Shallow water flow is a serious drilling hazard encountered across several areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Numerous incidents have occurred in which intense shallow water flows have disrupted drilling, added millions of dollars to the cost of a well, or caused a well to be abandoned. In one survey of 74 offshore wells, Alberty and colleagues found only 34% of the wells did not encounter problems related to shallow water flow. In separate writings, Holm and Alberty stated that steps taken to prevent or remediate shallow water flow add at least $2 million to the cost of a well.

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