Smart Solution

The demanding industry today continues to drill progressively challenging and costly wells, through more challenging formations.

Every year, operators lose hundreds of millions of dollars in their attempt to resolve drilling problems such as shock and vibrations, damage to bits and under-reamers, poor hole cleaning, borehole washouts, stuck pipe, plugged drillstrings and poor or inconsistent drilling performance. An analysis of worldwide drilling operation failure statistics in 2012 showed that a 38% were associated with stuck pipe, 27% caused by shock and vibration and 9% due to drillstring plugging.

Severe downhole drilling dynamics and vibration cause drillstring failures that can incur significant amounts of non-productive time. Drillers must trip out of hole either to replace bits or damaged bottom hole assemblies, perform fishing operations or drill costly sidetracks. Poor performance and reduced rates of penetration can occur when there is sufficient transfer of power to the bit, when cutting structures wear out permanently, or when rigsite personnel apply overly conservative drilling parameters due to a lack of trustworthy real time actionable information on downhole conditions.

PVI has a variety of software packages that can be an smart solution for many of these situations that operators and service companies have to deal with. For example, the software can help users to effectively reduce risks by quickly identifying the type and severity of downhole motions, detecting poor hole cleaning or sticking pipe probabilities at an early stage, plus many more. For directional drilling, users can enhance borehole quality, assist casing running and manage wellbore tortuosity. Users can also increase drilling performance by selecting drill parameters that increase the drilling efficiency and improve overall rate of penetration among many other things. For both onshore and offshore, PVI software can perform engineering calculations that optimize business and technical decisions and also provide quality engineering consulting and customized development.


Ingenuity Requires Persistence

There are several quotes from famous authors that talk about how “ingenuity can lead to significant rewards and how “persistence can be the key to survival. However, how high are the stakes when it comes to ingenuity and persistence in order to obtain significant rewards?

On the path towards any goal worth striving for, there are going to be obstacles, however, these obstacles cannot stop you from reaching your destination, it’s an opportunity to prove just how much this goal means to you. These are the moments in which to engage in persistence where you simply refuse to be deterred by the hurdles that one finds on any journey worth taking.

Increasing sophisticated and technological software is always the main goal; but simplicity and functionality are without a doubt very essential aspects of a software that must be kept in mind at all times during the developing process.

Technology is advancing unimaginably in today’s world. Each day new technology comes to live and brings the world better products. The drilling industry faces similar expectations and its growth isn’t just demanding but also fundamental for survival. With this in mind, we feel that our drilling software aims to achieve those goals fully. With the help of PVI software, companies worldwide can benefit not only by saving time, but also by saving money while making their operations more efficient and effective.

As an example of how ingenuity requires persistence let’s talk about HYDPRO, our drilling hydraulics model.

HYDPRO - Drilling-Hydraulics | Pegasus Vertex, Inc. - Drilling Software

When drilling a vertical or an extended-reach well, if the equivalent circulating density (ECD) is either too low or too high, it can cause serious problems or compromise the project. For this reason a successful drilling operation largely relies on achieving the optimal ECD, and an optimized drilling hydraulics software can allow engineers to plan ahead, improve drilling efficiencies and reduce the risks. HYDPRO is a well-developed model, but when it comes to its user-friendly design as well as the interfaces, users will find it very simple and operate it effectively. It provides 3D visualization for planning, as well as summaries and analysis results that can be generated in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats in no time.

HYDPRO covers all aspects of hydraulics, for instance:

  • Downhole circulating pressures
  • Surge and swab
  • Equivalent circulation densities (ECD)
  • Bit optimization
  • Hole cleaning
  • Cuttings concentration
  • Volumetric displacements

Thanks to a software like HYPDRO, the downhole drilling conditions can be cautiously examined and any potential problems can be identified prior to the job execution.

Today, our computer modeling is getting more advanced and the results are clearly worthwhile, because in the end is all about focusing on ingenuity and focusing on persistence.


A Phrase of Being Stuck

Jill Scott said:

“I need to find a creative diversity because if I get stuck, I get unhappy.”

At times we all find ourselves stuck in different aspects of our lives.  Maybe not for the same reason; sometimes it could be fear, guilt, nostalgia and even boredom, but the result is the same.

We’re stuck.

But then, how can we get out of it? How do we get unstuck? The answer is very simple: “we find the problem and along with it, we find the solution”. Let’s take this example and apply it to the drilling process.

