Introduction to Petroleum Drilling

Target audience
The course is designed for personnel who work in the exploration industry but have little or no exploration-specific technical background. This includes administration staff, technical support staff, and those in management or professional roles whose background is in a field other than Earth Science.
The Drilling course is an ideal follow-up for those who have previously attended the Basic Exploration Short Course and would like a more detailed understanding of the drilling process. However, that is not a pre-requisite as both courses are entirely self-contained.

Course objectives:
The drilling of an oil well is seen as the culmination of the exploration process, but to the lay person it is a mysterious and complex undertaking which has a language all of its own. This course highlights the multi-disciplinary nature of the business, examines the tools and methods used in exploration drilling, and provides an understanding of the technical terminology and jargon used.

Course outline

Rules and regulations
- The historical record and current activity levels
- Who controls the drilling process; safety and environmental constraints
- Reporting requirements – how to read a drilling report

Pre-drill preparations
- How companies select a drilling location
- Rig types and selection
- Well planning, procedures and costs


Drilling the well
- Components of a rig – hoisting, circulating, rotating and control systems
- The mechanics of making hole
- Special techniques – deviated and horizontal drilling


Evaluating the well
- Cuttings and core analysis
- Oil and gas shows, sampling, testing
- Basic wireline logs, measurement while drilling
- What it all means – interpreting the results


What can go wrong?
- Kicks, blowouts and oil spills
- Loss of hole, loss of equipment and fishing
- Completion and abandonment
- The “Drilling Game” – just for fun: drill a well and gain an appreciation of some of the risks involved

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