Implementation of improved underbalanced drilling in AbuDhabi onshore field

  • Adel Mohammed Alhammadi

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) is considering Underbalanced Drilling (UBD) as a means to develop lower permeability units in its fields. In addition to productivity and recovery gains, ADCO also expects reservoir characterization benefits from UBD. Reservoir screening studies were carried out on all of ADCO's reservoirs to determine their applicability for UBD. The primary business benefits of UBD were determined to be reservoir characterization, damage Mitigation, and rate of Penetration 'ROP' Improvement. Apart from the primary benefits, some of the secondary benefits of UBD that were identified beforehand included rig performance. Since it's a trial wells, the challenge was to drill these wells safely, efficiently and of course meeting well objectives. Many operators worldwide drill these well in underbalanced mode but complete it overbalanced. In our case the plan was to drill and complete these wells in underbalanced condition. But we had to challenge most operators and come up with special and unique casing hanger design to ensure well control barriers exists while fishing the control line of the Downhole Deployment Valve 'DDV'. After intensive studies and planning, the hanger was designed as per our recommendations and found to be effective equipment that optimized the operational time and the cost as well. This report will provide better understanding of UBD technique in general and shade on the special designed casing hanger compared to conventional or what's most used worldwide. Even thought there were some issues while running the casing hanger prior drilling but managed to capture the learning's from each well and re-modified the hanger and come up with better deign for the future wells. Finally, the new design perform a good performance of saving the operation time and assisting the project to be done in a safe and an easy way without a major impact on the well cost. This design helped to drill and complete these wells safely with requirement to kill the wells and this ensured least reservoir damage.
    Date of AwardDec 2011
    Original languageAmerican English
    SupervisorFerda Akgun (Supervisor)


    • Applied sciences
    • Abu Dhabi
    • Underbalanced drilling (petroleum engineering)
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Petroleum engineering
    • Energy
    • 0765:Petroleum engineering
    • 0791:Energy

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