Tulsa Drilling Research Projects

north campus oh three

Tulsa University Drilling Research Projects (TUDRP) is a consortium comprised of major oil and service companies and the U.S. Minerals Management Service. Currently 18 members support our research and provide the desired interaction with the industry.

The emphasis of research projects conducted under the TUDRP umbrella is placed not only on new findings but is also useful for practical application for the advancement of drilling technology and cost efficiency. TUDRP provides experimental data sets, develops math models for practical design purposes and provides bi-annual and final reports as part of the deliverables to its members.

More specifically, examples of the current projects in TUDRP are as follows:

Optimization of cuttings transport in extended reach wells.

We are running experiments on a large outdoor flow loop using two different designs of mechanical cleaning devices (MSD). The purpose is to determine the optimal position of MCDs in the wellbore and other operating parameters such as pipe rotational speed, mud flow rate etc.

Modeling of drilling fluid losses in naturally fractured reservoirs.

As a horizontal well intersects natural fracture, there is a tendency for a drilling fluid to enter the fractures and contaminate producing intervals. There is a need more better understanding of the factors that control the losses. We use both theoretical and experimental facilities to study this phenomenon.

Barite sag in inclined wellbores.

We use barite to control density of drilling fluids. However, barite has strong tendency to settle on the lower side of the hole resulting in possible formation damage as well as the reduction in drilling fluid density. We look into the effect of flow rate, pipe rotary speed and pipe eccentricity on barite sag. We have developed a flow loop for this purpose and the math model (computer program) to study barite sag.

Cutting efficiency of PDC cutters.

The purpose of this study is to develop better understanding of an interaction between a single PDC (man-made diamond) cutter and rock under different confining pressures. We use our high pressure cell for this purpose. Recent tests indicate that even rather small pressure overbalance, in the range of 200-300 psi, results in a significant reduction in cutting efficiency.

Some other projects:

Application of the discrete element method (DEM) for modeling of wellbore stability.
Cuttings transport with foam in highly inclined wellbore.

The effect of temperature on wellbore stability.

Gel strength of drilling fluids – the effect of temperature.