Targeting Friction in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin
A challenging drilling environment with hard rock, abrasive formations and often complicated high-angle faults, this region can demand extensive drill time—and the brutal costs that accompany such a commitment. Encapso® can help reduce drill time in the basin and better control both cost and risk along the way.
An operator in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) was leveraging new technology in its rig fleet to extend the reach of laterals beyond 3,000 m (10,000 ft) and reduce downtime via more efficient pad drilling. To complement their use of new rig technology, they also elected to use Encapso® given shortcomings and cost associated with incumbent liquid and bead lubricants.
With its novel encapsulated design and targeted delivery, it was hypothesized that Encapso® would be able to reduce friction along the entire drill string to reduce torque and increase the rate of penetration.
Encapso® was used in a brine water-based mud to drill the lateral section after the intermediate section was cased. To ascertain its effect on torque and ROP, Encapso® was used in the initial 1,200 m (4,000 ft) of the lateral. Compared to another well being drilled on the same pad by a different rig, Encapso® was associated with a 53% improvement in ROP with no change in torque. The increase in ROP enabled the operator to drill a segment in 8 days that would normally take 9 days to drill with incumbent lubricants.