Deep Drilling and Production Practices in the Moore-Hooper Field - Delaware Basin
- H.L. Bethancourt (Sun Production Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1977
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,385 - 1,396
- 1977. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.6.10 Running and Setting Casing, 2 Well Completion, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.14.3 Cement Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 1.14.1 Casing Design, 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.6 Natural Gas, 1.7.5 Well Control, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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This paper presents problems and hazards encountered in deep drilling and production in the Moore-Hooperfield of the Delaware Basin. Slow production in the Moore-Hooperfield of the Delaware Basin. Slow penetration rates, high mud costs, and troublesome gas are common. penetration rates, high mud costs, and troublesome gas are common. A detailed discussion presents over-all planning and logic of drilling approach, casing design, mud program, and cementing of deep liners.
Sun Co. drilled the discovery well, Moore-Hooper No. 1, in the Delaware Basin in 1973.
Fifteen productive wells have been drilled to date, seven of them by Sun. Twelve are completed and are producing from the prolific Fusselman formation at producing from the prolific Fusselman formation at approximately 19,200 ft. Production from this reservoir is relatively dry gas with 4,000 to 5,000 ppm hydrogen sulfide. Average absolute open flow of these wets is about 160 MMcf/D. Four were also drilled to the Ellenburger formation at 22,000 ft. Production of Ellenburger gas, which contains approximately 50 percent CO2, has been delayed until a gas sales line is available. Plans are for Intratex Gas Co. to start processing this gas Plans are for Intratex Gas Co. to start processing this gas in their Mia Vida field plant in late 1977.
Many problems and hazards are involved in deep drilling in this area of the Delaware Basin. This paper highlights some of the major problems such as high mud weights, loss of circulation, controlling kicks and related equipment, and how they were handled. It also presents over-all planning and logic of drilling approach, casing design, mud program, and cementing of deep liners. Included are basic geological data, structure map and cross-section, and brief production history.
In early 1976, some 15 rigs capable of 25,000-ft drilling were operating in or within 15 miles of the Moore-Hooper field. This was probably the greatest congregation of super rigs in any concentrated area of the U.S.
The Delaware Basin, which extends northwest across Pecos, Ward, Winkler, Loving, and Culberson counties Pecos, Ward, Winkler, Loving, and Culberson counties in Texas, and southern Eddy and Lea counties of New Mexico, long has been recognized as a challenging deep drilling area. The Mentone or Moore-Hooper field area is particularly troublesome because of the very thick, abnormally pressured Lower Wolfcamp, Atoka, and Barnett sections. These formations exceed some 5,900 ft in thickness. Because they are predominately shale with high pore pressures, the result is slower penetration rates, high mud costs, and troublesome gas while drilling.
The Moore-Hooper field is a northeast plunging anticline dipping into a fault to the north and northwest. Fig. 1 is a structure map contoured on top of the Fusselman pay. Sun initially drilled the discovery well in Section 79, pay. Sun initially drilled the discovery well in Section 79, then drilled Sections 78, 85, 86, 80, 72, and 89.
Subsequent drilling by others, particularly the Clayton Williams' Gataga No. 2 in Section 81, removed any doubt that the Moore-Hooper and the Vermejo fields are contiguous, forming a sizeable gas field some 8 miles long and 2 to 3 miles in width.
Casing and Mud Program
Fig. 2 represents a typical casing program that essentially has remained the same. As development drilling progressed, some casing seats were adjusted slightly. Great care was taken to assure that all tubulars were as free from defects as modem testing procedures could determine. Electro-magnetic inspection was performed at the mill, again on the location for longitudinal and transverse defects and wall thickness, and all tubulars were grade verified.
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