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SPE/IADC 148521

Horizontal Underbalanced Drilling Technology Successfully Applied In Field


AA- Libya: Case Study
Mohamed Ben Shatwan, Arabian Gulf Oil Co., Hani Qutob & Paco Vieira, SPE, Weatherford International
Copyright 2011, SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition
This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Muscat, Oman, 2426 October 2011.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE/IADC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not
been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers or the International Association of Drilling Contractors and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect
any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers or the International Association of Drilling Contractors, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this
paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers or the International Association of Drilling Contractors is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an
abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE/IADC copyright.
Abstract
Recently, underbalanced drilling (UBD) has been used with increasing frequency to minimize problems associated
with invasive formation damage which often greatly reduces the productivity of oil and gas reservoirs. When
properly designed and executed, the benefits of underbalanced drilling (UBD) are well recognized by the industry
and there is increasing raise in interest in this technology. The benefits from UBD generally fall into two categories:
Cost reduction- including mitigation of conventional drilling problems as lost circulation, differential sticking,
reduction in stimulation and cleanup costs, etc.
Value adding- including productivity improvement, increase in ultimate recovery, and real-time reservoir
characterization while drilling.
Arabian Gulf oil Company (AGOCO), a major energy player in the Libyan oil industry, decided to pioneer the
introduction of the new technology by embarking on a pilot project to drill 6 underbalanced horizontal wells in field
AA. The Field is located in the Libyan Desert on the south east of Sirte basin. The reservoir consists of sandstone
from the Early Cretaceous age. The field was first put on production in 1967. Since 1991 ESP pumps have been
used for the production. The target reservoir, Member XX, is partly depleted oil bearing reservoir from the initial
reservoir pressure of 3995 psi to about 2400 psi (5.3 ppg EMW). 3 out of the 6 well UBD campaign have been
drilled so far. The first two wells identified the technology as an effective method to improve penetration and
production rates. The third well built on the experience of the previous wells by emphasizing on minimizing
formation damage and maximizing the production of the well. Another objective was the evaluation of production
while the well is being drilled, eliminating the need for expensive post drilling production testing.
Introduction
The Field AA reservoir is a large; basement controlled, faulted and truncated anticline structure dome (33 km long
and 15 km wide). An erosional unconformity (UC4) forms the top of the reservoir. Reservoir XX is composed of
thick lower Cretaceous age sandstone of the Reservoir Group, which is subdivided into geological members
designated from bottom to top as Members 1, 2, 3, 4,.and 5 Oil production in this field is mainly from members 3, 4
and 5 The predominant oil recovery mechanism in the field is bottom water drive with a large regional aquifer
directly underlying the hydrocarbon accumulation, providing good pressure support over most of the field.
This paper discusses the objectives, planning, problems encountered and lessons learned during the first
application of UBD in the Field AA for AGOCO Libya.
Objectives
The intended goal for this underbalanced drilling project was to drill these horizontal wells to achieve the following
objectives:
2 SPE/IADC 148521
Minimising formation damage
Improving production rate and enhancing recovery
Eliminating/minimizing lost circulation, differential pipe sticking and non productive time.
Evaluating and characterizing the reservoir while drilling
Increasing the rate of penetration
Planning Phase
Underbalanced drilling conditions may be achieved either by utilizing non-compressive drilling fluids or by the
addition of gas to reduce the drilling fluid density; it will depend on the reservoir pressure and depth.
Underbalanced drilling conditions will be obtained when the equivalent circulating density exerted by the drilling
fluid is less than reservoir pressure. Based on the reservoir pressure, the resulting level of underbalanced and the
formation characteristics, reservoir fluids will continuously flow into the wellbore.
When designing the drilling circulating system, specific criteria must be met in order to satisfy all of the objectives
of a properly drilled underbalanced section. While considering these criteria, it is sensible for the selected UB
system to be the simplest possible that can achieve all of the necessary objectives.
The design of an underbalanced drilling circulating system must consider the following criteria:
1. Bottomhole pressure the bottomhole circulating pressure must be controlled at all times to maintain
continuous, steady state, underbalanced conditions throughout the entire length of the drilling and
completion operation.
