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When drilling through a high-pressure zone in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, several challenges were encountered that increased NPT and operating costs. Technical field studies determined that ineffective hole cleaning practices and incorrect mud density selection were contributing factors to the drilling difficulties, including stuck pipe, high torque, and lost circulation.
To prevent and mitigate drilling incidents, a multidisciplinary team of Schlumberger experts recommended the operator use the Petrel and Techlog platforms and the PERFORM Toolkit data optimization and analysis software to combine subsurface models with surface and downhole data. The approach enabled the geophysicists, geologists, petrophysicists, and other team members to quickly make informed drilling recommendations based on real-time information.
Using the advanced modeling technology, major improvements were made to the field's MEM, ensuring proper mud weight management and avoiding well control incidents in abnormally pressured zones. With this information, the operator was also able to avoid potential NPT events related to existing geological features, such as faulted zones and challenging geomechanics. As a result, total drilling time decreased by 32 days or 59% and no NPT incidents occurred.
Challenge: Reduce NPT caused by wellbore instability issues, stuck pipe incidents, and lost circulation in a high-pressure zone.