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To Study Well Design Aspects in

HPHT Environment

Presented By:
Nikhil G Barshettiwar
Drilling Engineer

Literature survey

HPHT well design

Case study



What is High Pressure High Temperature Environment (HPHT) ?

API Guideline 17TR8 [2015] Health & Safety Executive

defines, (UK) defines,

Requirement of pressure Non-disturbed bottom-hole

equipment (PE) or well control pressure (BHP) > 300 F
equipment (WCE) greater than
15,000 psi. Pore pressure gradient > 0.8
Or maximum anticipated surface
pressure (MASP) greater than Pressure control equipment >
15,000 psi 10,000 psi

Flowing temperature greater than

Introduction (Cont..)

Envelope-I :
150 C & 10,000 psi
Behavior of standard elastomeric

205 C & 20,000 psi
Limitations of electronic tools

260 C & 35,000 psi
Limitations of current technology
Reference- Oilfield Review, 2016
Literature Survey Global Fields


References Oilfield Review, 2008

Literature Survey- HPHT Mechanism
Depositional Effect

Diagenetic Effects
velocit ng
Tectonic Effect y
Loading Curve
Elastic Behaviour

Structural Causes

Thermodynamic effects Effective


Depositional Effect Fields

Under-compaction of sediments Globally
Deposition of evaporites Pre-salt wells in Santos, Campos & Espirito
in Brazil
Salt diapirism Gulf of Mexico
Literature Survey- HPHT Challenges


30 % NPT due to frequent hole problems

Unsuitability of conventional tubulars
Limitation on current wellhead technology up to 350F & 15000 psi
Frequent well integrity issues due improper cementing technology


Current limit of completion fluids up to 20 ppg.

Compatibility of completion fluids above 500F.
Current seal limitations up to 400F in dynamic conditions.
Limited high pressure retrievable packers. Use of permanent
packers again limited by availability milling tools.
Literature Survey- HPHT Challenges

Testing & Simulation

Currently used proppant limited to 500F.

Pressure equipments limitation to 20000 psi.
Frequent pump break-downs
Elastomers sensitivity at higher temperatures
High rates of memory gauge failures due to high temperatures.

Data acquisition

Poor data quality in seismic due to deeper reservoirs.

Real time data acquisition (MWD-LWD) above 365F very rare.
Logging tools working limit up to 425F.
MWD battery working limit only upto 400F.
Literature Survey- HPHT Standards

Protocol for verification and Christmas tree and wellheads

validation of High Pressure High (API 6A/6X, 2014)
Temperature equipment (API
TR 1PER 15K March 2013)
Subsea wellheads and trees
High pressure high temperature (API Spec 17D, 2011)
guidelines (API 17TR Feb 2015)

Specification for subsurface Drill through equipment (API

safety valve equipment (API 14A Spec 16 A, 2015)

Packers and bridge plug (API Subsea completion & work-over

11D1 April 2015) intervention (API 17G)

Riser system for floating

production facilities (APT STD Tubular threaded connectors
2RD, 2013) (API 5C2, 2015)
HPHT well design- Casing Design
Effect of high pressure
Use of thick tubulars in design
Unsuitability conventional casing sizes

Effect of high temperature

Yield strength reduction
Tubular expansion
Buckling of unsupported casing section
Casing collapse due to annular pressure buildup
HPHT well design- Thermal Stress Analysis
TSA is useful to estimate thermal forces generated in casings, prevention of
buckling of unsupported section of casing, selection of cement tops, lock-down pin
selection & wellhead growth.

Input required for thermal stress

Wellhead undisturbed static temperature

Seabed static temperature (Only for offshore)

Bottom hole undisturbed static temperature.

Operational conditions at surface

Casing program.

Heat transfer coefficient of formation fluids,

tubing, annular fluid, casing & formation.
HPHT well design- Drilling Fluids
Selection of HPHT mud system:
Compatibility of drilling fluid with bottomhole tools.
Less compression & expansion characteristics under downhole conditions.

Pressure profile measurement:

-Use of compositional model for accurate measurement of density of with respect to
pressure and temperature.

Temperature modeling:
-Prediction of flow line temperatures (FLT) & bottomhole circulating temperature
- Generally flow line temperature should be restricted to 200F & 350F.

