Baker Hughes provided multiple services to successfully drill four directional wells for an operator in the Gulf of Mexico's South Timbalier area, including one well that reached total depth (TD) 4.5 days ahead of schedule.
Baker Hughes combined its AutoTrak™ rotary steerable system with a PDC bit to drill the entire 8 1/2-in. section on this well in a single run. With AutoTrak, directional settings can be adjusted in real time, saving costly trip-out time. The other wells were drilled with steel tooth bits and downhole motors and required two runs each for the same section. Baker Hughes provided pre-drilling pressure modeling based on offset wells. Using those results, the operator optimized the casing design and mud weight required to drill the new wells. These wells reached between 9,000 ft (2743 m) and 13,000 ft (3962 m) TD with a 3° maximum dogleg severity in an area of mostly gumbo-type shales and clay. In total, more than 34,000 ft (10 363 m) of hole was drilled.
Baker Hughes also provided drilling fluids from its Fourchon, La., liquid mud plant. Due to space limitations, the work boat also served as a floating reserve tank for the small drilling rig. Despite the logistical limitations, there were no major problems related to shale stability or gumbo attacks.
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