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Managing Drilling vibration through BHA design optimization

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J.R. Bailey, SPE, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, and S.M. Remmert, SPE, RasGas Company Limited

This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Petroleum Technology Conference held in Doha, Qatar, 79 December 2009.

This paper was selected for presentation by an IPTC Programme Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as

presented, have not been reviewed by the International Petroleum Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily

reflect any position of the International Petroleum Technology Conference, its officers, or members. Papers presented at IPTC are subject to publication review by Sponsor Society

Committees of IPTC. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the International Petroleum Technology

Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous

acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, IPTC, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax +1-972-952-9435.

Abstract

Significant performance improvement has been achieved by successfully managing drilling vibrations through bottomhole

assembly (BHA) redesign. This effort has resulted in increased footage per day and reduced tool damage. Prior literature has

described improvements in operating practices to manage vibrations(1,2) as a key component of this ROP (rate of penetration)

management process. In a parallel work activity, the redesign efforts have provided additional performance improvements of

approximately 36% in one drilling application. Dynamic modeling of the BHA has identified the key design changes leading

to these improvements. The redesigned BHA has lower calculated vibration indices than the standard BHA.

The BHA design evaluation process uses a frequency-domain lateral dynamic model in both pre-drill forecast and

post-drill hindcast modes. BHA lateral vibrations are characterized such that alternative BHA configurations may be

developed and compared directly with a proposed baseline assembly. In the hindcast mode, the BHA model can be operated

at the recorded WOB and RPM to generate corresponding model results in time or depth, and these values can be compared

to the measured performance data.

In one case study, the redesign of a BHA with downhole motor and roller reamer is described, with corresponding field

data for four original BHAs and four redesigned assemblies. In a second application, model and field drilling results for two

rotary steerable assemblies are compared to evaluate the predictive ability of the model in smaller hole size and with different

BHA types. Finally, the utility of the model to identify preferred rotary speed sweet spots is demonstrated in a motor BHA

operating in larger hole.

Introduction

Two prior publications describe the basic methodology that has been developed to model BHA lateral vibrations. The first

paper(3) provides a general description of the model and presents case studies of four field applications of this model. The

second reference(4) is a study of 13 BHA runs in the same field, for which slightly different BHA designs and operating

parameters were used. The Appendix of the second paper comprises a detailed mathematical description of the basics of this

frequency-domain lateral vibrations model, known as VybsTM. The present paper illustrates the application of these methods

to a new set of BHA design problems in a joint study conducted by RasGas and ExxonMobil.

Briefly, the modeling process begins with an input panel that is populated with mechanical dimensions of the components

of the BHA, usually up to the heavy-weight drillpipe (HWDP), with about the same level of detail as a fishing diagram. It is

important that the positions of the contact point constraints are entered correctly, and that the stiffness and inertial properties

of the assembly are a proper representation of the subject BHA. Then the desired operating parameters for drilling need to be

provided, including the anticipated ranges of bit weight (WOB) and rotation rate (RPM).

The linear modeling process considers a dynamic perturbation about the static state. The model employs two vibration

modes to compare and contrast the response of each candidate BHA design: lateral bending and twirl. In the lateral bending

vibration mode, an identical reference bit side force input is applied to each design, and the magnitudes of the response at

other locations along the BHA are compared. In the twirl mode, an identical mass eccentricity is applied to each model

element to investigate the stability of the BHA to eccentric mass and centrifugal force effects.

Simulation results are plotted for multiple BHA designs simultaneously in 2D or 3D displays of state vectors. Index

values have been designed to summarize dynamic performance and are displayed for selected configurations to immediately

identify operating sweet spots as well as to indicate which design configuration may be preferred. The indices include BHA

Strain Energy and Transmitted Strain Energy to represent the dynamic bending strain in the BHA and HWDP, the

Stabilizer Side Force index to quantify the dynamic wall contact interaction forces, and the End-Point Curvature index to

represent bending at the top of the model in response to excitation at the bit. Since there is not a specific known nodal

IPTC 13349

location in the free pipe above the BHA, a sensitivity analysis is completed where multiple possible node locations are

considered at the top end of the model, and the results are processed to identify average and worst case conditions. For the

flex lateral bending mode, the average value (RMS or root-mean-square) and the maximum value of the indices are

calculated for excitation at the various RPM multiples and end-length conditions, for each RPM and WOB state.

