Full Scale, High Temperature and High Pressure Industry Test-bed for Increased Horizontal and Vertical Drilling Efficiency and Reliability Grant uri icon


  • Rotary drilling has become the global standard in the exploration and production of hydrocarbon resources. A typical operation consists of a derrick, rotary drive system, mud circulation equipment, drillstring and drillbit. The drillstring is comprised of many lengths of pipe that serve as a means to transmit torque, apply adequate weight on bit (WOB) and rate of penetration (ROP), transport fluids downhole and more recently has been used as a telemetry tool for relaying logging information to the surface. The downhole drilling environment usually includes extreme temperatures (450 F) and pressures (25,000 psi). Extensive research on drillstring modeling, dynamics, and control has been conducted for many decades, both theoretically and experimentally. However, engineering research tends to have a common Achillesâ heel â it is representative of real life and is intended for real-world applications, yet it does not take place in real-world situations. Whether it is a new refinery process or a control algorithm, non-fundamental engineering research suffers from the ability to transition from research to industry implementation. The main barrier for drillstring scientific research in dynamics and control is the difficulty involved in conducting experiments in a commercial operation actively drilling for hydrocarbons. Researchersâ access to commercial drilling operations, in addition to simply being extremely difficult to obtain, is limited to measurements and observations to not disturb the oil and gas production. In this project, a full-scale, industrial-size, and high pressure - high temperature (HPHT) drillstring test rig will be designed, build and tested. The research team will build a test rig which accurately replicates the downhole environment with regards to bit performance limiters. By having a facility which has a long, limber drillstring, a pressurized rock-bit interface and the ability to easily replicate specific scenarios; it is a step change in drilling research. Replicating the downhole HPHT conditions in a drilling test rig on the surface is a daunting challenge, which makes the proposed rig a very unique and valuable research commodity. The proposed test rig will provide these test conditions for developing longer lasting and more efficient bits, more effective drilling fluids, lower friction tool joints to increase WOB and ROP, automated drilling approaches and coding that will help to prevent drillstring and bit failures from stick-slip, bit bounce and other drilling anomalies, and increase drilling efficiency. Measured results from the testing will be used to formulate accurate force and torque laws that can be used in drillstring dynamics simulation software for operator training and automated drilling. The proposed test rig gives the industry a unique opportunity to couple experimental work that is representative of downhole conditions with actual industry problems and concerns. By using data sets from actual drilling operations, we will be able to replicate what is occurring downhole but in a controlled, measureable environment on surface. In this project, the proposed test rig will be used to validate: (i) an effective control technique to suppress/reduce the drillstring stick-slip and bit-bounce induced vibrations; (ii) a novel drillbit coating technology to reduce the drillbit-rock friction; (iii) an accurate user-friendly drilling dynamics modeling and analysis software. Stick-slip and bit-bounce are destructive dynamic phenomena encountered during rotary drilling of oil-wells, where their exact origins and interplay are far from obvious...........

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2021