underbalanced. Once this happens. There are a number of models that can be used to estimate the reservoir fluid inflow based on the rock and fluid parameters. The rate of reservoir fluid inflow depends. 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. the reservoir rock properties are fixed and the only variable that is adjustable is the drawdown (bottom hole pressure) to control reservoir fluid inflow.

Signal strength at the surface depends on many factors including the mud properties. provided annular pressure sensors on their measurements-while-drilling (MWD) tools. But for drillstring gas injection. these small pressure pulses have to be transmitted in a compressible fluid medium. liquid-phase fluid. drill-string arrangement. 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). a few issues need to be addressed for drilling underbalanced. MWD pressure pulse technology is problematic. Anadrill and other service companies have developed sensors for down hole annular pressure measurements while drilling. quite a number of these sensors have proved problematic because of the vibration problems and fast drilling rates encountered with underbalanced drilling. When drillstring gas injection is selected for underbalanced drilling. and many others. 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. pumping pressure and flow rates. signal strength generated at the tool.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. A solution for this is the use of electromagnetic telemetry for MWD and PWD tools. Inc. Since then. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 83 of 154 . However. 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. 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. Electromagnetic Measurement While Drilling (EMWD) The history of annular pressure measurements extends as far back as the mid 1980’s when Gearhart Industries. This ratio can be extended somewhat depending on well depth. telemetry frequency. 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. profile. flow rate. drill-string/bottom hole assembly. 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. 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.

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. The former is referred to as “Imag” and the latter as “Emag”.000. This creates an electric dipole with one long end (to the surface) and one “short” end (to the bit). The contrast in magnetic properties of metal versus rock is only about 100 to 1. which is either induced from toroidal coils wrapped around the collar or created directly by adding an insulating “gap” to the drillpipe.g. It has an advantage in that its transmission is essentially independent of mud properties and layering within the rock formation.000 to 1). e. Emag transmission is typically used to send data over longer distances. Signals are generated by wrapping solenoid coils around the drillpipe to create a magnetic dipole. across a motor. There are essentially two ways of doing this: one that induces an axially symmetric electric field around the drill-pipe. Imag transmission is typically used for short-hop systems. Signals are generated from a voltage difference on the drill-collar. The metal drillpipe acts as a long focusing antenna because of the large conductivity contrast between it and the rock (10. but the dipole efficiency can be increased somewhat by adding ferrite cores to the coils. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 84 of 154 . 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.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 85 of 154 . Emag signals can in theory be detected by measuring voltage differences on the seabed or the current flow returning to the riser. For offshore applications. the PWD sensor will provide valuable information about the PI of the reservoir. Pressure while drilling tools or PWD tools have enhanced the underbalanced process significantly. the PWD sensor should be used. Both Imag and Emag are subject to an increasing attenuation as the frequency increases. Certainly on the initial trips in an underbalanced well.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. Shales and low conductivity water sands are particularly attenuative. Emag signals on land can be received by measuring the voltage difference between stakes on the surface. but in practice there remain many challenges to running Emag operations offshore. Once reservoir inflow starts.

Wireline cannot be run through flapper valves since the flapper closes once the tool is passed and the tool cannot be pulled. as access through the string is required. 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. In general. This top valve is often a wireline retrievable float valve that can be retrieved. It must be recognized that there is pressure below non-return valves. It is good practice to install a float valve in the top of the drillstring. 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. the well may have to be circulated to kill weight fluid and a string trip undertaken to replace or repair the float valves. Two types of non-ported drill string floats that are commonly used are the flapper and plunger floats. The flapper valve uses a spring loaded flapper valve and allows passage of balls for coring or shut off tools. when using drillstring gas injection. 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. 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. Drill Pipe Annulus Standpipe Pressure Annulus Pressure If the drilling float valve(s) should all fail. Bottom Hole Pressure Floats Bit Reservoir Fig 47 Well Control U-Tube Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 86 of 154 .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.

Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 87 of 154 . assuring continuous control of fluid flow during drilling. When circulation stops.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. 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. 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. as there is no diversion of fluid against the drill collar ID. For normal drilling operations. 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. and tempered alloy steel to resist wear and erosion. the flapper closes instantly. 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. quenched. thereby effectively prolonging the life of the valve and drill collar. 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. The valves are positioned in a locking profile sub that is part of the drillstring. The flapper valve opens fully during circulation. providing an unrestricted bore through the valve.

the well is shut in and a snubbing unit is used to trip the pipe. Now the drill string can be tripped out of the well without the use of a snubbing unit and at conventional tripping speeds. allowing full bore passage for the drill bit when in the open position. To avoid the use of a snubbing unit. there are a number of options when tripping the string. or the need to kill the well in order to trip the drill string during underbalanced drilling operations. The down hole valve or deployment valve is run as an integral part of the casing program. When it becomes necessary to trip the drill string. Killing the well is not an option if reservoir productivity improvement is the objective for underbalanced drilling. Deployment Valves are currently available in 7”. 9-5/8” and 103/4” casing sizes with differential pressure ratings up to 5000 psi. two types of down hole isolation valves have been developed.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. or the well is killed and tripping is conducted overbalanced. Flapper Actuator Mandrel Flapper Spring Fig 52 DDV System Flapper Valve and Actuator Sleeve Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 88 of 154 . 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. at which time the deployment valve is closed and the annulus above the valve bled off. 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. In underbalanced drilling. The well can be allowed to flow. the string is tripped out until the bit is above the valve.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 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. then it must be as smooth as it can be. Jars The use of drilling jars in underbalanced drilling with jointed pipe is not a straightforward decision. 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.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. There are two reasons for this. The second issue is running the drillpipe rubbers through the rotating diverter will cause blow-by when tripping and drilling. 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. drilling jars can be used and they are just as effective as in overbalanced drilling. mainly due to the different fluid compositions in the drill string and annulus. Tools with these mechanisms are likely to be disturbed when drilling underbalanced. Drillpipe Rubbers Drillpipe protection rubbers cannot be run when drilling underbalanced. Differential sticking does not occur during underbalanced drilling. Several operators have started using Armacor™ hard banding on their drillpipe. The one issue with jars that needs to be considered is tripping jars using a snubbing unit. If hard banding is required. In underbalanced drilling. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 92 of 154 . Hard banding on the pipe will wear out the rotating diverter rubbers much more quickly then pipe without hard banding.

both bottom hole temperature and well fluids are important in defining motor selection. Hence. Once the driller notices that the motor has stalled he will pick up off bottom. Multiphase fluids will reduce the operating window of a motor or turbine. One of the major problems with motors in compressible fluids is the ability to detect a motor stall. High temperatures may also cause swelling of the stator and result in the motor jamming. the pressure increase will be masked by the gas compressibility. When Fig 53 Turbine and PDM Differences pumping a compressible fluid during a motor stall. PDM motors are susceptible to fluids that will attack the rubber stator and cause deformation and jamming. The main issue with motors arises when drillstring gas injection is used and a compressible mixture drives the motor or turbine. Gas will increase the speed of the motor but will decrease the torque output from the motor.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. Both positive displacement motors (PDM) and vane motors and turbines have been successfully used in underbalanced drilling operations. 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. causing damage. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 93 of 154 .

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

productivity increases with an increase in pressure and temperature. airborne particles.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. Purity Assurance Most nitrogen generation units are equipped with two purity assurance valves. carbon filter. which is too high with oxygen impurity. Proper operation and maintenance of this filtration system will prevent oily water condensate. A Nitrogen Production Unit or NPU contains all the equipment required to properly condition the feed air supplied to the membrane modules. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 95 of 154 . The product valves allow on spec nitrogen to flow into the outlet line. Flow metering is provided internally in the unit through the use of an orifice meter. Typical equipment includes an air receiver. and operating pressure. coalescing filter. The membrane modules are completely encased in ASME coded cylindrical pressure vessels. 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. In general. and a particulate filter. operating temperature. moisture separator. 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. pipe scale from contaminating and/or clogging the membrane fibre openings. The product vent valve will vent off-spec nitrogen. High and low oxygen impurity set points are entered into the processor via an electronic control system.

