Downhole tool failures induced by drill string vibrations was one of the leading causes of non-productive time in a deep exploratory field in southern Iraq. To improve drilling efficiency, it was paramount to understand the primary source of potential drilling dysfunction before commencing field development phase.

To overcome the challenge, a finite element analysis (FEA) study was developed to simulate the drillstring transient dynamic behavior from bit back to surface. The model has been utilized to quantify the potential vibration, contact force, torque, displacement and other high-interest parameters of every drillstring component in the wellbore.

To fully exploit the modeling algorithms, it is required to input a comprehensive dataset including mechanical rock properties, cutting structure design, bit drive mechanism, drillstring physical characteristics, 3D well profile and expected drilling parameters. Using offset well data, surface and downhole measurements, and a thorough knowledge of drilling equipment, the model creates a virtual drilling environment simulating the downhole drilling conditions enabling the evaluation of the source of inefficiency. Finally, the model is validated for its accuracy by comparing its outcomes with actual field acquired data.

By accurately modeling the drillsting interaction with the drilling environment, the operating company was able to evaluate different BHA options to safely drill the wells and by reducing harmful vibrations, minimizing tool failures, increasing ROP, this translates to a reduction of drilling time by 24%.

This paper will share with the industry a case study demonstrating the value of the utilization of the advanced dynamic modeling which has been able to save over 500 K$ per well to the operating company by an efficient selection and placement of drill string components. This approach has enabled to outperform past drilling performance and has become the norm in similar fields in southern Iraq.

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