The Business Case for ABP MPD Use in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

Moghazy, Sharief (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Van Noort, Roger (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Shayegi, Sara (Shell International Exploration and Production)


Surface Applied Back Pressure Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) systems provide a potentially game changing technology for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling applications by means of annular pressure manipulation for drilling through narrow margins, cementing across potential loss zones, assisting in running completions, and mitigating nonproductive time. The technology however, is not without cost and the challenge remains to build the business case to utilize MPD in Deepwater applications. Recently several wells were successfully drilled using this technology to the planned target depth accessing reserves that would not have been possible otherwise. This type of scenario where using MPD to stay within a narrow margin has been the means to justify the upfront costs to get a rig outfitted with MPD and the operating costs of the system during use. Once a rig is outfitted with MPD, the economics for a project shift, however, justifying the business case purely based on NPT savings is still not typically viable. This paper will provide the operator's perspective of the cost-benefit analysis for MPD use and provide business case examples for the use in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The impact of lessons learned on an ongoing campaign and the savings viable for this and other implementation scenarios will also be discussed to develop a robust case for MPD adoption.