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. • • • • 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. A booster compressor will be used on the outlet to boost the nitrogen flow up to the required standpipe injection pressure. The final high pressure booster raises this pressure from 1800 psi to 4000 psi into the standpipe. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 96 of 154 . especially on an offshore location. The two Nitrogen Generators deliver 2850 scft/min of N2 at 350 psi. This equipment will take up significant space on a location.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling A nitrogen generation system is 50% efficient. 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. then 3000 scft/min of air needs to be pumped into the nitrogen generation system. This means that if 1500 scft/min of nitrogen is required.

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

2. Clearance Max.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. 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. double-acting. 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. Set up Single stage Two-stage Two-stage Clearance Min Clearance Min. reciprocating. Fig 59 WB-11 High Pressure Booster (4000 psi) Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 98 of 154 . after-cooled.75” x 7” pressure booster.

Typical BOP Stack Up Sketch Not to scale for Information only Rig Floor Snubbing System Potentially required 1. It is recommended that any additional RAMS be operated through a separate KOOMEY system. The drilling kill and choke lines must be left in place to allow for conventional well kill operations to take place. additional rams can be added under the BOP stack to provide operational functions for underbalanced operations.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. If required. 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. 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 1.24 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.79 m Fig 60 Typical BOP Stack Up for Underbalanced Drilling Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 99 of 154 .00 m 5. This ensures that the BOP remains the secondary well control system.

All surface BOP systems have limitations. Passive The passive type uses a mechanical seal with the sealing action activated by well bore pressure. regardless of the type of surface BOP control system chosen. There are currently two types of rotating diverters recognized: Active The active type use external hydraulic pressure to activate the sealing mechanism. The rotating control head system comprises of a pressurecontaining housing where packer elements are supported between roller bearings and isolated by mechanical seals.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. and normally active rotating control diverters increase the sealing pressure as the annular pressure increases. The annular seal must be effective over a wide range of pressures and for a variety of equipment sizes and operational procedures. which are: • The expected flow rates. 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 rotating control diverter system achieves this by packing off around the drillpipe. 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. 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 rig up for underbalanced coiled tubing drilling will however need to take into account deployment and recovery of the coiled tubing BHA under pressure. • The expected pressures. • The type of pipe rotation to be conducted through the diverter system. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 100 of 154 .

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. Currently there are four types of rotating equipment suitable for high pressure applications. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 101 of 154 5000 500 . but has not issued any documentation or certification on these systems although this is currently under development by the IADC/UBO committee. 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. The API does now recognize the rotating head as a diverter.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. which they were never designed for in the first place.

down hole conditions. and drilling conditions. IP 1000: Model 7000: Model 7100: Fig 63 Various Williams Rotating Diverters Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 102 of 154 .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. Working Pressure Static Pressure 1500 psi 3000 psi 500 psi 500 psi 1000 psi 1500 psi 2500 psi 5000 psi Model 9000: . All of the Weatherford Williams systems are passive systems.

APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling Active Rotating Control Diverters Weatherford supplies three active RCD systems. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 103 of 154 . 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. 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). Stripping Pressure Rotating Pressure Static Pressure 1000psi 1500psi 3000psi 1000psi 1500psi 3000psi 2500psi 3500psi 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. The PCWD is capable of safely shutting in on 5000 psi in the static mode and 2000 psi at 200 rpm. The major components of the pressure control system are very similar to a conventional annular BOP.

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

A jack with a 10ft stroke is used to push pipe into the hole or to trip pipe out of the hole. a snubbing system will have to be installed on top of the rotating control head system. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 105 of 154 . In order to facilitate snubbing.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. The current snubbing systems used in underbalanced drilling are called rig assist snubbing systems. These units need the rig draw works to pull and run pipe and are designed to deal only with pipe light situations. 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. so called push-pull units are installed on the rig floor.000lbs of force or equivalent to snubbing 5” pipe with 6-1/4” tool joints with 1500 psi surface pressure.

but if erosion is expected to be a problem. 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. 2. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 106 of 154 . the separation system that is to be used has to be tailored to the expected reservoir fluids.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 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. The separation system must be designed to handle the expected influx fluids and gasses. Normally the first approach is taken. The surface separation system in underbalanced drilling can be readily compared with a process plant. Fluid streams while drilling underbalanced are often described as four phase flow. 4. 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.

