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EC-Drill® Dual MPD system

Combining the best of Surface Back Pressure (SBP) and Controlled Mud Level (CML) for the ultimate MPD system. 

What Is EC-Drill® Dual MPD?

EC-Drill® Dual MPD is a Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) system where two MPD methods are combined.

It operates by default in CML mode with the ability to seamlessly switch to SBP mode to enable the best of both MPD worlds. This is achieved by adding a Riser Closure Device to the EC-Drill system. 

Where Do You Apply EC-Drill® Dual MPD Technology

Narrow Operating Windows

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Lost Circulation

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Deepwater and Ultradeepwater

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Managed Pressure Cementing

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Managed Pressure Gravel Packing

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Managed Pressure Drilling

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Influx Management

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What EC-Drill® Dual MPD Can Do For You

  • Rapid influx suppression, Controlled riser gas handling, Influx Management (IME), Dynamic Pore Pressure testing, Dynamic FIT and LOT
  • Reduce casing strings in the well design with the dual gradient effect which has saved USD 5 million+ per reduced casing string. This will also increase production with larger hole size in the Reservoir
  • Precise Volume Control during all well operations, even in harsh weather conditions. Providing early kick and loss detection. Influxes are detected faster, reduce influx volume and time required to safely deal with them, as well as ensuring quickly response to and mitigation of losses
  • Save rig time and improve operational efficiency. Faster, and safer tripping. Avoid time consuming mud displacements; change effective mud weight in minutes not hours
  • Achieve barrier requirements with Managed Pressure Cementing. Easy to apply to challenging cement operations. Improved well integrity. Replace expensive and complex specialty cements (Foam Cement, Lightweight blends and chemicals)
  • Increase production and achieve completion goals. Complete wells that cannot be completed conventionally, releasing stranded reserves. Perform text-book Open Hole Gravel Packs, even in depleted reservoirs. Proven increase in production by 20% to 40% compared to offset wells
  • Save Rig Time and Improve Efficiency. Well control studies have found that up to 70% of kicks occur when tripping. Tripping and Running with adjusted riser fluid level: Precise monitoring of volume in riser; Adjust fluid level in riser as required to compensate for surge/swab; Trip faster and safer regardless of depth and pipe size
  • Adjust Riser Fluid Level when tripping, cementing, and drilling instead of displacing the well. 6 to 12 hours saved per displacement. Avoid having multiple mud systems on board
  • Adjust the Bottom Hole Pressure (BHP) to manage depletion, pressure-ramps, narrow windows. Change BHP in minutes not hours

How to Get Started  

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How EC-Drill® Dual MPD Works

Adding SBP functionality to CML, with he SBP advantages:
  • Rapid influx suppression
  • Controlled riser gas handling
  • Influx Management (IME)
  • Dynamic Pore Pressure testing
  • Dynamic FIT and LOT

While avoiding the SBP disadvantages:
  • Flat time with deployment and changeout of RCD (To be able to drill ahead with SBP a Riser Closure Device (ACD or DA) would be required)
  • Underbalanced drilling MW
  • Added time for stripping and displacements
  • Large pressure variations between dynamic and static

And maintaining the CML flexibility and advantages:
  • Quick detection of influxes and losses
  • Volume control in all conditions (static and open hole)
  • Remove rig motion effects
  • Overbalanced fluid – fails to safer state
  • Surge mitigation while running casing/liners
  • Managed Pressure Cementing
  • Managed Pressure Gravel Packing
  • High uptime
  • Low OPEX 



EC-Drill® Dual MPD

EC-Drill® Dual MPD Visualisation tool

The simplified sketch illustrates the key components of the EC-Drill® Dual MPD system.

In normal mode in functions as the regular EC-Drill® system using the Subsea Pump Module to operate with the Controlled Mud Level MPD method.

For Riser Gas Handling or Influx Management the Dual Annulars can be closed, and the Surface Back Pressure Choke skid enabled



Frequently Asked Questions about EC-Drill® Dual MPD


Where has EC-Drill® Dual MPD been used?

EC-Drill® Dual MPD is so far used in the Gulf of Mexico. One rig is using it continuously for its drilling operations and a 2nd rig is being equipped for another long-term campaign.

Why use two MPD methods?

The purpose is to have the best of both worlds. The EC-Drill® Dual MPD system keeps all the benefits and features of the Controlled Mud Level MPD and adds the advantages of a Surface Back Pressure MPD. It gives an operator the flexibility of the regular EC-Drill® System for all drilling and completion tasks and adds the ability to conduct Influx Management and dynamically determine the well boundaries.

Are both MPD methods used together at the same time?

The default operating mode of the EC-Drill® Dual MPD system is the Controlled Mud Level method identical to the established EC-Drill® system. The Surface Back Pressure method is used primarily for Influx Management by closing the Dual Annulars and creating a closed system.

