Shallow water flow (SWF) layers are frequently encountered in deepwater areas when drilling into poorly consolidated geopressured sands (Figure 1). These sands, when flowing, can cause extensive damage to a borehole. More than $200 million has been lost to date for remediation and prevention of SWF problems in the Gulf of Mexico. Lately, this problem has also been a concern in many other deepwater clastic basins in the world.

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SWF sands are known to occur in water depths of 450 m or more and typically 300–600 m below the mudline. They are known to be present in almost...

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