Drilling Problems & Drilling Optimization

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Upcoming Course

Code Start Date End Date Location Cost Instructor Register
PST0422-202101  05 Jul 2021  09 Jul 2021  VIRTUAL TRAINING  USD 2995  Magdi El Naggar   Register

Past Course

Code Start Date End Date Location Cost Instructor Register
        Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D. 

Having successful oil and gas drilling operation requires knowledge of numerous factors. It is not just increasing the penetration rates, but also minimizing the downtime caused by drilling problems that could enhance the overall perfomance of the well. This course introduces various types of problems that could be encountered during drilling and workover operations and result in non-productive and very costly drilling down time as well as the possible means for reduction of this time throughout adequate definition and monitoring of KPI’s, data management, quantifying uncertainties in the subsurface conditions, risk assessment and use of modern drilling technologies and trends. Moreover, the course provides better understanding, enhance knowledge and strengthen the decision-making capability of the participants to enhance the well perfomance throughout presentations, case studies, group discussions and exercise as well as practical videos of actual cases.

Pre-course test
Drilling Problems
Introduction :

  • Drilling Rigs
  • Drilling Fluids
  • Drilling Bits
  • Casing
  • Cementing
  • Extended Reach Drilling
  • Drilling Fluids Additives
  • Drill String Components
  • Directional Drilling Types and Applications
  • Extended Reach Drilling Challenges
  • Drilling Fluids Issues for Extended Reach Drilling
  • Selection Criteria of Drilling Fluids
  • Hole Cleaning
  • Factors Affecting Hole Cleaning and Cuttings Transport
  • Drill Cuttings Impact on Drilling Operations
  • Mud Conditioning and Field Testing
  • Solid Control Equipment
  • Pressure and Friction Losses
  • Bit and BHA : Basic and Corrective Actions
  • Issues Related to Drilling Bit
  • Drilling Bit Running Preparation
  • Formation Pressure Tests
  • Bottom Hole Pressure Concept
  • Basic Pressure Definitions
  • Tripping Procedures
  • Inner String Cementing Procedures and Instructions
  • Running Casing Procedures and Instructions
  • Running New Drilling Bit
  • Bottom Hole Pressure Concept
  • Hard Shut in Procedure
  • Soft Shut in Procedure
  • Choke Manifolds Basics


  • Stuck Pipe
  • Slip Sticking
  • Lost circulation
  • Annular Hole Cleaning
  • Wellbore instability
  • Hole deviations and directional control
  • Drill String failures
  • Drilling Mud Contaminations
  • Gas Migrations
  • Kicks
  • Cause of Kicks
  • Positive Kick Signs
  • Well Control
  • Well Control and Safety Barriers
  • Well Control Preliminary Calculations
  • Drilling Fluid Losses and Total Loss of Circulation and Challenges
  • U Tube Effect
  • Hazardous Gas and Shallow Gas
  • Slow Drilling
  • Equipment, Communication & Personnel


  • Drill String Mechanics
  • Well Design Concepts
  • Drilling Fluid Calculations
  • Directional Drilling
  • Measurement while Drilling Systems (MWD)
  • Controllable and Non-Controllable Non-Production Time (NPT)
  • Introduction to Drilling Optimization
  • Petroleum Rock Mechanics
  • Defining of KPIs
  • Use of common industry KPIs
  • Wellbore Stability Analysis
  • Rock Strength and Rock Failure
  • Risk Management Process
  • Cost-time analysis
  • Common Drilling problems
  • Measurement and Evaluation of Risk
  • Limit state function and Probability Failure Function
  • Optimization of the process and its elements
  • Drilling plan
  • Rate of penetration monitoring
  • Other goals of well drilling and construction
  • Technical limits and quantum change in limits
  • Advanced Drilling Techniques
  • New developments in Technology
  • Well site parameters and drill string inventory optimization
  • Kill sheets use
  • Problems

