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NETL Extreme Drilling Laboratory Studies High Pressure High Temperature Drilling Phenomena

[+] Author Affiliations
K. David Lyons, Simone Honeygan, Thomas Mroz

U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory, Morgantown, WV

Paper No. OMAE2007-29478, pp. 791-796; 6 pages
  • ASME 2007 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 2: Structures, Safety and Reliability; Petroleum Technology Symposium
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 10–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4268-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3799-8


The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) established an Extreme Drilling Lab to engineer effective and efficient drilling technologies viable at depths greater than 20,000 feet. This paper details the challenges of ultra-deep drilling, documents reports of decreased drilling rates as a result of increasing fluid pressure and temperature, and describes NETL’s Research and Development activities. NETL is invested in laboratory-scale physical simulation. Their physical simulator will have capability of circulating drilling fluids at 30,000 psi and 480 °F around a single drill cutter. This simulator will not yet be operational by the planned conference dates; therefore, the results will be limited to identification of leading hypotheses of drilling phenomena and NETL’s test plans to validate or refute such theories. Of particular interest to the Extreme Drilling Lab’s studies are the combinatorial effects of drilling fluid pressure, drilling fluid properties, rock properties, pore pressure, and drilling parameters, such as cutter rotational speed, weight on bit, and hydraulics associated with drilling fluid introduction to the rock-cutter interface. A detailed discussion of how each variable is controlled in a laboratory setting will be part of the conference paper and presentation.



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