Abstract

A Drill-To-The-Limit (DTTL) drilling method variant to Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) applies constant surface backpressure, whether the mud is circulating (choke valve open) or not (choke valve closed). Because of the constant application of surface backpressure, the DTTL method can use lighter mud weight that still has the cutting carrying ability to keep the borehole clean. The DTTL method identifies the weakest component of the pressure containment system, such as the fracture pressure of the formation or the casing shoe leak off test (LOT). With a higher pressure rated RCD, such as 5,000 psi (34,474 kPa) dynamic or working pressure and 10,000 psi (68,948 kPa) static pressure, the limitation will generally be the fracture pressure of the formation or the LOT. In the DTTL method, since surface backpressure is constantly applied, the pore pressure limitation of the conventional drilling window can be disregarded in developing the fluid and drilling programs. Using the DTTL method a deeper wellbore can be drilled with larger resulting end tubulars, such as casings and production liners, than had been capable with conventional MPD applications.

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