December Meeting 2014
 
Fred Dupriest

Professor of Engineering
Texas A&M University

Retired Chief Drilling Engineer - ExxonMobil

The Real Causes of Borehole Misbehavior and Operational Practices to Eliminate Them

Drilling performance in most contemporary wells is dominated by borehole behaviors, more so than the rate at which we can get a bit to cut rock.  The root cause of most control-drilling is usually some aspect of borehole misbehavior, though it is often not recognized as such.  For example, a driller will increase WOB in a horizontal until he sees pressure spikes indicating he cannot clean the hole adequately to drill faster.  But, in fact, these packoffs are usually associated with transient events around small sections of enlarged hole.  The operator, who is control drilling at 200 fph, might be able to achieve 300 fph if they understand the issue as an instability problem, rather than simply as a cuttings transport limitation.  We’ll discuss the top four types of misbehaviors and how they constrain footage per day, the real time recognition and response practices, and the potential engineering redesign practices.  There are also significant implications for well productivity, zone isolation, and other production limitations.

             Fred Dupriest retired as the Chief Drilling Engineer at ExxonMobil in 2012, and he is now a Professor of Engineering practices in the petroleum engineering department of Texas A&M.  He graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1977.  He spent his first 24 years as an operations engineer in various projects around the world, followed by 12 years in a central Technical Support organization as a global operations advisor.  During this time, he supported the drill teams in well planning, trouble response, real time performance management, and the development of new practices.  As Chief Engineer he was involved in development of research and training strategies and he also represented ExxonMobil in numerous industry engagements.  Fred has published 20 SPE papers on subjects ranging from Fracture Closure Stress practices for building integrity, the operational use of Hydrostatic Packers, Stuck Pipe Avoidance practices, practices to utilize Mechanical Specific Energy surveillance to maximize performance, and the Limiter RedesignTM drilling performance management workflow.   He is an inductee in the AADE Drilling Fluids Hall of Fame, and the recipient of the SPE 2012 International Drilling Engineering award.


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