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PETE 689 - Underbalanced Drilling, UBD

Lesson 3 Benefits of Underbalanced Drilling Read: UDM - Chapter 3


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Benefits of Underbalanced Drilling


Increased penetration rate. Increased bit life. Minimize lost circulation. Improved formation evaluation. Reduced formation damage.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Benefits of Underbalanced Drilling


Reduced probability of differential sticking. Earlier production. Environmental benefits. Improved safety. Increased well productivity. Less need for stimulation treatments.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Increased Penetration Rate


In permeable rocks, a positive differential pressure will decrease penetration because.
Increases the effective confining stress which.
Increases the rocks shear strength. Therefore increasing shear stress (by drilling UB) increases penetration rate.

And increases the chip hold down effect.


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Chip Hold Down Effect


Bit tooth.
Crack in the formation.

As drilling fluid enters the fracture, the pressure differential across the rock fragment decreases, releasing the chip.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Effect of Pressure Differential


In permeable rocks penetration rate is a function of the differential pressure not the absolute pressure.
Micro-bit test
12 10 Indiana Limestone Confining Pressure= 6000 psi Bit weight= 1000 lbm 50 rpm

Drilling Rate (ft/hr)

8 6 4

2
0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

Overbalanced Differential Pressure (psl)

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Drilling Days
0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Drilled With Mud 1000 2000 3000 Drilled With Gas

Depth (feet)

4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000

Mud

Gas Drilling Vs. Mud Drilling

Gas

10000
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Penetration Rate As A Function Of The Differential Pressure Across The Workfront


100 90 80 70

For permeable rocks

15000 lbm 30000 lbm

ROP (ft/hr)

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1000

Pressure Drop Through Filter Cake (psi)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Penetration Rate in Impermeable Rocks


Bit tooth
In impermeable rock, the instantaneous initial pressure in the crack itself is close to zero, i.e. the penetration rate is now a function of absolute wellbore pressure.

Crack in the formation.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Borehole pressure = 440 psi


150

X Pore Pressure 87 psi


125

O Pore Pressure 508 psi

Rate of Penetration (ft/hr)

100

75

50

25

0 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 45000 50000

Downhole Weight on Bit (lbf)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Borehole pressure = 1.450 psi


150

X Pore Pressure 580 psi


125

O Pore Pressure 870 psi + Pore Pressure 116 psi

Rate of Penetration (ft/hr)

100

75

50

25

0 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 45000 50000

Downhole Weight on Bit (lbf)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Borehole pressure = 4.800 psi


150

X Pore Pressure 2320 psi


125

+ Pore Pressure 4930 psi

Rate of Penetration (ft/hr)

100

75

50

25

0 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 45000 50000

Downhole Weight on Bit (lbf)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Normalized Drilling Strength


DSn=
DSn WOB RPM ROP P = = = = =

WOB x RPM ROP WOB x RPM ROP

Pb

Po

Normalized Drilling Strength Index. Weight on Bit (lbf). Rotary speed (rpm). Rate of penetration (ft/hr). Pressure (psia). Indicates borehole conditions. Indicates atmospheric conditions.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Subscript b Subscript o

Influence Of BHP On Normalized Drilling Strength In Hard Shales


10

Normalized Rock Drilling Strength, DSn

9 8 7 6 5

DTM/Jurassic-2 Shale SDM/Welsh Shale Results from Cheatham et al. SDM/Jurassic-2 Shale

4
3 2 1 0 0 500 1000 1500

A value of 5 means that the penetration rate at an specific BHP will be 1/5 of the penetration rate at atmospheric pressure.

2000

2500

3000

3500

4000

4500

5000

Bottomhole Pressure (psi)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Normalized Shale Strength Example


A well drilled with an unweighted (8.5 ppg) mud at a depth of 6000. BHP ~ 2900 psi. Reducing the effective MW to 7 ppg reduces BHP to 2400 psi. Decreases the drilling strength, i.e., increase the penetration rate by less than 15%.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Normalized Shale Strength Example


To double the penetration rate the BHP would have to be dropped to ~ 1500 psi. A BHP of 100 psi might be expected if drilling with air and would increase the penetration rate approximately 5 times.
Note: This assumes equal WOB and RPM.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Normalized Shale Strength Example


10 9

Normalized Rock Drilling Strength, DSn

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0

DTM/Jurassic-2 Shale SDM/Welsh Shale Results from Cheatham et al. SDM/Jurassic-2 Shale

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

4000

4500

5000

Bottomhole Pressure (psi)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Field Example Switching From Air To Mud


3000 Well 1 4000 Well 2 Well 3

DRY AIR
Depth (feet) 5000

SWITCH TO MUD

6000

7000

8000 9000 5 10 15 Days


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20

25

30

Increased Bit Life???


