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The Shenandoah prospect exploratory well had been fighting severe fluid loss, and it ultimately became necessary to isolate the trouble zone: a low-pressure rubble zone below a higher-pressure interval sandwiched between two salt layers. This Lower Tertiary exploratory well lies in 5,750 ft of water on a Walker Ridge block of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The operator, Anadarko, employed what has become an increasingly common, yet innovative, solution to one of the area’s most persistent deepwater drilling challenges: expandable technology. The expandable openhole liner system preserved valuable hole size and important casing options in case other unforeseen hole difficulties were encountered deeper in the well.
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