Classification and analysis of systems for Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD)
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Today, the petroleum industry faces more and more prospects that are technically impossible and economically unfeasible to drill with conventional methods. This is due to depletion of old reservoirs and increased water depths. As most of the easy-to-drill reservoirs have been discovered, the industry is forced into deeper waters to cope with the world’s ever increasing demand for energy. This requires innovative thinking and new advanced technology. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) was developed to mitigate these issues. The technology provides for a safe and more efficient drilling environment under conditions where conventional methods may not be adequate. 9 MPD methods have been evaluated in this report. Their technology and equipment have been described in addition to their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right MPD method for a planned drilling objective requires sufficient planning and preparation. Several drilling related issues have been discussed up against the different MPD methods. These have been summarized in a table providing an overview for selecting the right MPD method for a specific formation and well. Implementing MPD from floating installations in ultra deep waters requires extra consideration as this often provides for difficulties not experienced onshore or in shallow waters. Reviewing the obstacles mentioned, the MPD methods have been discussed and evaluated for finding the three best suited for deployment from floaters. Results from the study have found that Low Riser Return System (LRRS), Subsea Mud Lift Drilling (SMD) and Continuous Circulation Systems (CCS) are the three best methods for floating installations.