Flying Among The Clouds

Louis D. Brandies once said:

“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done. Impossible means that you haven’t found the solution yet.”

A little over 100 years ago there were things that were considered impossible to do and that there was no way they could ever be achieved. For instance, to be able to fly among the clouds, but was it really an impossibility? Time proved that it wasn’t.

Just like flying among the clouds was impossible to do once, there are many things that thanks to the advancement of technology now are possible. For instance, a few decades ago horizontal or extended-reach drilling was considered impossible as well as casing wear prediction. In these environments, casing design is critical to a safe and successful drilling operations and well production, and unexpected casing wear can result in significant costs or even the loss of the well itself. This is the problem that drilling companies want to prevent.

So the question is: Is there any tool or software to calculate and predict casing wear severity? Yes there is! It’s called CWPRO.

2D wellbore schematic in CWPRO

This casing wear model uses the number of drill string rotations and contact force between the drill pipe and casing to calculate wear. The contact force is calculated using the dogleg severity inside the well. The maximum dogleg severity frequently determines the location and extent of the most severe casing wear. CWPRO helps operators and service companies identify, control and prevent potential problems. In overall the goal of CWPRO is to more accurately quantify casing wear risks and to ensure that the integrity of the casing is maintained during drilling operations.

Like mentioned before, there are many things that were considered an impossibility not too long ago like for instance, flying among the clouds. Likewise, thanks to software like CWPRO, predicting casing wear is no longer impossible; it is a fact.

Drilling Software: See the Invisible

We just had a T-Shirt design contest. Graphic designers were asked to put drilling software in perspective of the design.

Nowadays, drilling engineering software is an indispensable tool for drilling engineers. Directional and extended reach drilling and HTHP wells challenge us with more and more technical difficulties. Software is one of the solutions to these problems. However, because of its abstract nature, it is not easy to illustrate drilling software in a T-shirt design. At least, it is difficult to have a good design without using abused images of drilling rigs and computers.

One of the submissions is a pair of glasses as shown below.

See the Invisible | Pegasus Vertex, Inc. - Drilling Software

As soon as we saw it, we liked it. It has a subtle message: our drilling software allows engineers to see the downhole condition, which is invisible to normal eyes.

Oil and gas well is created by drilling a hole of 5 to 50 inches in diameter into the earth with a drilling rig that rotates a drill string with a bit attached. During drilling process, engineers and drillers heavily rely on the limited information on the rig floor to determine the downhole condition, because they cannot see the subsurface.

Typically, only one tenth of iceberg is above water. Majority of iceberg is below water, making it difficult to determine its shape and size. Similar situation exists on the rig floor. Drilling engineers only have handful observations such as hookload, surface torque, pump pressure, ROP, RPM, etc. They can neither see what happens to drill string or formation nor accurately measure the buckling of the pipe. It is like a situation that we walk cross a muddy river: we cannot see the river bed, but our feet do their best sensing the water, mud and rock and send a message to our brains. Drilling operation is a dialog between drillers and formation in the dark. Drilling software turns on light to let engineers see the invisible.