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Case Study: Drilling the Extra Mile in Soft Deepwater Formations PowerDrive RSS and drilling optimization services cut Petrobras' rig time in Voador field

Optimize drilling in soft shales and marls so that deepwater well reaches TD.

PowerDrive fully rotating rotary steerable system (RSS) for longer bit runs and excellent directional control. PERFORM process for real-time monitoring and optimization of drilling parameters.

Petrobras saved an average of 2 rig days per 12¼-in hole section and 1 rig day per 8½-in hole section. The reason: PowerDrive ROPs averaged twice those of steerable motors in offset wells, and the PERFORM process spotted too-low mud weight and suboptimal hole cleaning.

Drilling difficulties in Brazil’s soft offshore formations

In Voador field, characterized by soft formations, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras drilled a pilot hole to establish a reservoir’s boundaries, then a sidetrack to optimize its heavy-oil production. Cuttings morphology and increasing drag indicated wellbore stability problems. Problems were confirmed by time-lapse LWD images.

Better ROP and directional control
The PowerDrive system drilled the 84° inclined section of the sidetrack with maximum build angle of 6.5º/30 m as planned. Instantaneous ROP was as high as 75 m/h. Average ROP was twice that of a steerable motor in offset wells. Without the friction of a motor, bit runs were longer and directional control was better.

Real-time drilling management
Using the PERFORM analysis, wellsite engineers closely monitored drilling parameters, cuttings morphology, real-time torque and drag, and equivalent circulating density. They determined mud weight was too low and hole cleaning was not optimal.

The combination of faster ROPs, better control, and while-drilling management of mud weight and hole cleaning trimmed an average of 2 rig days per 12¼-in hole section and 1 rig day per 8½-in hole section. TD was achieved.

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