Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Workshop on Multilateral and Extended Reach Wells

Prinicipal Investigators:

Jerome Schubert


Minerals Management Service

Completion Date:

September, 2003

Final Report ID#

MLWS(Click to view final report abstract)


In order to efficiently exploit many of the world’s remote reservoirs and to minimize surface disruptions, many operators are utilizing extended reach and multilateral drilling technologies. Extended reach technology has allowed operators reach targets up to 35,000 feet horizontal displacement. This technology allows the operators to fully exploit many reservoirs from a single surface facility. ERD technology is applicable to land operations, as well as offshore. Offshore this can be accomplished from any type of drilling structure and any water depth.

Multilateral wells allow the reservoir to be produced from a minimum number of wellbores. The main wellbore is drilled to a depth above the target, and multiple wellbores are drilled into the target zones. This allows much greater wellbore contact with the reservoir from a single wellbore than possible with conventionally drilled wells.

This technology is relatively new to the U.S. offshore areas, but shows great promise in regions such as Alaska, California, and the Gulf of Mexico. Wells drilled in federal waters must have approval from the Minerals Management District Offices and are evaluated by the MMS district drilling engineers before approval is granted. These workshops will give the MMS engineers a better understanding of the latest ERD and Multilateral technology, and allow for a more efficient approval process.


We will perform a literature review of the state of the art in multilateral and extended reach wells. We will use he results of the literature review to prepare Power Point presentations which will then be used to conduct a workshop for the MMS in two locations. This workshop will be made available for other entities that are interested in applying this technology to their operations.


The information gathered and prepared will be used in two workshops. One workshop will be held in the MMS office in Camarillo, CA, and the other in New Orleans, LA or College Station, TX. The anticipated audience for these two workshops will be engineers employed by the MMS in the Pacific and Alaska regions for the California workshop, and the New Orleans region. The workshop will also be available for presentation in other locations where extended reach and multilateral drilling could be utilized

The presentations will also be used in two graduate Petroleum Engineering courses which will be offered in the fall of 2002 in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University.


Scope of Work: We will perform a literature search in the state of the art in Multilateral and Extended Reach Drilling. The information gathered in the literature review will be used in preparation of the PowerPoint presentations to be used in the workshop. We will present the workshop to the MMS engineers at two different locations; once at the MMS offices in Camarillo, CA and New Orleans, LA or College Station, TX.

Anticipated Results: The workshop should provide the MMS Engineers with insight into the state of the art in multilateral and extended reach wells. The workshop should also aid these engineers to develop a list of issues and concerns regarding multilateral and extended reach wells.


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