The oil industry is moving towards increasingly complex plays with challenging uncertainties and narrow drilling windows. To meet such a challenge Managed Pressure Drilling is increasingly being used to manage narrow pore pressure windows and drill deeper, higher pressure and higher temperature wells than was previously possible. At the same time the industry is facing stronger environmental and safety regulations that demand an improvement in risk characterization and pore pressure detection. While the new data from such techniques is valuable in constraining the pore pressure, it comes in new formats and often replaces or excludes some of traditional data such as connection gas that are normally used in real time pore pressure detection. Two cases are presented from two oil & gas exploratory wells in which the application of MPD (Managed pressure drilling) technique was critical for the success of the operation and where valuable pore pressure information was obtained to characterize and manage the drilling window. We conclude that MPD is an important tool in drilling wells with a narrow pore pressure and fracture gradient window. While MPD complicates some of the traditional methods of pore pressure estimation, it can be used proactively to get more accurate estimates.


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