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Title:
EARTH-BORING TOOL MONITORING SYSTEM FOR SHOWING RELIABILITY OF AN EARTH-BORING TOOL AND RELATED METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/173529
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An earth-boring tool monitoring system may generate a contour plot representing reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads, the contour plot showing a range of reliabilities of the earth-boring tool from 100 percent reliable to 0 percent reliable and may overlay a plurality of markers over the contour plot, each marker representing an instance in time and representing operating loads of the earth-boring tool at that instance in time. Furthermore, the earth-boring tool monitoring system shifts the contour plot based on a cumulative amount of damage experienced by the earth-boring tool.

Inventors:
BORGE, Richard, Wayne (1401 Waugh Drive, Unit 2Houston, TX, 77019, US)
Application Number:
US2019/021033
Publication Date:
September 12, 2019
Filing Date:
March 06, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BAKER HUGHES, A GE COMPANY, LLC (17021 Aldine Westfield, Houston, TX, 77073, US)
International Classes:
E21B44/00; E21B41/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOODHOUSE, Kyle, M. et al. (Traskbritt, P. O. Box 2550Salt Lake City, UT, 84102, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is: 1. An earth-boring tool monitoring system, comprising:

at least one processor; and

at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to:

generate a contour plot representing reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads, the contour plot showing a range of reliabilities of the earth-boring tool from about 100 percent reliable to about 0 percent reliable; and

overlay a plurality of markers over the contour plot, each marker representing an instance in time and representing operating loads of the earth-boring tool at that instance in time.

2. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein the range of reliabilities is represented with a color gradient or grayscale gradient. 3. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein the contour plot is generated based on simulation data from simulations or laboratory testing of drilling operations.

4. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein the contour plot is generated based on historical data from previously performed drilling operations.

5. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to:

after overlaying the plurality of markers over the contour plot, detect a user interaction to change an operating parameter of the earth-boring tool due to risk indicated by at least one marker of the plurality of markers; and

in response to detecting the user interaction, change the operating parameter of the earth-boring tool.

6. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein overlaying a plurality of markers over the contour plot comprises overlaying one or more markers of the plurality of markers in a first color when, based at least in part on the operating loads represented in the one or more markers, the earth-boring tool is at low risk of failure.

7. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 6, further comprising overlaying at least one additional marker of the plurality of markers in a second color when, based at least in part on the operating loads represented in the at least one additional marker, the earth-boring tool is at high risk of failure.

8. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein the range of operating loads comprises a range of torque and a range of weight-on-bit, and wherein each marker of the plurality of markers represents an applied torque and applied weight-on-bit of the earth-boring tool at the instance in time represented by the marker.

9. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein data for the operating loads for the plurality of markers is acquired from a surface control unit of a drilling assembly.

10. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, wherein data for the operating loads for the plurality of markers is acquired from sensors disposed downhole on the earth-boring tool. 11. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 1, further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to shift the contour plot based at least in part on a cumulative amount of damage experienced by the earth-boring tool. 12. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 11, further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to determine the cumulative damage experienced by the earth-boring tool based at least in part on simulation data from simulations of drilling operations.

13. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 11, further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to determine the cumulative damage experienced by the earth-boring tool based at least in part on historical data from previously performed drilling operations.

14. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 11, wherein shifting the contour plot comprises shifting the contour plot based at least partially on an age of the earth boring tool.

15. The earth-boring tool monitoring system of claim 11, wherein shifting the contour plot based at least in part on a cumulative amount of damage comprises shrinking an operational window of the contour plot.

Description:
EARTH-BORING TOOL MONITORING SYSTEM FOR

SHOWING RELIABILITY OF AN EARTH-BORING TOOL

AND RELATED METHODS

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of United States Patent Application Serial No. 15/914,752, filed March 7, 2018, for“Earth-Boring Tool Monitoring System for Showing Reliability of an Earth-Boring Tool and Related Methods.”

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates generally to earth-boring tool monitoring systems and methods of using such systems.