The model has been designed to characterize the vibration tendency of a BHA and to facilitate comparison of design

alternatives using a relatively straight-forward model. As will be shown in this paper, some BHA designs are preferred to

others from a vibrations perspective, and a more comprehensive solution is obtained rather than simply seeking to identify

and avoid the critical speeds of a given design. There are tangible benefits achieved by developing a simplified approach to

BHA dynamics modeling. These include broad applicability, ease of use, minimized computing demand, and rapid

turnaround of new designs based on real time field observations. The model is an engineering tool that supports the decisionmaking process related to BHA design and selection, with an objective to mitigate lateral dynamic vibrations and

BHA-induced stick-slip. The tool also enables the development of best practices for BHA design and thus can be used as an

instructional device. Ultimately, we hope to deploy this model to the engineering desktop.

There are multiple synergies between this work activity and prior efforts to improve drilling performance as reported in

the references.(1,2) The following case studies will show the additional benefits that accrue from modeling BHA designs.

Case 1: Redesign of a 12-1/4-inch Motor BHA

A minimal bend adjustable kickoff (AKO) motor assembly is a standard design for the 12-1/4-inch hole section in nearly

every well that RasGas (operator) drills. The introduction of roller reamers to the BHA design a couple of years ago resulted

in a significant reduction in the need for back-reaming. Rotating off-bottom is both time-consuming and hazardous to

drilling equipment. However, in initial field applications, cracking of the roller reamer body was observed in more than a

dozen runs. In an attempt to address this problem, the roller reamer was relocated from within the BHA to a position above

one or two joints of HWDP. At about the same time, a near-bit stabilizer was removed on a trial basis. This stabilizer had

been used by previous drilling personnel

because it was deemed necessary to hold

Standard BHA

angle in the long high-angle hold sections of

these wells. Fig. 1 illustrates these two BHA

design configurations, labeled Standard

BHA and Redesigned BHA.

These design changes resulted in the

Redesigned BHA

elimination of roller reamer cracking,

enabling routine use of roller reamers in these

long intervals. The redesigned BHA has

Fig. 1. Configurations for the Standard BHA (red) and the Redesigned BHA (blue).

been in steady use for almost two years with

excellent field results.

Field data from four intervals drilled with

the standard design and four wells drilled

with the redesigned BHA show the

performance benefits of the configuration

change. Fig. 2 provides footage per day for

the four standard designs (red, with an

average of 1038 ft/day) and the redesigned

configuration (blue, with an average of 1412

ft/day), representing an average increase of

36%. It must be noted that all 8 runs used an

identical model of fixed cutter drill bit, and

the data is entirely from two similar rigs on

adjacent blocks drilling the same formations.

Sustained performance improvement was

also observed in two more wells that used a

slightly different bit design, shown in purple

triangles in Fig. 2.

Additional data showed improved results

with the Redesigned BHA. As may be seen

in Fig. 3, there were two cracked roller

reamers in the eight wells, and both occurred

in the standard assembly configuration.

Roughly speaking, the probability of cracking

the roller reamer was reduced from 50% to

0% due to the design change. The only BHA

IPTC 13349

that did not make it to TD was the standard configuration, and the average run length for the redesigned configuration was

5225 ft, an increase of 15% over the Standard BHA. The bit grades show a significant reduction in outer gauge bit wear and

damage for the Redesigned BHA, despite the longer run requirements of the second group of wells. The bit grade difference

of 6.3 (standard) versus 3.8 (redesigned) is significant.

Wells 1 and 5 provide a representative contrast between Mechanical Specific Energy (MSE) data for the respective BHA

design configurations, as illustrated in Fig. 4. Experience has shown that it is important to maintain the MSE below 100 ksi,

and that the bit often survives difficult formations when this is accomplished. Continuously high MSE readings over 100 ksi

increase the risk of premature bit failure and may cause a trip before the bit reaches TD, as occurred in well 4.

Fig. 3. Bit grade, roller reamer condition, and bit run results for eight wells in study group.

Upper B Section

Upper C Section

5150

5200

6100

5155

5205

6105

5160

5210

6110

5165

5215

( )

5220

6120

5225

6125

5180

5230

6130

5185

5235

5190

5240

5195

5245

6145

5200

5250

6150

6135

90

100

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

90

6140

100

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

Redesigned BHA

90

100

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

Standard BHA

Redesigned BHA

Standard BHA

5175

Redesigned BHA

10

5170

Standard BHA

6115

Fig. 4. Comparable wellbore sections for Wells 1 and 5 show MSE reductions for Redesigned BHA.

