Monitoring the borehole condition during the ongoing drilling process is essential for a successful and safe drilling operation. The drilling industry has developed monitoring systems, which offer the possibility to analyze torque and drag effects in real time and typically calculate a borehole pseudo friction factor.

The paper presents a new approach of analyzing recorded drilling data by directly using hook load measurements. The target of the analysis is to minimize the time spent on ream and wash operations. Furthermore the proposed method can be used as an indicator of developing borehole problems at an early stage before they become critical to the operation.

The method is based on the comparison of the hook load during pick-up and slack-off movement of the drill string while reaming one stand of drill pipe prior to making a connection. A characteristic signature is generated, which is then interpreted automatically.

The result shows whether the well bore conditions allow to resume operations or indicate continued reaming, thus optimizing the number of reaming trips and subsequently reducing the total amount of non-productive time.

Based on the comparison of ream and wash sequences of subsequent drill pipe stands, it is possible to generate an automatic well bore condition log, which shows well bore sections with abnormal behavior.

The paper shows that it is possible to identify non-problematic well bore conditions and to avoid unnecessary ream and wash operations.

A software package offers the possibility to post analyze recorded data as well as the evaluation of real-time data. A case study shows the technical and economic potential of this new approach.

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