Drilling and Excavation Technologies for the Future

Committee on Advanced Drilling Technologies

Geotechnical Board/Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources/Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
WASHINGTON, D.C.
1994



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Drilling and Excavation Technologies for the Future Committee on Advanced Drilling Technologies Geotechnical Board/Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems Board on Earth Sciences and Resources/Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS WASHINGTON, D.C. 1994

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for this report were chosen for their special expertise and with regard for appropriate balance among government, industry, and academia. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this study was provided by the Department of Energy (grant number DE-FG42-92R208008) and the Gas Research Institute. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the committee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Energy or the Gas Research Institute. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 94-6677 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05076-6 Copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) B-330 Cover art by Shelley Myers, Project Assistant for the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, National Research Council. Myers' work is exhibited widely in the Washington, D.C. area and has won several area awards. Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON ADVANCED DRILLING TECHNOLOGIES Ali S. Argon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chair since July 1993) Neville G.W. Cook, University of California, Berkeley (Chair until July 1993) George A. Cooper, University of California, Berkeley Michael M. Herron, Schlumberger-Doll Research Stephen E. Laubach, The University of Texas, Austin William C. Maurer, Maurer Engineering, Inc. James E. Monsees, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. D. Stephen Pye, UNOCAL Corporation Jean-Claude Roegiers, University of Oklahoma Eugene D. Shchukin, Institute of Physical Chemistry RAS Mark D. Zoback, Stanford University NRC Staff Peter H. Smeallie, Study Director Thomas M. Usselman, Senior Program Officer Kevin D. Crowley, Program Officer Jennifer T. Estep, Administrative Assistant Judith L. Estep, Administrative Assistant Amelia B. Mathis, Senior Secretary Nathan L. Harshman, Research Aide

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LIAISONS The U.S. Department of Energy Stephen Brocoum, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Washington, D.C. William J. Gwilliam, Morgantown Energy Technology Center, Morgantown, West Virginia Allan J. Jelacic, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, D.C. Roy C. Long, Yucca Mountain Project Office, Las Vegas, Nevada William C. Luth, Office of Energy Research, Washington, D.C. John E. Mock, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, D.C. Albert B. Yost II, Morgantown Energy Technology Center, Morgantown, West Virginia Gas Research Institute Kent F. Perry, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois Massachusetts Institute of Technology Carl Peterson, Department of Mechanical Engineering Jeff Tester, Energy Laboratory

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GEOTECHNICAL BOARD James K. Mitchell, Chair, University of California, Berkeley Clarence R. Allen, California Institute of Technology Joan (Jodie) Z. Bernstein, Waste Management, Inc. David E. Daniel, University of Texas, Austin William S. Gardner, W.S. Gardner and Associates James P. Gould, Partner, Mueser, Rutledge Consulting Engineers François E. Heuze, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Charles C. Ladd, Massachusetts Institute of Technology James E. Murff, Exxon Production Research Company Shlomo P. Neuman, The University of Arizona Thomas D. O'Rourke, Cornell University Reuben Samuels, Parsons Brinckerhoff Robert L. Schuster, U.S. Geological Survey Don W. Steeples, The University of Kansas NRC Staff Mahadevan Mani, Director, Division on Infrastructure, Energy, and Environmental Engineering Peter H. Smeallie, Director, Geotechnical Board (1990 through 1993) Jennifer T. Estep, Administrative Assistant Amelia B. Mathis, Senior Secretary

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COMMISSION ON ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL SYSTEMS Albert R. C. Westwood, Chair, Sandia National Laboratories Nancy Rutledge Connery, Consultant Richard A. Conway, Union Carbide Corporation Gerard W. Elverum, Jr., TRW, Inc. (Retired) E. R. (Vald) Heiberg III, J.A. Jones Construction Services Company William G. Howard, Jr., Consultant John McCarthy, Stanford University Alton D. Slay, Slay Enterprises, Inc. James J. Solberg, Purdue University Charles F. Tiffany, Boeing Military Airplane Company (Retired) John A. Tillinghast, Tillinghast Technology Interests Paul Torgersen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University George L. Turin, Teknekron Corporation John B. Wachtman, Jr., Rutgers University William C. Webster, University of California, Berkeley Robert V. Whitman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology NRC Staff Archie L. Wood, Executive Director Marlene R. B. Beaudin, Associate Executive Director Dennis Chamot, Associate Executive Director Robert J. Katt, Associate Director Mary Frances Lee, Director of Operations Sylvia Gilbert, Administrative Assistant Susan Coppinger, Administrative Assistant

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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES J. Freeman Gilbert, Chair, University of California, San Diego Gail M. Ashley, Rutgers University Thure Cerling, University of Utah Mark P. Cloos, University of Texas, Austin Neville G.W. Cook, University of California, Berkeley Joel Darmstadter, Resources for the Future Donald J. DePaolo, University of California, Berkeley Marco T. Einaudi, Stanford University Norman H. Foster, Independent Geologist Charles G. Groat, Louisiana State University Donald C. Haney, Kentucky Geological Survey Andrew H. Knoll, Harvard University Philip E. LaMoreaux, P.E. LaMoreaux and Associates, Inc. Susan Landon, Thomasson Partner Associates Marcia K. McNutt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology J. Bernard Minster, University of California, San Diego Jill D. Pasteris, Washington University Edward C. Roy, Jr., Trinity University NRC Staff Jonathan G. Price, Director Thomas M. Usselman, Associate Director William E. Benson, Senior Program Officer Kevin D. Crowley, Program Officer Bruce B. Hanshaw, Program Officer Anne M. Linn, Program Officer Lally A. Anderson, Staff Assistant Charlene E. Anderson, Administrative Assistant Judith L. Estep, Administrative Assistant Shelley A. Myers, Project Assistant Nathan L. Harshman, Research Aide

