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Introduction to Drilling - Course Outline

The course is intended for individuals who are unfamiliar with, or need to know more about drilling and drilling engineering and wish to understand the various aspects of the process of creating a well. The course uses photos, animations and video to explain drilling equipment and processes, and deals with theoretical aspects where appropriate. Courses can be delivered in-house or elsewhere.


The history of drilling and how rotary drilling came to be the dominant method.

The Well

This section describes the process of creating the well and covers the component well equipment such as casing, cement, tubing, wellhead. The various types of well are discussed.

The Drilling Rig

This section covers the drilling rig and its components. It describes hoisting, rotating, circulating, mud handling, pressure control and power generation. There is an optional module describing the various types of offshore rig and how offshore drilling differs from land drilling. Some new developments are described.

Downhole Drilling Equipment

All the components used downhole are discussed - the bit, drillcollar, drillpipe and other accessories.

Drilling Fluids

The function of the drilling fluid, types and properties.

Casing and Cementing

Function of casing. Types of casing. Design of casing strings. Function of cement. Design of cement jobs. Casing running and cementing procedures. Cement plugs.

Formation Evaluation

Mud logging, coring, wireline logging, MWD, LWD, drillstem and production testing are discussed.

Normal Drilling Operations

This section describes the common operations that take place during a conventional drilling process: spudding in, tripping in and out, pipe-handling etc. illustrated with the help of animations and video clips.

Special Drilling Operations

Hole opening, underreaming, deviated drilling, continuous coring, horizontal drilling, coiled tubing drilling, multilaterals, HTHP wells and underbalanced drilling.


The individual job functions of the oil company operations staff and drilling contractor staff are described. Contract types are discussed such as day-rate or turnkey.


Health, safety and environment aspects of drilling operations are discussed.

Drilling Problems

Well control, blowouts, lost circulation, stuck pipe, fishing. The theory behind well killing operations.


What is a completion. Running the completion. Completion equipment. Types of completion such as open-hole, cased hole, single, dual, multi-laterals, smart wells, sand control, artificial lift, stimulation.


Well servicing.


Well selection, prospect selection, the drilling programme, well design, the AFE.

New developments

This section covers some of the new developments that are likely game-changers in the industry, such as automatic drilling rigs and expandable tubulars.


Abandonment of the well.


The course includes a manual, hand-outs of the slides presented, and a glossary of drilling terms.