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 compares with other lasers used in past experimental work, 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. Variables investigated include laser power, beam intensity, external purging of cut materials, sample orientation, beam duration, beam shape, and beam frequency. The investigation also studied the thermal effects on the two sample rock types and their methods of destruction: spallation for sandstone, and thermal dissociation for limestone. Optimal operating conditions were identified for each rock type and condition. As a result of this experimental work, the HPFL has demonstrated a better capability of cutting and drilling limestone and sandstone when compared with other military and industrial lasers previously tested. Consideration should be given to the HPFL as the leading candidate for near term remote high power laser applications for well construction and completion.
Date: September 28, 2004
Creator: Gahan, Brian C. & Batarseh, Samih
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department