Under Balanced Drilling (UBD) pilot project in the Heera and Mumbai High fields of Western offshore India was recently completed successfully. The objective of the project was to establish whether the technology can improve productivity performance in the reservoir section, avoid reservoir damage and thereby enhance oil production from the wells. This paper incorporates the drilling experiences and challenges faced during execution of this pilot project, the well design considerations and methodology, evaluation of the drilling fluid systems and also describes the tangible benefits of using this technology in the drilling of these sections and wells. In terms of the productivity gains from drilling these wells using UBD technology, through the sub-hydrostatic formations offshore Mumbai, the results were very positive. With the success and encouraging results from the pilot project, more wells are now planned, including wells in the losses-prone and depleted Mumbai High and Neelam fields, to incorporate the experiences of the learning curve.

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