Laser Drilling - Drilling with the Power of Light

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Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has been the leading investigator in the field of high power laser applications research for well construction and completion applications. Since 1997, GTI (then as Gas Research Institute) has investigated several military and industrial laser systems and their ability to cut and drill into reservoir type rocks. In this report, GTI continues its investigation with a recently acquired 5.34 kW ytterbium-doped multi-clad high power fiber laser (HPFL). The HPFL represents a potentially disruptive technology that, when compared to its competitors, is more cost effective to operate, capable of remote operations, and requires considerably less maintenance and ... continued below

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Gahan, Brian C. & Batarseh, Samih September 28, 2005.

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Description

Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has been the leading investigator in the field of high power laser applications research for well construction and completion applications. Since 1997, GTI (then as Gas Research Institute) has investigated several military and industrial laser systems and their ability to cut and drill into reservoir type rocks. In this report, GTI continues its investigation with a recently acquired 5.34 kW ytterbium-doped multi-clad high power fiber laser (HPFL). The HPFL represents a potentially disruptive technology that, when compared to its competitors, is more cost effective to operate, capable of remote operations, and requires considerably less maintenance and repair. To determine how this promising laser would perform under high pressure in-situ conditions, GTI performed a number of experiments with results directly comparable to previous data. Experiments were designed to investigate the effect of laser input parameters on representative reservoir rock types of sandstone and limestone. The focus of the experiments was on completion and perforation applications, although the results and techniques apply to well construction and other rock cutting applications. All previous laser/rock interaction tests were performed on samples in the lab at atmospheric pressure. To determine the effect of downhole pressure conditions, a sophisticated tri-axial cell was designed and tested. For the first time, Berea sandstone, limestone and clad core samples were lased under various combinations of confining, axial and pore pressures. Composite core samples consisted of steel cemented to rock in an effort to represent material penetrated in a cased hole. The results of this experiment will assist in the development of a downhole laser perforation prototype tool. In the past, several combinations of laser and rock variables were investigated at standard conditions and reported in the literature. More recent experiments determined the technical feasibility of laser perforation on multiple samples of rock, cement and steel. The fiber laser was capable of penetrating these materials under a variety of conditions, to an appropriate depth, and with reasonable energy requirements. It was determined that fiber lasers are capable of cutting rock without causing damage to flow properties. Furthermore, the laser perforation resulted in permeability improvements on the exposed rock surface. This report discusses the design and development of a customized laser pressure cell; experimental design and procedures, and the resulting data on pressure-charged samples exposed to the laser beam. An analysis provides the resulting effect of downhole pressure conditions on the laser/rock interaction process.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-00NT40917
  • DOI: 10.2172/895927 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 895927
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883009

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • September 28, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • March 14, 2018, 2:49 p.m.

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Gahan, Brian C. & Batarseh, Samih. Laser Drilling - Drilling with the Power of Light, report, September 28, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883009/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.