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COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. Gordon Wolman, Chair, The Johns Hopkins University Patrick R. Atkins, Aluminum Company of America Peter S. Eagleson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Edward A. Frieman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography W. Barclay Kamb, California Institute of Technology Jack E. Oliver, Cornell University Frank L. Parker, Vanderbilt University Raymond A. Price, Queen's University at Kingston Thomas A. Schelling, University of Maryland Larry L. Smarr, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Steven M. Stanley, The Johns Hopkins University Victoria J. Tschinkel, Landers and Parsons Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown University Law Center NRC Staff Stephen Rattien, Executive Director Stephen D. Parker, Associate Executive Director Morgan Gopnik, Assistant Executive Director Jeanette A. Spoon, Administrative Officer Sandi S. Fitzpatrick, Administrative Associate Robin L. Allen, Senior Project Assistant

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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PREFACE Drilling involves a set of processes for breaking and removing rock to produce boreholes, tunnels, and excavations. Drilling is used extensively for resource extraction, for building civil infrastructure systems such as sewers and subways, for environmental remediation, and for scientific purposes. Efficient and effective drilling technologies are critical elements in a robust and healthy economy. Improvements in the fundamental technologies applicable to the drilling of rock will benefit the U.S. economy and strengthen the competitive position of the United States in the worldwide drilling, excavation, and comminution industries. The Geothermal Division of the Department of Energy is one agency of the U.S. government that hopes to find better and less costly ways of penetrating rock in order to harness geothermal energy resources more efficiently. With this goal in mind, the Geothermal Division asked the National Research Council to establish a committee to examine opportunities for advances in drilling technologies that would have broad industrial, environmental, and scientific applications such as energy exploration and production, mining, tunneling, water well drilling, underground storage, and environmental remediation. The formal charge to the committee is given in Appendix A. The Committee on Advanced Drilling Technologies began its work in February 1993, and met four times over the course of the study. In April 1993 the committee invited 42 experts on drilling to a workshop that elicited ideas on advanced drilling technologies. A list of the invited experts and other participants is given in Appendix B. Results from this workshop assisted the committee in its assessment of the areas in which improvements are possible. This report of the committee provides an examination of the technical and scientific feasibility of substantial advances in drilling and related

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technologies. In this report, the committee (1) examines concepts for new mechanical and nonmechanical drilling applications, including advances in the knowledge of tool-rock interaction; (2) identifies potential opportunities for research; and (3) makes recommendations on the scope and direction needed to realize these opportunities for improved methods of drilling. The focus of the report is the physical systems used to create holes and tunnels in the subsurface. The report does not address other aspects of drilling related issues such as sample recovery and waste minimization. Although these are important issues, especially in environmental applications, they are outside the charge to the committee. This study received direct support from the Department of Energy and the Gas Research Institute. The committee and staff gratefully acknowledge the support of each of these agencies.

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CONTENTS 1   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1     Recommendations   2 2   ADVANCED DRILLING SYSTEMS   7     Introduction   7     The Drilling System   7     Smart Drilling Systems and the Systems Approach   9     References   11 3   NATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF DRILLING   12     Introduction   12     Oil Drilling   13     Natural Gas Drilling   16     Geothermal Drilling   18     Environmental Drilling   20     Service Companies   23     Infrastructure, Underground Excavation, and Mining   24     Drilling for Scientific Purposes   26     Summary and Recommendations   28     References   30 4   DRILLING AND BORING OF ROCK   34     Introduction   34     Types of Rock   35     Theoretical Models for the Behavior of Rocks in Compression   36     Experimental Verification of Models   40     Surface-Active Agents in Rock Fracture   46     Fracturing of Rock in Drilling   48     Priorities for R&D   52     References   54

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5   ROCK EXCAVATION TOOLS   63     Introduction   63     Status of the Field   64     Priorities for R&D   79     References   80 6   SENSING SYSTEMS   87     Introduction   87     Status of the Field   90     Priorities for R&D   96     References   98 7   DIRECTIONAL DRILLING AND TUNNELING   101     Introduction   101     Directional Drilling of Boreholes   105     Methods for Directional Drilling   111     Priorities for R&D   125     References   128 8   BOREHOLE STABILITY   135     Introduction   135     Priorities for R&D   137     References   140 9   MATERIALS HANDLING   142     Introduction   142     Status of the Field for Drilling Wells   142     Status of the Field for Mining and Tunneling   147     Priorities for R&D   148     References   150 10   CONCLUSIONS   151 APPENDIX A   Statement of Task   157 APPENDIX B   Workshop Attendance   159