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World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Plasma channel microhole drilling technology

Timoshkin, I. and Mackersie, J.W. and MacGregor, S.J. (2003) Plasma channel microhole drilling technology. In: 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003-06-15 - 2003-06-18.

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Abstract

With growing economic and environmental pressures, oil companies seek ways to increase the oil recovery from every well. Re-entry drilling of horizontal sidetracks from existing wells and multilateral drilling for new wells are techniques which help to achieve that. However, new approaches are needed to reduce the cost and to improve efficiency of rotary drilling methods used for these purposes. This research aims to develop a new plasma channel drilling (PCD) method for drilling of small diameter holes (3.5-15 cm) for sidetrack creation and multilateral drilling. The method relies upon the use of the energy of impulse plasma discharges which are formed inside rock formation ahead of the drill position. Repeated formation of the plasma channel results in an effective and controlled drilling action. Plasma channel drills developed at Strathclyde University are able to cut clearly defined circular holes in sandstone with a speed of up to 16 cm/min. Plasma channel drilling has the potential to significantly increase the lifetime of oil wells and would dramatically reduce the cost of exploration drilling and subsurface data acquisition. PCD technology can also be a cost-effective and practical solution for other applications such as mineral mining, water boring, scale removal where micro-hole drilling is essential.