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In 1974 an operator was drilling an HP/HT wildcat well in a new block located in the South China Sea when it experienced a severe kick that put the crew and the entire operation at unacceptable risk. The operator was able to regain well control, but it was forced to sidetrack the well. The incident was so severe that the operator made the decision to suspend any future wells in the block.

Forty years later, there were still no new wells in the area. The risk of an underground blowout was deemed too great, not to mention the cost of having to deal with lost circulation, differential sticking, reduced rates of penetration (ROP), and reservoir damage typical in HP/HT wells, even if the pressure can be controlled.

Where all other service providers saw a roadblock, Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), recognized an opportunity. Based on recent successes achieved by combining our reservoir insight (subsurface experience), integrated pre-drill modeling workflows, and real-time monitoring—what we now refer to as the RiskGuard™ analysis and risk management solution—the BHGE Asia Pacific team approached the operator with a plan.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Less-explored block with very little geological information and data
  • Most recent nearby well was drilled in 1974, and experienced a severe kick
  • Standard real-time pore pressure monitoring insufficient for success


  • Successfully evaluated a previously inaccessible reservoir
  • Delivered an HP/HT wildcat well in adverse conditions