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The MPD Operations Matrix was introduced in 2007 to serve as an operational guide for drilling MPD sections. The intent of the matrix is to balance operational, well, and equipment limitations with ‘acceptable’ influx volumes. The operations matrix has become the cornerstone of MPD projects worldwide, and is in fact a mandatory component of planned MPD wells in the Gulf of Mexico. In its current format, guideline for use of the matrix include developing criteria to categorize an influx such as its state, rate, duration, and size. Calculating these criteria and populating the matrix with them all can lead to some confusion, and many default to including only an influx size for simplicity, despite the fact that the other criteria can help in characterizing an influx further. Further, the acceptable influx size is most often limited to the detection capability of the MPD equipment, and not what the overall primary barrier envelope can handle.
In this paper, a method for calculating acceptable influx volumes is outlined, and the calculation algorithm is adapted to a software tool. The results are displayed graphically in an Influx Management Envelope. The Influx Management Envelope is an evolution of the tabular MPD Operations Matrix, and includes all of the same influx indicator and pressure criteria, but offers a simpler, straightforward operational interpretation of influx limits.
The effects of section depth, well geometry and hole size on influx volume limits will also be investigated, and development of a sample Influx Management Envelope is presented.
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 185289, “Case Study: First Experience of Developing an Influx-Management Envelope for a Deepwater MPD Operation,” by O.R. Gabaldon, P.R. Brand, M.S. Culen, I.U. Haq, R.A. Gonzalez-Luis, T. Pinheiro Da Silva, G. Puerto, and W. Bacon, Blade Energy Partners, prepared for the 2017 SPE/IADC Managed Pressure Drilling and Underbalanced Operations Conference and Exhibition, Rio de Janeiro, 28–29 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
The influx-management-envelope (IME) concept is an advanced, innovative way to assess influx conditions in managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) operations, offering an improved tool for the decision-making process. The complete paper presents the process of developing the IME concept for a deepwater MPD operation for the first time.
The IME Concept
The IME concept defines the operational envelope in case of incidental influxes during MPD operations. It is based on kick-tolerance concepts, in which a relationship between volume and intensity of the influx is established and plotted as a graph. A resulting combination of regions within the volume-and-intensity graph depicts the conditions in which an influx can be removed safely from the wellbore by use of the elements of the primary wellbore barrier; otherwise, the secondary wellbore barrier should be engaged and the well shut in conventionally. The regions are color coded for ease of identification during the process of managing an influx. Three regions have been described:
The Orange Region. In this work, an additional (optional) Orange region is added as a subset of the Yellow region (Fig. 1). In the Orange region, an influx can be removed safely within the primary wellbore barrier but one or more parameters will need to be modified to avoid exceeding some limits in the process.
The Influx Management Envelope (IME) is a tool for operational decision making when managing influxes in Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) operations. There have been numerous developments to the IME in recent years, and it is gaining traction over the MPD Operating Matrix (MOM). Calculation of the IME can be done in different ways. The original approach of calculating an IME described in (
Managed Pressures Drilling (MPD) offers the capability to detect very small influxes when compared to using conventional rig equipment. Furthermore, the potential exists to control and circulate out the influx with the MPD equipment, without shutting in and performing conventional well control. When executed appropriately, this approach to managing an influx represents a higher degree of safety and enormous cost savings. However, managing an influx with MPD, particularly when a subsea BOP is in place, is quite different to conventional well control. A critical part of implementing MPD is to ensure that there is a clearly defined procedure for determining when MPD influx management must cease, and well control be initiated.
A typical approach, regulated in some regions and voluntarily followed in others, is to create an MPD Operations Matrix before the operation begins, which outlines procedures that should be followed based on identifiable parameters following an influx. This matrix clearly identifies when it is appropriate to carry on with normal MPD operations, perform specific MPD influx control strategies, or shift to conventional well control. Forming the MPD Operations Matrix, however, can be challenging and has frequently been created inappropriately for the situations in which its use is intended. Development of a good understanding of how the well pressures and flow rates behave during MPD influx management is critical to ensuring a seamless handover between MPD influx management and Well Control.
In this work, extensive transient multiphase simulation is used to demonstrate the sensitivity of surface pressures to well, drilling and influx characteristics and their resulting importance in the development of an operations protocol. Particular attention is given to influx volume, intensity and dispersion within a water based drilling fluid. Also considered are multiple wellbore geometries with primary focus on deepwater applications, oil based drilling fluid, pump rate and drilling fluid density and rheology. Where possible, findings are validated using recorded field data.
This paper discusses and defines the transition between MPD influx management and conventional well control. The key parameters for calculating the boundaries of MPD influx management are determined and a protocol developed for smooth handover to well control operations. The protocol enables guidance to varying levels of influx management ranging from full influx detection and removal using the MPD equipment, to assisted shut in.
Hollman, Landon (Blade Energy Partners) | Haq, Inam (Blade Energy Partners) | Christenson, Clayton (Blade Energy Partners) | Silva, Thiago Pinheiro da (Blade Energy Partners) | Fayed, Mohamed Idris Ben (BG Egypt) | Thorn, Nigel (BG Egypt) | Geldof, Wilco (BG Egypt)
The implementation of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) equipment into a drilling operation or rig integration requires planning to establish appropriate procedures, guidelines, training, familiarization, as well as equipment placement and modifications to the drilling package when necessary. Often the drilling group initiating the use of MPD underestimates the time required for planning to integrate the system into their conventional drilling program and practices. As a result, they underutilize the full potential of the MPD system, instead focusing only on a single component of enhanced well control; early kick detection. The real advantage of MPD systems are well documented in literature, and during influx management situations only becomes evident to those operators choosing to fully integrate the system, procedures and planning, into all operational activities such as drilling, tripping, circulating to kill or trip weight fluid, and cementing. The MPD system can help determine the pore pressure and fracture pressure window and quickly implement remedial action if the window is exited, be it increasing Equivalent Mud Weight (EMW), spotting Loss Circulation Material (LCM) or circulating out small influxes.