Nikaitchuq Extended-Reach Drilling: Designing for Success on the North Slope of Alaska
- Mishal Abahusayn (K&M Technology Group) | Brandon Foster (K&M Technology Group) | Jason Brink (ENI Petroleum U.S. Operating) | Marc Kuck (ENI Petroleum U.S. Operating) | Joseph Longo (ENI Petroleum U.S. Operating)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- December 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 501 - 515
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 5.6.11 Reservoir monitoring with permanent sensors, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.7.6 Wellbore Pressure Management, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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A 52-well heavy-oil field development that targeted shallow--a 3,400- to 4,000-ft true vertical depth (TVD)--sands on the North Slope of Alaska was initiated in 2008. Horizontal wells of 11,000- to 13,000-ft measured depth (MD) were drilled early in the program. These initial wells served as "data-gathering and technology-proving" opportunities leading up to the eventual 23,000-ft-MD wells. Key technical challenges include equivalentcirculating- density (ECD) and drag management. ECD management became essential in the 8 1/2-in. productionhole section of the longer wells. A relatively narrow (less than 600 psi) mud-weight (MW) window necessitated changes to casing, drillstring, drilling fluids, and operational parameters. Lighter-weight production casing allowed the drilling of a larger production hole (8 3/4-in. vs. 8 1/2-in.). A tapered drillstring, reduced mud rheology, and reduced flow rate all became a necessary part of the ECD management solution. Advanced drag-management techniques are required to install the 9 5/8-in. production casing, 5 1/2-in. production liner, and 4 1/2- x 3/1/2-in. intelligent inner-string completion. The 9 5/8-in. casing is installed by use of the "buoyancy assist" method (i.e., "flotation") so it may be "pushed" and reamed in the hole beyond the point of negative weight. The lower completion consists of a 5 1/2-in. slotted liner with swell packers. Centralizers on the liner were changed from nonrotating to fixed, which allowed breaking axial drag while reaming the liners to depth. Extensive torque-and-drag modeling was used to plan intelligent inner-string completions on the injector wells, which included injection control devices, swell packers, and a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (DTS) to monitor injectivity. This full-length paper discusses the technical challenges, welldesign solutions, and operational practices that were trialed and implemented to enable extended-reach wells to be successfully drilled on the edge of the industry-experience envelope, with all wells meeting targeted objectives.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||15|
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