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The Erha-7 well is a deepwater exploration test that was drilled in 1,074-m water depth within Nigeria’s Offshore Mining License (OML) 133, formerly OPL-209, Fig. 1. During the early well planning process, the site investigation team identified numerous stacked shallow hazards surrounding the well’s geologic targets. These were evaluated by the drill team, the site investigation team and the business unit to optimize the well location and minimize the risk from shallow, gas-charged sands. This article discusses the shallow hazards planning involved, and presents the modeling and evaluation of shallow gas flows and dynamic kills used to quantify the benefits of drilling a pilot hole.
Erha Field was discovered in 1999. The Erha-7 well was a near-field wildcat designed to test a prospective hydrocarbon accumulation north of the main field. Site investigation revealed numerous high-amplitude seismic anomalies associated with three different stratigraphic intervals and depths Below the MudLine (BML).
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