BACKGROUND

Oil wells (wellbores) are usually drilled with a drill string. The drill string includes a tubular member having a drilling assembly that includes a single drill bit at its bottom end. The drilling assembly may also include devices and sensors that provide information pertaining to a variety of parameters relating to the drilling operations (“drilling parameters”), behavior of the drilling assembly (“drilling assembly parameters”) and parameters relating to the formations penetrated by the wellbore (“formation parameters”). A drill bit and/or reamer attached to the bottom end of the drilling assembly is rotated by rotating the drill string from the drilling rig and/or by a drilling motor (also referred to as a“mud motor”) in the bottom hole assembly (“BHA”) to remove formation material to drill the wellbore.

DISCLOSURE

Some embodiments of the present disclosure include earth-boring tool monitoring systems. The earth-boring tool monitoring systems may include at least one processor and at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon. When the instructions are executed by the at least one processor, the system may generate a contour plot representing reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads, the contour plot showing a range of reliabilities of the earth-boring tool from 100 percent reliable to 0 percent reliable and overlay a plurality of markers over the contour plot, each marker representing an instance in time and representing operating loads of the earth-boring tool at that instance in time. In additional embodiments, the present disclosure includes earth-boring tool monitoring systems. The earth-boring tool monitoring systems may include at least one processor and at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon. When the instructions are executed by the at least one processor, the system may generate a contour plot representing a range of reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads, overlay a plurality of markers over the contour plot, each marker representing an instance in time and representing operating loads of the earth-boring tool at the instance in time, and shift the contour plot based on a cumulative amount of damage experienced by the earth-boring tool.

Some embodiments of the present disclosure include earth-boring tool monitoring systems. The earth-boring tool monitoring systems may include at least one processor and at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon. When the instructions are executed by the at least one processor, the system may generate a contour plot representing a range of reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads, overlay a first marker over the contour plot representing a first instance in time, representing a first operating load of the earth-boring tool at that instance in time, and having a first color indicating no risk, shift the contour plot based on a cumulative amount of damage experienced by the earth-boring tool, and overlay a second marker over the contour plot representing a second instance in time, representing a second operating load of the earth boring tool at the second instance in time that is less than the first operating load, and having a second color indicating risk.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a detailed understanding of the present disclosure, reference should be made to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements have generally been designated with like numerals, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a wellbore system comprising a drill string that includes an earth-boring tool according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a graphical user interface showing a contour plot of bit health displayed by an earth-boring tool monitoring system according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure; FIG. 3 is a graphical user interface showing a contour plot of bit health having markers overlaid thereon and indicating real-time operating loads of an earth-boring tool according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4A is a graphical user interface showing a contour plot prior to being updated due to cumulative damage of an earth-boring tool according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4B is a graphical user interface showing a contour plot after being updated due to cumulative damage of an earth-boring tool according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a surface control unit of an embodiment of an earth boring tool monitoring system of the present disclosure.

MODE(S) FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

The illustrations presented herein are not actual views of any drilling system, earth boring tool monitoring system, or any component thereof, but are merely idealized representations, which are employed to describe embodiments of the present invention.

As used herein, the terms“bit” and“earth-boring tool” each mean and include earth boring tools for forming, enlarging, or forming and enlarging a borehole. Non-limiting examples of bits include fixed-cutter (“drag”) bits, fixed-cutter coring bits, fixed-cutter eccentric bits, fixed-cutter bi-center bits, fixed-cutter reamers, expandable reamers with blades bearing fixed cutters, and hybrid bits including both fixed cutters and rotatable cutting structures (roller cones).

As used herein, the singular forms following“a,”“an,” and“the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

As used herein, the term“may” with respect to a material, structure, feature, or method act indicates that such is contemplated for use in implementation of an embodiment of the disclosure, and such term is used in preference to the more restrictive term“is” so as to avoid any implication that other compatible materials, structures, features, and methods usable in combination therewith should or must be excluded.

