Drilling Hazards Management

Practical Strategies and Solutions

Course Format

The 5 day course is delivered in a hands-on workshop format with interspersed lectures and discussions. We use actual failed-well examples and literally "drill-down", building on Drilling Hazards Management and mitigation solutions. The course also includes examples on the use and value of Real Time Data in managing hazards and drilling optimization. Students will work in teams to perform workshop exercises and are encouraged to bring actual problems they are involved with into the class and discussion.

Course Instructors

The course is led by David Pritchard. David has over 45 years in the global E&P business. David has consulted for an array of national and international independents, major companies and service providers. David was selected to chair the Technical Subcommittee for the Presidential Commission of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group. He was also selected as Expert Witness for the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for the Macondo Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe: Well planning, design and execution.

David is assisted by Jesse Roye, Principal of Digital Oilfield Solutions. Jesse has over 35 years in the global E&P business and is an industry thought leader in Digital Oilfield and Real Time Operations, including Real-Time Operations Centers (RTOC) strategy, design and operation.


The course is designed to improve awareness, understanding and management of drilling hazards and uncertainties, most notably:

  • Shallow hazards
  • Fluid loss
  • Stuck pipe
  • “Ballooning”
  • Rock mechanics
  • Flat time and Simultaneous Operations

The course delivers the knowledge of best practices, well “listening”, or “fingerprinting” techniques and enabling techncoloiestechnologies to help ensure wellbore stability by mitigating and managing drilling hazards. Managing hazards is the precursor and fundamental to drilling optimization.

Personnel will solidify their ability to recognize pending hazards indicators that forecast problems and more importantly make the correct proactive decisions based on the totality of dynamic drilling conditions. The course also highlights the well planning process as a precursor necessary for successful well execution. Risk assessing hazards, engaging mitigation techniques, best practices and technologies to manage drilling hazards is fundamental to the course.

The goal is to provide the knowledge and skills combined with practical exercises to manage the drilling operations efficiently, trouble free and/or minimize the impact of unforeseen situations.

Quick summary of our workshop content

Understanding the hazards of uncertainties of the pore pressure and fracture gradient window with practical exercises (fracture strength, gradient, Equivalent Circulating Density, “ECD”, etc); identify data anomalies of narrow margin drilling and their impact on well plans and

contingencies; hazards avoidance, mitigation and the risks associated with operations: HPHT and Deepwater operations, The course also focuses on predictions (Initial and real time), the inherent weaknesses of predictions, planning and managing around the predicted uncertainties while drillingduring well construction..

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of the workshop the participants should:

  • Learn the best practices of well planning, drilling and completion in any narrow margin environment (Land, shelf, deepwater)
  • Understand hazards recognition, avoidance and mitigation techniques
  • Develop an understanding of the principles of narrow margin drilling hazards as they relate to the uncertainties of pore pressure and fracture gradient predictions
  • Understand the weakness of predictions, and the importance of real time calibrations
  • Understand the use and value of Real Time Data in managing hazards and drilling optimization for both rotating and static, or “flat-time” operations..
  • Understand the best practices and mitigating technologies and best practices to employ to manage the drilling hazards.
  • Understand the meaning and concept of “BAST”: Best Available and Safest Technologies” especially in relation to Process Safety.
  • Understand the importance of uncertainties in drilling and managing ancillary risks and consequences.
  • Understanding the importance of optimum casing seats in managing drilling hazards.
  • Identify the challenges and advantages associated with using Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD, UBD) in narrow margin drilling projects (mature fields, HPHT, deepwater)
  • Understand the hazards mitigating advantages of key enabling technologies such as drilling with casing and expandable cased systems.
  • Develop better well designs for drilling and completion for any wellbore configuration: The Optimum Well.

Who should attend?

The course is designed for the following personnel:

  • Drilling Engineers (Operations and Planning, Minimum 5 years Experience)
  • Drill Site personnel and/or supervisors.
  • Product Service Line personnel involved directly in drilling planning and execution
  • Other personnel involved in well planning and execution such as reservoir engineers and geologists.

Participants should be technically competent in engineering, drilling fundamentals, familiar with the geosciences, basic well planning and rig operations.

©Successful Energy Practices International, LLC 2010, 2011, 2012 Page 1 of 3