The Challenges of Deploying an MPD System on a MODU to Drill Narrow Margin Shallow Horizontal Wells in DW GoM

Moghazy, Sharief (Shell Exploration and Production Company) | Smelker, Keith (Shell Exploration and Production Company) | Hernandez, Julian (Weatherford International) | Van Noort, Roger (Shell Exploration and Production Company) | Arnone, Maurizio (Weatherford International)


Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) is an existing technology that is emerging in Deepwater drilling operations. This paper provides a case study from the Operator's view, of preparing and deploying an MPD Surface Back Pressure (SBP) system for use in a shallow horizontal well with narrow drilling margins in 8,000ft water depth in the Gulf of Mexico. This paper will describe the engineering, preparations and operational challenges of deploying a Below Tension Ring (BTR) MPD system. The paper will also include information on the hazard assessments, Mud Gas Separator (MGS) considerations, training plan, deployment plan and results, and engagement with the regulator. The paper will present a case for the requirement of MPD for use in the narrow margin shallow horizontal wells, including an analysis of the required mud weights and surface back pressure to drill through narrow margins. It will also include a summary of best practices and lessons learned.