Advanced control of managed pressure drilling

Nandan, Anirudh (2016) Advanced control of managed pressure drilling. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Automation of managed pressure drilling (MPD) enhances the safety and increases efficiency of drilling and that drives the development of controllers and observers for MPD. The objective is to maintain the bottom hole pressure (BHP) within the pressure window formed by the reservoir pressure and fracture pressure and also to reject kicks. Practical MPD automation solutions must address the nonlinearities and uncertainties caused by the variations in mud flow rate, choke opening, friction factor, mud density, etc. It is also desired that if pressure constraints are violated the controller must take appropriate actions to reject the ensuing kick. The objectives are addressed by developing two controllers: a gain switching robust controller and a nonlinear model predictive controller (NMPC). The robust gain switching controller is designed using H1 loop shaping technique, which was implemented using high gain bumpless transfer and 2D look up table. Six candidate controllers were designed in such a way they preserve robustness and performance for different choke openings and flow rates. It is demonstrated that uniform performance is maintained under different operating conditions and the controllers are able to reject kicks using pressure control and maintain BHP during drill pipe extension. The NMPC was designed to regulate the BHP and contain the outlet flow rate within certain tunable threshold. The important feature of that controller is that it can reject kicks without requiring any switching and thus there is no scope for shattering due to switching between pressure and flow control. That is achieved by exploiting the constraint handling capability of NMPC. Active set method was used for computing control inputs. It is demonstrated that NMPC is able to contain kicks and maintain BHP during drill pipe extension.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11873
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Managed Pressure, Drilling, Offshore, Model Predictive Control, Robust Control
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Managed pressure drilling (Petroleum engineering); Oil well drilling--Automation; Reservoir oil pressure--Measurement; Predictive control

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