Beckingham 36 Horizontal Well
- P. Hardman (BP Petroleum Development Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling Engineering
- Publication Date
- March 1989
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 17 - 23
- 1989. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 1.6.2 Technical Limit Drilling, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.11.4 Solids Control, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 1.12.3 Mud logging / Surface Measurements, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 1.12.1 Measurement While Drilling, 1.14.4 Cement and Bond Evaluation
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BP Petroleum Development Ltd. successfully drilled and completed the first horizontal well in the United Kingdom as part of its 1985 R and D program. The well, Beckingham 36 (BK 36), was drilled on an existing land field near Gainsborough, U.K. This paper discusses the detailed planning for and the execution of the drilling operation. Conclusions and recommendations are presented for future wells.
Horizontal drilling may be defined as the drilling of a wellbore for a significant distance at or near the horizontal to improve productivity. Productivity improvement is brought about by having a larger sandface open to flow or, in the case of a limestone reservoir, by the interconnection of fractures. In recent years, the concept of horizontal drilling has become widely accepted as a method for improving the efficiency of hydrocarbon extraction. Given good reservoir parameters, the drilling of a horizontal well can show a significant production increase. For this reason, operators are closely examining the technique. The obvious challenge of horizontal drilling is the increased complexity of drilling and associated operations while completing the well economically. In Europe, the main proponent of the technique has been Elf Aquitaine, who drilled a series of horizontal wells in the early 1980's. Bosio summarizes their experiences.
BP conducted an in-house study of the technique in April 1984 and concluded that a sole-risk horizontal well should be drilled. This paper discusses in detail the drilling criteria involved with this horizontal well.
The chosen location was at Beckingham in the east Midlands, where a development well (BK 36) was already planned. The Eagle sandstone reservoir was relatively thin in the proposed target area and would continue to thin in the direction of well advance from 49.2 ft [15 m] at reservoir entry point to less than 16.4 ft [5 m] at total depth (TD). Fig. 1 illustrates the reservoir entry point. The Eagle sandstone was well-bounded by faults to the east and to the south, the sand pinching out to the north. The western extremity of the field had not been proved at that time (June 1984). Therefore, in many respects, Beckingham represented an ideal location for a well of this nature. Note that while Well BK 36 was used primarily for R and D, its production level was compared with those of offset wells; thus, Well BK 36 was a "real" well. Fig. 2 illustrates the geologic profile for Well BK 36.
The primary objective of the project was to gain first-hand operating experience of the technology and techniques necessary to drill and to complete a horizontal well successfully. Well BK 36 was also used to test several new drilling tools, including a trial of various survey instruments (e.g., gyros and solid-state multishots), to appraise a new solids-control system, and to review a drillstring computer model.
Detailed planning of the well began in June 1984. A consulting company was contracted in July 1984 to undertake a prewell engineering study. This enabled rig selection to be made and provided input for the detailed well program. This phase was viewed as insurance against mistakes in the basic planning of Well BK 36. In Nov. 1984, an order was placed for a top-drive drilling system. This was necessary to drill both the 12 1/4-in. [31.1-cm] build and the horizontal sections successfully. Extensive modifications were required to enable the rig to work with the top-drive system. Design and fabrication of the additional mast and electrical equipment were completed by the end of May 1985. After rig modification, the well was spudded on Aug. 11, 1985.
Varnado et al. present a detailed description of the steps that need to be considered during the planning of a horizontal well. Preliminary planning centers on the reservoir itself. The first step is to define the orientation and the level in the reservoir of the horizontal section. Influential factors include porosity and permeability distributions within the reservoir; geologic factors such as dip, net pay thickness and faulting; and reservoir simulations of possible production rates for given PI values. Completing this stage before committing to a well profile and a surface drilling location is important. In the case of Well BK 36, the orientation of the horizontal section and preliminary well profile were based on the consultant's work. The chosen surface location was about 2 miles [3.2 km] west of Gainsborough. The well was planned around a section of 8 1/2-in. [21.59-cm] hole that was 1,000.7 ft [305 m] in length and that was to be drilled through the Eagle sandstone reservoir. The well profile (see Fig. 3) was designed with three build sections-(1) 17 1/2-in. [44.5-cm] hole drilled 0 to 22.5 degrees at 0.69 degrees /30 ft [0.69 degrees/10 m] and 13 3/8-in. [34-cm] casing at 1,515.7 ft [462 m]; (2) 12 1/4-in. [31.1-cm] hole drilled 22.5 to 82 degrees at 1.37 degrees/30 ft [1.37 degrees/10 m] and 9 5/8-in. [24.5-cm] casing at 4,064.9 ft [1239 m]; and (3) 8 1/2-in. [21.6-cm] hole drilled 82 to 90 degrees at 1.83 degrees/30 ft [1.83 degrees/10 m] and 5 1/2-in. [14-cm] liner at 5,167.3 ft [1575 m]. By dividing the main build to 82 degrees and incorporating a hold section, making corrections to the well profile would be possible if, for example, the build rate were not high enough. The final build to 90 degrees would not be made until the target reservoir had been located and was designed to take place within the reservoir itself. A total of 9.8 ft [3 m] vertical was allowed for this. We prepared a detailed drilling dossier that contained information on all areas of the project, including logging and testing. This approach proved valuable during operations on the well. One prerequisite for a research well of this nature is the collection of data for postwell analysis and for planning. A full on-line mud logging unit was selected to enable this. All aspects of the drilling operation were monitored at the surface and downhole, the latter with a measurement-while-drilling (MWD) tool with the ability to monitor downhole weight on bit (WOB), downhole torque, and directional and logging parameters. An important planning exercise involved rock-mechanics tests on reservoir cores from previous Beckingham wells. These confirmed the suitability of both the Eagle sandstone reservoir and the overlying mudstone for horizontal drilling. Prediction of the maximum drawdown that could be applied to the reservoir precluded the use of openhole drillstem tests (DST's) to evaluate the well during drilling. The drilling plan for Well BK 36 was as follows (see Fig. 3): (1) drill 22-in. [55.88-cm] hole to 164 ft [50 m] and set 18 5/8-in. [47.3-cm] casing; (2) drill 17 1/2-in. [44.45-cm] hole to 328.1 ft [100 m], kick off and build angle to 22.5 degrees; drill to 1,515.7 ft [462 m], and set 13 3/8-in. [34-cm] casing; (3) drill 12 1/4-in. [31.1-cm] hole to 2,713.2 ft [827 m], holding angle at 22.5 degrees; (4) build angle from 22.5 to 82 degrees and end build at 4012.4 ft [1223 m]; (5) drill 12 1/4-in. [31.1-cm] hole to 4,064.9 ft [1239 m] and set 9 5/8-in. [24.5-cm] casing; (6) drill 8 1/2-in. [21.6-cm] hole to 4,232.2 ft [1290 m], holding angle at 82 degrees, and confirm Eagle sandstone at 4140.4 ft 11262 m]; and (7) make final build to 90 degrees by 4,363 ft [1330 m] and drill 8 1/2-in. [21.6-cm] hole horizontally to 5.167.3 ft [1575 m].
The drilling of Well BK 36 began on Aug. 11, 1985, and is discussed below on a hole-section basis. The 22-in. [55.9-cm] hole is omitted because it was drilled routinely to 167-3 ft [51 m] before 18 5/8-in. [47.3-cm] casing was set and a diverter was installed. Casing and cementing details for the well are given in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.
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