2. Hole Cleaning The Drilling fluid system should guarantee the hole cleaning at any depth or inclination.
3. Motor and Bits throughput the single-phase or equivalent two-phase compressed fluid volume must be
within the operational specifications of the downhole motor and drill bits.
4. Surface separation equipment the reservoir inflow must be controlled in order to remain in the safe
operational envelope of the surface equipments flow containment capacities, rated pressures and pipe
work erosion limitations.
Based on these criteria, an underbalanced drilling window is defined and an acceptable circulating system is
developed.
Fluids Selection
Based on the reservoir data provided, the bottomhole pressure is below the normal pressure regime (EMW 5.22
ppg). This subnormal pressure requires the use of multiphase (Gas-Liquid) drilling fluid systems in order to obtain
underbalanced drilling conditions (10-20% Drawdown). The native crude oil was chosen over Diesel or other
drilling fluids because it is the natural reservoir fluid for this well. This will minimize chances of formation damage in
the event of pressure transients and/or from fluid imbibitions. Nitrogen was selected as the injection gas because
of its inert nature, economic availability and suitability for this specific underbalanced drilling project. Nitrogen will
be obtained from the surrounding air and generated onsite by nitrogen production units.
Gas Injection Method
Two gas injection methods have been used in underbalanced drilling operations in order to reduce the gravitational
effect on the effective circulating bottom hole pressure while drilling:
Drill String Gas Injection
Drill pipe gas injection is the most common. Here the gas and liquid are mixed at surface and the mixture is
injected down the drill string.
Advantages:
This method requires the least number of modifications to the well design. This method also tends to produce both
better control and lower bottom hole pressures than the other methods.
SPE/IADC 148521 3
Disadvantages:
The main drawback is that gas will pass through the BHA and therefore operations become constrained by the
downhole motor and MWD throughput. An EM-MWD or wet connect MWD are generally required.
Concentric Casing Gas Injection
Concentric casing injection is a method whereby the liquid phase is injected down the drill string at surface (as per
conventional drilling operations) and the gas phase is injected via a concentric casing injection string behind the
primary wellbore casing. In the case of C341H-65 a 7 tie back should be added to the wellbore configuration.
Gas is then injected between the 9 5/8 Casing and 7 Liner annulus through ports situated in the 7 liner near the
9 5/8 casing shoe into the main wellbore to create UB conditions.
Advantages:
This method allows the utilization of conventional mud pulse MWD.
Connections are quicker with concentric casing injection systems, as the drill string only contains a single-phase
non-compressible fluid, the time to bleed off the string is reduced considerably.
Straightforward procedures for inexperience UBD rig crews.
Disadvantages:
Due to the accumulator effect, the circulation system is rather unstable. An appropriate estimation of the flow
area where the gas will be injected to the drilling annulus should be estimate.
This method reduces the operational range of bottom hole circulating pressure (BHCP) for a specific well
configuration.
A 7 tie back string is required.
Modifications are required to the wellhead.
Rigorous multiphase flow simulation software to determine the response of the well to changes in downhole
conditions was utilized. Circulating pressures and hole cleaning parameters were evaluated and appropriate
equipment and injection rate selection was selected. The utilized multiphase flow modeling software has been
validated on many underbalanced drilling operations worldwide and is widely considered the industry-leading
package.
The parameters used in modeling this program include the evaluation of the following important criteria:
Modeling considerations:
Gas-liquid volumetric flow rates are designed to reduce the hydrodynamic pressure within the annulus to achieve a
drawdown between 10% to 20% as a preliminary range.
A reservoir pressure of 2,400 psi.
Minimum vertical liquid velocities of 150 ft/min and minimum horizontal liquid fluids velocities of 180 ft/min are
taken to ensure that the drilled cuttings are effectively removed from the well. These values were empirically
determined along Weatherford vast experienced using gasified drilling fluids systems.
No production is considered.
A positive displacement down hole motor (4 OD) with a throughput between 100 gpm to 300 gpm was
considered.
