Technical Paper: First Application in Mexico and New World Depth Record for MPD Concentric Nitrogen Injection to To Drill Horizontal Wells in Low- Pressure Reservoirs at Samaria Field

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 119912
Presentation Date: 2009
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Samaria oilfield, located in southern Mexico 20 km west of Villahermosa, Tabasco, with an area of about 160 km2 is one of the world's largest in extension and one of the oldest oilfields in Mexico, historic crude oil exploitation targets the Cretaceous Upper Medium and Lower (4200 mts TVD to 4500 mts TVD). Formation pressure in these naturally fractured carbonates has been decreasing over the last 20 years with current values down to 0.4 gr/cc. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) techniques are implemented using Nitrogen injected through Drill Pipe to avoid lost circulation, formation damage and differential sticking. However the significant amount of nitrogen inside the DP generates important limitations for current MWD tools. The need for Horizontal wells to increase the drainage area has become a priority for the Mexican National oil company thus directional control and LWD capabilities must be prioritized. The nitrogen concentric injection technique was then taken into consideration to bring solutions to the MWD pulse signal transmission and downhole temperature handicaps. This paper describes the experience gained in planning and executing the first horizontal well in the Samaria field using Nitrogen Concentric String injection also recorded as the deepest ever concentric injection point (4171 mts MD and 4117 mts TVD). The paper will guide the technical community over the design, planning and execution process: geological review and candidate selection, pre-engineering study, transient and steady state multiphase flow modeling, final drilling program, training, safety, contingencies, directional planning for geo-steering with MWD/LWD, lessons learned and production enhancement results.