Drillstring Washout Diagnosis Using Friction Estimation and Statistical Change Detection

Anders Willersrud, Mogens Blanke, Lars Imsland, Alexey K. Pavlov

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In oil and gas drilling, corrosion or tensile stress can give small holes in the drillstring, which can cause leakage and prevent sufficient flow of drilling fluid. If such washout remains undetected and develops, the consequence can be a complete twist-off of the drillstring. Aiming at early washout diagnosis, this paper employs an adaptive observer to estimate friction parameters in the nonlinear pro- cess. Non-Gaussian noise is a nuisance in the parameter estimates, and dedicated generalized likelihood tests are developed to make efficient washout detection with the multivariate t -distribution encountered in data. Change detection methods are developed using logged sensor data from a horizontal 1400 m managed pressure drilling test rig. Detection scheme design is conducted using probabilities for false alarm and detection to determine thresholds in hypothesis tests. A multivariate approach is demonstrated to have superior diagnostic properties and is able to diagnose a washout at very low levels. The paper demonstrates the feasibility of fault diagnosis technology in oil and gas drilling
Original languageEnglish
Article number7039260
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1886-1900
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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  • Managed pressure drilling
  • Fault diagnosis
  • Statistical change detection
  • Adaptive observer
  • Multi- variate t -distribution
  • Generalized likelihood ratio test

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