Path optimization advisory and analytical tools for directional drilling
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In directional drilling, well positioning and drilling instructions are planned based on human experiences and may require excessive computation and drilling times. Directional drilling process nowadays lacks optimization and automation to improve performance and efficiency. A path optimization advisor is developed with novel cost analysis, to support real-time directional drilling decisions. Spline in tension is used to simulated drilling path in the path optimization algorithms; more accurate and convenient for optimization purposes than commonly used survey calculation methods. The best valued path is solved using multi-loop optimization process, by determining the path with the lowest accumulated cost. Costs specified for each section are formulated and transformed into equal units. Actual drilling instruction is fitted to the optimal path with consideration of motor tendency and capabilities. The advisor developed using Matlab is validated that such a system can be used in real time directional drilling environments, to provide suggestions. Test cases using simulated drilling situation and historical data are tested for resulting instruction validation. Produced instruction and path results proved to be realistic and optimized based on specified cost functions. Comparing the optimized path with actual drilling instruction and survey drilled in historical cases, plan suggested by the path optimization advisor provides a better valued correction path.