An operator drilling through the lower Bunter sands experienced extreme overbalance (greater than 6800 psi), severe cavings and excessive washout in the 11-15-in. hole section. In previous wells, the operator used conventional bridging materials, often with a concentration over 76 lb/bbl, creating a challenge to control the drilling fluid rheology.
Impact Fluid Solutions worked with the operator to define two KPI’s – sealing the depleted sands and improving drilling fluid properties. Impact Fluid Solutions suggested the use of 6 lb/ bbl FLC 2000 to prevent hole washout, increase the mud density and drill through the 5 7⁄8-in. problematic interval from 15,583 to 16,236 feet.
The 5 7⁄8-in. section was drilled with a gauge hole and the drilling fluid properties were improved by the use of 6 lb/bbl of FLC 2000, compared to the 76 lb/bbl conventional bridging material. Impact met the operator’s KPI’s by sealing the depleted sands and improving the drilling fluids solids loading. Five successful wells have been drilled to date.