Practical Drilling Skills - PDS

Discipline: Well Construction/Drilling
Level: Intermediate
Instructors who teach this course:
  • Dr. Leon H. Robinson
  • Mr. Marc Summers


  • About the course
  • Designed For
  • You will learn
  • Course Content
About the course
This course teaches how to listen to the well, perform simple tests on the rig, and make proper decisions unique to each well. The intent is to eliminate visible and invisible Non-Productive Time (NPT). Visible NPT includes stuck pipe, conditioning drilling fluid, lost circulation, etc. Invisible NPT is often far more expensive and includes drilling much slower than is possible, wearing out the bits prematurely, and bad cement barriers. The overbalanced pressure at the bottom of a borehole controls many aspects of drilling and depends upon the type of drill bit. The mud logger's gas unit curve can be calibrated to reveal how much gas is in the drilling fluid. The pressure losses in a drill string depend upon many factors that cannot be measured and, therefore, cannot be entered into a computer program. A rig-site procedure can maximize either the hydraulic impact or the hydraulic power of the drilling fluid striking the bottom of the hole by using the correct flow rate and nozzle sizes. This raises the founder point which is also measured at the rig. With the new flow rate in the annulus, the rheology of the drilling fluid can be adjusted to bring cuttings to the surface.

Considerable attention is devoted to correcting drilling fluid properties and controlling filter cake quality. This eliminates many seen and unseen obstacles for drilling a trouble-free hole as cheaply as possible. This involves proper drilling fluid processing in the surface tanks. No discussion will be presented of fishing tools, they should rarely be needed after this course. Bring a calculator, you will need it.
Designed For
Experienced people on drilling rigs who want to drill cheaper, specifically drilling rig personnel, drilling engineers, drilling rig supervisors, tool pushers, drilling managers, and service company personnel. This course is NOT recommended for inexperienced personnel or people not directly involved with actual drilling operations. You should have completed the Basic Drilling Technology course or have several years of drilling experience to gain the most from the course.
You will learn
How To:
  • Calibrate a mud logger's gas unit curve
  • Interpret gas unit curves
  • Determine pore pressure
  • Select the correct nozzle sizes and flow rate to make the fluid strike the bottom of the hole with the greatest force possible or the greatest power available
  • Select drilling fluid yield point needed to clean the vertical portion of the well
  • Extend the life of drill bits and have the maximum drilling rate by determining the flounder point of a roller cone or PDC bit
  • Avoid poor cementing jobs by creating a thin, slick, compressible filter cake
  • Decrease vibration which seriously impacts PDC bit performance by eliminating drilled solids
  • Arrange equipment for a proper PIT
  • Read Pressure Integrity charts
  • Evaluate dull bits to select the best next bit
  • Understand well bore instability
Course Content
  • Interpretation of mud logger gas units
  • Determining pore pressure
  • On-site hydraulic optimization
  • Selecting proper bit loading (weight on bit and rotary speed) for the fastest, cheapest hole
  • Interpreting pressure integrity tests
  • Hole problems (such as, stuck pipe, lost circulation, and ballooning)
  • Borehole stability
  • Operating guidelines
  • Drilling fluid properties necessary to maximize drilling performance
  • Discussion of polymers in drilling fluids
  • Solids control equipment arrangement to assure best drilled solids removal