Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



The Trackmaster system manufactured by Smith Services consists of a multi-ramped whipstock and a trimill assembly used to perform a sidetrack from a cased well. Smith Services has observed evidence that the trimill assembly may prematurely leave the face of the whipstock and build excess inclination and dogleg severity or may fall into the original well immediately after leaving the end of the whipstock ramp thus creating a need to predict the borehole trajectory for sidetracking operations. The goal of this project was to predict the borehole trajectory and the window profile cut in the casing by the sidetracking equipment and the curvature that would result in tubular run through the sidetracked borehole, expressed as dogleg severity. A computer program was developed that predicts the sidetrack trajectory based on the BHA analysis method proposed by Jiazhi, and extended for calculating the side force on the mills. These side forces and a logical check on the feasibility of that force within the existing well geometry were used to predict the trajectory of each mill. A method was developed to calculate and plot the paths traversed by each mill and the width of the window subsequently cut by trimill assembly moving down the face of the whipstock. Results obtained from the simulator, for selected cases of tool geometries, hole sizes and resistance to sidetracking, indicate an overall dropping tendency of the mill assembly and no tendency to prematurely leave the face of the whipstock. Therefore premature departure of the trimill assembly from the whipstock is unlikely to be caused by BHA design but may be related to some other factor such as the interaction of the mill profile with the casing wall. Further, a method was developed to calculate the radius of curvature for a specific size pipe run in the predicted trajectory for a sidetracked borehole, based on pipe diameter and wellbore geometry. The curvature was expressed as dogleg severity in degrees of inclination change per 100 ft and provides a basis for determining whether the sidetracked borehole is suitable for its intended purpose.



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Committee Chair

John Rogers Smith