Drilling: Managed Pressure Drilling in the GOM--Regulatory Issues

The U.S. Minerals Management Service regulates drilling operations that take place in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Since MMS approval is needed to drill in the GoM, operations engineers typically spend countless hours studying regulations and completing the appropriate regulatory paperwork before executing oil and gas projects. Current regulations for offshore operations affirm, support and guide conventional drilling and completion operations, and therefore are inherently resistant to the application of new technology.  

Statistically, operations in the GoM are being drilled to much greater depths and encountering much more difficult environments. Offshore exploration of sub-salt strata has introduced extremely difficult drilling challenges. The oil and gas industry has pushed the limits of conventional drilling procedures beyond economic feasibility. The emergence of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) has provided a glimpse of the drilling technique that can economically move our industry to difficult target acquisition. MPD can significantly improve costs and personnel safety during offshore operations. However, regulatory approval lags the advent of this new technology. The petroleum industry must align itself with the MMS to bolster education on the topics of MPD, to examine and modify regulations and to safely execute managed pressure operations in the GoM. This presentation will address the current status of MPD technology and illustrate some MPD conflicts with current regulations.



Attendees of the meeting at the Greenspoint Club should park in the Visitor Section - Ground Floor and take the elevator up to the 5th floor for the meeting.

Location: Greenspoint Club
16925 North Chase Dr - 5th Floor
Houston , TX 77060

Date: Nov. 9, 2005, 11:30 a.m. - Nov. 9, 2005, 5:30 p.m.