AUSTRALIA’S largest independent oil and gas company, Woodside, has signed a contract to prepare their drill ships for the EC-Drill® system (pictured) from Norwegian offshore solutions provider, Enhanced Drilling, on the Sangomar Field Development offshore Senegal.
EC-Drill®– more control
EC-Drill® is a Controlled Mud Level (CML) system that enables operators to 'drill the undrillable' wells. Some of the development wells are expected to require the use of advanced technology to drill due to the challenging downhole pressure regimes. The EC-Drill® system from Enhanced Drilling will make it easier and safer to drill these wells.
Tom Hasler, Enhanced Drilling’s CEO, said: ‘We are very pleased that Woodside has chosen to work with us to develop and integrate an effective Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) solution in the form of our EC-Drill® system for the Sangomar Field Development. Woodside’s decision to choose EC-Drill® is another example that Controlled Mud Level (CML) type MPD systems are sometimes the preferred solution rather than traditional back pressure type MPD systems.
Woodside has previously used RMR® Riserless Mud Recovery from Enhanced Drilling, notably in 2009 when the use of the system in the Browse Basin – the first time in fact that RMR® was used from a jack-up rig in Australia – and the company received an environmental award: the Western Australian Department of Minerals and Petroleum ‘Golden Gecko’. RMR® minimised the environmental footprint of the well by recovering all drill cuttings.
Record depth made possible
Then, in 2011, Woodside used RMR® when it set a Casing While Drilling (CWD) record for the Tidepole East-1 exploratory well, off Western Australia. The RMR® enabled the use of a type of drilling mud needed to maximize the wellbore smearing effect that CWD provides, which helps keep the wellbore stable. Woodside completed a total section depth of 1,905m (6,250ft) on the well, an achievement made possible by the use of RMR®.
Technologies and services
In addition to EC-Drill®, Enhanced Drilling also provides technologies and services including CTS (which is used to take cuttings away from the wellhead area), RMR® Managed Pressure Drilling system and MPC Managed Pressure Cementing, a complementary technology to RMR®.