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Liner drilling systems have been used for penetrating high pressured formations into deeper depleted zones.1 – 4 This article presents a method for using liner drilling to extend casing points in environments where pressure gradients are increasing with depth. The practice should be considered an alternative for reducing trouble time and reaching objectives in critical, narrow-margin wells.
The concept relies on managing annular fluid pressure around the large-diameter liner to create favorable equivalent circulating density (ECD) profiles that allow penetrating farther into narrow pore pressure-fracture gradient windows. However, as liner drilling proceeds beyond normal limits, risks must be managed for making drilling connections, liner cementing and maintaining well control. The approach is consistent with ongoing industry focus on managed-pressure drilling using conventional drillstrings.
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