Having demonstrated above that, in a controlled group of wells, the Redesigned BHA performance was superior to the

Standard BHA, the design differences may be explored using the vibrations model. In particular, there were two changes in

the redesigned configuration. What is the effect of each change individually, and should more controlled drilling tests be

conducted to identify perhaps another configuration that is better than the Redesigned BHA?

To address the question of the relative merits of the two separate changes, two additional configurations were entered into

the vibrations model. As shown in Fig. 5, one BHA was configured with no near-bit stabilizer below the motor, but this

design, shown in yellow, retains the roller reamer at its original position within the drill collars. Another design kept the

near-bit stabilizer but has the roller reamer above two joints of HWDP, illustrated in green. In applications of this model, it is

useful to color-code the various designs and then refer to the BHA simply by color.

Lateral dynamic bending model simulation results for a single operating point, consisting of a specific WOB, RPM, and

excitation mode, are shown in Fig. 6. In this chart, the x-axis is distance to bit, with the bit at the left edge as in Fig. 5. The

1X excitation mode is shown; this mode is present in most high frequency data that we have seen. The topmost set of results

in Fig. 6 corresponds to the lateral displacement. The first spatial derivative is the tilt angle and that is shown next. The

bending moment and finally shear load complete the chart. Results are shown color-coded for each BHA configuration.

one may see that the perturbation side force

at the bit is identical for all configurations.

Moving away from the bit, the responses are

quite

different,

depending

on

the

configuration. A discontinuity in the shear

load is seen as a vertical segment of the

response at points of stabilizer contact. The

magnitude of the vertical segment represents

the dynamic side force at the stabilizer,

which would correspond to dynamic torque,

BHA whirl-induced stick-slip vibrations, and

stabilizer wear in a drilling BHA.

Fig. 6 is a detailed response at just one

operating condition. To evaluate an overall

response, one needs to evaluate more

operating conditions, such as the entire RPM

range of interest.

Fig. 7 provides a complete response map

for the beam shear load for each

configuration, at a specified bit weight, for

the 1X excitation mode.

Again, the

perturbation at the bit is the same in all

cases, however the magnitudes of the red

and green BHAs show increased

interference at the near-bit stabilizer, and the

response maps for the red and yellow

designs show higher amplitudes at the roller

reamer than the blue and green BHAs. This

amplification of the perturbation at the bit, in

the rotary speed range of interest, is an

indicator of higher vibrations. The flatter

response of the blue BHA is desirable, with

minimal amplification at uphole locations.

In Fig. 7, there is a vector output for each

configuration at each RPM, for a single

mode of excitation. Vibration indices were

conceived to reduce the model results to a

few scalars for each combination of WOB

and RPM. These vibration indices provide a

quantitative basis for comparing the

response of alternative BHA configurations.

Fig. 8 illustrates several vibration indices

that are used in this analysis.

In Fig. 8, the BHA Strain Energy Index

is the dynamic bending strain energy, per

unit length, calculated from the bending

moment shown in Fig. 6. The Transmitted

Strain Energy is calculated the same way, for

the upper BHA which is usually the first few

joints of HWDP. The Stabilizer Side Force

Index is the sum of the dynamic contact

forces, which are the vertical line segments

in the shear load seen in Fig. 6. The EndPoint Curvature Index is a measure of the

system output at the top of the model if one

considers a perturbation at the bit to be the

system input.

IPTC 13349

Standard BHA

No Near-Bit Stab

Redesigned BHA

Fig. 5. Two intermediate configurations were introduced in the model, No Near-Bit and Move RR.

Displacement

Tilt Angle

Bending Moment

Reference Side Force Applied at Bit

Shear Load

Dynamic shear load discontinuity

at contact points

smallest response

Fig. 6. Displacement, tilt, bending moment, and shear load chart at a specific WOB, RPM, and mode.

WOB = 30 klbs

Mode 1X

RPM

DBIT

RPM

Contact Interference

at Roller Reamer

Contact Interference

at Near-Bit Stabilizer

RPM

DBIT

DBIT

RPM

DBIT

Fig. 7. Beam shear load response for all configurations, at 30 klbs bit weight, for the 1X excitation.

