Automatic Control and Optimization of Drilling Operations
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Drilling automation initially gained acceptance in the Oil & Gas industry as a solution to increase rigsite safety. While safety-related drilling automation has been implemented, many companies are beginning to recognize that drilling automation oﬀers possibilities of performance enhancement also. Decision making in manual oil ﬁeld operations is dependent on how quickly the driller can recognize the problem, how knowledgeable the driller is regarding the problem and how quickly he/she can ﬁnd a solution for the problem. There is also a distinct lag in interpreting data and then taking corrective action. Such ineﬃciences are eliminated by adopting automated systems in place of human labor. In this work, the current state of automation in drilling engineering ﬁeld was studied and barriers to automation were identiﬁed. Mathematical models developed for automated drilling operations are to be simulated before testing them on a physical system. For this purpose, a simulation environment or a Drilling Simulator has been developed in LabVIEW. Automatic Managed Pressure Drilling using Constant Bottom-Hole Pressure technique was modeled using a PID controller and simulated on the Drilling Simulator. The simulator is open to design modiﬁcations. A model rig with fully automatic capabilities has been designed and constructed with design limitations on drilling parameters. To improve the performance, an optimization algorithm is proposed which makes use of Mechanical Speciﬁc Energy to maximize Rate of Penetration. The Drilling Simulator and the model rig can be used in conjunction to experiment with diﬀerent models and control methodologies.
Vishnumolakala, Narendra (2015). Automatic Control and Optimization of Drilling Operations. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from