training specialists to the upstream oil and gas industry

Offshore and Deepwater Drilling Operations

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Course overview

This deepwater operations course is an introduction course designed provide an understanding of the technologies, terminology, concepts, processes, and equipment used for drilling and completing deepwater wells. 

The course follows the sequence of a general deepwater drilling program. It starts with the geological settings, well design and rig selection and rig types. The course then addresses the drilling operations from arrival on location right through to well completions. Aspects such as deepwater well control, shallow hazards and some emerging technologies such as dual gradient and Managed Pressure Drilling are presented. 

The course is designed for

This course is intended for drilling engineers, completion engineers, service providers as well as management roles for students that are about to be exposed to deepwater drilling operations and are trying to better understand the complexities. 

Course objectives and outcomes

The objectives of this course are to provide the participants with an understanding of the complexities associated with deepwater drilling operation. Candidates will gain an understanding of issues that must be addressed when drilling deepwater wells.

  • Deliver the awareness required for a multidisciplinary team's skills-set to be developed to enable the practical design, engineering and safe drilling operation of a deepwater well.
  • Develop the knowledge required to recognize and analyze the difficulties, challenges and opportunities that exist in deepwater drilling, design, execution and how to mitigate operations risks to as low as reasonably practicable
  • Equip participants with the required tools to evaluate, organize, plan, implement and control a deepwater well's drilling operating process from the project start to its end
  • Know the drilling differences between normal offshore and deepwater wells
  • Develop a wider skill to deliver a deepwater well's safe drilling and operational requirements
  • Enabled to label and identify key project hazards and risks presented within deepwater drilling, and have the knowledge to practice, control and mitigate the operating conditions and contingencies required
  • Develop the knowledge to adapt the technologies best suited for deepwater drilling operations

At the end of the course, the participants will understand the complexities associated with deepwater drilling operations and will have gained an understanding of the various issues must be addressed when drilling deepwater wells. 

Course outline

Day 4: Drilling the Reservoir

The fourth day of the course starts with deepwater drilling challenges and the management of a deepwater operation using some incident reports from deepwater rigs to present the challenges. Hydrates are discussed before moving to the topic of drilling fluids and hydraulics. The day is wrapped up with subsalt requirements and an understanding of the subsalt challenges.

  • Managing Deepwater Operations
  • Deepwater Drilling Challenges
  • Hydrates
  • Fluids
  • Subsalt
  • Day 4 Exercises; Logistics, Fluid volumes, Basic hydraulics, Bulk supply.


Day 5: Running Casing, Drilling with Casing

The last day of the course introduces new technologies such as dual gradient, and deepwater managed pressure drilling. We then move on to completions and deepwater well interventions before we wrap up the course. 

  • New Technologies
  • Dual Gradient Drilling
  • Deepwater Managed Pressure Drilling
  • Completions
  • Well Intervention
  • Day 5 Exercises; dual gradients and managed pressure drilling.

Day 1: Introduction

The first day introduces the students to the history of deepwater well operations. From there the students are introduced to the geological and pressure aspects of deepwater drilling operations and we complete the day with a look at deepwater well design requirements.

  • Introductions
  • Introduction to Deepwater Drilling Operations
  • History
  • Deepwater Locations and Geology
  • Overburden and Compaction
  • Pore and Fracture pressures
  • Deepwater Well Design
  • Day 1 Exercises; Rig types and generations, Pressure concepts.

Day 2: Open Water Operations

The second day of the course starts with a look at rig selection and station keeping requirements. Then we move on to open water operations with issues such as ROV’s and conductor installation before introducing wellheads, casing and cementing operations.

  • Rig Selection
  • Re-activating a stacked rig
  • Metocean & Currents
  • Station keeping
  • Open water Operations (ROV’s)
  • Conductors
  • Subsea wellheads and Casings
  • Cementing
  • Day 2 Exercises: Rig Crews, Watch Circles, Conductor Design, Casing and Cement.

Day 3: Connecting the rig to the well

Day three of the course starts with the surface casing and high-pressure housing installed. Time to connect the BOP and riser and look at the equipment and next steps in the drilling of a deepwater well and this includes all of the surface equipment used on a deepwater rig. We wrap the day up with a look at deepwater well control aspects

  • BOP Systems
  • Drilling Riser Systems
  • Drilling Equipment for Deepwater
  • Deepwater Well Control
  • Day 3 Exercises; Buoyancy of risers, Deepwater Well control.


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

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