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Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) involves a collection of tools, processes and equipment to manage the annular pressure profile in an oil or gas drilling operation. Key to this is a more precise determination of the wellbore pressure limits (pore and fracture) and keeping the pressure within the safety limits. It is not surprising, then, that the oil industry is seeing this new drilling method as the best alternative for successfully drilling wells in difficult environments, where conventional drilling has failed.
MPD can be used in a variety of ways, from simply managing the friction in the annulus or modifying fluid properties and flow rates, to more complex issues like:
• Using equipment to keep circulating, while making connection
• Using pumps inside the wellbore to reduce the fluid pressure
• Keeping the well closed with the return going through a choke to apply backpressure at the surface.
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