UBO / MPD Committee Subcommittees

Dual Gradient Drilling (DGD)

Subcommittee Chairman:

Dave Smith, Enhanced Drilling

Subcommittee Vice Chairman:

Sara Shayegi, Shell Exploration & Production

As defined by the IADC, DGD is “Two or more pressure gradients within selected well sections to manage the well pressure profile.”

Dual Gradient technology is not a new concept; the technology was thought of and developed on paper several decades ago.  A field trial was successfully deployed in 2001 but never commercially developed.  Today several developmental projects are under deployment on a commercial scale primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and several areas of the world.

Active Initiatives

Support the planning and organization of the 2015 combined Dual Gradient Well Control Workshop/IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas & Exhibition in Galveston.

Regularly update educational material on the four categories of Dual Gradient Drilling Techniques (click each link for additional information):

Helpful Links

Riser Gas Subcommittee

Subcommittee Chairman:

Otto Santos, LSU

Subcommitee Vice Chairman:

Hari Hariharan, Shell

HSE & Training Subcommittee

Subcommittee Chairman:

Jon Thain, Transocean

Subcommittee Vice Chairman:

Guilherme Vanni, Petrobras

 Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD)

Subcommittee Chairman:

Martyn Parker, Pruitt

Subcommittee Vice Chairman:

Robert Goodwin, Signa Engineering Corp

An adaptive drilling process used to precisely control the annual pressure profile throughout the wellbore.

The objectives are to ascertain the downhole pressure environment limits and to manage the annular hydraulic pressure profile accordingly.  It is the intention of MPD to avoid continuous influx of formation fluids to the surface.  Any influx incidental to the operation will be safely contained using an appropriate process.

  • MPD process employs a collection of tools and techniques which may mitigate the risks and costs associated with drilling wells that have narrow downhole environmental limits, by proactively managing the annular hydraulic pressure profile.
  • MPD may include control of back pressure, fluid density, fluid rheology, annular fluid level, circulating friction, and hole geometry, or combinations thereof.
  • MPD may allow faster corrective action to deal with observed pressure variations.  The ability to dynamically control annular pressures facilitates drilling of what might otherwise be economically unattainable prospects.


Active Initiatives

The MPD Subcommittee is currently drafting the following recommended practices for multiple variants of MPD including:

Category 5: Pressurized Mud Cap – systems used to drill without returns with an annulus fluid column assisted by surface pressure.

In addition, the subcommittee is focused on completing the deepwater supplement to the Category 2 (Surface Pressure) and Category 5 (Pressurized Mud cap) documents.

Future Initiatives

Category 1: Annular Friction – systems allowing for constant circulation during drill pipe connections, thereby using annular friction to maintain constant bottom hole pressure.

Category 3: Delta Energy – systems where energy is added to manipulate the wellbore pressure by the use of equipment within the wellbore.

Category 4:  Hydrostatic Pressure – systems creating a non-uniform hydrostatic profile.


Completed Documents

The MPD Subcommittee has completed the following recommended practices for multiple variants of MPD.

Category 2:  Surface Pressure – systems manipulating annular pressure at surface to control and manage downhole pressures.  This document is currently being reviewed by an API work group.

UBO Subcommittee

Subcommittee Chairman:

Leiro Medina, Beyond Energy Services & Technology Corp

Subcommittee Vice Chairmen:

Christopher Bernard, Halliburton

API 16RCD Taskgroup

Subcommittee Chairman:

Micah Spahn, Pruitt

Subcommittee Vice Chairman:

Joe Karigan, Halliburton

Liaison Reports

Regulatory Liaison

Konstantin Puskarskij, Maersk Drilling

Well Control Liaison

Paul Sonnemann, Safekick

Certifying Authority Liaison

Harish Patel, ABS