The operator's goal: drill lateral using water-based fluid
A 19,000-ft well in Martin County, Texas, presented complex curve and lateral geometry next to a recently hydraulically fractured well. Torque and wellbore inhibition challenges required the lateral to be drilled using water-based fluid.
Initial attempt: replace fluid system after contamination of oil-based mud
The operator initially used an oil-based drilling fluid system until a freshwater flow dropped the oil/water ratio to 52:48 and resulted in contamination of the oil-based mud (OBM) in the hole. The only potential solution was to run a contingency liner to shut off the flow. Running this extra string of casing would have caused delays in the delivery of the well, overspending of the AFE, and a continued risk of OBM contamination in the lateral.
Schlumberger solution: overcome water flow challenges
The HydraGlyde system is an efficient, flexible drilling fluid solution that reduces torque and drag and delivers oil-mud-comparable ROP, exceptional hole cleaning, and wellbore stability in long-lateral sections while reducing restrictive costs and decreasing environmental impact.
Result: reach TD on schedule
The operator replaced the oil-based drilling fluid system with the HydraGlyde water-based system for the curve. The system tolerated losses and water flows while drilling and negated the liner run in the curve. The operator drilled a 2-mi lateral in less than 5 days to TD with no bit trips. The average ROP stayed at just over 2,000 ft/d. The solution helped the operator achieve a cost savings of up to 59% in the lateral section, with zero diesel additions, zero OBM costs associated with lost fluid, and reduced disposal costs from using a water-based system.