Separators can be classified as: Classification Low pressure Medium pressure High-pressure Operating Pressure 10 to 20 psi. Vertical separators are more effective when the returns are predominantly gas. The separator should be fitted with adequately sized pressure relief valves and an emergency shutdown valve. up to 180 to 225 psi 230 to 250 psi. The liquid spills over to the third compartment where separation is completed. In underbalanced drilling. 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. 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. 3) gas and 4) solids. 2) water. while horizontal separators have higher and more efficient fluid handling capacities. 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. well returns enter and are slowed by the velocity-reducing baffles. the term “four-phase” separation is used to indicate the separation of 1)oil.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling In a lot of situations. Horizontal and vertical separators can be used. The rate at which gasses and solids are separated from a liquid is a function of temperature and pressure. and high and/or low Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 107 of 154 . Horizontal separators In horizontal separators. triggered on high/low liquid level. gas and solids. the separator is the first process equipment that receives the return flow out of a well. The water component and liquid hydrocarbon are discharged from different levels of the third compartment.

or those too small to settle by gravity. from where they can be removed. The remainder of the liquids and gasses are separated by their density differences with gas at the top. separator operating pressure and temperature. 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. size and configuration of the separator. or height. oil in the middle and the water lower down on top of the solids.APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling pressure. Remove bulk of the solids from the liquid. Sufficient length. The water component and liquid hydrocarbon are discharged from different levels of the vessel. to allow the small droplets to settle out by gravity. The efficiency of a separator to remove gas from oil is dependent on physical and chemical characteristics of the crude. A mist extractor to capture entrained droplets. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 108 of 154 . Separate oil from water. 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. Vertical Separators Vertical Separator Gas Out Mist Extractor In a vertical separator the solids predominantly settle at the bottom of the vessel. rate of throughput. Proper backpressure and liquid-level controls. The advantage of vertical separators is their reduced footprint and better gas handling capabilities. Sufficient capacity to handle fluid surges of liquid from a well.

Without the proper piping and flow control at surface. Fig 71 UBD Choke Manifold Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 109 of 154 . This redundancy allows one choke to be operating while the other is isolated and maintained. pressure. gases and solids. temperature. 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. Both manifolds will remain fully independent of each other. possible erosion and corrosion from the return flow of the drilling fluids. All choke manifolds involved with underbalanced operations should be designed to accommodate flow. The choke manifold used for underbalanced drilling will be a separate manifold from the standard drilling choke manifold. the annular and injection flows integral to the system can become a hazard to the overall surface control system. 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).APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Issue Date: January 2006 Revision 001 Introduction to underbalanced drilling UBD Choke manifold Chokes.

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. 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. and flow rate Provides calibration modeling. This will also allow for optimization of the drilling process on subsequent wells. A number of standard plots are normally provided during the underbalanced process. 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. 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. It must also provide the ability to analyze drilling and reservoir data whilst drilling underbalanced. However. chart for flow Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 110 of 154 . but also to allow the maximum amount of information to be obtained from the reservoir whilst drilling. The data acquisition system must be designed to obtain all the required data from the underbalanced drilling Fig 72 Gas Flow Meter process.

vertical depth Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 111 of 154 . Liquid Out Cum. measured depth Provides reservoir PI data vs.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. Gas Out Provides reservoir inflow Provides reservoir PI data vs. Liquid Out Cum. 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.

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

Well killing may be necessary when: • Drill string integrity is lost. Well kill is done when: • At any time where personnel safety or the installations are threatened. • Non-return valves and the contingency DISV (drop in safety valve) system fails. is actually displacing the well to kill weight mud and restoring overbalanced conditions. Well Control The inflow from the reservoir into the wellbore depends on a number of factors. In an underbalanced drilling operation. 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. In underbalanced drilling. 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. The above lists are not necessarily exhaustive and there may be other situations that may necessitate a well kill. • Where specialized underbalanced drilling equipment fails and the only way of retrieving the situation is to revert to overbalanced conditions. In underbalanced drilling. Well kill in this context. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 113 of 154 . These should all be addressed in the HAZOP and HAZID documents completed for a UBD operation. This means that the well must be able to contain a full column of reservoir fluid to surface. • During a persistent inability to maintain underbalanced flow control. Well Kill Strategy The well kill strategy adopted for underbalanced drilling is to isolate the wellbore and return the operations to conventional overbalanced operations. a Flow Control Matrix is prepared prior to the start of the underbalanced drilling phase. 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. • The casing integrity is lost. such as drawdown. permeability. • A down hole problem exists or complex fishing operations are required. • During a failure of the emergency/safety shutdown system.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. however. the well must be designed for 100% underbalanced condition. length of reservoir exposed to the wellbore and reservoir productivity index. This is a summary of flow control actions as a function of reservoir gas inflow rate and flowing wellhead pressure.

