The use of recorded downhole rotational speed measurements with a bandwidth up to 9 Hz gives new insights into the conditions under which stick-slip torsional oscillations occur. Observations made while drilling two reservoir sections have shown that, out of all the stick-slip situations identified, 72% of them for one well and 64% for the other well occurred in off-bottom conditions. In these off-bottom conditions, stick-slip was systematically observed while starting the topdrive (TD) until a sufficiently high TD rotational velocity was requested. For these two sections, off-bottom stick-slip was either related to using TD speeds below 120 rev/min or to reaming down during reciprocation procedures. In on-bottom conditions, stick-slip events occurred predominantly when the TD speed was less than 120 rev/min (53 and 32% of the on-bottom cases) but also in association with downlinking to the rotary steerable system (RSS) (23 and 46% of the on-bottom cases), and this, even though the TD speed was larger than 120 rev/min. These on-bottom stick-slip situations did not necessarily occur at a very high weight on bit (WOB) because 98% of them for one well and 46% for the other well took place when the WOB was lower than 10 ton. Downhole measurements have shown that when the drillstring is subject to strong stick-slip conditions, the downhole rotational speed changes from stationary to more than 300 rev/min in just a fraction of a second. Direct observations of downhole rotational speed at high frequency help in discovering conditions that were not suspected to lead to large torsional oscillations. This new information can be used to improve drilling operational procedures and models of the drilling process, therefore enabling increased drilling efficiency.

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