This is my first post to this forum so I hope I don´t drone on but I would like to mention a few things. Looking at how my company delivers wells, it is all part of a well delivery process that ensures that every well considers the correct technology to deliver top performance safely.
It is especially critical that this is the case where MPD in deepwater is concerned. To be clear, MPD does not interfere with the rigs ability to conduct well control operations should the need arise, MPD does however add a level of clarity as to the wellbore conditions that really is unsurpassed.
The problem with MPD and getting it right is often the technology is thought of after a problem has occurred. For example, you drill a well and have horrible losses which result in several circulations to balance and perhaps the geological target is not met. MPD is often looked at as the silver bullet to fix losses however if not planned properly the only thing you do is make your situation more complicated. MPD is not a silver bullet!!!
MPD is a great technology that has the ability to dynamically control and understand a well during drilling like no other tool but it can´t fix poor planning. In order to benefit from the tool (MPD), you have to make it part of your drilling campaign from the stat and from the FEED.
MPD equipment in deepwater is time consuming to obtain and often requires a great deal of interface with the rig contractor time install and as such time is a luxury you don´t have if you wait to plan and implement.
I agree with a previous comment that the benefits of MPD including kick tolerance minimum fluid overbalanced condition etc. but the real benefit in my opinion is the ability to recognise an influx to within gallons versus barrels. There is an inherent safety aspect that has to be seriously considered when adding this system to your rig. The reduced circulation times when a small influx is detected by using full pump rates rather than SCR´s results in significantly less time and depending on the size of the influx, drilling may be able to continue (although the regulators are not quite ready for that).
There are several service providers now that have the ability to model the well in advance, my recommendation is that as the end user you need to be sure that the results are what you need to clearly drill the well to target. Modelling has to match and the ability to run and understand the inputs and outputs are critical.
Look at the ability of these systems, understand who will be operating them when you get to the rig and make sure you take accountability for the operation as well, it is not a call off service, train your people to understand what this technology can and can´t do so that there are as many eyes on the project with an understanding as possible to ensure success.
Thank you for the opportunity to post.
While historical projects & experience dictate that best practices and lessons learned are 100% application specific, there are two major considerations with which every MPD job starts: sealing the annulus - the RCD - and controlling the pressure in the annulus - the control system.
The selection process for MPD equipment is key to the success of any MPD job. Planning for MPD is like planning for any other drilling operation. It requires a comprehensive operational assessment of the potential risks for the given application and a thorough evaluation of the necessary safeguards.
There are different types of MPD processes and the type selected will be based on the results of the operational assessment and safeguard evaluation. The type of equipment will be based on the type of process and on the degree of control required. If the intention is to use MPD as a primary means of operation then a proactive (i.e automated) MPD approach will deliver better results than a reactive (i.e. manual) approach.
One of the benefits of MPD is its ability to enhance sensitivity and reaction to uncertain and changing pressure conditions. Degree of control is a key consideration in the selection of the MPD process and equipment, in terms of response time, precision, and accuracy. Not all MPD control systems are the same. Some use pressure, others use flow. Some are model based, some are not.
In today's market another key consideration is planning time and cost. Considerable advances have been made in control technology to simplify planning, increase the degree of control, reduce equipment and installation time, and even eliminate MPD personnel from the rig. Implementing MPD techniques to drill a well puts additional equipment and flow paths at the disposal of the operator and rig. It also provides multiple techniques to accomplish multiple objectives.
The flexibility that MPD gives the operator makes it imperative to evaluate, document, and communicate procedures for drilling, connections, flow checks, well control, stripping under pressure, and displacing mud systems, and ensure that each is followed as written during execution.