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Estimation of Risk Level Embedded in Drilling Operation Plans

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

It is not unusual that the difficulties encountered during a drilling operation can be tracked down to choices made during the planning stage. However, generating a robust drilling operation plan is not easy as there are often substantial uncertainties associated with the actual geological context. To address this problem, a method is proposed that evaluates quantitatively the risk levels of a drilling operational plan as a function of the underlying uncertainty associated with its description.

To achieve that goal, the first task is to describe precisely the sources of uncertainties. The limits by which a drilling operation shall conform may be uncertain therefore defining fuzzy risk boundaries. The actual well construction may deviate from the plan, either because of unavoidable uncertainties in measurements as with the actual wellbore position, or because adjustments will be made during the operation such as changes in mud weight and rheology. Finally, the actual possible drilling performance may be subject to unforeseen geological variations and unprecise formation rock strength characteristics.

Equipped with this probabilistic environment, the uncertainty is propagated into drilling simulations, and risks associated to pressure control, cuttings transport, and drill¬-string stability are evaluated. When a case has been described, the analysis is performed automatically and does not require any human intervention. The application of this methodology will be illustrated by several use cases from North Sea drilling operations.

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Course Chapters

  • 1Estimation of Risk Level Embedded in Drilling Operation Plans - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Eric Cayeux