Design and analysis of a new sensing technique for casing joint validation through integrating turns measurement into a torque sensor
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Fossil fuels and their byproducts are a vital part of our economy, and society. Until renewable energy sources and energy storage technologies advance to the point where they are reliable and inexpensive, the US Economy will continue to depend upon fossil fuels. Current resources are being consumed, and the "easy to reach" reserves are becoming depleted. This leads to the requirement for more exploratory drilling, and the potential for more disasters like the recent Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Drilling is the first of several steps in the creation of a productive oil or natural gas well. Completing a well involves casing the walls in concrete to prevent damage to the surrounding rock formations and to ensure that all of the oil or gas is captured without escaping to the surrounding environment. Ensuring the piping, which is used to case wells, is assembled correctly and to manufacturer's specifications is the focus of this study. Individual pipe sections are screwed together with a requirement for torque and number of turns. Each joint must be verified to ensure integrity, and minimize the possibility of a spill or leak. The torque measurement can be accomplished by a "torque sub", a sensor installed in-line with the drill string. The torque sub is a wireless sensor that transmits torque data to the control system for logging and display. This thesis defines the parameters required to integrate a "number of turns" measurement into an existing torque sub so that both parameters can be captured, recorded and reported using a single device. The Yost Engineering 3-Space Sensor was evaluated for use in this application. The configuration that gave the most accurate data was selected, along with the determination of some correction factors to account for site specific variation in the signals. A calibration algorithm is discussed, along with several unique methods for ensuring that the sensor output doesn't drift over the course of the joint make-up process.