Northside: Dual Gradient Drilling

Dual gradient (DG) drilling techniques are not new to the industry; pump-and-dump drilling is the simplest example of this. The benefits of dual gradient drilling have long been recognized, especially for deepwater applications. But those benefits have yet to be realized. Impediments to the adoption of this technique boil down to the practical difficulties of introducing a stable and controllable second density into the well while maintaining well control and overall system reliability. 

Among the many deepwater drilling challenges that operators face, narrow margins between pore/collapse pressure and fracture pressure push well designers into complicated, and costly, wellbore geometries with numerous casing strings and tight clearances. And while setting a string of pipe may case off one set of problems, it may very well introduce or exacerbate another set of problems in the hole section(s) below. Additionally, each time that drilling is interrupted to case the hole, the operator incurs the material cost and “flat time” spread rate cost for running pipe, plus faces decreased options for running additional casing strings or liners below that point.

Dual gradient drilling’s big appeal is that it may allow the elimination of one or more casing strings, providing obvious operational and financial benefits.  Much effort has been expended trying to achieve that goal; however, the practical hurdles have proven significant. Dilution-based dual gradient drilling provides a promising alternative to previous DG techniques, mainly because the system relies upon existing technologies, or extensions thereof, and has all of its major components above the water line. 

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of dual gradient fundamentals and DG techniques already attempted or proposed, as well as an introduction to dilution-based dual gradient technology. 

Please register prior to the event to facilitate improved planning and admission. Walk-ins will be accepted on a first come/ first serve basis as space allows.
If you have special dietary needs, please email the event coordinator with your requests PRIOR to arrival at the event.
Thank you.
Parking: Use Contract Entrance. Push button on kiosk and tell security that you are with the SPE Northside Study Group in the Greenspoint Club.

Location: Greenspoint Club
16925 Northchase Dr.
Houston , TX 77060

Date: Jan. 12, 2010, 11:30 a.m. - Jan. 12, 2010, 1 p.m.