Our drilling optimization service applies our understanding of these dynamic effects to reduce operational uncertainty and risk. This means that clients can easily optimize drilling and tripping tasks in tight margin conditions or when downhole pressure fluctuations are critical to wellbore stability.
We can also simulate transient temperature evolution and its effect on downhole fluid properties, equivalent static density (ESD), equivalent circulating density (ECD), drilling and tripping operations and tool life in high-temperature wells.
We also conduct dynamic surge and swab simulations that factor in the pressure pulses that occur when displaced fluid breaks gel in the annulus. This enables drillers to optimize running speeds while minimizing formation stress.
Our DrillExpect approach delivers:
Transient models that outperform conventional planning software
High-quality simulations that enable realistic performance optimization
Forward-looking pump start-up in narrow mud weight windows or wells with stability issues
A clearer understanding of cuttings transport and optimized hole cleaning
Optimized tripping speeds based on dynamic surge and swab simulations
The capability to conduct downhole tool conversions in situations where pressure spikes could cause well damage
String weight verification to run casing/liner and estimate hook load and buckling resistance
Better simulations deliver better results
Sekal software creates realistic second-by-second dynamic downhole pressure simulations, plus hole cleaning and temperature evolutions. This detailed picture of changing conditions enables the drilling team to optimize drilling parameters and operate safely closer to the upper and lower limits. As a result, downhole pressure fluctuations across unstable formations can be minimized, which reduces stress during pump start-ups, circulation or tripping.
Optimized hole cleaning with advanced transient cuttings simulations, cuttings bed generation and erosion to find optimum flow and RPM.
Simulating flow, RPM and ROP scenarios reveals the optimum drilling parameters, making it possible to eliminate wiper trips when conditions are good. Combining the cuttings transport simulations with DrillScene enables friction monitoring and the development of an effective hole cleaning strategy.
Problems predicted, risk reduced
The effects of alternative actions to improve current downhole conditions or optimize drilling/tripping operations can also be simulated. For example, Sekal can conduct simulations that predict dynamic pressure pulses when flow is restricted, pressure builds up, and when compressed fluid is released during tool conversions.
DrillExpect case study
The Sekal DrillExpect team has been working with leading oil and gas companies around the world since 2011.
Overcoming wellbore instability in a North Sea field
The first borehole in a six-well North Sea drilling program experienced severe stability problems: excessive circulation failed to clean the 12 ¼-in sections, which caused liner run problems, while pack-off and hole collapse resulted in a 6-in rather than 8 ½-in reservoir section hole.
Sekal conducted a post-well analysis and prepared pre-well and look-ahead simulations for the following well. This approach, which combined Sekal DrillExpect and DrillScene real-time forecasting and trend analysis software, delivered a new pump start-up procedure and modified drilling parameter settings.
These changes helped to ensure that the second well was cleaned to TD with no liner run problems, pack-off or hole collapse. The initial well plan was for 110 days, but drilling operations were completed to the planned hole size in just in 61 days (P10).