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Deepwater drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are some of the most difficult and expensive in the world. Many of these operational challenges may be overcome if advantages realized with casing while drilling in South Texas translate to the deepwater environment. ConocoPhillips, Inc., Baker Hughes Inc. and Tesco Corp. have jointly pursued this by developing a Close Tolerance Liner Drilling* (CTLD) system for application in the deepwater environment.
This article describes the CTLD system and some of its unique operational aspects. It also discusses requirements of the flush- or near-flush-joint liner connections for liner drilling operations, and how the ability to meet those requirements was demonstrated. And results of the CTLD system testing program to demonstrate its readiness for offshore application are discussed. This article was prepared from the presentation of the same name presented at the World Oil 2004 Casing While Drilling Technical Conference, Houston, March 30 – 31, 2004.
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