Drilling Optimization Is An Art

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Drilling Optimization Is An Art!

Drilling optimization is the art of using technology, best practices and experienced personnel by managing integration between them. Teamwork and integration between well managers, geologists, drilling optimization engineers and rig team is essential to ultimately optimize drilling performance and minimize risks proactively.

The first step is to define a comprehensive repetitive process for the team to follow continuously in order to progressively elaborate and accelerate the learning curve. The first stage in this process should be analysing and understanding the previous relevant scenarios, problems and challenges, as well as lessons learned which should be included in the knowledge management system that addresses key weaknesses for maintaining continuous improvement to evolve. After identifying good practices in design and execution then it should be presented and discussed with the team to be executed according to the approved procedures. Since the optimization process is progressively elaborated, every task should be post analysed and reviewed for non-productive times, invisible lost times and areas of improvement. After understanding the root causes of non-productive and downtime the results are implemented in the next operations and included in the plan to mitigate unplanned future events and risks. The plan should be a result of analysing all influential elements in the operation including hydraulics, BHA Modelling, Torque and drag modelling and also trajectory optimization based on the mechanic earth model. Being responsive in execution as the next stage is necessary by using real-time data and downhole drilling parameters to drive a continuous feedback cycle. It is a good practice to monitor the operation in the office in real time by engineers which are involved in the operation decision-making process based on a drilling optimization culture which has established the synergy and integration between service companies, operation team and the office engineers.

After implementing good practices in the process there is a point that we reach a technical limit which would require the use of technology enablers to reach beyond the performance barriers confronted. There are a variety of technologies to be used today to optimize the operation which requires a feasibility study for each case to be justified for the returned added value. By considering all influential factors, at the end a key success factor would be how groups collaborate and communicate with each other in achieving performance optimization.


Vahid Daneshkhah
Project Manager
Drilling Operation

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