Mitigating Torque and Drag Challenges in Extended-Reach Drilling through Well Engineering Solutions

A. Sipi, Z. Hamdi, M. Aman, M. Bataee, A. M. Hassan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Torque and drag (T&D) are major mechanical considerations that dictate the success of extended-reach drilling (ERD) operations. As drilling technology continues to push the limits of horizontal reach, understanding and managing T&D becomes increasingly critical to well delivery. This study presents an integrated approach to T&D optimization through well modeling and engineering solutions, demonstrated through three ERD case studies offshore Peninsular Malaysia. For each case study well, the design objectives, inherent T&D challenges posed by the extended well geometry, and drilling parameters were assessed. T&D modeling was conducted to simulate downhole conditions and identify potential mechanical limitations. Well A targeted a highly deviated open-hole section exceeding 3,200m measured depth with constrained surface equipment. Modeling showed that backreaming torque could exceed drill pipe ratings. Well B required cementing long open-hole intervals while maintaining low side forces to prevent casing wear. Simulated rotating and backreaming torques exceeded rig limits. Well C involved a tangent sidetrack and encountered high stress loads on the drill pipe. To address the challenges, integrated well engineering solutions were evaluated for each well. For Well A, drill string torque reducers were incorporated to dampen stick-slip and reduce friction-induced torque. In Well B, utilizing a pseudo-catenary build mechanism optimized the well path gradients to lower side forces. Finally, Well C employed a tapered drill string design to satisfy stress criteria. Post-drill comparisons between modeled and actual downhole data validated the effectiveness of the implemented solutions in optimizing T&D. The findings provide lessons on integrated well modeling and customized engineering solutions for efficient ERD project delivery. Through rigorous upfront planning and identification of well-specific challenges, appropriate solutions can be designed to safely expand drilling operational envelopes while controlling costs. Future work aims to broaden solution applications and further optimize integrated well construction management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPE Conference at Oman Petroleum & Energy Show 2024
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781959025252
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2024
EventSPE Conference at Oman Petroleum & Energy Show 2024 - Muscat, Oman
Duration: 22 May 202424 May 2024


SeminarSPE Conference at Oman Petroleum & Energy Show 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Mitigating Torque and Drag Challenges in Extended-Reach Drilling through Well Engineering Solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this