Development of a model to calculate mechanical specific energy for air hammer drilling systems
MetadataShow full item record
Drilling for hydrocarbons is an expensive operation; consequently operators try to save costs by reducing the number of days spent during this operation. Drilling efficiently with the highest attainable rate of penetration is one of the ways drilling time could be reduced. Real-time monitoring of Mechanical Specific Energy will enable drilling engineers to detect when the optimum drilling rate for a given set of drilling parameters is not being achieved. Numerous works have been done on air hammers and rock Mechanical Specific Energy. Previous research has shown that Mechanical Specific Energy, which is a ratio that quantifies the input energy and Rate of Penetration (ROP) of a drilling system, is directly proportional to the rock compressive strength being drilled. The Mechanical Specific Energy model utilizes drilling parameters such as ROP, Weight on bit (WOB), RPM, torque, flow-rate, bottom-hole pressure, and bottom-hole temperature to show how effectively energy being put into the drill string is being converted to ROP at the bit. This research effort proposes a new model to calculate the Mechanical Specific Energy for air hammer drilling systems. A thermodynamic model for the air hammer from which the piston impact velocity and kinetic energy is obtained is presented. To be able to estimate the effective energy delivered to the rock by the hammer, the stress wave propagation model is used and factored into the Mechanical Specific Energy model. The Mechanical Specific Energy values obtained from the application of this model provide a qualitative indicator of formation pressure changes and a means for drilling engineers to detect when optimum drilling rate is not being achieved. It can be deduced from the model that the impact energy of the hammer is greatly affected by the pressure drop across the hammer and since the hammer accounts for about sixty percent of the energy required for destroying the rock, the ROP can be varied by varying the pressure drop across the hammer.
Okuchaba, Boma Jeremiah (2008). Development of a model to calculate mechanical specific energy for air hammer drilling systems. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from