Testing geologic and geometric effects on drilling operations using torque and drag models

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Ho, Anthony, M.S. in Engineering

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Intuitively, geologic and geometric effects on torque and drag should be significant. But literature suggests otherwise. Lesage et al. (1988) wrote that friction coefficients are not affected by lithology and hole angle, among other things. And if friction coefficients are similar for all of these factors, then only inclination, azimuth, and pipe specifications affect torque and drag. My thesis looks to test this statement using Johancsik’s torque and drag model and data provided by our sponsors. Johancsik’s model was chosen to test these effects because it is the most widely used torque and drag model in industry. Johancsik’s model also only relies on surface data in order to conduct an analysis. This contributes to the widespread use of Johancsik’s model and therefore increases the applicability of this paper. Once Johancsik’s model was chosen, it became natural to choose the minimum curvature method to interpolate the wellbore trajectory because Johancsik’s model was designed using the minimum-curvature method. Also, the minimum curvature method is the most widely used wellbore-interpolation method in industry. By using the minimum curvature method, this paper increases its applicability to industry. The analyses were conducted by examining the friction coefficients of each individual formation and lithology and geometric section. Friction factors encompass all factors that are not explicitly captured by the model and any factors affecting torque and drag that are not in the model will be captured by the friction factors. This study found lithology effects to affect drag consistently, though more data is needed. Drag friction factors were consistent by lithology, though they did appeared less predictable in Dataset 1 than the Datasets 2 and 3. Lithology affected torque less consistently than it did drag, though again more data is needed. Again, the results from Dataset 1 appeared to differ from Datasets 2 and 3. Further analyses are needed to conclude if this is caused by factors unrelated to lithology or individual geologies. The geometric effects of curved versus straight sections appear to not affect torque and drag. The results from the curved sections from the analyses have little relation to each other. As for more specific geometries, more analyses are needed before conclusions can be reached.


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