Norway-based Enhanced Drilling has completed a pilot, managed-pressure-drilling project with Statoil.
Enhanced Drilling’s EC-Drill system, a managed-pressure-drilling system for use off floating rigs, was used to drill three branches of a well on the Troll field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
Drilling the 8½in. section started from the COSL Innovator on 10 March this year, and concluded on 30 April. During this period, 9.5km of sand was pumped.
EC-Drill made it possible for Statoil to minimize losses, while the amount of drilling mud used was reduced by about 70% in relation to comparable wells.
According to Enhanced Drilling, the system solves a challenge commonly encountered in deep water wells: drilling within a narrow pressure window. EC-Drill manipulates bottom-hole pressure by changing the level of drilling mud in the riser, enabling the operator to “walk the line” between pore and fracture pressures.
The EC-Drill Troll Pilot was the result of a US$20 million development contract announced in July 2013, to develop EC-Drill to Statoil's standards. That contract received funding from Innovation Norway, the Norwegian governmental body that promotes innovation in enterprise and industry, plus Demo 2000, a program established by The Research Council of Norway to ensure long-term competitiveness in the oil and gas business and continued profitable development of the petroleum resources of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Following the Troll Pilot, Statoil is due to introduce EC-Drill to the Gulf of Mexico later in the year, on the Maersk Developer, for a multi-well project.
Enhanced Drilling CEO David Hine said: "The EC-Drill system is a next-generation technology and the implications for the industry are very exciting indeed. Not only did the system meet Statoil's exacting standards, it performed successfully in the demanding conditions of the Troll Field with its erosive sand formations."
Enhanced Drilling changed its name from AGR Enhanced Drilling last month. The move came following the de-merger from AGR Group in 2013. As well as EC-Drill, Enhanced Drilling provides its RMR riserless mud recovery system, MPD managed pressure drilling system and CTS cuttings transportation system. RMR and CTS have been deployed on nearly 600 wells, with RMR recently celebrating ten years of successful deployments worldwide.