As used herein, any relational term, such as“first,”“second,” etc., is used for clarity and convenience in understanding the disclosure and accompanying drawings, and does not connote or depend on any specific preference or order, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise. For example, these terms may refer to an orientation of elements of an earth-boring tool when disposed within a borehole in a conventional manner. Furthermore, these terms may refer to an orientation of elements of an earth-boring tool when disposed as illustrated in the drawings.

As used herein, the term“substantially” in reference to a given parameter, property, or condition means and includes to a degree that one skilled in the art would understand that the given parameter, property, or condition is met with a small degree of variance, such as within acceptable manufacturing tolerances. By way of example, depending on the particular parameter, property, or condition that is substantially met, the parameter, property, or condition may be at least 90.0% met, at least 95.0% met, at least 99.0% met, or even at least 99.9% met.

As used herein, the term“about” used in reference to a given parameter is inclusive of the stated value and has the meaning dictated by the context (e.g., it includes the degree of error associated with measurement of the given parameter, as well as variations resulting from manufacturing tolerances, etc.).

Some embodiments of the present disclosure may include an earth-boring tool monitoring system 129. The earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 generates and displays a contour plot 202 representing ranges of potential operating loads (e.g., torque, weight-on-bit, 1000 revolutions (“Krev”), differential pressure, etc.) of an earth-boring tool and an associated reliability of the earth-boring tool at those operating loads. In some embodiments, the reliabilities are indicated by different colors. Furthermore, the earth boring tool monitoring system 129 generates and overlays markers 302 on the contour plot 202, where the markers 302 represent real-time operating loads of an earth-boring tool at an instance in time. Depending on where the markers 302 are overlaid on the contour plot 202 (e.g., within a high reliability area of the contour plot 202 or a low reliability area of the contour plot 202), the markers 302 may be differentiated from each other via, e.g., colors. Furthermore, a collection of the markers 302 may represent a period of time at which the earth-boring tool is operating and a map of actual operating loads applied to the earth-boring tool within the contour map. As will be discussed in greater detail below, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may enable operators to quickly and efficiently visualize risks in order to manage and balance both risk and performance in real time.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an example of a drilling system 100 that may utilize the apparatuses and methods disclosed herein for drilling boreholes. FIG. 1 shows a borehole 102 that includes an upper section 104 with a casing 106 installed therein and a lower section 108 that is being drilled with a drill string 110. The drill string 110 may include a tubular member 112 that carries a drilling assembly 114 at its bottom end. The tubular member 112 may be made up by joining drill pipe sections or it may be a string of coiled tubing. A drill bit 116 may be attached to the bottom end of the drilling assembly 114 for drilling the borehole 102 of a selected diameter in a formation 118.

The drill string 110 may extend to a rig 120 at the surface 122. The rig 120 shown is a land rig 120 for ease of explanation. However, the apparatuses and methods disclosed may also be used with an offshore rig 120 that is used for drilling boreholes under water. A rotary table 124 or a top drive may be coupled to the drill string 110 and may be utilized to rotate the drill string 110 and to rotate the drilling assembly 114, and thus the drill bit 116, to drill the borehole 102. A drilling motor 126 may be provided in the drilling assembly 114 to rotate the drill bit 116. The drilling motor 126 may be used alone to rotate the drill bit 116 or to superimpose the rotation of the drill bit 116 by the drill string 110. The rig 120 may also include conventional equipment, such as a mechanism to add additional sections to the tubular member 112 as the borehole 102 is drilled. A surface control unit 128, which may be a computer-based unit, may be placed at the surface 122 for receiving and processing downhole data transmitted by sensors 140 in the drill bit 116 and sensors 140 in the drilling assembly 114, and for controlling selected operations of the various devices and sensors 140 in the drilling assembly 114. The sensors 140 may include one or more of sensors 140 that determine acceleration, weight-on-bit, torque, pressure, cutting element positions, rate of penetration, inclination, azimuth, formation lithology, etc.

