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A shelf operator off the coast of Louisiana was drilling a 16,000-ft (4875-m) openhole well from a jack-up rig. The plan called for installing roughly 3,000 ft (914 m) of 7-in., 32-lb liner starting at 10,770 ft (3283 m) —and then running 5-in. liner below that to the toe of the well—to stabilize the hole and reduce potential non-productive time (NPT) typically caused by hole instability. Because of its ability to create a gas-tight annular seal and stop gas flowback with pressures from below as high as 10,000 psi (690 bar), the ZXHD™ liner top packer was chosen to use with the 7-in. liner.

The liner hanger system design combined the ZXHD liner top packer with a ControlSET™ FLEX-LOCK™ liner hanger to firmly seat the 7-in. liner and protect well integrity by shutting off any upward gas flow through the annulus.

The crew drilled down to 13,539 ft (4127 m), pulled the drilling bottomhole assembly (BHA) out of hole, and ran a hole opener to clean out the wellbore. As expected, gas flowback was observed. They had difficulty pulling the hole opener up through an 18° S-curve in the well, and made an operational adjustment to add glass beads to help run the liner in hole. With the addition of the beads, the liner was run to depth successfully through the S-curve without incident.

The Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), crew set the hanger at 10,770 ft, disengaged the setting tool, and then set the ZXHD liner packer. All gas flowback stopped, indicating that the V0-rated ZXHD packing element had created a gas-tight seal in the wellbore.

Drilling resumed below the 7-in. liner, and the 5-in. liner was installed below with no issues, finalizing the completion in the 16,000-ft well.

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Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Openhole well in unstable formation
  • Gas flowback observed from the formation below
  • S-curve in the wellbore made running the liner more difficult

Results

  • Protected well integrity with V0-rated, gas-tight annular seal
  • Supported successful liner installation to guard against hole instability
  • Reduced operational, personnel, and environmental risk