Casing shoe setting depths selection, and the consequent determination of geometrical and mechanical characteristics of casings, is a crucial activity that heavily influences well planning and affects both safety and economical aspects of the operation. Accurate well and casing design can significantly reduce drilling costs and risks; for that purpose CASCADE (Computer Aided Support for Casing Design), an expert system to support the choice of shoe depths and the selection of casing characteristics, has been developed. According to well data provided by the user (lithological information, gradients development forecasts, drilling problems in related wells, targets), the system hypothesizes the casing shoe setting depths and corresponding mechanical characteristics. Different hypotheses can be generated by the system, feeding design criteria with new user defined constraints, but the final choice is up to the user.

The system runs on a UNIX platform and is based on X-windows and KEE, a LISP-based object-oriented tool. It exploits an interactive, graphical interface; dialog boxes and menus guide the user.

The first version of the system is now undergoing field testing.

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