IPTC 13349

bending deformation

Good correlation to MSE

Lateral bending

excitation at the

bit: NxRPM

the BHA due to bending

deformation

WOB

for N=1,2,3

Stab Sideforces

Summation of dynamic reaction

forces at the stabilizer contacts

Endpoint Curvature

Curvature at the last element of BHA

Good correlation to MSE

Fig. 8. Displacement, tilt, bending moment, and shear load chart at a specific WOB, RPM, and mode.

Transmitted

Strain Energy

BHA Sideforce

End-Point Curvature

Fig. 9. Vibration indices for the 12-1/4-inch motor BHA redesign analysis.

Measured Depth

four BHA configurations, two run in the field

and two analyzed only with the model, are

provided in Fig. 9, for 30 klbs WOB. For each

RPM, the RMS average value is calculated

from the model results for each mode of

excitation, for the flex mode lateral bending

excitation. Here, the RMS average has been

calculated over modes 1X to 3X. Lower

vibration indices indicate less vibration and

thus smoother operations.

As seen in Fig. 9, the dynamic vibration

indices are reduced by a factor of two, three, or

more from the red lines to the blue lines,

depending on the specific index and the rotary

speed range to be considered. This result

indicates a significant reduction in the

predicted vibrations for the blue BHA.

From Fig. 9, one may make an assessment

of the approximate value of the individual

design modifications.

The model results

suggest that elimination of the near-bit

stabilizer and moving the roller reamer into the

HWDP provide almost the same amount of

reduction in BHA vibrations, and the results

are cumulative. It now seems unnecessary to

conduct further field trials to evaluate the two

changes independently.

The drilling parameters, measured data, and

the calculated vibration indices may be plotted

in data strips in well log format, referred to as a

log-mode plot. The data for well 1 is shown

in log-mode format in Fig. 10. The red bar in

the middle is a marker that separates run data

on the left from model predictions on the right,

and we know immediately that this is the red

BHA. The MSE exceeds 100 ksi on a regular

basis; the plots for Fig. 4 are taken from this

dataset (and from Fig. 11). The maximum

lateral acceleration is typically about 5 gs.

The log-mode plot for well 5 is provided in

Fig. 11. The data axes have been scaled

identically to Fig. 10 to facilitate comparison.

The values for WOB and RPM are roughly

comparable, but there is a significant reduction

in MSE and LatMax compared to Fig. 10.

The MSE is about 50 ksi, and the maximum

lateral vibrations are typically 2-3 gs. The

Redesigned BHA drilled the interval more

efficiently than the Standard BHA design.

The index tracks to the right of the blue bar

show that, in comparison to Fig. 10, there was

a significant reduction in the flex mode

Bending Strain RMS (1st column), Bending

Strain 1X result (2nd column), and End-Point

Curvature (3rd column). It is interesting to note

that the Bending Strain twirl mode index,

shown in the last column, actually increased.

WOB

RPM

MSE

LatMax

Twirl

Fig. 10. Log-mode display of data and model results for Standard BHA in Well 1.

similar to the vibration index chart. Fig. 12 is

the DVDT (Drilling Vibration Data Test)

plot for well 1. As seen in Fig. 12, four

quadrants are used to display the information.

The LatMax measured data from the

downhole MWD is the data plotted as pink

circles. Curve fits to the data may be plotted

as the dark red line, in this case a linear fit.

Model results are plotted with black and blue

x markers. In the top left quadrant of

Fig. 12, the Bending Strain Energy index is

plotted with the data as a function of RPM.

The black x markers represent the flex

mode RMS values (here, for modes 1X-4X),

and the blue x symbols are for the twirl

mode results. The bottom left chart shows

this data plotted versus WOB.

The right quadrants in Fig. 12 show the

data plotted with model results for a virtual

sensor, wherein the virtual sensor in this

instance is an accelerometer located at

approximately the same location as the sensor

in the tool. The virtual sensor provides

model results at a given point, whereas the

indices measure the system response in a

more global sense. This feature may provide

better comparison with point sensor data.

The black x markers correspond to the

RMS average for the flex lateral bending

mode, and the blue x markers represent the

twirl mode results, as before. The y-axes are

all scaled to a maximum value of 10, the peak

maximum lateral acceleration in well 1, in

gs. In Fig. 12, it is apparent that the line fit

to the data is more closely aligned with the

black flex mode bending strain energy than

with twirl.