During a drilling operation, if a pipe cannot be freed from the hole without causing any damages to the pipe and without exceeding the drilling rig’s maximum hook load this is considered a stuck pipe. Pipe sticking can be classified under two categories:

  1. Differential pressure pipe sticking
  2. Mechanical pipe sticking

When having complications due to a stuck pipe this can be nearly half of the total cost of the well, making stuck pipe one of the most expensive problems that can occur during a drilling operation and is a serious risk in high-angle and horizontal wells.

Drilling through depleted zones, where the pressure in the annulus surpasses that in the formation, might cause the drillstring to be pulled against the wall and embedded in the filter cake deposited there. The internal cake pressure diminishes at the point where the drillpipe contacts the filter cake, causing the pipe to be held against the wall by the differential pressure. In high-angle and horizontal wells, the gravitational force contributes to prolonged contact between the drillstring and the formation.

What are some of the mechanical causes for stuck pipe?

  • Keyseating
  • Packoff from poor hole-cleaning
  • Shale swelling
  • Wellbore collapse
  • Plastic-flowing formation (i.e., salt)
  • Bridging

What are some of the signs that need to be monitored to prevent stuck pipe?

  • Increasing in torque and drag
  • Excessive cuttings loading
  • Tight spots while tripping
  • Loss of circulation while drilling

Depending on what the suspected cause of sticking is, it is necessary to act properly and urgently.

There is a tool developed by PVI Called StuckPipePro, which is a stuck pipe analysis that every operator should have to reduce the risks of pipe sticking to the minimum. This effective tool is equipped with great features, for example: stuck chance calculation, free point calculation, back-off force calculation, stuck pipe mechanism, which assist in determining the mechanism that is actually behind the stuck pipe situation and which technique should be used to free the pipe. It also comes with a decision flow chart that guides users through a series of questions to find the cause of pipe sticking.

StuckPipePro - Stuck-pipe-analysis

StuckPipePro - Stuck Pipe Analysis

Just like the phrase of being stuck said by Jill Scott; once we find the problem, we’ll find the solution, in this case, with StuckPipePro.

The Toughest Event on the Planet

I was very nervous when I signed up for the Tough Mudder race, especially for the electrodes and the ice baths, but I was ready for a new challenge and it turned out to be a lot of fun. In April 2012 a friend came up to me and asked me if I wanted to join his team for the Tough Mudder race, which is a 12 mile assault course that involves many obstacles and a lot of mud. I was a little hesitant at first because I didn’t want to commit to something so challenging but I succumbed to peer pressure too easily and I signed up.

I must admit the training was hardcore. It was a 5 hour nonstop workout, three times a week for 3 months, but not the regular workout most people are used to or know about. A regular workout consists of cardio, stretch and weights and the dirtiest you can get is with your own sweat, but the training for Tough Mudder goes far beyond that. The “cardio” is 5 hours long consisting of running, swimming and jumping. The “stretch”, well that one can be a regular stretch that one does before a normal workout, but the “weights” consists of lifting heavy logs while running and swimming, climbing high walls, cliff-hanging, and most of the time carrying one of your teammates because they are too weak to continue and all this while being all covered in mud from head to toe. I will admit that I found the training extremely challenging, but only because I was a little out of shape and I had a thing of being underwater for more than 10 seconds, and being in closed and small spaces, but despise these qualms, would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Mud Toggler And Drilling Software

This race is considered the toughest event on the planet, but all those challenges can be overcome with the appropriate training and in the end even if you don’t win the race, you fill fulfilled when you see all those hundreds of people working together to reach their goal. The drilling of a well is undoubtedly the most recognizable process of the oil and gas industry, but while the purpose of a drilling rig is quite simple, the process, itself, is anything but. Many problems can arise when the drilling process begins. Some of these problems are:

Pipe sticking
Hole deviation
Lost circulation
Pipe failures
Borehole instability
Mud contamination
Formation damage
Hole cleaning

These are just a few of the many other problems we can encounter while performing a drilling operation.

How can we deal with these challenges before they turn to major problems? Well, just like a person that enters the Tough Mudder has to train hard in advance to be prepared for the race, a drilling engineer must prepare himself beforehand so that when he faces the challenges he’ll be able to make a smart move to avoid having bigger problems.

BigCube of Pegasus Vertex

Pegasus Vertex, Inc. offers a variety of software that are the latest in technical advances and they are excellent tools for both onshore and offshore operations, in other words PVI can “train” any drilling engineer to be able to anticipate and therefore prevent any problem that can occur during the drilling process, so they can be prepared to make one of the toughest events on the planet (drilling operations) be a successful one.