Flow Modelling
Extensive flow modelling has been performed for this proposal. This has been done based on the methodology
that has been outlined previously. Different wellbore configurations as well as injection gas methods were analyzed
Figure 1.
4 SPE/IADC 148521
Figure 1: Hydraulic Simulations Preliminary Scope
Drill
Pipe gas injection no 7 tie back considered
Hydraulic simulations were carried out considering the worst-case scenario and no well production. An operation
hydraulic envelope was created at the proposed final well depth (TD). A drill string gas injection system was
modeled and the results are demonstrated graphically in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Operating Window Gasified fluid as a circulation system No 7 Tie Back
Although underbalanced conditions can be achieved using the drill string injection method, there is a reduction in
the liquid velocity as soon as the liquid enters into the 9 5/8 casing. Adding the volumetric flow rates constrains
given by the max 300 GPM of gas-liquid mixture that can be injected by the drill string, the operational flow window
becomes limited in a narrow range of liquid and gas injection parameters. The operational window is between 200
and 220 gpm for the liquid phase and 1000 and 1200 scfm of nitrogen. It is expected that production while drilling
will increase the operational window for the hydraulic parameters.
Drill pipe gas injection 7 tie back considered
Hydraulic simulations were carried out considering the worst-case scenario and no well production. An operation
hydraulic envelope was created at the proposed final well depth (TD).A drill string gas injection system was
modeled considering a 7 Tie Back string and the results are demonstrated graphically in Figure 3.
1,500
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0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 1,400 1,600 1,800 2,000 2,200 2,400
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Nitrogen Injection Rate (scfm)
BHCP vs Concentric Casing Nitrogen Injection
No 7" Tie Back - No Prodution - DP Injection
Native Crude + Nitrogen
Min liquid velocity >150 ft/min Max 300 gpm Motor 100 gpm 150 gpm
200 gpm 250 gpm 10% Drawdown Reservoir pressure
20% Drawdown 300 gpm
Reservoir Pressure =2400 psi
BHCP @ 10% Drawdown = 2160 psi
Maximum PDM Flow Rate 300 GPM
Hole Cleaning Boundary
Vertical Vel. 150 ft/min
BHCP @ 20% Drawdown = 1920 psi
SPE/IADC 148521 5
Figure 3: Operating Window Gasified fluid as a circulation system Using 7 Tie Back Drill pipe gas injection
The use of the 7 tie back allows to achieve the required Underbalanced drilling conditions utilizing the drill pipe
gas injection method. The inclusion of the 7 tie back considerably increases the hydraulic operational window for
the injection parameters. The operational window, considering the use of a tie back string, is estimated to be
between 100 and 200 gpm for the liquid phase and 400 and 1500 scfm of nitrogen. However, the high gas volume
fraction on the drill string will limit and restrict the use of conventional MWD/PWD/LWD tools required to drill the
horizontal section.
Concentric Casing gas injection
Hydraulic simulations were carried out considering the worst-case scenario and no well production. An operation
hydraulic envelope was created at the proposed final well depth (TD). A drill string gas injection system was
modeled and the results are demonstrated graphically in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Operating Window Gasified fluid as a circulation system Concentric casing gas injection
By using the concentric gas injection, underbalanced drilling condition is achieved. However, since no gas is
flowing through the drill pipe, the liquid velocities in the horizontal section limit the operational window for the
hydraulic injection parameters. It is expected that production while drilling will enhance the transport of cutting in
the horizontal section increasing the operational window. Accordingly, concentric Casing gas injection was
selected. Figure 5.
