Underbalanced Drilling Gains Popularity due to Coiled Tubing

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 06-Sep-2016

The process of underbalanced drilling has the bore well pressure kept lower than the fluid pressure in the formation being drilled. Coiled tube equipment, with no joint to make up, enables continuous drilling and pumping; allowing pressures to be easily preserved and ensures underbalanced conditions for the entire period of drilling. Coiled tubes use an internal wire line and capillaries for survey and geo steering utility, and much higher operating surface pressure restrictions than the usually used jointed pipe. The various methods of underbalanced drilling include the use of mist, foam and dry air as aids to improve the efficiency of the drilling. Coiled tubing is included mainly to increase the rate of penetration.

Some of the advantage of using the technique of underbalanced drilling is the elimination of differential sticking, which can cause the pipe to stick to the wall due to the larger well bore pressure. Apart from this, formation damage due to the process of invasion is also prevented. This method is environmentally viable due to the absence of a mud pit during the drilling process.

The use of coiled tube in the process of drilling commenced due to the increase in problem while using the joint pipe; such as increased drilling time due to the setting up of connections, increasing environment issues due to mud spillage and higher footprint space. A coiled tube unit is small when compared to joint pipe and causes less mud spillage and take about 50% less space. The advantages helped it gain popularity in drilling industry, especially the UBD sector, and also became one of the reliable substitutes for conventional joint pipe tube.

One major factor that negatively affect the growth of the UBD drilling technique is its high cost of setting up; advent of coiling tube has somewhat condensed this problem because of its cost effective nature coupled with its environment friendly feature. Joint free compact setting up feature of coiled tubes have immensely increased the safety quotient of the drilling process. All these features make coiled tube more suitable for UBD drilling, when compared to joint tubing.

The oil and gas industry is on the rise and is expected to grow in the near future due to the demands of the rising population. This factor will positively affect the drilling industry, which in turn will support the growth of coiled tube market. The depleting oil resources across the world is a growing concern for the drilling based industry, since the investment which were directed to them are being diverted to other causes, which include the research for the substitute.

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