Mechanical Stuck Pipe Events – Development of Digital Best Practices for NPT Prevention

Julian Klaus Pflügl

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Mechanical stuck pipe events are one of the key technical challenges of the drilling industry and incidents usually lead to an enormous amount of non-productive time and costs. Most of these events show that they could have been avoided by an early reaction to possible sticking indications. To improve the reaction time and thereby the efficiency of future drilling operations and to reduce the mechanical stuck pipe related NPT, a state-of-the-art drilling simulator in combination with knowledge of industry experienced personnel gets used to design an interactive and realistic training case. To provide a detailed analysation of different types of mechanical stuck pipe issues, relevant technical literature and the available best practice solutions within the industry get summarised. Each type is reviewed for its symptoms, preventive actions and freeing procedures. Using eDrilling AS´s state-of-the-art drilling simulator software, a tailor-made mechanical stuck pipe training scenario based on theoretical data is designed and implemented into the simulator. A case-based best practice solution to complete the scenario successfully gets provided. Additionally, a handbook for the simulator and its user interfaces and a step-by-step guide for the development and implementation of a general training case is created. After the evaluation of the drilling simulator opportunities, mechanical sticking due to a dogleg was established as a training case. It was found out that this type will provide the most realistic and reliable result. Not any parameter can be varied within the simulator software due to certain limitations from the provider. Besides the development from a theoretical idea to the actual simulation code and the analysation of important drilling parameters related to mechanical sticking, essential parts of the coding files get explained. Moreover, it was found that mostly the freeing procedures and not the recommended reactions to prior indications get described in the literature. Therefore, a best practice summary for the training scenario including preventive measures and freeing procedures is created. The detailed description of the simulator software including a guide for every application and user interface is originated. What remains unsolved is the actual impact on the reaction improvement during a real stuck pipe scenario of people who practised this training case on the simulator compared to others. Therefore, carrying out a study about the impact of the training on the simulator is highly recommended as future work. This is the first interactive training case on the state-of-the-art eDrilling AS simulator which confronts engineers and operational personnel with mechanical stuck pipe issues. It allows the unique possibility to practise identifying crucial warning signs as wells as reacting appropriately to such events. It supports the transformation of trainees into highly qualified personnel. With the provided workflow description and software code, users are able to understand how to work with such a simulator and to design and implement new digital drilling-related training cases.
Translated title of the contributionMechanisches Festwerden des Bohrstrangs - Entwicklung Digitaler Best-Practice Lösungswege für die Verhinderung von Unproduktiver Zeit
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Thonhauser, Gerhard, Supervisor (internal)
Award date28 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 01-06-2024


  • mechanical
  • stuck
  • pipe
  • simulator
  • NPT
  • eDrilling

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