CSIRO developing smarter drilling technologies

By March 22nd, 2010

A range of articles detailing how CSIRO researchers are working to improve understanding of drilling mechanics and dynamics are published today in the March/April edition of CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering’s (CESRE’s) earthmatters magazine.

“Our research impacts the most critical component of resource exploration and production,” says CESRE Chief, Dr Mike McWilliams.

“Drilling is a major expense in the resources industry. Our scientists and engineers are comprehensively redesigning and improving drilling equipment and techniques precisely when global commodity needs are on the upswing. This is good news for Australian resource companies,” Dr McWilliams said.

Stories in this ‘smarter drilling’ edition include:

The upside of deep stress: A CSIRO research team has developed a new method for estimating in-situ rock stress in deep holes that will aid geothermal energy extraction. A good understanding of the stress regime is essential to help determine the position and shape of the fracture ‘cloud’ created by hydraulic fracturing in hot rock.

Moving in the right direction: CSIRO scientists have invented and patented a new drilling method and assembly that improves operators’ abilities to avoid deviation from the drilling line.

Leading a drive to excellence: CESRE’s new Science Leader, Dr Michael Glinsky, discusses how Australia’s minerals and petroleum science is the “best in the world” and his role in helping to guide that science.

Face-to-face with the drillers: Listening to drillers and seeking their input on all issues of their profession is helping CSIRO scientists design smarter and safer systems.

Exploration’s future is deep: A new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has been launched to tackle the growing technical and economic challenges of deep exploration. Much of CESRE’s geoscience capability will be deployed through the Deep Exploration Technologies CRC.

At the cutting edge: Developing an improved understanding of exactly what happens at the bit-rock interface.

A meeting of minds: How the recent merger between CSIRO Exploration & Mining and CSIRO Petroleum Resources to form CESRE now offers a wealth of new collaboration and opportunity for Australia.

The latest edition of earthmatters also features an interview with Dr Luiz Franca who explains the considerable worth and benefits of understanding the dynamics of modern drill bits.

earthmatters is published three times a year. A pdf of issue 22, the March April edition is available at: earthmatters magazine.

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