DEVELOPMENT OF AN ALGORITHM TO ANALYZE THE INTERRELATIONSHIP AMONG FIVE ELEMENTS INVOLVED IN THE PLANNING, DESIGN AND DRILLING OF EXTENDED REACH AND COMPLEX WELLS

Open Access
Author:
Agbaji, Armstrong Lee
Graduate Program:
Petroleum and Mineral Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 07, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Robert William Watson, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Extended Reach Drilling
Abstract:
Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) is an integrated methodology for drilling high-angle well bores with long horizontal displacements. Typical problems that have come to be associated with this type of operation include: Directional Well Design, Torque and Drag Limitations, Hydraulics and Hole Cleaning, Vibration and Wellbore Stability, Equivalent Circulation Density Management, as well as Mud Rheology and Solids Control. Given these problems, the drilling operation of ERD wells should be a closed-loop process that starts at the pre-job planning phase, is carried on through the design and execution phase, and results in the implementation of lessons learned. For high levels of performance improvement to be achieved, it is essential to analyze the interrelationship among the elements involved in the entire drilling process. This is because a system that considers the individual elements of the drilling system in isolation is inadequate to deliver desired performance improvement. In this study, an algorithm that sets forth a design for a drilling program that is suitable to drill an extended reach well was developed using Visual Basic. Although the algorithm touches on several factors affecting extended reach drilling, the major focus is on the five elements, which are considered the critical factors. These are: Well Planning and Trajectory Design, Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) Design, Drill String Design, Torque and Drag Analysis, as well as Hydraulics and Hole Cleaning. The proposed algorithm evaluates the interrelationship among these critical factors and provides direction on the processes and tasks required at all stages in the design and drilling of an ERD well to achieve better drilling performance. It also affords both office and field personnel the capability to identify drilling performance problems and by evaluating results, identify remedial actions quickly and accurately.