Increased vibration with air drilling may actually decrease bearing life. Bit may drill fewer rotating hours but drill more footage. The number of bits required to drill an interval will be inversely proportional to the footage drilled by each bit.
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Effect Of UBD On Cutting Structure Of Roller Cone Bits


Mechanical Specific Energy, MSE, is defined as the mechanical work that must be done to excavate a unit volume of rock.
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The Work Done By The Bit Is:


WOB x ROP W= 2 + 60 x RPM
Where
W
=

work done by the bit (ft/ lbf/ revolution) torque (ft- lbf) weight on bit (lbf) rate of penetration (ft/hr) revolutions per minute
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

WOB = ROP = RPM =

The Volume Of Rock Excavated Per Revolution Is:


V=
V
db

2 d b x

ROP 240 x RPM

=
=

volume of rock excavated per revolution (ft 3) bit diameter (feet)

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The Mechanical Specific Energy Is Give By:


480 x RPM 4WOB + MSE= d b2 x ROP d b2
MSE
=

mechanical specific energy (psi)


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

What Does This Mean?


480 x RPM 4WOB + MSE= d b2 x ROP d b2
1. Bit torque is not a function of borehole pressures. 2. Penetration rates generally increase with decreasing borehole pressures. 3. MSE are therefore, usually lower at lower borehole pressures.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

What Does This Mean?


4. Therefore, cutting structure wear rates (in terms of distance drilled) should be inversely related to the MSE. 5. If the bit has to do less work to remove a given volume of rock, its cutting elements should wear less. 6. A bit should be able to drill more footage, when drilling underbalanced.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Reduced Differential Sticking


Fs = Ac * DPms *144 sq.in./sq.ft.
Fs =
Force required to free pipe (lbf)

Ac =
DP = ms =

Contact area (sq. ft)


Pressure differential across the mud cake (psid) Coefficient of friction between the string and the mud cake.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Example
Contact area is 30 feet long and 0.25 ft wide. Pressure differential is 300 psid. The coefficient of friction is 0.3 The force to free the pipe (in excess of string weight) is: 30 x 0.25 x 300 x 0.3 x 144 = 97,200 lbf. Note: Equation 3.5 in text is incorrect.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Minimized Lost Circulation


If the pressure in the wellbore is less than the formation pressure in the entire open hole section, lost circulation will not occur.
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Improved Formation Evaluation


Production rates while drilling UB can be measured with no filtrate invasion occurring. No filtrate invasion can mean more accurate LWD measurements.
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Reduces Formation Damage

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Formation Damage Mechanisms During Drilling (Overbalanced)


Scales, sludges or emulsions due to interaction between filtrates and pore fluids. Interaction between aqueous mud filtrate and clay particles in the formation. Solids invasion.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Formation Damage Mechanisms During Drilling (Overbalanced)


Phase trapping or blocking. Adsorption of drilling fluid additives, leading to permeability reductions or changes in wettability. Migration of fines in the formation. Generation of pore-blocking organic byproducts from bacteria entering the formation from the drilling fluid.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Formation Damage Mechanisms During Drilling (Overbalanced)


Temporary overbalance. Spontaneous imbibition. Gravity-induced invasion. Wellbore glazing. Post-drilling damage. Mechanical degradation.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Temporary Overbalance
Can be intentional to:
Kill well for trips. Transmit MWD surveys. Log the well. Completion and WO operations.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Temporary Overbalance
Can be unintentional:
Slug flow or liquid holdup causing fluctuations in downhole pressure. High fluid pressures across the face of diamond and TSP bits. Near wellbore production reduces the formation pressure near the face of the wellbore.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Temporary Overbalance
Can be unintentional:
Varying pore pressure along the wellbore. Drill string running too fast after a bit is changed. Equipment malfunctions or procedural errors.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Spontaneous Imbibition
Due to capillary effects - even if drilling underbalanced. The underbalance pressure necessary to prevent water from being drawn from an aqueous drilling fluid into the formation will depend on the initial formation water saturation and the pore sizes.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Spontaneous Imbibition
800 700 600 Capillary Pressure (psi) 500 400
Zone of Potential Spontaneous Imbibition

Countercurrent Imbibition is Possible for Initial Wetting Phase Saurations Between 20 and 47% for the Underbalance Pressure Shown in this Example (200 psi).

300 Example Underbalance Pressure 200

100 0 0

S i = 20%

S irr= 40%

S c = 47% (Equilibrium

)
100

20

40 Wetting Phase,

, Saturation (%)

60

80

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Gravity-induced Invasion
Can occur during UBD in the formation produces from natural fractures or vugs.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Wellbore Glazing
UBD can result in high wellbore temperatures due to the friction between the rotating drillstring and the borehole wall. This can cause a thin low permeability glazed zone.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Post-drilling Damage
Due to:
Killing the well for completion. Cementing. Mobilization of fines during production. Liquid coning in gas reservoir.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Mechanical Degradation
Rock around the wellbore experiences a concentration of in-situ stresses due to drilling the well. As the wellbore pressure is lowered, the effective stresses increase. Resulting in a decrease in porosity and available flow channels leading to reduced permeability.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Earlier Production
With the necessary equipment on location during UBD operations, produced fluids can go to sales. Open-hole completions are sometimes performed. If the well is drilled and completed underbalanced, wells from depleated reservoirs will not need swabbing.
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Environmental Benefits
Closed loop systems produce less wasted drilling fluids.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Less Need for Stimulation


If the formation is not damaged during drilling and completion, stimulation to remove the damage will not be needed.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering