Offshore drilling with drill string over 10,000m long has many technical challenges. Among them, the challenge to control the weight on bit (WOB) between a certain range is inevitable for the integrity of drill pipes and the efficiency of the drilling operation. Since WOB cannot be monitored directly during drilling, the tension at the top of the drill string is used as an indicator of the WOB. However, WOB and the surface measured tension are known to show different features. The deviation among the two is due to the dynamic longitudinal behavior of the drill string, which becomes stronger as the drill string gets longer and more elastic. One feature of the difference is related to the occurrence of high-frequency oscillation.
We have analyzed the longitudinal behavior of drill string with lumped-mass model and captured the descriptive behavior of such phenomena. However, such physics-based models are not sufficient for real-time operation. There are many unknown parameters that need to be tuned to fit the actual operating conditions. In addition, the huge and complex drilling system will have non-linear behavior, especially near the drilling annulus. These features will only be captured in the data obtained during operation.
The proposed hybrid model is a combination of physics-based models and data-driven models. The basic idea is to utilize data-driven techniques to integrate the obtained data during operation into the physics-based model. There are many options on how far we integrate the data-driven techniques to the physics-based model. For example, we have been successful in estimating the WOB from the surface measured tension and the displacement of the drill string top with only recurrent neural networks (RNNs), provided we have enough data of WOB. Lack of WOB measurement cannot be avoided, so the amount of data needs to be increased by utilizing results from physics-based numerical models. The aim of the research is to find a good combination of the two models. In this paper, we will discuss several hybrid model configurations and its performance.