Depending on the changes observed and other information available. perform corresponding action • Stop drilling and shut-in well on the rig BOP Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 114 of 154 .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. 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. 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. Surface Flow Rates Range 1 = 60% of the flow rate capacity or the upper erosion limit. three possible actions are likely. any change or deviation from trends in fluid returns. = 50% to 90% of the RCD dynamic rating. Range 2. and using traffic light colors makes the matrix easily understandable: • Continue underbalanced drilling as normal green light • Per the flow control matrix.

Wear inspection regime and procedures for BOP sealing elements and pipe work associated with routing of reservoir fluid and control. Erosion Although not directly a well control issue. The flow velocity limits applied by the industry to control erosion are defined in the API recommended practice RP14. 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. One drawback. and in high rate gas wells this can be a significant cost for a UBD operation. Hydrate prevention strategy. however. always remember that in underbalanced drilling. FLOW CONTROL and not PRESSURE CONTROL is the way of controlling reservoir fluid inflow. Erosion monitoring and prediction is essential for safe operations. consideration should be given firstly to reducing well productivity by decreasing the drawdown. • • Overall. it is important to know if the platform can stand this additional load. Erosion in surface pipe work must be considered as part of the design process. In the event of wear of the sealing element of the RBOP. 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. target 'T's should be used wherever necessary and Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 115 of 154 .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. • • • • • Pressure rating of well control equipment vis-à-vis reservoir productivity and expected wellhead pressure. The management of erosion and the use of erosion monitoring systems must be considered as part of the surface and down hole design. In general. replacement parts for critical well control equipment. Where well productivity is higher than expected. On a platform. of these guidelines is that the amount of solids in production operations is significantly lower than in underbalanced drilling operations. NRV inserts and subs. the potential for erosion of surface and down hole equipment must be considered when drilling underbalanced. 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. What back up equipment are needed for well control purposes? For example.

e. 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. If a company does not have pre-set standards. In order to avoid potential erosion problems. erosion problems are likely to be encountered if the flowing velocity is allowed to exceed the erosional velocity. Wall thickness of all equipment should be checked at least yearly. This is first defined by setting goals for drill string corrosion rates. defined in millimetres of metal lost or dissolved per year (mpy) as measured by corrosion coupons. d. 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. Different companies have different levels of tolerance with respect to corrosion. Field experience has shown that where quantities of sand/solids are expected. 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 .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. Corrosion Management One of the aims of any UBD drilling project should be to minimize or manage corrosion. 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. c. and every time equipment has returned from a location where corrosive. abrasive and/or erosive materials have been processed. b. the following table may be considered as a place to start. Corrosion mechanism identification begins by analyzing the following items: a.

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

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

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. This must be considered. potentially boosting the requirements on bed space. reducing the number of people to 20. Sometimes specialists such as corrosion engineers or snubbing crews are also required during an underbalanced drilling operation. 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. and the use of competent and experienced operators is essential for a successful underbalanced drilling operation. UBD engineer and UBD supervisor can sometimes be shared. Although. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 119 of 154 . especially on offshore operations. Competency of underbalanced drilling personnel is important.

