An improved drilling simulator for operations, research and training

Vassilios C. Kelessidis, Shehab Ahmed, Alexandros Koulidis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


This work describes the functionalities of the drilling simulator to optimize well drilling utilizing offset data offering also training modules for novice and experienced drillers. It fully simulates the drilling process using WOB, RPM, flow, survey and lithology data and predicts ROP. It is based on Payzone simulator, introduced some years ago. The improved simulator has been tested to compare performance with drilling data from sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. The simulator has also built in functionalities like prediction of rock strength, finding optimal rheological model from viscometer data, and optimizing bit nozzle selection. The simulator determines optimum conditions for drilling new wells utilizing offset data. It allows for fine tuning of the process. Validation is by matching predicted versus actual drilling curve. Once accomplished, a new well can be drilled, in similar environmental conditions, but with optimized drilling parameters. Training is accomplished with simple and challenging exercises, teaching students the drilling process, and allowing different drilling scenarios. It can be used for research to identify the importance of drilling parameters for drilling efficiency. We have tested performance and predictions using literature field data and compared performance in primarily sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. Overall, the simulator is capable of simulating any formation type. Our results also show that the improved functionalities, stand-alone calculators for rock strength, rheological parameter determination and optimization of bit nozzle performance have significantly enhanced the simulator capabilities. The results show that the simulator is very good tool for designing new wells using offset data. It provides good interactive training tool for students and engineers allowing experimentation of parameters affecting drilling process. We compared the simulator performance with respect to formation, sandstone versus carbonate reservoir and report similarities and differences.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference, MEOS, Proceedings
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Print)9781510803657
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


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