1,500
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1,900
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0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 1,400 1,600 1,800 2,000 2,200 2,400
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Nitrogen Injection Rate (scfm)
BHCP vs DP Nitrogen Injection
7" Tie Back - No Prodution
Native Crude + Nitrogen
Min liquid velocity >180 ft/min Min 100 gpm Max 300 gpm Motor 100 gpm
150 gpm 200 gpm 250 gpm 10% Drawdown
Reservoir pressure 20% Drawdown 300 gpm
Reservoir Pressure =2400 psi
BHCP@ 10% Drawdown =2160psi
Maximum PDM Flow Rate 300 GPM
Hole Cleaning Boundary
Horizonta Vel. 180 ft/min
BHCP@ 20% Drawdown =1920psi
1,500
1,600
1,700
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1,900
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Nitrogen Injection Rate (scfm)
BHCP vs Concentric Casing Nitrogen Injection
Injection Point 6000 ft TVD
7" Tie Back - No Prodution
Native Crude + Nitrogen
100 gpm 150 gpm 200 gpm
250 gpm 10% Drawdown Reservoir pressure
20% Drawdown Max 300 gpm Motor Min liquid velocity >180 ft/min
Reservoir Pressure =2400 psi
BHCP @ 10% Drawdown = 2160 psi
Maximum PDMFlow Rate 300 GPM
Hole Cleaning Boundary
Horizontal Vel. 180 ft/min
BHCP @ 20% Drawdown = 1920 psi
6 SPE/IADC 148521
Figure 5: Concentric casing gas injection
IADC Classification
The Underbalanced Drilling operation for this pilot project is classified as 1-B-4, based on the IADC (International
Association of Drilling Contractors) Underbalanced Drilling operation Committee Classification System for UBD
Wells.
Overview of UBD Operations
Well C349H-65
C349H-65 was the first well drilled Underbalanced in Sarir C main field in Libya. The 6 1/8 horizontal section was
drilled Underbalanced from the 7 liner shoe at 9183 ft MD (8845 ft TVD) to 10817 ft MD (8873 ft TVD) utilizing
concentric casing N2 gas injection of Nitrified Diesel. Oil production from the reservoir commenced immediately
after unloading the well and drilling about 10 ft of formation. The production was from the Sarir C Main member
which contains 0.83 SG crude oil. The Underbalanced Drilling operations continued with the use of the produced
Sarir native crude oil instead of Diesel. In total, 1634 ft of open hole was drilled at a controlled draw down of 10%
of the reservoir pressure which was estimated at 2400 psi. Figure 6.
Rate of Penetration
C349H-65 was drilled with the proper N2 and liquid (crude) injection rates to maintain the BHCP within the
operating envelope set out for this well. An increase in ROP was achieved with all systems operating within
expected parameters. 1634 ft were drilled in 44.27 hrs (Bit on bottom time) with an overall average ROP of 36.9
ft/hr.
Production
Throughout the drilling operation, the BHCP was maintained between 2149 PSI and 2327 PSI as shown in the
BHCP versus measured depth graph (Figure 7).
Oil production while drilling from Sarir C Main Member was first observed at 9190 MD (8845 ft TVD). Total crude
production during the Underbalanced Drilling section was 4405 Bbls. Cumulative production vs. Time is presented
in figure 8.
Figure 6: C349H-65 Well Diagram
Well Name: SARIR C NORTH
Company Name: AGOCO
20" Casing set depth
MD: 20 ft
13 3/8" Casing set depth
MD: 3,200 ft
N2 Injection Port
TOP 7" MD: 7,000 ft
MD: 7,100 ft
9 5/8" Casing set depth
MD: 7,300 ft
2,600 ft
KOP
MD: 7,320 ft
Open Hole
Size: 6.125
inch
Build rate 10.97
o
/100ft
7" Liner set depth
TVD: 8,800 ft TVD: 8,840 ft
MD: 9,200 ft MD: 11,800 ft
89.7
o
89.7
o
PDM: 4 3/4"
Holes Diameter 22/32
Number of Holes: 60 holes
Holes per ft: 12
Phase: 60 Degrees
TFA: 22.27 in
2
Label Description MD (ft) TVD (ft) Incl(deg)
1 20" Casing Shoe 0-120 120 0
2 7" Tie back 0-7843 0-7843 0
3 13"3/8 Casing shoe 0-3188 3188 0
4 Circulating sub 7652 7652 0
5 7" Liner 7710-9183 7710-8845 0-88
6 KOP 8043 8043 0
7 9"5/8 Casing shoe 0-8043 8043 0
8 Landing point 9356 8856 90
9 7" Liner shoe 9183 8845 87
10 6.125" Open Hole 9183-10817 8845-8873 87-89
11 TD 10817 8873 89
C349H-65
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9
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10
1
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5
6
11
SPE/IADC 148521 7
Figure 7: C349H-65 BHCP vs. Depth
Figure 8: C349H-65 Cumulative Gain vs. Time
At TD (10817 ft MD), a production test was performed for 3 hrs with 1750 scfm N2. Oil was produced at an
average rate of 5584 bbl/day. The reservoir gas was produced at an average rate of 0.39 mmscf/ day. The average
flowing wellhead pressure was 245 PSI
Well C347H-65
Well C347H-65 is the second well drilled underbalanced in the Sarir C main field in Libya. The 6 1/8 horizontal
section was drilled underbalanced from 8 ft outside the 7 liner shoe at 9205 ft MD (8871 ft TVD) to10889 ft MD
(8939 ft TVD) utilizing concentric casing gas injection of Nitrified Diesel. The well commenced producing at depth
9772 ft MD. The production was from the Sarir C Main member which contains 0.83 SG. crude. Drilling then was
continued with the produced Sarir crude instead of Diesel. In total, 1684 ft of an open hole was drilled at a
controlled draw down of (6-10)% of the estimated reservoir pressure of 2400 psi. Figure 9.