Rheology Model Selection:

-Power law model, Robertson-Stiff model & Herscel-Buckley model more accurate
at higher temperatures than Bingham plastic & Cason Model
- RS model most accurate above 180F.
HPHT well design- Drilling Fluids
Advanced drilling systems for HPHT systems:

Mud System Stability Characteristics

Chrome-Lignite & Chrome Up to 176 C solid tolerant
Lignosulphonate Highly stable
KCL-K-Lignite system Up to 170 C shale inhibition
solid tolerant
PHPA (Partially hydrolysed - encapsulates the cuttings &
Poly acrylomide) coat borehole walls by
Polyol system - clouding of shale by
manipulating clouding polyol
at required BHT with salt
Invert emulsion fluids Up to 260 C can be weighted up to 19.5
ppg with barite emulsion
HPHT well design- Cementing
General Cementing Issues in HPHT:

Strength retrogression
C-S-H (Excellent biding material till 230 F) => Alpha Dicalcium Silicate Hydrate
(Highly crystalline & shrinks).
Addition of silica forms Tobermorite

ECD Management
Major issue in narrow window wells.
Range is as small as 0.1-0.5 ppg.

Annular gas Migration

Result of unable to control density
& fluid loss.

Gas Flow Potential- a measure of

Severity due to gas migration
HPHT well design- Cementing
HPHT cement systems

HPHT Cement Types Characteristics

Portland cements susceptible to strength retrogression above 230F.
Addition of silica preserves strength and lower the
Class G or Class H cements generally used with
combination of 40 % combination of silica (BWOC)

Class J cements Generally use for wells with temperature above 260 F.
Not covered under API list
Addition of silica and retarders not required for
temperature below 300 F.

High alumina cement Suitable for wide temperature fluctuations.

Strength and durability can be simply maintained by
initial water to cement ratio.
HPHT well design- Cementing
HPHT cement additives

HPHT Cementing Characteristics

Retarders Ligosulphonate or synthetic retarder
more retarder => gas migration issues
Weighing agent Above 16.5 ppg required weighing agent
Barite weighted slurries (up to 19 ppg)
Hematite weighted slurries (up to 22 ppg)
Extenders Fly ash, Bentonite & Perlite
Below 12.5 ppg, microsphere extension or foamed
Expanding additives MgO upto 550F
Expands with increase in temperature, improves
shear bond strength
Fluid loss additives Must be restricted to 200 ml/30 min for oil wells &
50 ml/30 min for gas wells.
HPHT well design- Material Selection
Material selection issues:

No clear HPHT design methodology

Conventional approach of leak before burst is no longer right approach, newer
designs using fatigue and fast fracture as mode of failure.

Conventional standards API 6A, 16A & 17D do not use fatigue analysis.
Assumption of keeping max load & stresses below 2/3rd of yield stress proven wrong
for thicker wall sections.

ASME division 2 & division 3 are recommended

Poor knowledge of test to validate design

Lack of information about materials yield strength, fracture toughness & fatigue
resistance in HPHT environment.

Require new standards of material selection, qualification & testing.

Limited publish data

HPHT well design- Material Selection
13 % Cr is applicable up to 145 psia partial pressure of CO2 with 250 gm/lit at
260 F.

22 & 25 % Duplex steels can be used up to 490 F. There is no limit of partial

pressure of CO2.
Case Study- HPHT in India
ONGC-COD has reported eight HPHT fields in South India. Out of which five
discovered in KG Basin & three in Cauvery Basin.

Sedimentary Basin Fields Properties

KG Basin Kottalanka HP, UHT, TR
Bantumilli HP, HT
Bhimanapalli HP, HT
Nagaylanka HP, TR
Yanam SW HP
Cauvery Basin Bhuvanagiri HP, TR
Periyakudi HP, HT, TR
Pallivaramangalam HP

* HP- High Pressure, HT- High Temperature, TR- Tight Reservoir, SW- Shallow
Case Study- HPHT in India
Seven oil field holds 350 Million tones of equivalent
Out of which 50 Million tones recoverable with current technology

KG Basin
Depth (m) Temperature (F) Pressure (psi) Perm (%) CO2 content

4800-5400 400-470 12,400-13,500 3-5 Max 21%

Ave 8-10 %

Cauvery Basin
4800-5000 305-310 12,500 0.01-0.05 -
The wells identified for well engineering has an average depth of 5000 m.

The main objective is to penetrate sands between 4180 m- 4820 m.

Expected temperature in area varies between 321F-444F. Maximum

temperature for candidate well equals to 155 C.

Expected bottomhole pressure in region 11,000-13,000 psi. Pore pressure

and fracture pressure in candidate well pre-determined equals to 13.8 ppg &
17.6 ppg respectively.

