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Deepwater Well Engineering

Event Type
Aimed at
Training Course
5 days

This course is intended for personnel directly or indirectly involved in the design and delivery of Deepwater wells:

  • Well Design Engineers

  • Completions Design Engineers

  • Drilling Operations Supervision:  Operator Rig Superintendents, Drilling Contractor Rig Managers and Senior Offshore personnel (OIMs,  Toolpushers etc)

  • Exploration and Production Geologists, Production Technologists and other asset stakeholders


The course content presumes participants will have significant experience in the design and/or delivery of conventional wells.   As such it is unlikely to be suitable for personnel with less than 5 years of relevant industry experience

Deepwater Drilling Operations are generally defined as taking place in water depth in excess of 1,000ft (330m).  These conditions are increasingly encountered in many basins worldwide, as exploration and production move further offshore and into more hostile environments.


In attending this course,  participants will gain knowledge and develops skills relating to Deepwater Well Engineering.  The course focuses on key characteristics and challenges of Deepwater wells from well design, planning, engineering and operational perspectives.  It covers a range of topics including:

  • Well Design  - Casing and drillstring design, well barriers, narrow margin drilling, conductor and structural casing issues,  shallow hazard identification and mitigation,  drilling fluid and cement selection, Sub or Pre- Salt Drilling Challenges

  • Managed Pressure Drilling

  • Operational Planning  - Rig selection, Dual Activity Optimisation, Conductor Jetting, Landing String Design

  • Well Delivery – fingerprinting, well bore breathing, high-reliability drilling practices, well control, well abandonment



Competence Development

At the end of this course delegates should be able to:


  1. Understand the differences in well design between Deepwater and conventional / subsea wells

  2. Describe how Casing Design needs to be adapted in Deepater wells 

  3. Successfully pick casing seats to manage the rapid development of both pore pressure and formation strength below the mud line

  4. Explain the impact of large temperature gradients on casing loads including trapped annular pressures

  5. Quantify casing loads associated with deepwater wells

  6. Design Landing String for running and landing heavy casing strings

  7. Identify rig equipment critical to deepwater well delivery and select rigs suitable for deepwater drilling operations

  8. Explain how ballooning / wellbore breathing can be identified and managed

  9. Explain the importance of Cement Placement in deepater surface and intermediate casing strings


Course Content

The following subjects will be addressed during the course:


Characteristics of Deepwater  wells – A review of why deepwater wells fail is considered in order to focus attention on the key differences between Deepwater and conventional wells.


Casing design in Deepwater wells – a review of the principals of casing design with a focus on  the effects of temperature on casing design criteria, such as load and yield strength changes.  


The importance of casing wear and it’s impact on casing design and well integrity are discussed.  Participants will master the process of detailed casing design, identifying relevant load conditions for the lifetime of the well and producing an optimised casing scheme that can withstand triaxial burst and biaxial collapse loading under downhole conditions.   Service Load design challenges such buckling and trapped annular pressures will be addressed as well as managing the impact of corrosion and casing wear


Rig and equipment selection – A detailed review of the essential requirements of the rig and drilling equipment is provided which covers the rig, fluids control equipment and well control equipment, and instrumentation.    Dynamic Positioning vs Anchoring is discussed as well as the different operating characteristics of Drillships and Semi-Submersibles.


Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) -  MPD offers solutions to a number of the challenges of Deepwater well delivery, in particular the risk of gas break out in the riser, narrow margin drilling and pre-salt catastrophic losses.This section addresses the benefits of MPD operations and examines the equipment and practises for its implementation in Deepwater Wells.  In particular, dual Gradient Drilling, Pressurised Mud Cap Drilling and Dynamic Annular Pressured Management are addressed

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