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  • New technology cured severe mud losses in challenging HPHT wells


    R. Sweatman, H. Wang, B. Engelman, M. Sanad and C. Butler

    As described here, an innovative technology for enhancing wellbore pressure containment (WPC) allowed an operator in the Mediterranean Sea to control lost circulation and crossflows in a single treatment during an underground well control situation. In addition to stopping lost circulation, the new process widened the mud weight window by increasing the WPC over 2.0 lb ppge above the natural frac gradient. The DrillAhead* Services (DAS) technology allowed the operator to quickly seal a severe loss zone and increase its pressure containment, bring the well safely under control and set a temporary plug. When the well was re-entered seven months later, the seal was found to be still competent. The wellbore was conditioned to run a 7-in. liner without losses or further remediation, which saved over US$1 million. The technology's software-aided analysis capacity is engineered to provide treatment designs based on rock mechanical properties and post-job analysis.

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