C349H-65
BHCP Vs. MD
2000
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2100
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2300
2350
2400
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2500
2550
2600
2650
2700
2750
2800
9100 9200 9300 9400 9500 9600 9700 9800 9900 10000 10100 10200 10300 10400 10500 10600 10700 10800 10900
Measured Depth (ft)
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PWD Estimated Res.Pr 5% DD 10% DD
-
Res. Pressure = 2400 psi
2160 psi, 10%
2280 psi, 5%
C349H-65
Oil Cumulative Net Gains & Losses Vs. Time
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Bit Run # 1 Bit Run # 2
Flow the well while pulling the shoe
Final Flow Test at
Casing Shoe, TD
Balance the well, fill for displacement
Reset Initial Surface Volume
8 SPE/IADC 148521
Figure 9: Final Well C 347-H65 Diagram as Drilled
Rate of Penetration
Well C347-H65 was drilled with the proper N2 and liquid rate to maintain the BHCP within the operating envelope
set out for this well. An increase in ROP was achieved with all systems operating within expected parameters.
1684 ft were drilled in 85 hrs for an overall average instantaneous ROP of 39 ft/hr.
Production
Throughout the drilling operation, the BHCP was maintained between 2100-2280 psi as shown in the graph (Figure
10) representing the BHCP versus measured depth. Oil production while drilling was first observed at 9772 MD
(8897 ft TVD). A total of 2360 bbls of crude oil was produced during underbalanced drilling, tripping, circulation.
Cumulative Oil production vs. Time is shown in figure 11.
Figure 10: C347H-65 BHCP vs. Depth
Label Description MD (ft) TVD (ft) Incl(deg)
1 7" Tie back 0-7772 0-7772 0
2 Circulating sub 7652 7652 0
3 7" Liner top 7772-9197 7772 0
4 KOP 8115 8115 0
5 9"5/8 Casing shoe 8200 8200 0
6 Landing point N/A N/A
7 7" Liner shoe 9197 8871 87
8 6" Open Hole 9197-10889 8871-8891 87-88
9 TD 10889 8939 88
WELL C347-H65 DIAGRAM
6
5
7
6
2
8
1
3
4
9
Well C347-H65
Bottom Hole Circulating Pressure(BHCP) Vs. Measured Depth (MD)
1500
1600
1700
1800
1900
2000
2100
2200
2300
2400
2500
2600
2700
2800
2900
3000
9200.0 9400.0 9600.0 9800.0 10000.0 10200.0 10400.0 10600.0 10800.0
Measured Depth (Ft)
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PWD Actual Res.Pr 10% DD 15% DD 5% DD
-
Res. Pressure = 2400 Psi
2040 Psi, 15% DD
2160 Psi, 10%
Run # 3,Bit # 2 Rerun,Bit #1 Run #1,Bit #1
2280 Psi, 5% DD
SPE/IADC 148521 9
Figure 11: Well C 347- H65 Oil Cumulative Gains vs. Time
At TD 10889 ft MD, a production test was performed for 1 hrs with 2500 scfm N2. Oil was produced at an average
rate of 5448 bbl/day. Gas was produced at an average rate 0.78 mmscf/day. The average flowing wellhead
pressure was 200 psi.
