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Case History Fluids Engineering

GEM Water-Based Drilling Fluid Combats Highly Reactive Shales, Provides Near Gauge Wellbore
Location: Ship Shoal, Gulf of Mexico

dilution rates and washout. Aer additional lab work, Baroid personnel recommended a custom formulation for the wells containing Baroids GEM water-based mud system as the base formulation. Key additives to the formulation included EZMUD shale stabilizer and BARO-TROL PLUS shale stabilizer to stabilize the wellbore and control ltration rates in the production section. ECONOMIC VALUE CREATED Both wells were successfully drilled without any gumbo attacks. Although dilution rates were still high with the GEM system, the wellbore remained almost gauge in both wells. A 9 7/8 hole was drilled on both wells, and the average hole size from caliper logs was 10.18 for the rst well and 10.22 for the second well. A very aggressive centralizer program was utilized to run the production casing on both wells, and the casing on both wells was successfully run to bottom. e rst well utilized a 7 5/8 casing string and the S-shaped well utilized a 7 production casing. ANKOR Energy was able to drill both wells with a waterbased system and successfully set casing at TD. Had the operator chosen an oil-based uid, the costs would have been on average an added $345,000 per well. e operator believes that gauge holes enhance the chance of a good cement job for production strings. Based on the cement bond logs run during completion operations, the operator classies the cement jobs on both wells as very good.

OPERATORS CHALLENGE ANKOR Energy was looking to switch from an oil-based drilling uid to a waterbased drilling uid; however, they realized that their typical choice of gypsum/KCL water-based mud was not going to provide the inhibition that they needed and that they had achieved with Baroids ACCOLADE oil-based mud system. ANKOR Energy wanted to try the water-based system on two wells in Ship Shoal 229 with measured depths of 8,321 and 7,553. e rst well was a build to 20.29 and the second well was an S-shaped well that built to 52.4 and then dropped back to vertical by well total depth (TD). HALLIBURTONS SOLUTION Baroid personnel conducted an extensive review of shale from the Ship Shoal area. Below are the x-ray diraction (XRD) and cation-exchange capacity (CEC) analyses of shales collected from Ship Shoal 229. Based on the review, it was determined that the area consisted of highly reactive shales. Further research showed that oset wells drilled with various water-based muds had experienced high

6504 ft (1-4-2010)

7485 ft (1-6-2010)

Barite, wt % Quartz, wt % Plagioclase Feldspar, wt % Calcite, wt % Dolomite, wt % Clay, wt % (smectite, illite, kaolin and chlorite)* CEC, meq/100g

8 27 tr 2 tr 63 22

15 24 tr 2 tr 59 21

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