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In 2011 a new Nace 10 97.1 ppf Casing Valve was successfully installed in well at a
Measured Depth (MD) of 3675 m, 50 degree inclination in an hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
environment up to 18 %. Well profile was implemented with an S shape trajectory featuring a
Pseudo-Catenary approach (fig. 1). The Casing Valve was set as permanent (non-retrievable- fig.
2) installation in 10 production casing about 400 m inside previous 13 3/8 casing shoe. More
specifically, the Casing Valve position details are the following :
- Casing Valve setting depth : 3675m MD (2899m Total Vertical Depth (TVD))
- 13 3/8 CSG shoe : 4075m MD (3155m TVD)
- 10 3/4 CSG shoe: 4947m MD (3837m TVD)
The Casing Valve is a full-bore and surface controllable flapper-type valve that can be
installed as an integral part of a casing string and used to have an additional down-hole barrier in
order to seal the wellbore pressure/fluid below it. A Casing Valve can be used to avoid the need
to kill the well in order to trip the drill string and install completion assemblies during nearbalanced and underbalance operation. It represent an additional down-hole mechanical barrier,
since it can be inflow tested such as a lubricator valve installed with casing. The valve surface
control is achieved by a two way armored control line that runs from the valve to the surface
control panel and hydraulic power unit. Operation of the valve is accomplished through the
application of pressure to either of the control line ways, for opening or closing respectively. To
open the valve, pressure is applied to one way. To close the valve, pressure is applied to the other
way. The presence og the control lines requires modification and penetration of wellheads.

The design of the Casing Valve allows the passage of the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA)
and all Down-Hole Equipment (DHE) when in the open position. When tripping out of the hole,
the string is tripped out until the bit is above the Casing Valve, which is then closed and the
casing annulus pressure above the Casing Valve eventually bled off. The drill string can then be
tripped out of the well without the use of a snubbing unit and at conventional tripping speeds,
thus reducing rig time requirements and providing improved personnel safety.
The Casing Valve can also be used to trip in the hole. The drill string is tripped back into
the well until the bit is just above the Casing Valve, the annulus pressure can be equalized, the
Casing Valve opened and the drillstring run in to continue drilling operations.

Casing Valves are particularly helpful and highly increase operation safety in losed Holed
Circulating Drilling (CHCD) mode. CHCD is a Managed Pressure Drilling technique used when
drilling present the risk of severe losses in highly fractured formations.
Usually, in CHCD mode, the annulus is kept full of light Annular Mud (LAM) which is
slightly underbalance condition with respect to the pore pressure at top of the fractured
formation. In order to restore the surface pressure balance, the annulus between the well and the
drllstring is kept closed by a Rotating Control Device (RCD or Rotating Blow Out Preventer)
which is sealed with a rubber element around the drillpipes (DP) and constitutes a barrier during
Before starting to trip out, a sacrificial fluid inside the BHA is displaced by kill mud
(with specific gravity higher than pore pressure) and all the annulus is displaced with new LAM,
in order to have an homogeneous fluid specific gravity weight for better control of the tripping
process. This is requirement especially for highly inclined well, where the possible slippage of
gas/oil on the high side of the well can be facilitated.
During tripping process the annulus pressure is constantly monitored to detect any
influx/losses. Once this happens, kill mud or base oil is pumped through the annulus, depending
by if influx or losses are detected. The most risky situation while operating in CHCD is the
tripping in.out of the heavy BHA. Because of specific dimension of BHA part, the sealing by
RCD is not possible, since RCD is temporally laid down in order to allow the passage of the
heavy BHA.
The well is maintained in slightly controlled losses condition by pumping kill mud into
the annulus, while the mud level is constantly monitored during all the required time to pull out
of the hole (POOH) or run in hole (RIH) the heavy BHA.
During the tripping of heavy BHA the only well barrier present for the annulus is the Kill
Mud. The planning of material/chemical and a good logistics management together with the
preparation/skill/training of the personnel are then the key points for guaranteeing the success of
the CHCD technique.