Numerical investigation of the prospects of high energy laser in drilling oil and gas wells

K. R. Agha, H. A. Belhaj, S. Mustafiz, N. Bjorndalen, M. R. Islam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Lasers are expected to provide a less expensive alternative to conventional machining and have found wide spread use in many industries. However, the physical phenomena involved in many laser applications are not fully understood. A better and more quantitative understanding of the physical mechanisms governing these phenomena will diminish the need for extensive trial and error experiments. Most of the theoretical models available in the literature have dealt with quasi-steady material removal using a continuous wave laser. This article presents a numerical model to predict the transient thermal behavior process of rocks under the influence of a pulsed laser. A wide range of parameters were considered in this study, the laser powers were varied from 0.1 to 100kW and the lasing time was varied between 1 and 100 s. One of the results presented in this article shows that limestones consume less energy per unit volume of material removed as compared to sandstones. A comparison between the findings of this numerical study and published experimental data is also presented and shows a qualitative agreement. Finally, it is shown that numerical modeling can be useful in scaling up laboratory results to field applications.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)1173-1186
    Number of pages14
    JournalPetroleum Science and Technology
    Volume22
    Issue number9-10
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2004

    Keywords

    • Extended-reach drilling
    • Petroleum wells
    • Ultrafast drilling

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