University of Stavanger and Norwegian University of Science and Technology Win Drillbotics Competition
Drillbotics announced the winners for the 2021–2022 competition. Students from the University of Stavanger (UiS) won the Group A competition and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) won the Group B competition.
Drillbotics is an international competition for universities to design and build a small drilling rig that uses sensors and control algorithms to autonomously drill a rock sample provided by SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS). This year’s competition offered the teams a choice between building a physical rig or a virtual model and winners from both groups were selected.
Group A. In this group, teams created a virtual rig model to drill a virtual directional well. They provided automation and control algorithms similar to their physical counterparts, including rig actions and responses, and bit/bottomhole assembly interactions with the wellbore while monitoring the performance of the drillstring and the rig. They integrated the model to the effects of drilling a directional well in this virtual setting. During the competition, teams were given the targets immediately before the start of the contest and had to autonomously calculate the optimum well path.
The UiS team created a model of a full-scale rig to drill a directional well through multiple targets. UiS included several modules in their model with the following components: torque and drag, bottomhole pressure, formation-based modeling, ROP nonlinear constrained optimization, RSS simulator trajectory control using reinforcement learning, MPD optimization, data analytics and preprocessing, and formation classification.
Members of the UiS team were Ali Tahir, Fazlul Haque, Akber Hossain, Reynel Villabona González, Alina Shashel, Miguel Fernandez Berrocal, Emre Baris Gocmen, and Muhammad Usama.
Group B. In this group, teams designed, built, and operated a physical rig to drill a directional well autonomously. Teams had to understand the drilling equipment, downhole dysfunctions, and mitigation strategies as well as how to build a control system with real-time algorithms.
The NTNU team built and operated a physical rig to drill a directional well through multiple downhole targets. They used a titanium rod inside the aluminum drillpipe with the rod rotating the bit and the drillpipe adjusting azimuth. The team also created a digital twin of their rig to tune and develop their control models.
Members of the NTNU team: Luis C Alvarez, Mikaela Solberg, Jarle Ness, and Henrik Helgeland.
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