Designer Casing for Deepwater HPHT Wells

Deepwater high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) drilling environments present difficult challenges to well engineers. Typical deepwater pore pressure and fracture gradient profiles result in a narrow drilling window that can lead to seven to nine casing points. The high cost of these wells demands a high rate completion for economic payback, which defines the size of the production casing and liners. Drilling casings are restricted by the standardized 18-3/4" through bore diameter dictated by high pressure wellhead housings, blowout preventers, and riser systems. Furthermore, high pressures require thick wall casing, especially if sour service materials are specified. Satisfying all of these pressure and geometrical constraints requires some unconventional practices.