Introduction to Petroleum Drilling (1 day)

The drilling process - tools and methods used in exploration drilling.


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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