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Late last spring, Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd. faced a drilling challenge in the J13z Marmion well, drilled on the Scott platform in the North Sea about 117 mi northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, Fig. 1. The operator’s drilling program had placed a 13 3/8-in. casing shoe in Well J13z at a depth of 5,929 ft with an angle of 51°. However to reach total depth, the operator needed to drill the 12¼-in. section to a planned depth near 20,000 ft with a final inclination of 75°. Extended-reach Well J36y, a sidetrack of Well J13z, was the longest drilled well from the Scott platform to date. The initial 12¼-in. section was abandoned due to incurable losses combined with troublesome shales around the top of the Andrew formation at 6,800 ft TVD. The required increase in angle and the drilling distance for the 12¼-in. hole presented the operator with considerable challenges.
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