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Air foam drilling technology

Several sets of low-density water-based micro-foam drilling fluid composition systems have been developed to satisfy the requirements of foam drilling under different geological conditions. The low-density water-based coarse foam plugging system along with foam drilling fluid recycling have been successfully tested on site. The challenge that air foam drilling can not be used for gas formation has been over come as the micro-foam drilling fluid has been successfully used for drilling high-output gas formation. Regarding the stability problem of foam fluid under ultra-high temperature condition, we have resolved and applied the solution in high-temperature geothermal wells. We have also developed a technology for preventing the erosion and corrosion of air drilling tools during air drilling.

In Iran, a ”19+2” contract was signed and successfully completed. In that project, air drilling and air foam drilling technologies were applied in the big size hole sections deeper than 2600m (deeper than 3000m in Shanul gas field) with diameters of 36”, 26”, 171/2” and 121/4” respectively and with single-well air/foam drilling footage accounting for 79.5% of total footage. Many technical problems such as lost circulation, hole shrinkage, wellbore collapse, water leakage, cuttings carrying in big borehole were resolved resulting in an increased drilling speed.

GWDC developed a thermal foam protecting agent to enable air foam fluid to work under temperatures of up to 150℃, and that has been successfully applied in geothermal wells in Kenya. To ensure safety during drilling in high-temperature geothermal well, GWDC established a well control operation programs for various working conditions. 17 geothermal wells have been smoothly drilled, with drilling speed increasing by 35%.