Fig. 13 is the DVDT plot for well 5,

formatted with data and scaled identically to

Fig. 12. It is apparent that the maximum

lateral vibrations are considerably lower for

the blue BHA, with few values in excess of

3 gs. In this plot, the line fit to the data more

closely tracks the twirl mode values and has a

different slope from the lateral bending flex

mode.

The closer correspondence of the blue

BHA to the twirl mode is in agreement with

the log-mode comparisons.

The design

change has appeared to result in a conversion

from a lateral bending flex response to a lessdamaging twirl response.

The data supports the design process

whereby decisions are based primarily on the

flex mode values, with twirl used to provide a

secondary assessment for designs with nearly

identical flex mode behavior. This is the first

such case to directly support this design

approach.

IPTC 13349

Measured Depth

WOB

RPM

MSE

LatMax

Twirl

Fig. 11. Log-mode display of data and model results for Redesigned BHA in Well 5.

Fig. 12. DVDT display of data and model results for Standard BHA in Well 1.

Fig. 13. DVDT display of data and model results for Redesigned BHA in Well 5.

IPTC 13349

Two Rotary Steerable Assemblies

For specialty directional drilling applications,

e.g., longer horizontal departure wells, the

operator will sometimes choose rotary

steerable systems (RSS) for the drilling

assembly. In general, RSS results in the

12-1/4-inch section have been good.

However, results in the 8-1/2-inch section

have been mixed, with some excellent runs

and some other runs in which the assembly

was replaced with a conventional motor BHA

before reaching TD. Two recent RSS runs in

8-1/2-inch holesize are compared in order to

highlight differences in design with respect to

vibration indices and actual field results.

Fig. 14 illustrates two RSS tools, one

shown in orange and the other in purple. The

3D plot of beam shear load versus RPM and

distance to bit for a representative WOB and

an excitation mode of 1X RPM is also

provided. Note that the orange assembly

shows a high degree of amplification of the

response, whereas the purple BHA shows a

subdued, flat response.

The vibration indices are shown in Fig.

15, where the max value (thin colored line) is

plotted in addition to the RMS value (thick

colored line). Here the RMS value is

averaged over all calculated excitation modes

(1X to 3X) and all selected positions of the

top node location.

The vibration indices in Fig. 15 show that

the orange assembly is not expected to drill

as well as the purple BHA. From prior

experience and model calibration, it is known

that BHA designs with End-Point Curvature

index values in the low single digits are likely

to drill well. Efforts to normalize the other

indices are in progress to enable further

understanding of absolute index performance.

A summary of these two runs is provided

in Fig. 16. Corresponding to the model

results, RSS-1 experienced problems drilling

out the shoe, and after making a few hundred

feet of hole with one intermediate trip to

replace MWD components it was laid down.

This hole section was then drilled with a

conventional motor BHA.

On the other hand, RSS-2 completed its

interval of nearly 5000 ft with very low levels

of lateral vibrations, manageable stick-slip,

good directional control, and a sustainable

ROP of 50 ft/hour.

Fig. 17 illustrates the drilling results for

the RSS-1 assembly. MSE values were

rarely below 200 ksi and were typically 300

ksi or more. Stick-slip was also continuously

high for this assembly.

RSS-1

RSS-2

Flex End-Pt Curvature

purple RSS-2 much

lower than those for

the orange RSS-1

Typically, this order of

magnitude difference

indicates very

different performance

Curvature of 3-5

Suggest Good

Performance

Fig. 15. Vibration indices for the 8-1/2-inch rotary steerable system analysis.

RSS-1

Experienced very high MSE values during drill out

Both high MSE & stick slip observed while drilling below casing shoe

Lateral vibrations exceeding 4gs with continuous stick-slip

Two runs failed immediately (internal communications failures)

Equipment & maintenance procedures OR vibrations ?

RSS-2

Drilled to section total depth, almost 5000 ft

Mostly low to moderate levels of stick-slip

Minimal lateral vibrations

Good directional control into tight target with ROP of ~ 50 fph

Final bit grade of 1-3-CT-S-X-I-CT-TD

Fig. 16. Summary of results for RSS-1 and RSS-2 runs.

