training specialists to the upstream oil and gas industry

HPHT Well Design and Drilling Operations

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Course overview

High Pressure (HP) (>10,000 psi) and High Temperature (HT) (>300°F) conditions are becoming more routine drilling targets worldwide in the pursuit of deep gas reserves. This course delivers a comprehensive review of HPHT well design, engineering and drilling requirements.

This introductory course provides an understanding of High-Pressure and High-Temperature (HPHT) drilling and completion operations. The course is specifically designed to provide an understanding of the challenges associated with the design and construction of HPHT wells. The course covers not only theory, technicalities and practicalities of drilling and completing HPHT wells but it also covers real examples and exercises.

The content emphasis in this course/workshop is placed on current regulatory and standard operating principles of HPHT – right from a well's concept phase, through pre-planning, rig and equipment selection, the basis of well design, detailed design, engineering, offset study, and final drilling of the critical HPHT transition and reservoir zones. The challenges of geological risks and uncertainty with drilling fluids, cement design, equipment assurance and drilling problem prevention, solving and decision making, all require special attention. The course draws on several HPHT case studies from different drilling environments in conjunction with instructor-led facilitation, use of multi-media files and most importantly individual and group-led engagement sessions. The course equips a multi-disciplinary team to manage and control the drilling hazards and risks that exist in HPHT wells. This course also delivers a participative, practical program where individual and teamwork skills are developed to meet the HPHT drilling challenges presented.

The course is designed for

The course targets any member of a project team: geo-scientists, engineers, technical, non-technical personnel at all levels. It also includes everyone involved in the design, construction, engineering, implementation and the drilling of HPHT wells. This course embraces drilling engineers with or without experience.

Course objectives and outcomes

The objectives of this course are to provide the participants with an understanding of the complexities associated with HPHT well design and drilling operations. All of the topics presented are strictly related to high pressures and high temperatures. 

This will be achieved by creating an environment for a multi-disciplinary team to practically challenge HPHT standards, instruction, well integrity practices and develop new concepts to well safety and performance.

  • Identify and eliminate the drilling hazards and risks within HPHT wells to as low as practicable.
  • How to translate and sustain HPHT drilling case-study findings, success and failure learnings into future drilling projects.
  • Awareness of key issues that exist in HPHT design, engineering and drilling operations.
  • Increased proficiency with ability to address the key hazard and risks impacting HP HT drilling project delivery.
  • Specific knowledge to skilfully control HPHT drilling problems as they arise, yet realize the importance of having necessary contingent mitigation in place for unexpected situations.
  • Appreciate technical challenges and difficulties that exist, with new awareness to risk reducing and adaptive technologies being used and applied for specific HPHT drilling applications.

At the end of the course, the participants will have gained a good understanding of the complexities associated with HPHT drilling operations. They will have gained a good understanding of pressure and temperature effects on gases, liquids, tubulars and elastomers. Participants will have a good understanding of the well design and operational aspects of HPHT wells.

Course outline

Day 4: Well Operations

In the fourth day of the course we address the operational aspects of drilling an HPHT well.

  • Well Control for HPHT what is different from conventional wells
  • Well Control Operations and challenges, Barriers
  • Ballooning, Wellbore Breathing and Super Charging
  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Drilling and Tripping Operations
  • Data Collection and MWD/LWD
  • Casing and Cementing Operations
  • Managed Pressure Drilling
  • Dual Gradient Drilling
  • Day 4 Exercises; well control, Dual Gradient Calculations.


Day 5: Testing and Completions

The last day of the course covers well testing and completion operations on HPHT wells.

  • Well Testing Practices
  • Material selection and metallurgy for tubing and wellheads
  • Seals
  • Well Control aspects of testing
  • HPHT completions
  • Tubing Movement
  • Corrosion
  • Flow Control Equipment
  • Sand Production
  • Reservoir Depletion
  • Workovers
  • Day 5 Exercises; Material Selection, Reservoir Depletion, Workovers.

Day 1: Introduction

The first day introduces the students to the HPHT environment and what it means. We introduce some of the geological aspects of an HPHT environment and then take a detailed look at the behaviours of the various components with elevated pressures and temperatures.

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Defining the HPHT Environment
  • History of HPHT Drilling Operations
  • Geological & Geophysical Aspects of Abnormal Pressures
  • Challenges in HPHT Wells
  • Behaviour of Gases with elevated pressures and temperatures
  • Behaviour of Liquids with elevated pressures and temperatures
  • Behaviour of Metals with elevated pressures and temperatures
  • Behaviour of Elastomers with elevated pressures and temperatures
  • Day 1 Exercises; Gas calculations, Density Calculations

Day 2: Well Design

The second day of the course starts with a look at well design standards, well design for HPHT wells. 

  • Applicable well design, drilling standards, procedures and guidelines
  • Well Design Considerations
  • Pore and Fracture Pressures and pressure ramps
  • Well trajectories
  • Casing and tubular design and their connections
  • Well control aspects associated with casing design
  • Wellheads and wellhead growth
  • Primary Cementing / Remedial Cementing
  • Drilling Fluids (Oil Based / Water Based / Formate Brines)
  • HPHT Drillstring Design
  • Data Collection (LWD / MWD Tools / Drilling Data)
  • Elastomers
  • Contingency Planning
  • Day 2 Exercises: Tubular expansion, Drillstring design, Fluid challenges.


Day 3: Rig Equipment

The third day of the course starts with rig requirements for HPHT operations. We take a detailed look at equipment requirements for HPHT drilling as well as some of the rig requirements during the drilling of the well.

  • Rig and equipment requirements for HPHT Operations
  • BOP specifications and test requirements
  • Choke Manifolds for HPHT
  • Mud Gas Separator Sizing
  • Temperature safety aspects
  • Mud Coolers
  • Mud Testing Requirements
  • Hydraulics and ECD
  • Barite mixing requirements
  • Solids Control and Barite Sag
  • Pit Discipline
  • Finger Printing the well
  • Fluid compressibility & density
  • Gas Solubility
  • Day 3 Exercises; Temperatures, Barite requirements, Barite sag, Gas solubility, Mud coolers


Location Start Date End Date Cost Trainer Book
Upon request     £2,950 Steve Nas Make enquiry

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