In some embodiments, the surface control unit 128 may include an earth-boring tool monitoring system 129. The earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may include a processor 130 and a data storage device 132 (or a computer-readable medium) for storing data, algorithms, and computer programs 134. The data storage device 132 may be any suitable device including, but not limited to, a read-only memory (ROM), a random-access memory (RAM), a Flash memory, a magnetic tape, a hard disk, and an optical disc. Additionally, the surface control unit 128 may further include one or more devices for presenting output to an operator of the drilling assembly 114 including, but not limited to, a graphics engine, a display (e.g., a display screen), one or more output drivers (e.g., display drivers), one or more audio speakers, and one or more audio drivers. In certain embodiments, the surface control unit 128 is configured to provide graphical data to a display for presentation to the operator. The graphical data may be representative of one or more graphical user interfaces and/or any other graphical content as may serve a particular implementation. As is described in greater detail in regard to FIGS. 2 through 4B, the earth boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate and display a contour plot 202 representing reliabilities of an earth-boring tool based on potential operating loads. Furthermore, although the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 is described herein as being part of the surface control unit 128, the disclosure is not so limited; rather, as will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may be discrete from the surface control unit 128 and may be disposed anywhere within the drilling assembly 114 or may be remote to the drilling assembly 114. The surface control unit 128 and the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 is described in greater detail below with reference to FIG. 5.

During drilling, a drilling fluid from a source 136 thereof may be pumped under pressure through the tubular member 112, which discharges at the bottom of the drill bit 116 and returns to the surface 122 via an annular space (also referred as the“annulus”) between the drill string 110 and an inside sidewall 138 of the borehole 102.

The drilling assembly 114 may further include one or more downhole sensors 140 (collectively designated by numeral 140). The sensors 140 may include any number and type of sensors 140, including, but not limited to, sensors generally known as the measurement- while-drilling (MWD) sensors or the logging- while-drilling (LWD) sensors, and sensors 140 that provide information relating to the behavior of the drilling assembly 114, such as drill bit rotation (revolutions per minute or“RPM”), tool face, pressure, vibration, whirl, bending, and stick-slip. The drilling assembly 114 may further include a controller unit 142 that controls the operation of one or more devices and sensors 140 in the drilling assembly 114. For example, the controller unit 142 may be disposed within the drill bit 116 (e.g., within a shank and/or crown of a bit body of the drill bit 116). In some embodiments, the controller unit 142 may include, among other things, circuits to process the signals from sensor 140, a processor 144 (such as a microprocessor) to process the digitized signals, a data storage device 146 (such as a solid-state-memory), and a computer program 148. The processor 144 may process the digitized signals, and control downhole devices and sensors 140, and communicate data information with the surface control unit 128 via a two-way telemetry unit 150.

FIG. 2 shows graphical user interface 200 that may be generated and displayed by the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 (FIG. 1). The graphical user interface 200 depicts a bit health of a drilling assembly (e.g., drilling assembly 114) (referred to hereinafter as an“earth-boring tool”). As used herein, the term“bit health” may refer to a representation of reliabilities of earth-boring tools within ranges of operating loads in light of previous loads and wear. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 together, as noted above, the earth boring tool monitoring system 129 may include at least one processor and at least one non- transitory computer-readable storage medium. The storage medium may store instructions thereon that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 to perform actions, such as any of the actions described herein.

In some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 generates a contour plot 202 that shows reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads. For example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 displays the contour plot 202 on a display for viewing by an operator. As used herein, the terms“reliability” and “reliabilities” may refer to a degree to which the earth-boring tool can be depended on to perform an intended function given particular operating loads imposed on the earth-boring tool. For example, the terms may refer to a confidence percentage that the earth-boring tool will perform as intended at given operating loads. Furthermore, the“reliability” of the earth-boring tool may be based, at least partially on, single or multiple failure modes that the earth-boring tool may experience.

In some embodiments, the contour plot’s 202 axes (e.g., X axis and Y axis) may represent operating loads in relation to which the contour plot 202 depicts reliability of the earth-boring tool. The operating loads, and as a result, the contour plot’s 202 axes, may include weight-on-bit (“WOB”), torque, differential pressure, Krevs, or any other parameter measured and/or utilized in drilling operations.

