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Real-Time Data From Wired Drillpipe Leads to Improvement in Drilling Performance

This paper shows how high-frequency, real-time drilling data from wired drillpipe has helped optimization of drilling performance and achievement of additional improvements in the New Mexico Delaware Basin. The real-time downhole data provided increased understanding of the occurrence and mitigation of common drilling dysfunctions such as torsional vibration, whirl, axial vibration, motor microstalls, and pipe buckling. Both the data explaining downhole performance and the successful practices that resulted from the data analysis are discussed in the complete paper. The data and results have contributed to improved performance in this area of high activity and are useful for other areas with similar drilling practices.

Background

Since 2012, on-bottom drilling performance in the New Mexico Delaware Basin has improved steadily through insights gained from downhole memory data and a series of bit and BHA design modifications. Parallel to this, in 2015, Occidental initiated a global campaign to recognize and mitigate drilling dysfunctions through the use of mechanical specific energy (MSE). Although performance has improved through these initiatives, uncertainty in rock strength, tool reliability, proper drilling parameters, and general downhole conditions makes optimization a time-consuming and sometimes ambiguous process.

To accelerate the learning process and to help tailor parameters, BHAs, and bits to ensure maximum performance, more information about the downhole drilling environment was required. The intermediate sections in this area require drilling through eight formations with various rock strengths. Drilling dynamics change through the different rock types, and a configuration that works best in one formation may not work well in another. The same goes for drilling parameters and potential autodriller dysfunction.

High-speed drilling-dynamics data acquired through wired drillpipe can provide real-time insight into bit and formation interactions that are not available otherwise. This information is used to determine the root cause of lower-than-expected rate of penetration (ROP) or unusual surface parameter fluctuations. Through real-time data display, rig crews can diagnose dysfunctions quickly and correct them immediately. Simultaneously, the engineering staff can plan a redesign if needed.

The data allowed the team to use a deterministic approach and physics-based principles to improve performance. The learnings gained from using wired drillpipe were expanded to adjacent rigs using nonwired pipe. Furthermore, insights gained through the abundant data have been used to train the drilling team and build their confidence in the application of MSE methodology.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE/IADC 194093, “Performance Impact of Downhole Data From Wired Drillpipe and Downhole Sensors,” by Molly Giltner, Linsay Earle, and John Willis, Occidental Petroleum, et al., prepared for the 2019 SPE/IADC International Drilling Conference and Exhibition, The Hague, 5–7 March. The paper has not been peer approved.
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Real-Time Data From Wired Drillpipe Leads to Improvement in Drilling Performance

01 February 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 2

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