This paper presents the development of predictive optimization models for autonomous rotary drilling systems where emphasis is placed on the shift from human (manual) operation as the driving force for drill rate performance to Quantitative Real-time Prediction (QRP) using machine learning. The methodology employed in this work uses real-time offset drilling data with machine learning models to accurately predict Rate of Penetration (ROP) and determine optimum operating parameters for improved drilling performance. Two optimization models (physics-based and energy conservation) were tested using Artificial Neutral Network (ANN) algorithm. Results of analysis using the model performance assessment criteria; correlation coefficient (R2) and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), show that drill rate is non-linear in nature and the machine learning model (ANN) using energy conservation is most accurate for predicting ROP due to its ability in establishing a functional feature vector based on learning from past events.

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