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

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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

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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

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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

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

At no time during the snubbing operations should the conventional well control BOP stack be compromised. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 124 of 154 . 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. This retrieving tool unseats the isolation plug and then swallows the isolation plug or packer. If necessary. A retrieving tool that is attached to the bottom of the slotted liner releases this isolation plug. This system allows a retrievable plug to be set in the last casing. The Baker “Underbalanced Liner Bridge Plug (ULBP) System” is one of the few systems currently on the market. 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. 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. Special snubbing BOP’s and a rotating diverter must be used in addition to the conventional drilling BOP’s. 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 includes all subsequent workovers and well operations. the underbalanced status should be maintained for the life of the well. a flow sleeve can be installed at the junction to allow selected stimulation or production as required. The isolation plug in the tailpipe will be retrieved during the well commissioning. but the drawdown on the reservoir will be small. the simplest method is to isolate the reservoir prior to running the completion. If leg isolation is required.e. Once the production packer is set. A further setback will be that cleaning up of the lateral is difficult if the main bore is a good producer. the well is ready for production. Before pulling this plug. Flow modeling in a multilateral well can also be a challenge. more detail as to the exact requirements from a multilateral system will need to be reviewed. In the case of completion. the drillpipe can be used to pump completion fluid to provide an additional barrier that can be monitored if required. This ensures that formation damaging kill fluid does not come into contact with the reservoir at any time. The completion is now run conventionally. Once the completion has been installed. Re-entry into both legs is also possible utilizing a selective system. 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. Once a well is drilled and completed underbalanced for reservoir improvement purposes. Workover of an Underbalanced Drilled Well The workover procedure is a reversal of the completion running. The packer assembly would be lubricated into the well by utilizing the snubbing system or a down hole deployment valve. a suspension plug is installed in the production packer tailpipe and the well is lubricated to kill fluid. the completion can be run and a second packer can be installed and stabbed into the lower packer. After running the liner in the second leg.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. No clean up or stimulation is required in the case of underbalanced drilled wells. i. especially as highly productive reservoirs can prove difficult to control if a small lateral requires a significant drawdown. This can be achieved with coiled tubing or with a sliding sleeve. 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 packer picking assembly is run to the packer depth and the well is returned to an underbalanced condition prior to retrieving the packer. Getting sufficient flow through the lateral to lift fluids and solids can be a challenge. the fluid should have been displaced out of the completion string. However. After retrieving the completion. Careful analysis of the lateral and the mainbore will have to be conducted prior to embarking on underbalanced drilling. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 127 of 154 . the BOP will no longer seal around the pipe. Once the control line is connected. Drilling a multilateral well underbalanced with the main bore producing can be done. Once again.

Cuttings Regardless of the drilling fluid being used in the underbalanced operation. 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. memory tools should be considered. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 128 of 154 . coring and seismic surveys that may have to be collected whilst drilling underbalanced. as well as other data requirements. logging should be limited to Induction Electric. Issues that need to be considered are the well control aspects of a logging operation. Wireline logging can be conducted using a wireline lubricator. 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. Coring Coring can be carried out in underbalanced drilling operations. Gamma Ray. Gas samples can be taken from the separation or flare system. If pipe conveyed logging needs to be done. but appropriate safety systems must be installed. Neutron and Caliper type logs. Pipe conveyed logging is more complex as the pipe and annulus needs to be controlled. 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. can normally be obtained providing that the requirements and operational procedures are identified early on in an underbalanced project. potentially under pressure.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. 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. Recovery of the corebarrel. The use of a side entry sub and a Rotating Control Diverter will not work. cuttings coming to the surface can be indexed to the formation at depth and its geological character evaluated. Installation of non-return valves above the core barrel.

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. 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. Symbols and legends must be clearly marked. 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. A formal approval for drawings must be implemented and all drawings should be audited against actual prior to operations commencing. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 129 of 154 . location of breathing apparatus. 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.

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. 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.

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

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

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. Many contracts have these detailed rates included in the contract. and the monthly invoices for a project can be rapidly checked against these rates. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 133 of 154 . These detailed cost estimates are normally provided as a part of the commercial contract between the UBD service provider and the Operator. 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. 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.

Well Information Basic well information such as location. a UBS program should have the following chapters: Introduction Introducing the objectives of underbalanced drilling.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. reservoir targets and well trajectory as well as a short reservoir description complete with reservoir pressures and depths. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 134 of 154 . deviation and hole size is normally provided at this point. Well trajectory such as length. 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. 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. build rates. An overview of the expected well condition and installed casing and tubulars used prior to underbalanced drilling is useful. the risk classification of the well and the reasons for the well operations.

