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Equipment related drilling problems

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Most drilling problems result from unseen forces in the subsurface. But the equipment involved can also be a source of problems, as can personnel.


The integrity of drilling equipment and its maintenance are major factors in minimizing drilling problems. The following are all necessary for reducing drilling problems:

  • Proper rig hydraulics (pump power) for efficient bottom and annular hole cleaning
  • Proper hoisting power for efficient tripping out
  • Proper derrick design loads and drilling line tension load to allow safe overpull in case of a sticking problem
  • Well-control systems that allow kick control under any kick situation
  • Ram preventers
  • Annular preventers
  • Internal preventers

Also necessary are:

  • Proper monitoring and recording systems that monitor trend changes in all drilling parameters and can retrieve drilling data at a later date
  • Proper tubular hardware specifically suited to accommodate all anticipated drilling conditions
  • Effective mud-handling and maintenance equipment that will ensure that the mud properties are designed for their intended functions


Given equal conditions during drilling/completion operations, personnel are the key to the success or failure of those operations. Overall well costs as a result of any drilling/completion problem can be extremely high; continuing education and training for personnel directly or indirectly involved is essential to successful drilling/completion practices.


See also


Noteworthy papers in OnePetro

External links