Indian, Australian Officials Sign Wellbore Stability MOU

India's Institute of Drilling Technology (IDT), on behalf of ONGC, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the School of Petroleum Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia for a collaborative research project, "Wellbore Stability Analysis and Formation Damage Study for Wells in ONGC Operational areas."

The MOU was signed by Mr. V K Jain, GM – Head, IDT, and Prof. Les Field, Deputy Vice Chancellor - Research, UNSW in the presence of Mr. U N Bose, Director - T&FS at UNSW, Kensington Campus, Sydney, Australia, on February 22, 2007.

The benefits to be gained by ONGC from this collaborative research study will be the acquisition of new technology and the ability to: design a well program that will more closely resemble field conditions, plan a well trajectory, determine a safe mud window in areas of narrow pore pressure and fracture gradient, reducing complications, and improve rig cycle speed.

One of the core operational areas of IDT is planning deep and critical wells, which involves preparation of optimal drilling and completion strategy to facilitate drilling a healthy well bore at minimum cost. Well trajectory planning and finding a safe mud weight window based on well bore stability analysis has developed to be a proven concept and an important tool for well planning.

With dwindling reservoirs at shallower depths and easy areas, ONGC has now ventured into frontier areas having ERD/ horizontal / high angle / deep and critical wells, and to drill wells successfully in these areas Well bore stability involving area specific drilling fluid system causing minimum formation damage is to be designed which otherwise can have serious consequences to well productivity.

A five member group from ONGC will be associated with the assigned scientists from UNSW. The planned duration of the study is estimated to be of 12 months, which will commence from 1st April 2007.