Available Technology

Maximizing Drilling Efficiency

Research is active on this patent-pending technology, "Maximizing Drilling Efficiency with Mechanical Specific Energy Surface Concept." This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
Patent Abstract: 
The availability of fossil fuels to provide clean, affordable energy is essential for domestic and global prosperity and security well into the 21st century. DOE has long supported programs to maximize the value of natural gas and other petroleum resources of the United States by increasing supply, reducing cost, and increasing efficiency of exploration and production while minimizing environmental impacts. Growth in supply of natural gas is expected to continue to be highly dependent on production from unconventional reservoirs. Gas and oil industries are now generally drilling deeper because of the depletion of hydrocarbon resources in shallow formations. As vertical depth increases, drilling efficiency reduces dramatically, leading to much higher cost and much greater safety concerns. This invention aims at reducing the cost and improving the efficiency and safety of drilling through maximizing rate of penetration (ROP) while minimizing mechanical-specific-energy (MSE), or the rate of energy use while drilling out a given volume of rock. The invention is a semi-analytical and semi-empirical method that expresses ROP and MSE in terms of weight-on-bit (WOB) and bit turning rate for a given formation, drill bit, drill fluid conditions, confining pressure, bottom-hole temperature and other drilling conditions. The method also predicts optimized drilling conditions for which the highest ROP may be achieved with the lowest MSE.
applications: 
Patent Number: 
U.S. Patent Pending
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