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Case Study: Vertical Deepwater Drilling Achieves Long Salt Section

PowerV system holds inclination to 0.17° or less for 10,000 ft in Gulf of Mexico

Challenge: Maintain verticality and minimize tortuosity in long salt section of deepwater exploratory well.

Solution: Use PowerV vertical drilling system in BHA to reduce side forces and dogleg severity.

Result: Held inclination to 0.17° or less for 10,000 ft; achieved average dogleg severity (DLS) of 0.09°/100 ft; and mitigated drilling risk and achieved challenging objectives.

Minimize tortuosity

An operator was drilling an exploratory well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary trend to test a prospect. Reaching the planned TD would require drilling a perfect hole in the shallow sections and minimizing tortuosity in the vertical salt section, where 16-in casing would be set. If those challenges were not met, it would be necessary to plug the well and sidetrack or redrill it.

Reduce dogleg severity

The operator met the vertical drilling challenge successfully using a BHA incorporating a PowerV vertical drilling system. The PowerV system held inclination to 0.17° or less for 10,000 ft in the salt and achieved an average DLS of just 0.09°/100 ft.

Maintain verticality

The ability of the PowerV system to maintain verticality for 10,000 ft in salt and minimize hole tortuosity saved the time and cost of sidetracking or redrilling the exploratory well to reach planned TD. Based on the results achieved on this well, the operator plans to use the PowerV system to drill future wells that are even deeper and more complex.


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