Measurement of Successful Drilling Software

Being a food lover, I like to try different restaurants. A simple test to see if a restaurant is any good is to try their simple and inexpensive dish. For example, I would order a hot-and-sour soup from a Chinese restaurant. If the chef can transform simple ingredients like mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, tofu to a deep and spicy marvel, then one can expect the taste and quality of the main dishes.

Similar methods can be applied to many products and services including drilling software.

To fully test a comprehensive software package is time consuming. For example, our casing wear prediction software CWPRO covers torque and drag model and casing wear accumulation for a given schedule of drilling operation. The theory part is sophisticated enough to write a PHD thesis. The graphical user interface makes the complicated prediction a very easy task. Thanks to the carefully designed navigation structure.

To evaluate CWPRO and find its user-friendliness probably takes a couple of days. But if you have a chance to use our simplest software Dr. DE – drilling engineering toolbox software, you will be amazed at how quickly those 180+ functions solve drilling problems in seconds.

It is like a good appetizer in a feast!

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.

“If I die because of this, I’ll be very mad!”

My 7-year old daughter caught cold and ran fever. While taking her temperature, I told her not to bite the thermometer. “There is mercury inside and it is poisonous.” I said.  “Will I die if I accidently break it and swallow it?” She became serious. “You might.” I answered.

“If I die because of this, I will be very mad.” Her comment lost me for a second and then gave me a good belly laugh.

I think it must be logic for her to say that. It is such a small thing, but could lead to catastrophic ending. Her words made me laugh and think.

Our daily lives are packed with small actions. Many of us would think that if we screw up here and there, it won’t be the end of the world. Or at least that’s what we would like to think. It turns out some of the biggest and costliest disasters have resulted from us making a single tiny mistake, such as the natural gas well blowout in Kaixian County, Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. The blowout occurred on Dec. 23rd, 2003 and released highly toxic hydrogen sulfide killing 234 villagers.

Investigation later showed that this catastrophe was actually caused by many small acts of workplace negligence, including turning down blowout prevention valve and not igniting the blowout gas quickly enough.

Learning from our mistakes is a crucial step in growing and improving ourselves. However, if we could avoid the mistakes but also learn the would-be mistakes, then we earn our credits without paying too much tuition.

One way of doing so, in my mind, is using drilling software for training, simulating different circumstances and observing results. Just like a flight simulator re-creates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies for pilot training, drilling simulator with drilling software can allow drilling engineers to see the results from various operation parameters.

In addition to training, drilling software offers engineering planning and design. It is like a rehearsal of upcoming drilling operation, in which we can identify potential problems, gain confidence and increase our success rate.

Naming of Drilling Software

Almost everything on earth has a name in various languages as a point of entry. All names start in someone’s brain, the brain of someone like parents, discoverers, pioneers, inventors, and innovators. Naming is like writing a poem under constraint. You have to evoke shades of meaning in small words, paint a picture with few letters. For commercial products, naming is to link them to ideas that consumers already understand and to make the association vibrate.

Each great name like FedEx, BlackBerry, Porsche or Starbucks has its own story to tell about the new synthetic corporate language. These names are vessels capable of carrying big messages.

By the time I became a software developer and had to create names for drilling software, I was well aware that we live in a world filled with brand names. They are a part of the soundtracks of our lives. Instead of saying a cup of coffee, we say “Go Starbucks.” Mere mention of Chevron reminds us of a giant oil operator, rig floors, gas station, etc. As adman Claude Hopkins writes, the best names “are almost complete advertisements in themselves.”

When we finished our torque and drag program for oil well drilling, I was immediately aware of how hard it was to distinguish a new name from existing ones. At that time, drilling software market was filled with models like DDrag from Maurer Engineering and others. Our torque and drag model is not only for drilling operation, but also covers casing running, casing flotation, packer setting and cementing operations. To capture the broad spectrum of this new torque and drag model, we wanted a name to be more than a label, to have a compelling quality in itself and to flash a dramatically desirable picture in people’s mind. In short, we wanted a name to unlock the power of this new model.

After much brainstorming, we finally settled on TADPRO. A new name was born. I was taken by the symmetry of the name that TAD and PRO have 3 letters each. I felt that a word ending in “O” was approachable and playful. PRO projects a sense of sophistication.

On sound symbolism, when you pronounce the word TAD, it starts out crisp. Both T and D are exploded. Overall, TADPRO delivers a quick, responsive personality. Compared with DDrag, TADPRO is much faster.

Many brand names owned by corporations have gone beyond their original marketing purposes and have become bits and bytes of our modern daily language. We take an Advil and apply ChapStick.

Similarly, someday, drilling engineers, when doing torque and drag analysis for a particular operation, will simply TADPRO operation, just as we FedEx packages.