Well C346H-65
C346H-65 is the 3rd well drilled underbalanced in the Sarir C Main Field. The previous two wells identified the
technology as an effective method to improve penetration and production rates. This well attempted to build on the
experience of the previous wells by emphasizing on minimizing the formation damage which in turns maximizes
the production of the well. C346H-65 was drilled successfully in record time (8 days from start of UBD to TD), and
yielding approximately 3 times the average conventional production of Sarir field. Figure 12.
Figure 12 Final Well C346H-65 Profile
Well C347H65
Oil Cumulative Net Gains & Losses Vs. Time
0
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Run#1from 9205 ft
MD to 10219 ft MD
Run#2
lost direction,continued UBD in
new legsfrom 9762 ft to 10440 ft
Leaks in tie back csg,
Stuck pipe @9954ft,
Free stuck pipe using N2 DPI
Logging Operation
POOH&RIH
Fishing Operation for csg and packer
Run#3
UBD from 10440 to 10889 ft MD
Label Description MD (m) TVD (m) Incl (deg)
1 20" Casing Shoe 120 120 0
2 7" Tie back 0-7850 0-8868 0
0-2200 2200 0
2200-3176 3176 0
4 Perforation Inj.Point 7700 7700 0
5 7" Liner 7850-9190 7850-8868 0-87
6 KOP 8040 8040 0
7 9" Casing shoe 8164 8164 0
8 Landing point 9516 8887 88.1
9 7" Liner shoe 9190 8868 83.5
10 6" Open Hole 9190-10878 8868-8921 87-88
11 TD 10878 8921 88.3
12 Pilot Hole (Aband.) N/A N/A 0
Well C346H-65
3 13" Casing shoe
8
4
7
9
3
10
1
2
5
6
11
12
10 SPE/IADC 148521
Rate of Penetration
The average of bottom ROP for C346H-65 drilled Underbalanced was 21.2 ft/hr. Good hole cleaning was achieved
through the 6 UBD section by carefully applying good drilling rates and working pipe after each connection.
Production
The well was drilled to TD of 10878 ft MD with controlled BHCP, figure 13. A total of 2430 bbl of crude were
produced during the drilling time of the well with the addition of an extra 200 bbl of crude that were stored in the rig
tanks. (Figures14) illustrate the production curve against time and depth respectively as well as provide a visual
breakdown of different phases in the progress of the well. After first sings of production a preliminary a flow test
was performed resulting in 2662 bbl/day of oil and 0.6 MMSCFD of gas at a depth of 9797 ft MD. UBD continued
after that until TD was reached, and a final flow test was performed yielding an average production of 3650 bbl/day
of oil and 1.72 MMSCFD of gas. In conclusion, C346H-65 was a successfully drilled under balanced horizontal
well.. A final flow test was conducted successfully with positive results. Oil production was at 3650 bbl/day with
average gas production of 1.72 MMSCFD.
