Advanced Softtorque
Proven agnostic solution for stick-slip mitigation.

Stick slip mitigation – Advanced Softtorque

Advanced Softtorque (AST) is Electroproject’s (EP) newest implementation of soft torque technology. Advanced Softtorque mitigates the negative effects of the frequently arising stick-slip phenomena in oil and gas well drilling. 

To do so the rotation dynamics of the (top)drive in the drilling rig is changed to dampen the torsional vibrations in the drill string such that the drill bit speed variation is minimized. The settings for the controller to achieve this minimum speed variation of the drill bit are automatically calculated by an embedded optimization program in the AST system.

Advantages Advanced Softtorque 

Advanced Softtorque finds its strength in:

  • Wide control frequency band to allow damping of all relevant torsion vibration modes of the drill string. This obviates the need to re-tune at different drilling depths as is needed for conventional Softtorque controllers (STRS technology).
  • AST has proven in practice to deliver a better torsional vibration mitigation than traditional Softtorque technology specially in horizontal operations or when less stiff pipe is used like 4”.
  • Optimizations to minimize the downhole (Bit/BHA) speed fluctuations. Especially useful for directional drilling operations.

Below graph shows the performance of the AST system during the horizontal section of a drilling operation. The light blue line represents torque on surface. Ones the Softtorque system is switched on the torque values stabilize due to the mitigation of the drill string torsional vibrations.

Must have to improve drill performance

Acknowledged by mayor contractors and operators as an important asset to gear up ROP and to avoid trips caused by tear and were of tools downhole Advanced Softtorque has been a success from the first implementation in 2012:

  • The ROP is higher
  • Tool wear is less. Longer drill-bit runs are possible.
  • The torsional vibrations in the drill string are lower, avoiding problems with the well bore.
  • NPT During directional drilling operations will drop significantly. 

This all without the need for the driller to continuously engage with the controller changing settings or continuously tuning the controller.

Advance Softtorque proven benefits

Advanced Softtorque has proven in practice 50% to a 100% more damping for torsional oscillations. It is because of this more aggressive mitigation ability that the general benefits experienced with traditional Softtorque systems during the vertical sections of drilling operations now extend to the more challenging extended reach and horizontal operations.

Additionally the AST controller is truly agnostic in the sense that it can be used in all AC top drives independent of brand or technology used. Between sister rigs the AST system can even be swapped from one to the other rig. 

Advanced Softtorque is Electroproject Intellectual Property and Electroproject is the only company beside Shell with IP rights on wide bandwidth stick slip mitigation controllers, positioning Electroproject as technology champion.

Real-time performance measurement and tracking

What is the expected performance of EP Softtorque? And how can its performance be evaluated? Not one drilling condition is the same. So how can the actual effectiveness of a solution for mitigating slip stick be measured? Answers to these important questions are given by Electroprojects’s Softtorque Assist. Softtorque Assist is a dedicated simulation tool – developed by Electroproject. Depending on the top drive specifications and expected drilling operation the effectiveness of the AST controller can be simulated. The expected performance can be documented guaranteeing a successful system implementation.

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