The industry has significantly improved drilling performance based on knowledge from multiple models of components and systems. However, most new models and source code have been recreated from scratch, which adds significant research overhead with little benefit.
We propose that it is time to form a coalition of industry and academic leaders to support an open source effort for drilling, to encourage the reuse of ever improving models and code.
The vision for this guiding coalition is to 1) set up a repository for source code, data, benchmarks, and documentation, 2) submit good code, 3) review the models and data submitted, 4) use and improve the code, 5) propose and collect anonymized validation data, 6) attract talent and support to the effort, and 7) mentor those getting started. We ask those interested to add their time and talent to the cause, and to publish their results through peer-reviewed literature. A number of online meetings are planned to create this coalition, establish a charter, and layout the guiding principles.
Several avenues have already been proposed to sustain the effort such as: annual user group meetings, creating a SPE Technical Section, and initiating a Joint Industry Program (JIP). The Open Porous Media Initiative is just one example of how this could be organized and maintained.
As a starting point, this paper reviews existing published drilling models and highlights the similarities and differences for commonly used drillstring dynamics, hydraulics and bit-rock interaction models.
Some of the key requirements for re-usability of the models and code are: 1) The model itself: open source, well documented and commented code shared in a publicly available repository, 2) A user’s guide: how to run the core software, how to extend software capabilities, i.e., plug in new features or elements, 3) A theory manual: to explain the fundamental principles, the base equations, any assumptions, and the known limitations, 4) Data: that cover a diversity of drilling operations, 5) Test cases: to benchmark the performance and output of different proposed models.
In May 2018 at “The 4th International Colloquium on Non-linear dynamics and control of deep drilling systems”, the keynote question was; “Is it time to start using open source models…” The answer is yes.
Modeling the drilling process is done to help drill a round, ledge free hole, without patterns, with minimum vibration, minimum unplanned dog legs, that reaches all geological targets, in one run per section, in the least time possible.
An open source repository for drilling will speed up the rate of learning and automation efforts to achieve this goal throughout the entire well execution workflow, including planning, BHA design, real-time operations, and post well analysis.