Increases in high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) drilling campaigns on the continental shelf of Norway and the UK have increased demands for next-generation technology that can deliver borehole measurements, enabling the wells to be drilled and reducing the operator's risk and operational expense. These deep gas development and exploration wells require a dramatic departure from conventional operating envelopes, including pressure, temperature, hydraulics, and formation evaluation capability. This paper discusses unique borehole integrity and formation evaluation challenges in two North Sea HPHT wells. It demonstrates how innovative new technology, coupled with fast-track component design modifications to meet specific operational challenges, enabled the safe, cost-effective drilling of these wells.
The development of telemetry, gamma ray, pressure-while-drilling (PWD), vibration, and induction resistivity technology that is rated to operate at 200°C / 25,000 psi followed a stringent life cycle process. In this process, the field trial phase of the technology development included a rapid phase of trial runs, followed by engineering improvements. This iterative process helped to ensure that the technology was fit-for-purpose when it reached the commercialization phase.
The step change in the thermal tolerance of the downhole electronics was accomplished through significant changes in design simplification, thermal screening, ceramic encapsulation, and thermal dissipation modeling relative to existing high-temperature electronics rated to 175 °C.
Number of Pages
Parker, T. and Cooper, P. 2016. Taking the Heat: Logging While Drilling at Extreme Temperatures. Presented at IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference, Singapore, 22-24 August. Paper SPE-180592-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/180592-MS
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