In some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may depict the reliabilities of the earth-boring tool as a color spectrum transitioning throughout a plurality of different colors. For example, the color spectrum may transition from a first color (e.g., dark blue) to a second color (e.g., dark red). In some embodiments, a first color of the contour plot 202 may represent 100 percent reliability (e.g., a statistical confidence of about 100 percent that the earth-boring tool will continue to operate as intended within the operating loads included in the first color). In some embodiments, the second color of the contour plot 202 may represent about 0 percent reliability of the earth-boring tool within the operating loads represented in the dark red color. In other words, the second color may represent operating loads that will cause a failure of the earth-boring tool. Furthermore, colors between the first color and the second color may represent a range of reliabilities from 100 percent to 0 percent. Although specific colors are mentioned herein as representing different reliabilities, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that any color can be utilized to represent any reliability, and that the disclosure is not limited to colors. Rather, in some embodiments, a grayscale gradient may be utilized within the contour plot 202 to represent a range of reliabilities. In additional embodiments, the contour plot 202 may include defined regions (e.g., regions defined by lines) that each represent a reliability or range of reliabilities. In further embodiments, the contour plot 202 may include a mixture of any of the foregoing manners to represent reliabilities.

Referring still to FIG. 2, in some embodiments, the first color of the contour plot 202 may define an operational window 204. For example, the operational window 204 may represent ranges of operating loads within which the earth-boring tool may operate with about 100 percent reliability. As will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, during operation, an operator or the earth-boring tool will want to keep the operating loads of the earth-boring tool within the operational window 204 to avoid failure.

In some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate the contour plot 202 from simulation data. For example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may utilize data obtained from simulations of drilling operations performed with a simulation software (e.g., MATLAB®, PYTHON®, etc.) to determine statistical confidence values of reliabilities of a particular earth-boring tool and operating parameters and to generate the contour plot 202 based on those reliabilities. In other embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate the contour plot 202 from historical data. For example, for a given earth-boring tool, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may utilize data obtained from previously performed drilling operations utilizing similar and/or the same types of earth-boring tools to determine statistical confidence values of reliabilities of the given particular earth-boring tool and operating parameters and to generate the contour plot 202 based on those reliabilities. In some embodiments, the historical data can be obtained from previous drilling operations via one or more sensors (e.g., sensors 140 (FIG. 1)) throughout the drilling assembly 114 (FIG. 1). For example, in some embodiments, the historical data may be obtained via any of the sensors and/or manners described in U.S. Patent 8,100,196, to Pastusek et al, filed February 6, 2009, U.S. Patent 7,859,934, to Pastusek et al, filed February 16, 2007, and U.S. Patent 7,604,072, to Pastusek et al, filed June 7, 2005, the disclosures of which are incorporated in their entireties by this reference herein. In further embodiments, the earth- boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate the contour plot 202 from a mixture of simulation data and historical data.

In some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate the contour plot 202 to be specific to a particular type of earth-boring tool (e.g., a reamer, expandable reamer, tri-cone bit, hybrid bit, etc.) In additional embodiments, the earth boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate the contour plot 202 to be specific to a particular (i.e., individual) earth-boring tool. In additional embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate a contour plot showing an overall system health (i.e., combined bit, motor, and string health).

FIG. 3 shows a contour plot 202 that may be generated and displayed by the earth boring tool monitoring system 129 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 3, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may overlay a plurality of markers 302 on the contour plot 202. Each marker 302 of the plurality of markers 302 may represent actual (e.g., real-time) operating loads (i.e., load points) of an earth-boring tool at an instance in time.

