OU Wins Drilling Competition

OU has placed first in the inaugural Drillbotics Competition hosted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (SPE DSATS). The team, consisting of Vimlesh Bavadiya, Mohammad Aljubran, Stephen Christy, John Kibe, and Henry Le and coached by Dr. Ramadan Ahmed, constructed a small scale drilling unit that was tested by drilling through rock samples provided by the competition’s sponsors. Team members researched and learned about drilling automation, applied those concepts in real-time experiments, built a miniature drilling rig and discovered, first-hand, the power of teamwork. Most importantly, though, they had fun. All work was performed throughout the course of a year by the students with no help from MPGE technical staff.

The goal of the competition was for teams to drill through a multi-rock layered sample with the fastest, straightest hole in the most energy and cost efficient manner. A panel of industry judges visited each team to supervise and score the performance of the rig. OU’s unit was able to drill through twelve inches in 70-minutes with a “roughly straight and uniform borehole”. The team will now present a paper and display their rig at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) on September 29th in Houston. Other schools that took part in the competition listed in the order they placed are: Texas A& M University, The University of Texas, and University of Agder in Norway. The 2015 Drillbotics Competition was sponsored by Baker Hughes, Evolution Engineering, National Oilwell Varco, Schlumberger, and Siemens.

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