Post-course test

  • What potential problem may occur during drilling?
  • Why do these problems occur?
  • What to do and how to act quickly to minimize its economic impact on the drilling budget?
  • Learn how to recognize signs before problems it become eminent to help in reducing the rig downtime and cost accordingly.
  • Recognize the influence of drill string and reservoir mechanics.
  • Identify possible and expected operational problems and contingency plans.
  • Acquire necessary skills to conduct risk assessment for all phases of the process to minimize the down time or losses.
  • Understand how to avoid drilling problems and implement well control procedures throughout operations.
  • Appreciate the environmental effects of drilling activities.
  • Implement techniques to control non-productive time.
  • Effectively identify and monitor key perfomance indicators (KPIs).
  • Implement real time management of well construction and optimization.
  • Understand the fundamentals and concept of the operations optimization.
  • Increase awareness and knowledge of the rig operations and factors affecting its perfomance.
  • Acquire necessary knowledge of the subsurface operational techniques, technologies and equipment.
  • Be able to handle various emergency situations, plan its operations, monitor and analyze its perfomance.
  • Drilling Engineers
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Drilling Managers
  • Tool Pushers
  • Reservoir Engineers
  • Risk Managers
  • Field Services Staff
  • Drillers

Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D.

Founder and President


President, Zick Technologies (Since 10/93).

Petroleum engineering consulting and software development, specializing in the area of reservoir fluid phase behavior modeling. References available on request. Key achievements:

-Developed numerous equation-of-state and black-oil fluid characterizations for various major oil companies and as a sub-contractor for Pera A/S.

-Recommended phase behavior experimentation and modeling guidelines for several major oil companies.

-Wrote PhazeComp, a new, state-of-the-art program from Zick Technologies for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Wrote Streamz, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for translating, manipulating, and managing vast quantities of fluid stream information.

-Designed and helped write Pipe-It, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for managing and manipulating petroleum resources, processes, and projects.

-Taught numerous industry courses on phase behavior, equations of state, reservoir fluid characterization, and miscible gas injection processes.

-Designed and helped implement a new set of equation-of-state routines for the in-house reservoir simulator of a major oil company.

-Advised the architects of a major commercial reservoir simulator on ways to significantly improve their equation-of-state routines.


Director of Research, Reservoir Simulation Research Corporation (6/91–10/93).

Responsible for the research and development of more efficient, accurate, and reliable techniques for modeling reservoir fluid phase behavior within MORE® (a fully-compositional, equation-of-state reservoir simulator). Also responsible for improving three-dimensional visualization of reservoir simulator output, and for occasional consulting work. Key achievements:

-Designed and implemented new equation-of-state solution algorithms for MORE®, improving both efficiency and robustness while using less memory.

-Developed a powerful and flexible interface between MORE® and TECPLOT™ (three-dimensional surface contouring software from AMTEC Engineering).


Senior Principal Research Engineer, ARCO Oil and Gas Company (9/83–5/91).

Developed expertise in reservoir fluid phase behavior, phase behavior modeling, compositional reservoir simulation, and relative permeability modeling.  Designed and analyzed PVT experiments. Created equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterizations. Developed ARCO’s phase behavior modeling software and relative permeability modeling software. Helped develop several of ARCO’s compositional and limited compositional reservoir simulators. Key achievements:

-Discovered the true, condensing/vaporizing mechanism of oil displace­ment by enriched hydrocarbon gases.

-Represented ARCO on the Prudhoe Bay co-owners’ Enhanced Oil Recovery Task Force for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Designed and analyzed most of the PVT and slim-tube experiments for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Created the equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterization adopted by the operating companies for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed the miscibility pressure correlations used by the facility operators for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed EOSPHASE, a then state-of-the-art program for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Developed SLIMTUBE, a special-purpose, equation-of-state simulator for slim-tube displacements.

-Developed new, compositionally-consistent, three-phase relative perme­ability models for ARCO’s compositional simulators and wrote data-fitting software for those models.

-Developed the phase behavior and relative permeability routines for a new, limited compositional reservoir simulator and assisted on other aspects of it.

-Continually added improvements to various in-house reservoir simulators.

-Regularly taught in-house courses on the phase behavior of miscible gas displacement processes.



A. A. Zick, “A Combined Condensing/Vaporizing Mechanism in the Displacement of Oil by Enriched Gases,” presented at the 61st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, New Orleans, LA (October, 1986).

D. E. Tang and A. A. Zick, “A New Limited Compositional Reservoir Simulator,” presented at the 12th SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation, New Orleans, LA (March, 1993).