RPM Fluctuations

MSE (ksi)

0

200

400

600

800

1000

13050

1200

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

13050

StickSlip

RPM at Bit

13100

13100

13150

Measured Depth

13150

MSE

13200

13200

13250

13250

13300

13300

13350

High MSE13350

values recorded

during drillout

High MSE13400

and stick-slip

below casing shoe

13400

13450

13450

Fig. 17. Drilling data for RSS-1 shows very high MSE values and continuous stick-slip.

Measured Depth

measured drilling parameters, presented in

the log-mode display format, are provided in

Fig. 18. For the RPM and WOB used to drill

the section, calculated End-Point Curvature

indices were low relative to our experiencebased criteria, and the drilling results were

also good. One may observe a couple of

intervals of stick-slip, but overall there are

relatively low stick-slip vibrations.

Fig. 19 shows the same data in the DVDT

format. In Fig. 19, the vibration indices are

plotted with the stick-slip data measurements

over a 1300-ft depth interval. This interval

includes a stick-slip event towards the end of

the section. Note that in the DVDT display,

the model results are scaled in such a way

that the RMS averages of the two populations

are made equal.

The plot of Fig. 19 has four quadrants.

Measured stick-slip vibration data is shown

as the pink data circles, with the red quadratic

trend curves. The top row of plots has RPM

on the x-axis, and the bottom row is plotted

against WOB, as before. The charts on the

left side show Bending Strain Energy, and the

charts on the right show Transmitted Strain

Energy. Only blue x values are shown for

the twirl results for these indices.

With considerable scatter in the data,

higher stick-slip values tend to be associated

with lower WOB and higher RPM. The

highest stick-slip values are observed for

rotary speeds over 90 RPM and bit weights

less than 30 klbs. The data suggests that 30

klbs may be a critical bit weight to suppress

BHA whirl in this interval. The results also

show that the twirl mode can be very

sensitive to WOB, particularly for the upper

BHA indices, such as the Transmitted Strain

Energy shown on the right, but also the EndPoint Curvature index (not shown). The

BHA Strain Energy index and the virtual

accelerometer (also not shown) indicate a

more muted effect.

This data pattern reflects a condition

described as BHA whirl-induced stick-slip

and is consistent with the model results. It is

interesting to note that this observation

occurs at conditions opposed to bit-induced

stick-slip, and thus BHA whirl-induced stickslip should be taken into consideration in

both the design and operational phases.

The overall assessment is that RSS-2 was

a successful run, whereas RSS-1 was not.

For this comparison, the vibration model

results are in very good agreement with the

field results.

IPTC 13349

End-Pt

Curvature

Low ~ 1 to 4

WOB

RPM

StickSlip

BendStrn

Mode1

EndPtCurv

Twirl

Fig. 18. The Log Mode display for RSS-2 run, with low End-Point Curvature indices throughout run.

Fig. 19. Data from Fig. 18 plotted versus RPM (top row) and WOB (bottom row) for a 1300 ft interval.

IPTC 13349

It was noted in a morning report that one of the

rigs experienced a sweet spot around 90

RPM while drilling with a 17-1/2-inch motor

assembly that is used commonly in the field.

As a final case study, this observation is

investigated.

A schematic of the BHA design is provided

in Fig. 20. The top stabilizer is considerably

undergauge, however, it is treated as a nodal

point in the model. Stabilizer contact at this

location along the assembly will cause it to be

a nodal point. Also shown in Fig. 20 is a 3D

map of the 1X flex mode result for this design.

The line parallel to the DBIT axis represents

a slice along the BHA for a given operating

speed. The line at 90 RPM in Fig. 20 crosses

the tapered end of several humps, suggesting

that vibration mode peaks seen at higher speeds

may be avoided at 85-90 RPM.

The Transmitted Strain Energy vibration

indices for the individual 1X, 2X, and 3X

modes are plotted in Fig. 21. One may note

that there is a considerable rise in the 1X shape

above 85-90 RPM, and the 90 RPM point is

near the right edge of a flat response extending

back to 55 RPM. However, the 2X mode is on

a decline from 60 RPM to 85 RPM, then it

gradually rises towards 110 RPM. Finally, the

3X mode response shows a local minimum

near 85-90 RPM.

Thus, comparing the 3D chart in Fig. 20

and the individual components of the lateral

bending vibration index in Fig. 21, the model

results tend to support the field observation of

a sweet spot near 90 RPM.

