Case Study: OMV Petrom Kicks Off Shallow Well Just 6 Meters Below Ground Level

PowerPak XP steerable motor achieves successful kickoff from vertical in 12 1/4-in hole and lands section as planned in Romanian heavy-oil reservoir

Challenge: Perform shallow kickoff in 12 1/4-in hole section with no measurement tools in drillstring, due to rig capacity constraints. Land section, as planned, in shallow heavy-oil reservoir.

Solution: Kick off and drill section with Smith Bits Xplorer Expanded XR+V 12 1⁄4-in milled tooth drill bit and PowerPak XP extended power steerable motor. Provide real-time measurements with SlimPulse retrievable MWD service and mcrVISION low-risk propagation resistivity-while-drilling service.


  • Successfully performed shallow kickoff 6 m below ground level.
  • Landed well as planned at 90.5° inclination and 200 m TVD.
  • Achieved maximum dogleg severity of 13.4°/100 ft in build section.
  • Provided vital information for drilling future shallow horizontal wells.

Overcome rig limitations

OMV Petrom was planning a horizontal drilling campaign in Suplac field, located in northwestern Romania. This campaign would require very shallow kickoffs from vertical to land the wells in the old field’s shallow heavy-oil reservoir. The objective of the first well—Suplac H1C—was to ascertain the feasibility of drilling a shallow well with conventional tools, using a standard rig with a 15-m single-stand derrick. That low derrick height meant the drillstring had to be limited to a bit, motor, and drillpipe during the shallow kickoff—there would be no room for measurement tools. Instead, the well azimuth would be referenced to a natural landmark.

Perform kickoff close to surface

A PowerPak XP steerable motor with 4:5 lobes and 5.3 stages successfully performed the shallow kickoff in the 12 1/4-in section at 10 m TVD, just 6 m below ground level. The motor’s bent housing was set at an angle of 2.12° and no other deflection device was used. As drilling of the 12 1/4-in section progressed, a SlimPulse retrievable MWD service and a collar for the mcrVISION low-risk propagation resistivity-while-drilling service were added to the BHA. To avoid formation damage, flow rate was kept to 1,200 L/min, weight on bit was 0 to 1 ton, and standpipe pressure was 15 bar.

The 12 1/4-in section was landed as planned at 200 m TVD and 321 m MD, with an inclination of 90.5°. Maximum DLS was 13.4°/100 ft, achieved at 188.5 m TVD and 244.4 m MD, at which point inclination was 72.2°. After the 9 5/8-in casing was set and drilling of the 8 1/2-in section began, analysis of cuttings indicated a dipping formation that necessitated a sidetrack. The sidetrack was successfully performed at 321 m MD and 89° inclination, and a 300-m drain was drilled.

Provide vital information for future drilling

The successful shallow kickoff and drilling of Suplac H1C using PowerPak steerable motors enabled OMV Petrom to determine the location of the limestone formation and the boundaries of total losses. This information proved to be vital in drilling the next two horizontal wells in the campaign.

Download: OMV Petrom Kicks Off Shallow Well Just 6 Meters Below Ground Level (0.67 MB PDF)

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