Maximum well depth = 4750 meter

Maximum permeability = 0.01-0.05 md

Results- Regional Mud Weigh Model
Results- Casing seat selection

Casing Policy
Type of casing Depth Casing Size Hole Size
Surface Casing 650 m 18 5/8 20
Intermediate 2500 m 13 3/8 16/ 17
Production 4100 m 9 5/8 12
Production Liner 4750 m 5 8
Results- Casing stress analysis

* Production liner recommended is not as per inventory. New grade with higher weight
is chosen to satisfy expected load condition.
Results- Mud Program
Results- Mud recommendations
Viscosity of mud should be as low as possible in order to reduce the ECD.

Gel strength should be sufficient to prevent sagging of solids.

HPHT fluid loss should be minimum to prevent formation damage and also to
prevent differential sticking.

Rheology should be mentioned to prevent sag, gelation and higher ECDs.

Mud should be stable with the contaminants. As generally HPHT reservoirs

consists CO2 and H2S, it should be accommodate the initial effects of it.

It must be weighted up rapidly in case of well kicks.

Base-fluid density must be adjusted at downhole pressure & temperature

conditions using PVT measured behaviour of fluid.

During hydraulics calculations, use of Herschel-Buckley model can yield better

results. Hence it should be preferred for circulating pressure loss calculations.
Results- Mud recommendations
Gases are soluble in oil-based mud. It may take longer duration to confirm
observable pit gain in such conditions. So extended flow checks are advisable during
use of OBM. Generally 10 minutes or more.
Results- Thermal Growth Analysis
The wellbore is shut-in for longer time of production thus well temperature is in
equilibrium with reservoir temperature.

There is complete heat transfer between the casing. Wellbore is assumed as

single vessel with specific temperature equals to reservoir temperature.

Maximum Thermal Forces Generated (At Tw = Tr)

Surface casing 1354937 lbf
Intermediate casing 785153 lbf
Production casing 540567 lbf
Production liner 204595 lbf

Wellhead growth = 82.54

Results- Thermal Growth Analysis

If Intermediate casing string cemented till surface =

Results- Thermal Growth Analysis

If production casing string cemented till surface =

Results- Cementing Program

* Gas block additives for every string except surface string.

* As use SOBM/OBM weakens bonding due to oil-wet conditions, spacer
with surfactant is recommended to change wettability.
Results- Cementing recommendations
Reason for poor cementation job includes mixing of fluids during cementation,
improper centralization, insufficient displacement velocities, and wrong job design
due to improper BHCT measurement.

Generally cementing design mainly focused on short term early compressive

strength. In long term point of view, one should consider cyclic stresses on the well
cements (fatigue stresses). Cement can sustain with compressive strength but tensile
strength of cement needs to be considering for stimulation operations.

Length of the spacer should be long enough to prevent thermal shock to the cement.
Otherwise it may lead early setting of cement.

Managed Pressure Cementing (MPC) is viable option in tight drilling window

environment i.e. 0.1-0.3 ppg window.

Caliper measurement must be use for good centralization design. More the
centralizers per unit joint better the centralization. Good centralization helps for
efficient displacement of drilling fluid behind the casing which ultimately helps for
good cementing job.
Results- Cementing recommendations
Fluid Displacement Modeling (FDM) should be essential part of cementing plan.

API over predicts the BHCT values which may mislead the job design. Temperature
simulators must be used to determine well temperature in dynamic conditions.

Casing movement must be performed while circulating drilling fluid and pre-flushes
as it helps to reduce drilling fluid viscosity and dislodged gelled fluid trapped in
Results- Gas Migration Severity Analysis

Gas flow Severity

<4 Minor
4-8 Moderate
8> Severe
Results- Wellhead Selection
Maximum Anticipated Surface Pressure = 9,625 psi

Designed pressure = 10,586 psi

15K Wellhead is recommended with PSL 3G specifications.

Consideration of PVT properties as in input in design
process can optimize casing design.

Presence of H2S restrict use high strength tubulars. As only

CO2 was present in the well Q-125 is used.

18 5/8 casing has comparatively higher strength than 20

casing thus it is use as surface casing in commonly HPHT
PVT properties of hydrocarbon has major impact on casing policy. It can be
optimized if PVT properties of hydrocarbon consider in simulation.

Regional models of pore pressure, fracture pressure & mud weight from offset
wells can be useful to cross check correctness of predicted parameters. Well
profiling and trend analysis can save cost due to NPT.

Temperature modeling must be an essential part of HPHT well design. It helps to

optimized fluid programs and thermal stress analysis of well system.

Material technology in HPHT environment is most neglected area. Advancement

in material technology can improve cost of HPHT wells drastically.

Qualification and testing of materials in HPHT environment need immediate

attention. API standards doesnt cover material testing for HPHT environment.
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