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Proceedings Paper

Influence of different laser operation regimes on the specific energy required for rock removal in oil and gas well drilling applications
Author(s): Florian Albert; Alexander Grimm; Michael Schmidt; Alain Cournoyer; Martin Briand; Pierre Galarneau
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Paper Abstract

Although many practical hurdles remain to be addressed in the future, laser oil and gas well drilling has potential advantages over the conventional rotary drilling approach, such as a smaller footprint of the drilling rig, higher rates of penetration, reduction of downtime due to dull bits, reduction of waste caused by drilling mud, creation of a natural casing while drilling, and ability to drill in hard rock formations. One of the most promising applications is downhole laser perforation for well completion as an alternative to explosive technologies currently in use. In order to establish both the technical and economic feasibility of using lasers in oil and gas drilling operations, one can measure the laser energy required to remove a unit volume of rock. The resulting specific energy is a measure of the efficiency of the laser drilling process and depends on the rock type and the laser operation regime that determines the laser-rock interaction mechanism. In the present feasibility study, we compare the results of laser drilling tests conducted in two types of reservoir rocks, namely limestone and sandstone, at different laser wavelengths and for different laser operation regimes (continuous wave and pulsed regimes, different repetition rates and duty cycles) in terms of specific energy. We also discuss preliminary results on the influence of the temporal shape of the laser pulses in the nanosecond regime on the rock removal process as obtained with INO pulse-shaping fiber laser platform, with the objective to take advantage of the flexibility and the agility of such a laser source for drilling operations in different rock types.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7386, Photonics North 2009, 73860U (4 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.840423
Show Author Affiliations
Florian Albert, BLZ-Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH (Germany)
Alexander Grimm, BLZ-Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH (Germany)
Michael Schmidt, BLZ-Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH (Germany)
Alain Cournoyer, INO (Canada)
Martin Briand, INO (Canada)
Pierre Galarneau, INO (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7386:
Photonics North 2009
Réal Vallée, Editor(s)

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