Real-time Control and Vibrations Analysis of a Completely Automated Miniaturized Rig
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Drilling Automation has become an important research effort in the Oil and Gas Industry since the fall of Oil prices in 2008. The cyclical nature of our industry and the fierce competition is pushing operators and drilling service companies to either be more efficient, or fade. A miniaturized autonomous drilling machine was built for the Society of Petroleum Engineering – (SPE) DSATS 2016 Drillbotics™ International Competition with the objective of performing optimal operations in terms of rate of penetration and energy efficiency. The miniaturized rig uses state-of-the-art sensors, control algorithms, and innovative instrumentation solutions, leading to a significant amount of data to be analyzed in real-time. High-frequency data was acquired using LabVIEW and analyzed in real-time using the MATLAB programming environment. The results of the analysis are used in a closed-loop control algorithm to optimize the rate of penetration, energy efficiency and mitigate drilling equipment failures. Using real-time instrumentation data an automated step-test procedure was implemented to optimize drilling parameters on the fly. Remote control and surveillance is possible through an in-house developed web server and smartphone app. During the initial testing phase, vibration-induced dysfunctions were mitigated and a 110% rate of penetration improvement was observed compared to initial tests. In addition, control structure was enhanced with stand-alone micro controller driven controllers that improved weight on bit (WOB) and RPM control accuracy by 305%.
Zarate Losoya, Enrique (2016). Real-time Control and Vibrations Analysis of a Completely Automated Miniaturized Rig. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from