Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD)

Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD)

Precision and Safety in Every Drill

Alpine Energy’s Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) services offer a sophisticated approach to drilling that enhances safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Our MPD solution is designed for precise control over the wellbore pressure, enabling drilling operations in complex and challenging environments.

Alpine Energy Services

Process Overview

Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) is a specialized drilling technique that involves carefully controlling the pressure inside the wellbore to prevent unexpected surges of oil, gas, or fluids from formations. In MPD, engineers use advanced equipment and techniques to precisely regulate the pressure, allowing for safer and more efficient drilling. This method helps reduce the risk of well control issues, such as blowouts and enables drilling in challenging environments where traditional methods may not be effective.

MPD is often used in deepwater drilling, high-pressure formations, and other complex drilling scenarios. MPD offers a closed-loop system to balance and manage pressures, enhancing drilling efficiency and safety. Our experts and equipment provide end-to-end services, from planning to handling fluids and gas at the surface. Our services include analysis, planning, and execution of MPD programs. Specialized services are also available for high-efficiency operations. We use advanced software to establish optimal pressure limits, fluid hydraulics, and mud weights for the well design and drilling plan.

If MPD is needed, we select and optimize equipment to integrate economically with the rig. Customized systems are designed for each well, ensuring maximum performance. Our engineers execute the plan, managing pressure throughout drilling, tripping, and cementing. Rapid response to changing situations turns MPD decisions from reactive to proactive.

Benefits of MPD

Key Components

Flow Control Equipment

Alpine's Flowmax Manifold

Using the latest technology in advanced adaptive control, our choke Control System is a robust real-time controller, specialized in automated managed pressure drilling (MPD) and underbalanced drilling (UBD) operations. It allows the driller to maintain constant bottom-hole pressure by controlling the equivalent mud weight, adjusting it within seconds instead of hours.

This enhanced drilling control helps eliminate downhole incidents such as kicks and fluid loss, reduces non-productive time by recognizing transient operations and features an intuitive interface to give the driller an instant overview of the operation in real-time.

System Features

Digital well planner​

  • Facilitates hydraulics modelling through the complete life-cycle of well construction for  all phases; planning, operations and end-of-well analysis
  • Easy import functionality for wellbore trajectory (Azi/Inc/MD)
  • Visualization of wellbore trajectory in 2D and 3D
  • Steady-state hydraulics
  • Fast and accurate calculations of hydrostatics and circulating friction (ECD)

Influx Management ​

  • Calculation of the influx based on real fluids assuming single-bubble gas distribution
  • Supported pressure limits
  • Set surface pressure limit
  • Set subsurface weak point pressure limit
  • Set maximum operational volumetric influx limit

Full-featured hydraulics model​

  • Real fluid PVT and rheology models
  • Hydraulics model configured by well program parameters only
  • trajectory, casing program, fluid, etc.
  • Simultaneously visualize annular pressures in EMW and pressure

MPD Anchor Point​

  • Set anchor point pressure in EMW or pressure units
  • Change anchor point depth while maintaining constant EMW

Data export functionality​

  • Full simulation data export (CSV)
  • Auto report generator


Pressure Controller

The Pressure Controller is built on the latest technology in advanced adaptive control, typically used in autonomous aircraft for extreme performance and robustness. The Pressure Controller allows the driller to choose one of four control modes.


  • Choke pressure (single/dual)
  • Downhole pressure (requires Hydraulic Model)
  • Standpipe pressure
  • Choke flow

The Pressure Controller is resilient against any sensor failures and downhole well incidents.

The choice of control mode does not affect the overall performance

Hydraulic Model​

Our hydraulic model is a high-performance, real-time downhole pressure estimator that is tested and verified with field data. It captures the downhole dynamics and is both easy to configure and calibrate. The Hydraulic Model can be used standalone or with the choke Pressure Controller.


  • Estimates downhole pressure at any location (virtual sensors)
  • Automatic Calibration
  • Continuous estimation between PWD updates (e.g. connections) or manual calibration (calculated)
  • Handles circulation, drilling, connections, multi-fluid operations, surge-swab and more.

Influx-Loss Detection​

The Influx-Loss Detection module is a kick detection algorithm that can detect symptoms of downhole incidents before they evolve into a well control event. It has been tested against the Hydraulic Simulator in real life and accounts for transient drill operations (connections, pressure set-point changes, surge, and swab effects) to avoid false alarms.


  • Enable earlier detection of influx/loss
  • Avoid false alarms
  • Single-most cost-effective measure to reduce Non-Productive Time (NPT) caused by kick/loss incidents.

Rotary Control Device


  • Manufactured in accordance with API 16RCD.
  • Static ratings from 500 psi to 5,000 psi.
  • Unique seal carrier design for extended rotary seal life.
  • Bearings mounted specifically for increased radial load capacity.
  • Precise bearing preload without the use of springs or shims.
  • Pilot-operated latching dogs ensure engagement during the loss of power: fail the last position.
  • Circulated or sealing bearing options.
  • Rotational speeds up to 220 RPM.
  • Fully containerized, making mobilization simplistic while keeping the standard 20’ x 8’ shipping dimensions

Model CX3 (Worm Gear)


  • The model CX-3 is a worm-gear-driven drilling choke that can be hydraulically or electrically actuated.
  • The gear assembly allows for fine incremental flow control adjustments. The block style body allows for the versatility to adapt to a wide variety of end connection types, including ANSI, API and Hammer Union options.
  • Manual override ability provides end users added insurance that control ability will be maintained in the event of power loss.
  • Chokes and control systems can be configured to customer specifications upon request.
  • Manufactured to API-6A PSL-3 Manufactured to NACE MR0175
  • API-16C monogram available upon request Available in 1-1/2′′,2′′or 3′′ orifice size
  • Available up to 15,000 PSI.
  • Tungsten carbide reversible trim set allows for extended service life of common wear components
  • The optional gantry system provides field-friendly service and maintenance operations
  • Wear resistant nose cone for extended wear protection
  • Two tungsten carbide wear sleeves are installed in the outlet spool for extended wear protection
  • Electric control options available upon request Manual override capability
  • Digital position indicator
  • Gate, seat, stem and bonnet removal tools available upon request