Identifier

etd-11182010-093717

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Petroleum Engineering

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

An university-industry consortium has been studying alternative well control procedures to be used for kicks taken during managed pressure drilling (MPD) operations using the constant bottom hole pressure (CBHP) method. The CBHP method of MPD allows more precise control of wellbore pressure than conventional drilling. MPD surface equipment allows more alternatives for controlling a kick and may support faster detection of kicks and losses which can reduce the severity of a well control event. Nevertheless, the elimination of well control incidents cannot be guaranteed, and the uncertainty in downhole drilling margins are not reduced by adopting MPD methods. The primary objective of this research was to evaluate pressure variation and maximum pressure during kick circulation to properly design and conduct a MPD operation. Three specific objectives were addressed in this project. First, a pump start up method to keep bottomhole pressure approximately constant when beginning kick circulation after shut in is presented. Second, since formation pressure cannot be calculated by using shut in drillpipe pressure during typical MPD operations, a procedure to estimate kick zone formation pressure based on circulating pressure was documented. And third, a simple and practical method to estimate maximum expected casing pressure during well control operations was developed. This method was also used as part of a method for selecting kick circulating rate. Methods for making calculations to achieve each of these objectives were developed. Computer simulations were used for comparison to a range of realistic well conditions. Full-scale gas kicks experiments were done to confirm applicability to a limited range of real situations. The applicability and accuracy of the method developed in this research were tested based on actual drilling practices reproduced in computer simulations and LSU well facility experiments.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Smith, John R.

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