Is the Influx Management identical to a Surface Back Pressure System?

The EC-Drill® Dual MPD system offers different ways of circulating out an influx. One of the methods is similar and bypasses the Subsea Pump Module using only the MPD choke to control the influx. Because of the higher density of the fluid and the friction from the Mud Return Line the outcome is less pressure exerted both on equipment and the open hole compared to a regular Surface Back Pressure system. This enables larger size influxes to be circulated out within the defined limits.

How do you perform Influx Management with EC-Drill® Dual MPD?

There are different ways to circulate out an influx with the EC-Drill® DualMPD system. The most common approach is to use the Subsea Pump Modul as the Controller while the MPD Surface Choke is kept at a fixed value to prevent sluggish flow up the Mud Return Line. The choice of method will depend on the well conditions and is determined beforehand.


How does the EC-Drill® Dual MPD system work?

The operating philosophy for the EC-Drill® Dual MPD system is to use the Controlled Mud Level method by default to cover all regular operations. For Influx Management, Riser Gas Handling or Dynamic Pore Pressure Testing & Dynamic FIT/LOT the Annulars will close creating a closed system.

What are the benefits of EC-Drill® Dual MPD?

The EC-Drill® Dual MPD maintain all the flexibility and advantages of a Controlled Mud Level system. This includes unique detection and monitoring for all situations, Surge and Swab mitigation regardless of size of pipe (BHA, wireline, casing) and MPD control for all phases of the well construction. It also adds the advantages of a Surface Back Pressure System such as Influx Management, Riser Gas Handling or Dynamic Pore Pressure Testing & Dynamic FIT/LOT while avoiding the disadvantages like time consuming displacements, stripping in and out, and undesirable pressure profiles compared to the operating window

Can I use EC-Drill® Dual MPD as a regular Surface Back Pressure (SBP) system?

The EC-Drill® Dual MPD can be used for a limited time in SBP mode for regular drilling operations by deploying ACD’s instead of Dual Annulars. The purpose of EC-Drill® Dual MPD is to operate in Controlled Mud Level mode for regular operations and use SBP for Influx Management, Riser Gas Handling, and boundary determination.

Where has EC-Drill® been used?

EC-Drill® to date has been used offshore Brazil, offshore Mediterranean, in the North Sea, in the Barents Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico. It is applicable from shallow to ultra deep water application, with jack-up, semi-submersible or drillship.


Can I perform cementing operations with EC-Drill®?

Yes, EC-Drill® is well suited to manage pressure during cementing operations. The EC-Drill® system can easily perform Managed Pressure Cementing (MPC) in an operationally convenient manner. The combination can allow for use of more conventional cementing techniques in some cases.

Do you need a MPD ready rig?

EC-Drill® does not require a MPD ready rig as it can install on any offshore mobile drilling unit. The surface pipework that is required by EC-Drill® is minimal. If the rig is “MPD ready” for Surface Back Pressure (SBP) MPD, some of this pipe work can likely be used, but the amount EC-Drill® surface pipework is small, and this would not be a major factor in installation of EC-Drill® on a rig.

What is an EC-Drill® ready rig?

An EC-Drill® ready rig is in a rig where the supporting equipment is available to allow operation to commence within a short lead time. The only equipment to be mobilized is a Subsea Pump Module and Control system.

Do I need to change EC-Drill® between sections?

No, the EC-Drill® equipment is run with the drilling riser. It remains subsea and available for use during the entire period of the well drilling operation. It is then recovered with the BOP at the conclusion of the well.

How fast can EC-Drill® be mobilized?

With the popularity of EC-Drill®, the equipment is subject to availability. With available EC-Drill® equipment, the limiting factor will be rig integration time. The 3rd party modified riser joint is typically a longest lead item, with a usual lead time of 6 months, although 3 months lead time has been achieved on previous projects.

Case Studies


EC-Drill® Dual MPD - Influx Management

Learn how the EC-Drill® Dual MPD system safely circulating out influx with zero operating margin in Deepwater well. Safely circulating out an influx in a Deepwater well with zero operating margin.



EC-Drill® - Instant kick detection in GoM

Learn how a multi-national operator recently used EC-Drill®’s instant kick detection service to complement and enhance conventional kick detection methods during deep-water exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.



EC-Drill® benefits displayed on Shah Deniz

Learn how BP drilled a top-hole section on the Caspian’s Shah Deniz field through hazardous formations in terms of shallow water/gas flow from a fixed platform usin EC-Drill technology®



Watch our webinars 


Deepwater MPD | Introducing EC-Drill® Dual MPD

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EC-Drill® Controlled Mud Level technology

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EC-Drill® Discover the easier approach to MPD

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Discover MPD rig integration made easy

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Snorre Lutnes

Technical Sales Manager

Mobile:+47 45 83 30 37
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