In this paper, a new drilling optimization procedure is presented that is designed to improve the drilling efficiency with positive displacement motors (PDMs) and PDC bits. This developed optimization method is based on predicting rate of penetration (ROP) from PDM outputs for any PDC bit design. More specifically, optimization is done for a hole section and optimum values of weight on bit (WOB) and surface RPM are obtained for the section. For given flow rates, estimated values of optimum WOB and surface RPM are used to calculate the corresponding motor differential pressures and the foot by foot ROP values. Also, the method is used to show how improper operational parameter selection can affect total drilling time. A case study was done to consider different PDMs with different lobe configurations and a set of fixed operational parameters.

The presented method is verified by generating a confined rock strength log based on drilling data for a previously drilled well in Alberta. This foot-by-foot strength log is compared to a confined rock strength log generated as a follow-up analysis by a commercially available drilling simulator package. Also, a PDM differential pressure log is generated and compared to field-recorded on-bottom differential pressure values.

The method's application is best demonstrated by simulating the drilling operation of the Alberta well with three different PDMs. It is shown that consideration of PDM performance/selection in the drilling planning phase will help to perform a safe and cost-effective operation by preventing motor stalls and maintaining highest average ROP for the section. It is also shown that by optimizing WOB and surface RPM values for a constant mud flow rate and predefined bit wear at total depth, a maximum average ROP for the section can be reached for any PDM.

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