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. Drilling Parameters Provides a listing of the expected bits to be used and also provides details of the expected drilling parameters. in the case of a coiled tubing operation. 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.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. Once the detailed program has been written. Also the location and type of the non-return valves should be listed here. Also. Timings List the expected rate of penetration and associated timings. Equipment Details of the underbalanced drilling equipment and. reservoir pressure. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 135 of 154 . 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. and velocities expected in the well should be listed here. list the manufacturer’s details including the maximum flow rates and pressures expected through the motor. the expected bottom hole pressure. If a down hole motor is to be used. considerations can be made to put all this practice into an actual operation. the details of the coiled tubing and the associated underbalanced drilling equipment are normally a useful addition to a drilling program. Well Control The expected well control matrix must be a part of the underbalanced drilling program. This detailed listing often can save considerable time during HAZOP / HAZID reviews and meetings.

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. 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.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. Wells were initially drilled onshore. First Offshore Well Offshore well GOM Arun gas field (depleted) Offshore Barque & Clipper Hatfield Moors Field K17 offshore UBD trails.

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. 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. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 137 of 154 . 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. One new well and two sidetracks were drilled. Underbalanced jointed pipe drilling on Lagomar block in Lake Maracaibo Onshore operation in Barinas field using nitrified oil based mud system Since 2003.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

K. Chopty. J. D Hall and M. U.S. Frøyen.. B.S. Sandøy. Fjelde. Texas. “Risk-Based Decision Support for Planning of an Underbalanced Drilling Operation”.R. Olsen. Olsen. Graham and M. 11-12 October 2004.A.A. 11-12 October 2004. 11-12 October 2004.S.W. “Drilling Underbalanced in Hassi Messaoud”.A. S. D..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.D. SPE papers 91544 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.A.S. Texas. Arild. Cavender and H. SPE paper 91220 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.A. “Challenges in Implementing UBO Technology”.L.A. J.A.S. U. U. 11-12 October 2004. Ø. Tønnessen. Salimi . “Enhancement Well Productivity— Investigating the Feasibility of UBD for Minimizing Formation Damage in Naturally Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs”. Restarick. Ghalambor.I. G. U. Texas. Bjørkevoll. Boyce. Texas. Andersen. U. T. G. SPE paper 91556 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Golan. “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..A. and J. 11-12 October 2004. and K.S. U.R. Vollen and T. U.. “Methodology for Manipulation of Wellhead Pressure Control for the Purpose of Recovering Gas to Process in Underbalanced Drilling Applications”. Rommetveit. and C.. SPE paper 91239 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. E. U. Texas. 11-12 October 2004. SPE paper 91242 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston. Moore.E.. 11-12 October 2004.A.S. Texas. Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 148 of 154 . K. SPE paper 91519 presented at the 2004 SPE/IADC Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Houston.A.. Texas. Coy. R.S. 11-12 October 2004. Bencheikh. Texas. Culen. A..S.S. “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. and M.S.. K. Guo and A. U. “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. “A Safe Approach to Underbalanced Drilling in an H2S Producing Field Leads to Operational Success and Productivity Improvement”. R. M. 11-12 October 2004.A. 11-12 October 2004. U. Medley. A. Stone. J.S. Texas.. Nilsen. Vezza.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. Texas.

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

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

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

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

tescocorp. http://www.halliburton.com/ Ref APR-WUBS-WFT-001 Page 153 of 154 .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.neotec. 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.blade-energy. http://www.com Scandpower They also have developed a dynamic UBD simulator for training and wellsite purposes in conjunction with Scandpower. 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. www. They also included advanced UBD training and UBD well control training as one of their products.com Halliburton Halliburton provides underbalanced solutions focused on enhancing reservoir performance with concern for safety and the environment remaining a top priority.com and project Blade Energy Partners Blade provides independent engineering and project management to the underbalanced drilling industry. http://www.weatherford. http://www.com LEAding Edge Advantage Leading Edge Advantage provides independent engineering management mainly focused on underbalanced coil operations. Halliburton provide their own UBD separation systems and reservoir engineering.scandpowerpt.com Neotec WELLFLO 7 has also become the industry standard software for flow modeling of underbalanced drilling (UBD) operations worldwide. http://www.lealtd. Extensive R&D and strategic acquisitions of leading UBS technologies from Tesco. Dailey.

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 .

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