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PETE 689 Underbalanced Drilling (UBD)

Lesson 1 Introduction Read: Underbalanced Drilling Manual Chapter 1


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Introduction
 Course Syllabus  Texts  Grading

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Introduction
 What is UBD  Why Drill Underbalanced  Techniques and Limitations  Historical Perspectives

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Course Syllabus
 PETE 689:

Special Topics in Underbalanced Drilling  Prerequisites: Graduate Classification  Credit: 3 hours

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Course Description
 This course provides an introduction and

application of techniques that can be utilized in underbalanced drilling. It will cover topics such as BOP equipment, the types of drilling fluids used (air, mist foam, etc.), flow drilling, and mud cap drilling.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Text
Underbalanced Drilling Manual Gas Research Institute, GRI, Chicago, 1997.
May be able to get it at the TAMU Bookstore. Can be purchased online from the SPE, IADC, and other Petroleum Publishing Companies.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

References
A project Management Approach To Underbalanced Operations . Signa Engineering Corp., Houston, 1998.  Mudlite Air/Mist/Foam Hydraulics Model . Maurer Engineering Inc., Houston, 1988  Selected papers and texts.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Grading
 Exam A

10/15/2003  Exam B 12/04/2003  Class Project (presentations)  Homework




25% 25% 25% 25%

Dates are subject to change depending on the student and Instructor schedules. Please check your schedules this week and we will discuss the actual dates on Thursday.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Instructor
 Dr. Jerome J. Schubert, PE, CPA  Phone: 979/862-1195  Office: Richardson Rm 501K  e-mail: schubert@spindletop.tamu.edu  Lecture Location:

http://pumpjack.tamu.edu/~schubert click on PETE 689_UBD


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Office Hours
 Tuesday & Thursday.  10:00 - 11:30 a.m.  Or whenever I am in my office.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

What is UBD
 Wellbore pressures intentionally

maintained below formation pressure in the open hole section.  Formation fluids flow into the well.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions
 Flow (Live) operations.

Operations intentionally undertaken with a liquid drilling fluid system where the hydrostatic pressure exerted by the liquid column is below formation pore pressure such that the formation fluid is allowed to flow to the surface during the operations.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


 Gasified Fluid Operations. (Aerated Fluid Operated). Operations intentionally undertaken with a two-phase drilling fluid containing some form of gas mixed with a liquid phase.

Gasified fluids normally do not contain a surfactant.


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


 Foam Operations:

Operations intentionally
undertaken with a two-phase drilling fluid containing some form of gas mixed with a liquid phase and tied together with a surfactant. The liquid is the continuous phase.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


Mist Operations:

Intentionally drilling with a two-phase fluid having a gas as the continuous phase. The liquid in this fluid system is suspended in the mixture as droplets.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


 Air Operations:

Intentionally drilling using a pure gas as the drilling fluid. The gas can be air, nitrogen, natural gas, or any combination of gases.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


 Mudcap Operations:

Operations undertaken when the annular pressure during flow drilling exceeds the safe pressure limit of the rotating control element. Mudcap operations are not UB operation, but often are a result of drilling underbalanced and employ many of the same techniques and equipment.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


 Snubbing Operations:
 An intentional operation that

employs either a snubbing unit or coiled-tubing unit in order to operate at surface pressures that exceed the limits of rotating control elements such as rotating heads or rotating blowout preventers.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Additional Definitions, con t


 Coiled-tubing drilling:

Use of a continuous-spool of pipe to drill with instead of the conventional jointed drillpipe. CT units were originally designed to operate on live wells with surface pressure, without the requirement that the well be killed prior to entering the wellbore.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Why drill underbalanced?


 Increased Penetration Rate.  Increased Bit Life.  Minimized Lost Circulation.  Minimize Differential Sticking.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Why drill underbalanced?


 Reduced Formation Damage.  Earlier Production.  Reduced Stimulation Requirements.  Improved Formation Evaluation.  Environmental Benefits.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical perspectives
 UBD operations are as old as the

drilling industry:
First wells were drilled with cable tool. Cable tool drilling was underbalanced.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical perspectives
 In 1866 a patent for air drilling

was issued.
 First recorded use of a gasified

fluid was in West Texas in 1932.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical perspectives
 In 1938 mist was used by

The Texas Company to drill in California.


Natural gas was continuous phase and oil was the liquid phase.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical perspectives
 Interest dropped off using gas as

a drilling fluid until the 1950 s were it showed a resurgence in:


Canada. West and Central Texas. Utah. San Juan Basin of New Mexico.
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Historical Perspectives

Typical of Nat Gas operations in New Mexico


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical Perspectives

Early Air Compressors used in air drilling


Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical Perspectives
Natural Gas drilling in West Texas.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical Perspectives
In the 1960s, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission began to study the use of foams to clean wellbores as large as 60 in diameter from 45 feet as 2000 feet.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Historical perspectives
 Until the mid 1980 s UBD was

just a niche industry, and only utilized in certain areas around the world.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

No. of Wells

Mid 1980 s Horizontal Drilling Became Fairly Common (Plot is for three companies)

Year
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Total Lightweight Fluid Wells

Growth in Horizontal Drilling Spurred the Resurgence in UBD Mid 1980s Horizontal Drilling (US operations)

Became Fairly Common (Plot is for three companies)

Year
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

 Until 1987 the maximum

working pressure rating of rotating heads was 150-300 psi.


 RBOP was developed with a

working pressure of 1000 psi.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Rotating Control Devices


RBOP-1000 psi (1987) PCWD-3000 psi (1995) RCH-2500 psi (1995)

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Closed Loop System


 Allows re-use of the drilling fluids in foam

systems environmentally friendly.

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Nitrogen Generation System

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Electromagnetic MWD Tools

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Hollow Glass Spheres

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Factors Leading to Increased UBD


  

 

Horizontal Drilling. Closed Systems. High-Pressure Rotating Control Devices. Electromagnetic MWD Systems. HP HV Compressors.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Factors Leading to Increased UBD


Increased

Availability of Nitrogen. Better Reservoir and Rock Strength Analysis. Improved Hydraulics Analysis. Percussion Tools. Ability to Re-Circulate Fluids.
Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering

PETE 689 Underbalanced Drilling (UBD)

Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering