IADC/SPE Managed Pressure Drilling & Underbalanced Operations Conference & Exhibition

   5-6 April 2011, Westin Denver Downtown, Denver, Colorado


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Registration for this event is $600 per attendee.

Space for this event is still available. If you would like to register, please see IADC staff onsite for door registration.

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UBO and MPD technologies are changing rapidly with new achievements and breakthrough applications occurring at a steady pace. This conference remains the preeminent forum for all stakeholders to promote better understanding of the diverse techniques that comprise Managed Pressure Drilling and Underbalanced Operations and to raise awareness of safe, efficient procedures and sharing of best practices.

Conference Program

Tuesday, 5 April

7:30 am  Registration   Continental Foyer
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

8:15 am  Welcome & Introduction Continental C

  • Ken Fischer, Regional VP Middle East & Africa, IADC

  • Sara Shayegi, Chair, IADC UBO & MPD Committee; Drilling Advisor, Hess Corporation

8:30 am  Beyond Increased Drilling Efficiency, Does Managed Pressure Drilling Improve Safety in Deepwater Operations?   
Moderator: Mark Mitchell, VP Drilling Optimization Services, Weatherford International, Inc.
Over the past few years MPD has been applied throughout the world with great success. These success stories were first being heard from land operations, but quickly moved offshore onto jack-up and platform installations conquering some of the most difficult drilling challenges facing the industry. In the past couple of years, MPD techniques and technologies have migrated further offshore and been used on floating rigs in deeper water with similar success stories. Like their land and platform predecessors, the wells drilled from floating rigs have not only achieved operational efficiencies not possible with conventional drilling methods, but have also increased the safety of the operations by the increased ability to identify and mitigate or minimize downhole events that would have posed high levels of risk for rig operations not utilizing MPD techniques.
High-risk areas such as the North Sea and less developed areas such as Southeast Asia are beginning to recognize the benefits of MPD techniques. Offshore West Africa and the Mediterranean off the coast of North Africa are following suit and tackling their difficult prospects using MPD. Latin American countries from Mexico to Brazil are realizing that they cannot reach their deepwater target reserves cost-effectively or safely with conventional drilling techniques and are exploring the application of MPD. By comparison, some geographical areas have only dabbled in MPD techniques and technologies.
This panel session will bring together a variety of global operators and regulators who have used, or have investigated using, MPD technologies and to try to identify the drivers of why MPD has seen more application in some regions of the world compared to others.  Are the drivers for MPD based on benefits to operational efficiency, safety or both? 

  • William W. "Will" Pecue, President, Taylor Energy Company LLC

  • Vincent Roes, Well Engineering Team Leader - Int'l Operations (East), Talisman Energy Inc.

  • Robert N. "Bob" Blank, VP International Operations Eastern Hemisphere, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.

  • Dan Eby, Senior Well Control Engineer, Boots & Coots

9:45 am Systems Approach to MPD and UBO I 
Session Chair: Ken Fischer, Regional VP Middle East & Africa, IADC

Intelligent Control System for Precise and User Friendly Pressure Regulation in MPD Operations: Alexey Pavlov, Senior Researcher, Statoil ASA
To achieve faster and more accurate regulation of the annulus pressure, an intelligent control system has been developed and tested in Statoil. It is based on an accurate yet simple model of the wellbore hydraulics. By processing additional measurements and the model, the control system provides faster, more accurate and robust control of the choke pressure. In experimental results from full-scale tests on Ullrigg - an experimental drilling rig in Stavanger, Norway, the control system has demonstrated better performance than conventionally used choke pressure controllers. Moreover, it appeared to be very predictable and user-friendly.

MPD Application With CBHP Technique in Horizontal Well Drilling for the Development of an HP/HT and Sour-Environment Gas Field: A Case History: David Radley, GBA Project Manager, A. Purwanto, Halliburton, G. Purwagautama, SPE, Medco E&P; S. G. Rachman, I.Y. Affandi, SPE, Medco E&P (IADC/SPE 143100)
Drilling an HPHT well using MPD technique leads to complex planning especially when limited by narrow mud window and equipment specification rating. An economical aspect driven by timing for project finalization schedule also determined the success factor for the project. A sidetrack drilling operation with specific procedures were made to overcome well control issues which has happened in the original 8-1/2" hole section. The well testing results show a significant reduction in the skin damage predicted by the subsurface team. The case history of planning and execution of the project will be explained.

10:45 am  Networking Break & Exhibition Viewing  Continental A/B

11:15 am  Systems Approach to MPD and UBO II
Session Chair:
Robert Goodwin, Global Strategic Account Manager, National Oilwell Varco

First MPD With Automated System Application in Offshore Gulf of Mexico Well Confirms Method, Huge Benefits: German Castiblanco, Drilling Hazard Mitigation Region Engineering Manager, Weatherford, H. Sanchez S. Ramirez, R. Aguilar, R. Herrera, E. Perez, Pemex; L. Giral, , Weatherford (IADC/SPE 138907)
A description of the Bolontiku field, its objectives, well details for MPD application, NPT problems, the managed pressure drilling application, equipment used for the application, and managed pressure drilling operation. In addition, important events detected with the Automatic system, results and conclusions of the technology application will be presented.

Offshore Underbalanced Drilling With a Closed-Loop Circulating System: Geoff Gough, Senior Process Engineer, S. Talbot, H. Moss, DONG Energy (IADC/SPE 143096)
A review of an offshore underbalanced drilling project in the Danish sector of the North Sea, undertaken during the summer of 2010 will be presented. Two oil wells were drilled from a jack-up drilling rig, with produced oil and gas transferred to the accompanying production platform. A closed-loop circulating system was employed, completely bypassing the rig’s pits and shakers.

12:15 pm  Luncheon & Exhibition Viewing  Continental Foyer

1:30 pm  Dual Gradient Drilling Systems
Session Chair
: Dr. Jerome Schubert, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

Pumped Riser, MPD Method for Offshore Floating Drilling Units: John Cohen, R&D Technology Manager, AGR Drilling Services
Pumped Riser is an MPD method specially designed for floating drilling units. The pumped riser method offers the following advantages; 1. Viable for low and high mud weight environments 2. Provides automated “near constant pressure” at depth of interest 3. Does not require a rotating control head incorporated into the riser 4. Does not require the use of a lower density (below pore pressure) fluid 5. Does not require circulating well to higher density fluid for tripping 6. Does not require special well control provisions to circulate out kicks.

Well Control When Drilling With a Partly-Evacuated Marine Drilling Riser: Kristin Falk, Senior Manager MPD Control Systems, B. Fossli, C. Lagerberg, Ocean Riser Systems, A. Handal, S. Sangesland, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (IADC/SPE 143095)
This paper shows how the Low Riser Return System reacts to an influx. Whereas with a full riser, an influx pushes mud out of the top of the riser; this volume will be contained in a partially evacuated riser, increasing the level and the bottom hole pressure. The system will also greatly improve kick detection and hence reducing kick size. This technology can greatly improve safety in drilling of deepwater exploration and production wells and infill drilling in depleted fields, enabling safe access to more reserves, improving recovery factors.

Dual Gradient Drilling Moves One Step Closer to Reality: John Cohen, R&D Technology Manager, AGR Drilling Services
A method that uses the subsea pumps of a Riserless Drilling System has been developed thus allowing Dual Gradient Drilling of subsea wells after installation of the riser and BOP.  Dual gradient well control procedures have been developed. Using Dual Gradient Technology will allow certain tight tolerance intermediate casings to be eliminated whilst maintaining full riser margin and trip margin. The Dual Gradient System provides added safety by providing more sensitivity in gain/loss detection and diverting mud flow and hydrocarbon influxes away from the drilling riser to surface via a mud return line with choke.

3 pm  Networking Break & Exhibition Viewing  Continental A/B

3:30 pm  Case Histories I
Session Chair:
Randy Lovorn, MPD Global Product Champion, Halliburton

MPD Operations in Petrobras - Past, Present and Future: Emmanuel Franco Nogueira, Senior Petroleum Engineer, Petrobras, Guilherme Siqueira Vanni, Atila Fernando Lima Aragao, Evandro Tadeu Moreira Fartes, Petrobras
Petrobras’ major interest in MPD technology is to use the system as a security enhancer and reduce non productive time due to well control situations. Even though the targeted scenario is deep and ultra-deepwater operations, a Technical Cooperation Agreement with Impact Group was established to perform a four well evaluation program of the Microflux control MPD, from a simple land well operation progressing to a more complex scenario in a tight-gas jack-up rig operation. The experiences achieved so far and the actions to implement MPD technology in dynamic positioning drilling units targeting deep and ultra-deep waters operations will be reported.

Managing ECD and Determining Pore Pressure With MPD Improves Drilling Efficiency in GOM Well: Paul Fredericks, Director of Marketing, At Balance, A Schlumberger Company
Stone Energy successfully drilled a recent well in the Amberjack field using managed pressure drilling techniques that were unavailable 9 years ago.  They encountered none of the stuck pipe, lost circulation, wellbore instability, and other unplanned well control incidents of past wells last drilled in 2001 and were able to save 15.5 drilling days compared to the two previous offset wells.  In the 17 drill pipe connections that were made, the automated MPD system accounted for only 6.5 minutes of the total connection time for pressure control.

Kick Detection and Well Control in a Closed Wellbore: David Pavel, Director Business Development, Weatherford (IADC/SPE 143099)
How do we deal with kicks in Managed pressure drilling operations? At what point in a well control process do we hand over from Managed Pressure Drilling to Drillers well control and who is responsible?

5 pm  Welcoming Reception & Exhibit Viewing  Continental A/B

Wednesday, 6 April

7:30 am  Registration   Continental Foyer
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

8:15 am  Opening Remarks  Continental C
IADC UBO/MPD Committee Update:
Sara Shayegi, Chair, IADC UBO & MPD Committee; Drilling Advisor, Hess Corporation

8:30 am  Well Control
Session Chair:
Dr. Ken Gray, Professor, University of Texas

RCDs – Are They a Safe and Dependable Well Control Barrier? An Operator’s View: Dave Elliott, UBD/MPD Principal Technical Expert, Shell International E&P
Shell has been working with major RCD equipment suppliers to apply practices, similar to those that are used to certify BOP equipment, to re-define what are the safe operating envelopes for their equipment.  In many cases testing over and above API 16 RCD is being used to prove that equipment is “fit-for-purpose”.  This paper will review the history that has resulted in Shell’s view that current RCD testing does not adequately support using an RCD for a well control barrier.  It will also summarize what is being done to upgrade the industry’s RCD testing focus from product optimization to product certification.

Alternative Shut-In and Pump Start-Up Procedures for Kicks Taken During MPD Operations: John Rogers Smith, SPE,  Associate Professor, J. E. Chirinos, SPE, D.A. Burgoyne, SPE, Louisiana State University (IADC/SPE 143094)
The basic concepts of CBHP method of MPD will be explained with a detailed description of the full scale experiment setup. Subsequently, full scale experiments will be used to demonstrate the procedures and calculations used for simple shut in, MPD pump shut down with a choked flow check, pump start up and kick circulation. The results will be compared to computer simulations to verify the validity of the simulator for studying these procedures. A summary of these procedures and conclusions regarding their application and effectiveness will be presented.

Experimental and Theoretical Study of Control Strategies for Constant Bottomhole Pressure While Drilling Oil Wells: Guilherme Vanni, Petroleum Engineer, Petrobras; M.P. Vega, F.R.B. Vieira, Unversidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro; A. L. Martins, M.G. Folsta, R.A. Gandelman,  Petrobras (IADC/SPE 143098)
Results of the implementation of a phenomenological two phase flow model aiming the development of a classic PI (proportional - Integral) controller for bottomhole pressure during a drilling job will be shown. Additionally, the presentation highlights different alternative control strategies, of common use in different industrial applications, which can help in the development of automatic control in different phases of a drilling operation.

A Proposed Method for Planning the Best Initial Response to Kicks Taken During Managed Pressure Drilling Operations: John Rogers Smith, SPE,  Associate Professor, Louisiana State University, B.M. Patel, Weatherford (IADC/SPE 143101)
Review of the different possible alternative responses to kicks taken during MPD and the main advantages and disadvantages of each. The initial response decision tree and its three primary response types: continue drilling, shut in, and circulating responses to increase bottom hole pressure will be described. An example application of the decision tree will be presented and compared to simulation results. Finally, a graphical method to quantify the advantage of using a circulating response in combination with sensitive flow out metering to provide a larger kick tolerance than a shut in response provides will be shown.  

10:30 am  Networking Break & Exhibit Viewing Continental A/B

11 am  Systems Approach to MPD and UBO II
Session Chair: Kristin Falk, Senior Manager MPD Control Systems, Ocean Riser Systems

Intelligent Estimation of Downhole Pressure Using a Simple Hydraulic Model: Glenn-Ole Kaasa, Principal Researcher, Statoil, O.N. Stamnes, L. Imsland, O.M. Aamo, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (IADC/SPE 143097)
The hydraulic model is an essential part an automated MPD control system, and is in most cases the limiting factor for achievable accuracy. We present a simplified model based on basic fluid dynamics, and demonstrate that it captures the important hydraulics of an MPD system. Furthermore, we demonstrate that by applying advanced algorithms for online parameter estimation, the model can be calibrated automatically, achieving a level of accuracy similar to that of advanced hydraulic models. The results are demonstrated on field data from MPD operations and experiments obtained in a full-scale drilling rig.

New Technology Which Enables Closed, Looped Drilling (MPD) from Mobil Offshore Drilling Units (MODU): Jan Atle Andresen, Business Development Manager, Siem WIS AS
Siem WIS has developed new technology within MPD since 2006. The new patented sealing technology (no bearings) enables MPD from floaters. By utilizing the PCD for platform/Jack up, land drilling and the RPCD for MODU`s the patented gradient system is monitored constantly and gives full status of the seals at all times. This gives a safer and controllable drilling when utilizing MPD technology.

Noon  Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing  Augusta

1:15 pm  Gas Drilling Applications
Session Chair:
Don Reitsma, VP Engineering,
At Balance, A Schlumberger Company

MPD Complements Drilling Engineering Program to Mitigate Risk and Reduce NPT in a South Louisiana Gas Field: Jean-Paul Michel, Drilling Engineer, Forest Oil Corporation, Jason Duhe, At Balance, A Schlumberger Company, Larry Smith, Consultant
In their effort to avoid the drilling problems encountered in past wells in the West White Lake Field in southern Louisiana Forest Oil developed a detailed drilling engineering program that included a lower static mud weight to avoid losses and ballooning and an automated MPD system to hold the BHP near constant below fracture pressure to avoid instability and stuck pipe, and reduce connection gas, surge, and swab.  Forest Oil was able to drill the 6” production interval in 100 hours with a single BHP, reduced NPT and connection gas, and no stuck pipe, losses, ballooning, or kicks. 

MPD Makes Possible to Drill and Trip Out of the Hole in a Gas Well With a Combination of a Narrow Mud Weight Window and a Serious Ballooning Effect: Juan Carlos Beltran, MPD/UBD Engineering Manager, F. Gallo, Schlumberger, G. Tirado, Pemex, C.M.P. Lupo, H. Duno, C.O. Iturrios, T. Hernandez, M. Centeno, Schlumberger (IADC/SPE 143104)
The Burgos basin is one of 4 major gas basins in Mexico. It is located on the north-western side of the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon covering an area of 50,000 km2. The basin was discovered in 1945 and is still a major contributor to the gas production in Mexico. The use of the Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) technique in North Mexico has brought important improvements to the drilling operation; non-productive time, mud losses and kick events have been reduced achieving important savings.

2:15 pm  Case Histories II
Session Chair: Don Reitsma, VP Engineering, At Balance, A Schlumberger Company

The Challenges and Results of Applying Managed Pressure Drilling Techniques on an Exploratory Offshore Well in India: A Case History: Fabian Torres, MPD Technical Manager, P. Vieira, Weatherford Oil Tool Middle East Ltd., A. Rai, B. Vudathur, Reliance Industries (IADC/SPE 143102)
Managed Pressure Drilling is defined as a drilling technology that uses specialized equipment to more precisely control the wellbore pressure profile.  The application of this technology will optimize the drilling process by decreasing Non Productive Time (NPT) and mitigating drilling hazards associated with conventional drilling techniques. This presentation shows the work performed in the planning phase and the operational results of the application on Managed Pressure drilling technique for drilling an exploratory well on semi-submersible rig in India.

Implementation of an Automated MPD System Intended for Narrow Margin Drilling on a Production Platform: Hannah Jorgenson, Field Engineer, Tim Tønnessen, GeoBalance MPD/UBD, Halliburton, Fredrik Varpe, Alfrid Elin Vollen, Statoil ASA
A fully automated MPD system has been designed to control BHP to within +/- 2.5 bar during normal drilling operations on Gullfaks C in the North Sea. In this paper, we discuss the different phases of the project, which included the design, onshore testing, training, implementation, offshore testing and operation, as well as the general challenges associated with offshore operations and the specific challenges related to operating on a production platform.

3:15 pm  Networking Break & Exhibit Viewing  Continental A/B

3:45 pm  Case Histories II
Session Chair:
Sara Shayegi, Chair, IADC UBO & MPD Committee; Drilling Advisor, Hess Corporation

Drilling Fluid Design Enlarges the Hydraulic Operating Windows of Managed Pressure Drilling Operations: Mike Rafferty, Manager Engineering Services, MI-SWACO  (IADC/SPE 139623)
A description of how aspects of drilling fluid design and properties can enlarge the hydraulic operating window of MPD operations, by reducing the back pressure at connections, break circulation pressures, swab and surge pressures. Case histories from the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico are described that show how low rheology drilling fluid systems reduce frictional pressures by 50%, yet annular flow rates are increased by between 15 and 25%, while pump pressures are decreased by 6%.  Through the improved management of downhole pressures, the risk of wellbore instability events during MPD operations is reduced.

Managed Pressure Drilling Enables Drilling Beyond the Conventional Limit on an HPHT Deepwater Well in the Mediterranean Sea: Maurizio Arnone, MPD Manager, F. Kernche, D. Hannegan, C. Pena, Weatherford, W. Essam, Egyptian General Petroleum, D. Burton, Weatherford, K.K. Costa, K.L. Hathaway, T. Scoular, BP, Weatherford (IADC/SPE 143093)
Specifically in the Mediterranean Sea, with recently identified resources at depths of 6,000 – 7,000 meters, with bottom hole temperature near 400ºF and formation pressure that could reach 22,000 psi (clearly an HPHT condition),  impossible to be reachable with conventional drilling practices without facing considerable risks, incur in extremely high non productive time accumulated and related high operating costs, the use of MPD is establishing the new standards for drilling wells in the area due to the important success obtained.

4:45 pm  Closing Remarks

  • Sara Shayegi, Chair, IADC UBO & MPD Committee; Drilling Advisor, Hess Corporation


7-8 April
IADC UBO & MPD (1Q11) Committee Meeting. Shell International E&P, Denver, CO.


Exhibition for this event is sold out.

At Balance
Signa Engineering Corp.
Pruitt Tool & Supply Co., Inc.
AGR Group
SPT Group, Inc.
Welltec A/S
Strata Energy Services Inc.
Stress Engineering Services, Inc.
Micro Motion Inc.
Ocean Riser Systems AS


Exhibition for this event is sold out.

  • Exhibitors can set-up after 8:00 am on Monday, 4 April in Continental A/B..

  • You may tear down your booth space after 3:15 pm on Wednesday, 6 April.

  • Each booth space is a 10' x 10' area. It will be set with a 6' skirted table and two chairs with access to electricity. Please do not exceed 10' across, as the space in the exhibition area will be limited.

  • Wall space for signs/banners will not be available. All signs/banners must be affixed to the table or free standing.

  • All personnel working the exhibition must be registered. Please complete the PDF registration form for each person attending the conference. With your space, you will receive one complimentary registration and up to two additional registrations for half price or $300.

  • Please see the map for your booth location. 

Click here to view the exhibition diagram.

For more information, please contact
Leesa Teel, leesa.teel@iadc.org, Stephanie Carling, stephanie.carling@iadc.org,
at +1-713-292-1945.  



There are four levels of sponsoring: Platinum Sponsors, Gold Sponsors, Silver Sponsors and Event Sponsors. The conference sponsor will receive high profile recognition before and during the conference. IADC also offers companies the opportunity to host one of the events during the conference.

(5) Comps
(3) Comps
(1) Comp

* Comps refer to number of complimentary registrations

Event sponsorships are also available! 
For publicity and advertising information please contact Leesa Teel, leesa.teel@iadc.org, Stephanie Carling, stephanie.carling@iadc.org,
at +1-713-292-1945.    


Conference Program Committee
Brian Grayson, Weatherford
David Pavel, Weatherford
Don Reitsma, At Balance, A Schlumberger Company
Ian Davidson, Blade Energy
Dr. Jerome Schubert, Texas A&M University
John Cohen,
AGR Drilling Services
John Kozicz, Transocean
Kristin Falk, Ocean Riser Systems
Ken Fischer, IADC
Dr. Ken Gray, University of Texas
Michelle AuBuchon, SPE
Randy Lovorn, Halliburton
Robert Goodwin, National Oilwell Varco
Roger Stave, AGR Drilling Services
Sara Shayegi, Hess Corporation
Steve Nas, SPT Group, Inc.
Tamela Claborn, SPE

Hotel Information
Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel.
Please be sure to mention IADC to obtain discounted rate.

Westin Denver Downtown
(Formerly Westin Tabor Center)
1672 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO 80202  
Phone: +1 303 572-9100
Fax: +1 303 572-7288


Conference Registration Press Policy:
Complimentary press registration is limited to one (1) person per company. This individual must be a titled editor, writer, reporter or other bona fide editorial representative of a legitimate industry or consumer publication. Publishers and sales and marketing specialists are excluded from this complimentary registration practice and must pay the full conference registration fee to attend an event. 

Notice: This conference qualifies for IADC WellCAP Instructor CEUs. Contact Marlene Diaz, Team Leader Accreditation & Certification, IADC, for information. marlene.diaz@iadc.org

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