Figure 13: C346H-65 BHCP vs. Depth
Figure 14 Well C 346- H65 Oil Cumulative Gains vs. Time
AGOCO C346H-65
BHCP Vs. MD
1750
1850
1950
2050
2150
2250
2350
2450
2550
2650
2750
2850
2950
3050
3150
3250
9150 9250 9350 9450 9550 9650 9750 9850 9950 10050 10150 10250 10350 10450 10550 10650 10750 10850
Measured Depth (ft)
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WellFlo Initial Reservoir Pressure 10% DD Act. Avg. BHCP PWD
-
2154 psi 10% DD
Reservoir Pressure = 2393 psi
Unloading
Act. Avg BHCP = 2223 psi
AGOCO C346H-65
Oil Cumulative Net Gains & Losses Vs. Time
-300
-200
-100
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
1100
1200
1300
1400
1500
1600
1700
1800
1900
2000
2100
2200
2300
2400
2500
31 Mar 01 Apr 02 Apr 03 Apr 04 Apr 05 Apr 06 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr
Time (Day)
O
i
l

C
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
v
e

N
e
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G
a
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s

&

L
o
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(
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)
UBD Dry Section
Transfering
Fluid to Rig
Tanks
Transfer 230 bbl to Rig Tanks
Flow Test #1
Oil: 2662 bbl/day
Gas: 0.6 MMSCFD
Final Flow Test
Oil: 3650 bbl/day
Gas: 1.72 MMSCFD
Flow Test #2
Oil: 4037 bbl/day
Gas: 1.9 MMSCFD
Export meter
adjustment
Flow Test #3
Oil: 1807 bbl/day
Gas: 1.0 MMSCFD
UBD
Unload Well
Unload Well
Unload Well
UBD
Export crude from UBD Tanks
SPE/IADC 148521 11
Quality, Health, Safety and Environment
A comprehensive safety management system was provided by the UBD service provider.The Quality, Health,
Safety and Environment (QHSE) procedures were reviewed on this underbalanced drilling project for the three
wells. No lost time or QHSE incidents were recorded and operations were accomplished as per plan.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Controlled Pressure Drilling - CPD is proved to be a very effective tool in increasing production from Sarir C
depleted reservoirs.
Underbalanced drilling improved ROP, reduced rig time, and provided reservoir evaluation while drilling.
No major problems were encountered during the drilling phase and the 3 wells were drilled and completed
successfully.
Reviewing the UBD procedures prior to any drilling tasks with the rig crew and WFD members always assist to
avoid miscommunication which leads to drilling problems and incidents.
The accurate value of reservoir pressure facilitates the proper design of desired Bottom hole circulation pressure
and maintains the required drawdown for CPD conditions during the entire operation
The close working relationship between the operating company, UBD service provider and other contractors
provided a safe working environment for all rig site personnel.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to extend their appreciation to the management of National Oil Corporation and Arabian Gulf Oil
Company AGOCO and to Weatherford International Inc. for the permission to publish this paper. The authors
also thank the many individuals within AGOCO and Weatherford DHM team who have contributed to the success
of this work.
References:
1. P. Vieira Underbalanced Drilling Operation For Reservoir Characterization In Jebel Aswad Field, Oman - A
Case History SPE/IADC SPE/IADC 113688 Presented in January 2008, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2. Hani Qutob & Horacio Ferreira, The SURE Way to underbalanced Drilling, SPE paper 93346, presented at
the 14th SPE Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference held in Bahrain International Exhibition Centre,
Bahrain, 1215 March 2005.
3. P. Vieira First Multilateral Well Drilled With Underbalanced Drilling Technology In Sabria Field Tunisia
SPE/IADC 113690 Presented at the SPE IADCMPD/UBO Conference Jan 2008, Abu Dhabi, UAE
4. Salar Babajan, Shell Abu Dhab & Hani Qutob, Weatherford International, SPE-120018, Underbalanced Drilling
Technology adds Reserves and Enhances Ultimate Recovery. .
5. P. Vieira Applying The Underbalance For Life Philosophy To Well Construction In PDO SPE/IADC 113685
Presented at the SPE IADCMPD/UBO Conference Jan 2008, Abu Dhabi, UAE
6. Shifting Paradigms Underbalanced Drilling Technology Proves Highly Successful For Reservoir Evaluation
And Drilling Performance Improvement In Kuwait. Presented at the Offshore Mediterranean Conference April
2007, Ravenna, Italy
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Horizontal Wells SPE 74463 - prepared for presentation at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Dallas,
Texas, 2628 February 2002.
8. Bennion, D.B. et al: Effective Laboratory Coreflood Tests to Evaluate and Minimize Formation Damage in
Horizontal Wells, presented at the 3
rd
International Conference on Horizontal Well Technology, Houston,
Texas, Nov 12-14, 1991
9. Qutob, Hani: "Underbalanced Drilling; Remedy for Formation Damage, Lost Circulation, & other related
conventional Drilling problems, SPE 88698, presented at the 11
th
Abu Dhabi international Petroleum Exhibition
and Conference held in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., 1013 October 2004.