Spanning Canada and the United States, North America is home to a plethora of major industry players, including Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's second-largest publicly traded company after Royal Dutch Shell. The region's oil and natural gas industry is focused on developing oil sands, deepwater gulf prospects and increasingly profitable shale deposits stretching across the continent. One of the premier sweet spots for deepwater exploration, the Gulf of Mexico is the largest body of water indenting the U.S. continental coastline, and its subsea developments continue to spark both national and international interest.
Managed pressure drilling (MPD) is a process used to more precisely control the pressure profile throughout the wellbore, and bottomhole pressure is slightly above or equal to the reservoir pore pressure. Underbalanced drilling (UBD), while similar to MPD, is achieved when the pressure exerted on the well is less than or equal to that of the reservoir. These methods reduce common conventional drilling issues such as lost circulation, differential sticking, minimal drilling rates and formations damage.