The focus of this paper is on the benefits of model-based control for performance of pressure control and how to enhance robustness against changes in system dynamics by use of adaptive control in managed pressure drilling (MPD) operations.

In this work, we present the advantages and disadvantages with adaptive model based control for MPD operations, by implementation of a choke pressure controller. The paper will show that model-based control enables pressure control down to fully closed choke and trapping pressure without a backpressure pump. Moreover, by adding adaption to the model-based controller it is made robust to changing well parameters, recovering control performance.

This is part of a pre-study and preparation for flow loop testing in Abu Dhabi Winter 2016, where performance and robustness of the controller is tested for gas influx and a variety of standpipe pump rates and pressure ranges. The purpose of the flow loop testing is to verify that the controller gives satisfactory performance and is the final test stage before the technology is ready for field use.

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