Using the DVDT plot format, Fig. 22

provides LatMax acceleration data, in gs,

for a 2870 ft run in the well in which the sweet

spot observation was made. The solid red

curve is a quadratic fit to the data, showing a

slight bowing tendency towards 85-90 RPM.

The data shown with the black x is the

Transmitted Strain Energy, with the 1X mode

at top left, the 2X mode at top right, the 3X

mode at bottom left, and the RMS(1X-3X) at

bottom right.

There is a reasonable correspondence

between the curve fit and the model results in

Fig. 22. A sweet spot near 90 RPM is indeed

plausible, given the model results and field

data shown in these charts. In this particular

case, the project team set two field records

(fastest 24-hour footage and best cycle time for

all 17-1/2-inch sections), attributable in part to

rotary speed optimization. The operator now

uses vibration model results in all pre-section

technical reviews in order to enhance field

optimization practices.

amplitude ~90 RPM

Fig. 20. Standard motor BHA for 17-1/2-inch hole and 3D response surface for 1X flex mode.

1X mode

2X mode

3X mode

for individual excitation modes.

Fig. 22. Log-mode display for field run in which 90 RPM was cited as sweet spot.

10

IPTC 13349

Summary

Bottom-hole assembly design improvement is an important component of vibrations management. It has been demonstrated

that better understanding and modeling of the influence of stabilizer and roller reamer placement on dynamic bending forces

and lateral stability enables development of improved BHA designs. A comparative modeling approach has been

implemented with an efficient frequency-domain vibration model to assess the relative vibration tendency of different

assembly designs, and the model results are closely aligned with field experience.

In the first case study, it was shown that the placement of roller reamers and stabilizers in a BHA design can significantly

affect BHA dynamics and drilling performance. Lower vibration indices are associated with higher daily footage, better bit

grades, and less damage to BHA components, in this case roller reamers. The second case study compared two rotary

steerable assemblies, one which ran a few hundred feet and was pulled for failing twice, showing excessive levels of lateral

vibrations, stick-slip, and mechanical specific energy. The second RSS configuration drilled almost 5000 ft and achieved all

directional objectives. Model results showed significantly lower lateral bending flex indices for this design. The third case

study showed that both model and field drilling data agree with a rotary speed sweet spot for this BHA near 90 RPM.

In these studies, the relative influence of flex lateral bending and rotational twirl modes was considered, and it has been

found that the most critical design objective is to reduce the flex mode indices to reduce lateral vibrations. In one case

study, the data suggests that twirl indices for the upper BHA can be used as a secondary assessment tool to evaluate the

potential for BHA-induced stick-slip tendencies of various design alternatives.

In these and several other case studies, it has been found that a relative performance assessment based on use of the model

is a good predictor of field results. The joint vibrations study has been integral to the operators drilling performance

management system and has resulted in close collaboration during the well design cycle.

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for the support of ExxonMobil and RasGas Company Limited for permission to publish this paper.

We have continued to enjoy working with our co-authors of the previous papers referenced below, and we appreciate their

continued support and guidance. All figures in this paper are original figures created by ExxonMobil and RasGas Company

Limited.

References

1.

2.

3.

4.

Dupriest, F. E., J. W. Witt, S. M. Remmert, and D. R. Aberdeen. Maxmizing Rate of Penetration with Real Time Analysis of Digital

Data. IPTC Paper 10706 presented at the 2005 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Doha, Qatar, Nov. 21-23.

Remmert, S. M., J. W. Witt, and F. E. Dupriest. Implementation of ROP Management Process in Qatar North Field. IADC/SPE

Paper 105521 presented at the 2007 IADC /SPE Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, Feb. 20-22.

Bailey, J. R., E. A. O. Biediger, V. Gupta, D. Ertas, W. C. Elks, and F. E. Dupriest. Drilling Vibrations Modeling and Field

Validation. IADC/SPE Paper 112650 presented at the 2008 IADC /SPE Drilling Conference, Orlando FL, Mar. 4-6.

Bailey, J. R., E. A. O. Biediger, S. Sundararaman, A. D. Carson, W. C. Elks, and F. E. Dupriest. Development and Application of a

BHA Vibrations Model. IPTC Paper 12737 presented at the 2008 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Kuala Lumpur,

Malaysia, Dec. 3-5.

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