Description: This work was initiated as part of the National Advanced Drilling and Excavation Technologies (NADET) Program. It is being performed through joint finding from the Department of Energy Geothermal Division and the Natural Gas Technology Branch, Morgantown Energy Technology Center. Interest in advanced drilling systems is high. The Geothermal Division of the Department of Energy has initiated a multi-year effort in the development of advanced drilling systems; the National Research Council completed a study of drilling and excavation technologies last year; and the MIT Energy Laboratory recently submitted a proposal for a national initiative in advanced drilling and excavation research. The primary reasons for this interest are financial. Worldwide expenditures on oil and gas drilling approach $75 billion per year. Also, drilling and well completion account for 25% to 50% of the cost of producing electricity from geothermal energy. There is incentive to search for methods to reduce the cost of drilling. Work on ideas to improve or replace rotary drilling technology dates back at least to the 1930`s. There was a significant amount of work in this area in the 1960`s and 1970`s; and there has been some continued effort through the 1980`s. Undoubtedly there are concepts for advanced drilling systems that have yet to be studied; however, it is almost certain that new efforts to initiate work on advanced drilling systems will build on an idea or a variation of an idea that has already been investigated. Therefore, a review of previous efforts coupled with a characterization of viable advanced drilling systems and the current state of technology as it applies to those systems provide the basis for the current study of advanced drilling.
Date: March 1995
Creator: Pierce, K. G. & Livesay, B. J.
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