Casing While Drilling Step Changes Performance for Complex Deviated Wells in the Middle East

Centeno, Manuel (Schlumberger) | Krikor, Ara (Schlumberger) | Herrera, Delimar Cristobal (Schlumberger) | Sanderson, Martin (Schlumberger) | Carasco, Anant (Schlumberger) | Dundin, Alexander (Schlumberger) | Salaheldin, Ahmed (Schlumberger) | Jokhi, Ayomarz (Schlumberger) | Ibrahim, Sameh (Schlumberger) | Wehaidah, Talal (Kuwait Oil Company)


The complexity of drilling highly deviated wells in Kuwait drives the need for step changing in the well construction mindset, where severe to complete loss of circulation in Shuaiba formation significantly deteriorate the shale layers in Wara and Burgan formations leading to uncontrolled wellbore stability events. Casing while drilling (CWD) and two-stage cementing with a light density cement slurry were introduced as a technology system to drill the highly deviated complex wells through unstable and highly fractured formations. Fit for purpose engineering processes, advanced software solutions, a tailored bit and a bottom hole assembly dynamically simulated for drilling stability and directional tendency behavior were designed. A special light density cement slurry with high compressive strength was also designed to tackle the lost circulation issues when cementing the casing string. The paper will describe how the technologies can work as one system to solve complicated wellbore problems and address the problematic challenges of drilling unstable shales and fractured formations in the same section of the wellbore. This strategy enabled a significant time saving compared to drilling the section conventionally, removing Non-Productive Time (NPT) resulting from additional trips, cement plugs, stuck pipe, and subsequent sidetracks.