Underbalanced drilling has been proven to mitigate formation damage, increase rate of penetration, and reduce differential sticking of the drill string. This paper will discuss the benefits of using open hole multistage completion systems in unconventional wells that have been drilled underbalanced. This paper will discuss four case study situations where open hole multistage systems are installed in underbalanced conditions in the United States. While underbalanced drilling is not the standard, it is being utilized significantly in the United States due to reservoir characteristics. This paper will discuss four major types of underbalanced wells where open hole multistage completion systems have been installed: air drilled, low bottom hole pressures, lost circulation scenarios, and those drilled underbalanced for reservoir benefits. This paper will provide d etailed discussion of the formation characteristics, and drilling, installation and stimulation operations for each of the four case study scenarios of underbalanced wells coupled with open hole multistage completion systems. Case studies will cover examples in shale, sandstone and carbonate plays. With over 1,000 systems completed in underbalanced situations, this paper will provide a detailed evolution of operational best practices for these wells. The information presented will address operator concerns regarding the risk of completing underbalanced wells with multiple tools on a single casing string.
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