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Title: Fundamental Research on Percussion Drilling: Improved rock mechanics analysis, advanced simulation technology, and full-scale laboratory investigations

This report summarizes the research efforts on the DOE supported research project Percussion Drilling (DE-FC26-03NT41999), which is to significantly advance the fundamental understandings of the physical mechanisms involved in combined percussion and rotary drilling, and thereby facilitate more efficient and lower cost drilling and exploration of hard-rock reservoirs. The project has been divided into multiple tasks: literature reviews, analytical and numerical modeling, full scale laboratory testing and model validation, and final report delivery. Literature reviews document the history, pros and cons, and rock failure physics of percussion drilling in oil and gas industries. Based on the current understandings, a conceptual drilling model is proposed for modeling efforts. Both analytical and numerical approaches are deployed to investigate drilling processes such as drillbit penetration with compression, rotation and percussion, rock response with stress propagation, damage accumulation and failure, and debris transportation inside the annulus after disintegrated from rock. For rock mechanics modeling, a dynamic numerical tool has been developed to describe rock damage and failure, including rock crushing by compressive bit load, rock fracturing by both shearing and tensile forces, and rock weakening by repetitive compression-tension loading. Besides multiple failure criteria, the tool also includes a damping algorithm to dissipate oscillation energymore » and a fatigue/damage algorithm to update rock properties during each impact. From the model, Rate of Penetration (ROP) and rock failure history can be estimated. For cuttings transport in annulus, a 3D numerical particle flowing model has been developed with aid of analytical approaches. The tool can simulate cuttings movement at particle scale under laminar or turbulent fluid flow conditions and evaluate the efficiency of cutting removal. To calibrate the modeling efforts, a series of full-scale fluid hammer drilling tests, as well as single impact tests, have been designed and executed. Both Berea sandstone and Mancos shale samples are used. In single impact tests, three impacts are sequentially loaded at the same rock location to investigate rock response to repetitive loadings. The crater depth and width are measured as well as the displacement and force in the rod and the force in the rock. Various pressure differences across the rock-indentor interface (i.e. bore pressure minus pore pressure) are used to investigate the pressure effect on rock penetration. For hammer drilling tests, an industrial fluid hammer is used to drill under both underbalanced and overbalanced conditions. Besides calibrating the modeling tool, the data and cuttings collected from the tests indicate several other important applications. For example, different rock penetrations during single impact tests may reveal why a fluid hammer behaves differently with diverse rock types and under various pressure conditions at the hole bottom. On the other hand, the shape of the cuttings from fluid hammer tests, comparing to those from traditional rotary drilling methods, may help to identify the dominant failure mechanism that percussion drilling relies on. If so, encouraging such a failure mechanism may improve hammer performance. The project is summarized in this report. Instead of compiling the information contained in the previous quarterly or other technical reports, this report focuses on the descriptions of tasks, findings, and conclusions, as well as the efforts on promoting percussion drilling technologies to industries including site visits, presentations, and publications. As a part of the final deliveries, the 3D numerical model for rock mechanics is also attached.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Terralog Technologies Inc.
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Country of Publication:
United States