Well design for environmentally friendly drilling systems: Using a graduate student drilling class team challenge to identify options for reducing impacts Conference Paper uri icon


  • The Oil and Gas industry is becoming more adept in reducing its impact on the environment and in showing optimal use of resources. This approach to environmentally friendly drilling offers the two-fold advantage of the reduction of the footprint of drilling operations while realizing savings by reducing waste treatment, hauling and remediation costs. The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University has incorporated an Environmentally Friendly Drilling System (EFD) design into its PE 661 graduate drilling class. The "661 Team Challenge" semester project was assigned to the students to "design a well on paper" using low impact drilling technology. A systems engineering optimization protocol approach was utilized to incorporate a number of current and emerging EFD technologies into a single clean drilling system with no or very limited environmental impact. A web-based decision optimization tool was developed to follow the systems approach technology evaluation procedure and select an optimal system. The resulting well designs were judged as to their suitability for implementation in a protected wetland on the Texas Gulf Coast. Copyright 2009, SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition.

author list (cited authors)

  • Burnett, D. B., Yu, O. Y., & Schubert, J. J.

publication date

  • November 2009