Technical Paper: Identifying the Root Cause of Drilling Vibration and Stick-Slip Enables Fit-for-Purpose Solutions

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 151347
Presentation Date: 2012
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Severe vibration and stick-slip are devastating dysfunctions that significantly limit drilling performance. They cause equipment failure and increase non-productive time driving up field development costs. The evolution of real-time downhole measurement technologies can monitor the onset and severity of vibrations and stick-slip. However, the low-frequency of the measurement data and increasing BHA complexity, the information does not necessarily pinpoint the root cause of drilling dysfunction. Drillers are often forced to live with the trial-and-error process to mitigate vibrations/stick-slip, which is an expensive and inefficient approach.

Combining the engineering expertise with an advanced drilling dynamics model, the service provider has successfully identified the root cause of vibration and stick-slip in a number of challenging drilling applications worldwide. This enables engineers to concentrate on fit-for-purpose solutions rather than the traditional trial-and-error approach. Two case studies are discussed to outline and document the analysis process and the underlying solution technologies.
Case study-1: drilling a 16-in section in a Middle East gas field through heavily interbedded formations with hard stringers was damaging project economics. The root cause of damage was identified as bit whirl and axial vibration. The PDC was redesigned to improve durability and achieved the longest 16-in run in this field with ROP 18% faster than the best offset. 

Case study-2: hole enlargement while drilling a 17 1/2-in x 20-in section offshore Brazil was challenging due to hard and abrasive formations. Premature reamer cutter wear was identified as the root cause for stick-slip. A new generation of abrasion resistant cutters was implemented on the reamer and the BHA was optimized to reduce the weight at the reamer. The new assembly drilled and enlarged shoe-to-shoe in one run with minimum stick-slip and vibration.

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