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Nonaqueous, Nondamaging Fluid Implemented Offshore Abu Dhabi

This paper covers the 7-year history of drilling-fluids application in a reservoir drilling campaign offshore Abu Dhabi, from the early use of a solids-free, brine-/water-based mud to the recent application of nondamaging, nonaqueous fluids (NAFs) with micronized acid-soluble ilmenite. The complete paper provides details about the integration of filter-cake breakers with various types of drilling fluids, from dormant drilling-fluid additives to delayed, pH- and temperature-activated breakers. The paper describes the steps taken to achieve these performance goals, including changes to the oil/water ratio (OWR), internal phase composition [heavier calcium briomide (CaBr2) instead of calcium chloride (CaCl2)], and a micronized, acid-soluble ilmenite as a weighting agent.

Development Highlights

A key objective for the offshore Abu Dhabi project was to drill longer horizontal 8½-in. intervals while retaining zero-skin completions. This necessitated reducing the torque and drag and coefficients of friction (COF). Achieving these design criteria required developing a nondamaging, nonaqueous (NAF) drilling fluid complemented with a filter-cake-removal breaker system. Emphasis was placed on the design of an NAF that combined the desired properties of low rheological profile for equivalent-circulating-density (ECD) management, low COF, and nondamaging water-based-mud (WBM) formulation.

Four different generations of breakers for water-based reservoir drill-in fluids (RDF) were developed and used before moving to nondamaging NAF. The NAF went through three iterations in addition to fine-tuning of the breaker package.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 192735, “The Evolution of Nondamaging Fluid Design and Implementation Offshore Abu Dhabi,” by Catalin Ivan, SPE, ExxonMobil; Yousif Saleh Al Katheeri, Melanie Reichle, Khalid Akyabi, James Thomas Ryan, Sheldon Peter Anthony Seales, SPE, and Sigit Kustanto, SPE, ADNOC; Laurie Hayden, M-I SWACO; and Christoper Steele, SPE, ELKEM, prepared for the 2018 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, 12–15 November, Abu Dhabi. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Nonaqueous, Nondamaging Fluid Implemented Offshore Abu Dhabi

01 November 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 11

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