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MPD candidate selection - what has been discovered?
22 January 2016
Thank you everyone who responded to my first 'MPD' post.
Great and very valued feedback that illustrates exactly what this forum is for.
Rest assured I will be using and sharing these comments when/as required. 
I really appreciate those who have taken the time and effort to respond.

Delving deeper into this subject, I can conclude that MPD screening and candidate selection is a huge part to be able to 'SEE' the difference if done well.

Safe (no accident / incident loss)
Effective (do the right things)
Efficient ( get it right first time, every-time)

What therefore have we learned when working through the MPD screening and candidate selection process.

Note: Three former work colleagues have provided me with recent examples from different regions and MPD adaptive application. What else however also would be greatly appreciated.

What I have summarised on this? I have included with a notes presentation as attached.
5 answer(s)
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 362
Join Date: 10/01/05

Knowing how frequently and common MPD is conducted onshore vs. almost the polar opposite offshore, the more and informative discussion we can have on such important adaptive technology's is vital to get people to change. This by far the toughest and greatest challenge this industry perhaps faces in current climes.   

MPD is often not as complicated as people envisage, and should be designed to serve the safety and operational purpose and the intent desired. e.g. it could be a RCD to facilitate safer gas removal at surface, a bloke on a choke to assure a well is not swabbed in or broken down, or pumping mud to the seabed to assure a stable and deeper casing seat and afford the removal of a traditional casing string at significant cost savings.

Thanks again to all those who took the time to respond to this post.

Hess Corporation
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 18/02/16

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.

Total Posts: 4
Join Date: 09/02/11

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.

Total Posts: 7
Join Date: 13/11/07
have been tracking this and one area which is critical and often missed is access.
mainly for rig up and rig down but also for maintenance. Probably the largest % of our NPT/ KPT issues.
safe access to carry out the installation of these beasts in thin air usually above a BOP that is hung over the back of a rig. Everything is big awkward and heavy , numb to nipple up.
if you would like to pick up off line I am at, can give you some first hand experiences of this issue and seal durability. Also a significant issue with wear bushing issues and pressure testing.
howard Tringham 
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 362
Join Date: 10/01/05
HI folks

Here's the original attachment.  It was too big to attach the first time around, so it's been "shrunk" to less than 5 MB.

Looking forward to continued discussion.

Posted by

Peter Aird

Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant

Kingdom Drilling

Total Posts: 362
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