Furthermore, because each of the markers 302 of the plurality of markers 302 represents an instance in time, a collection of the plurality of markers 302 may represent a period of time where the earth-boring tool was subjected to a plurality of different operating loads represented by the plurality of markers 302 and with each of the markers 302 representing an instance in time within that period of time. In some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may generate and display lines between consecutive markers 302 of the plurality of markers 302 (e.g., between markers 302 representing consecutive instances in time). As a result, the plurality of markers 302 may form (e.g., define) a map of actual operating loads applied to the earth boring tool within the contour map. Accordingly, trends and tendencies of the earth-boring tool and operating loads can be readily visualized. As a result, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may assist operators in determining correlations between actual operating loads of the earth-boring tool and other parameters of drilling operations. In additional embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may display moving average values of the plurality of markers and trend lines of the plurality of markers over the contour plots.

In one or more embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may maintain only a certain number of markers 302 on the contour plot 202 to maintain visibility and clarity of the counter plot. For instance, as noted above, the collection of the plurality of markers 302 may represent a particular period of time, and, as a result, markers 302 outside of that period of time (e.g., the oldest markers 302) may disappear after the period of time has passed since the markers 302 were displayed over the contour plot 202. For example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may cause the markers 302 outside of the period of time to disappear. As a non-limiting example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may cause the oldest marker 302 to disappear as the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 causes the newest marker 302 to be displayed. In some embodiments, the period of time may be a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or any other period of time. Furthermore, intervals of time between each marker 302 (e.g., a period time between the instances of time indicated by the markers 302) may be seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks.

In some embodiments, the markers 302 within the plurality of markers 302 may be differentiated from each other based on whether the marker 302 falls within the operational window 204 (described above in regard to FIG. 2) of the contour plot 202 (e.g., 100% reliability) or within any other portion of the contour plot 202. For instance, in one or more embodiments, a marker 302 may be displayed in a first color if the marker 302 falls within the operational window 204 and a second different color if the marker 302 falls outside of the operational window (e.g., indicates a risk to the earth-boring tool). In further embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may utilize three or more colors to differentiate markers 302 of the plurality of markers 302. For instance, a first color may indicate no risk, a second color may indicate minimal risk (e.g., 70% reliability to 99%), and a third color may indicate severe risk (e.g., 0% reliability to 69% reliability). In additional embodiments, a marker 302 may have a first shape if the marker 302 falls within the operational window 204 and a second, different shape if the marker 302 falls outside of the operational window 204 (e.g., indicates a risk to the earth-boring tool). Although specific manners of differentiating markers 302 are described herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may utilize any manner to differentiate markers 302 based on reliabilities represented by the markers 302.

Referring still to FIG. 3, in some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may acquire the data for the plurality of markers 302 (e.g., the actual real-time operating loads of the earth-boring tool represented by the plurality of markers 302) from the surface control unit 128 of the drilling system 100. In additional embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may acquire the data for the plurality of markers 302 from one or more parts of the drilling system 100 (e.g., top drive, motors, drill string, drill bits, in-bit sensors, etc.). For example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may acquire the data for the plurality of markers 302 from sensors and/or controllers downhole. For instance, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may acquire the data for the plurality of markers 302 from any of the sensors described in U.S. Patent 8,100,196, to Pastusek et al, filed February 6, 2009, issued January 24, 2012, U.S. Patent 7,849,934, to Pastusek et al, filed February 16, 2007, and U.S. Patent 7,604,072, to Pastusek et al, filed June 7, 2005, issued October 20, 2009, the disclosures of which are incorporated in their entireties by this reference herein.

FIG. 4A shows a contour plot 202 generated by the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 and representing a bit health of an earth-boring tool prior to a shift of the contour plot 202, and FIG. 4B shows the contour after a shift of the contour plot 202. Referring to FIGS. 4A and 4B, in some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift or regenerate the contour plot 202 within the ranges of operating loads based on a cumulative damage to the earth-boring tool. In other words, the earth boring tool monitoring system 129 may update the contour plot 202, based on the cumulative damage to the earth-boring tool. For instance, during a drilling operation, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift the contour plot 202 based on an age of the earth-boring tool, previously experienced operating loads of the earth-boring tool, detected damage to the earth-boring tool, etc.

In some embodiments, shifting the contour plot 202 may cause the operational window 204 (e.g., the area of the contour plot 202 representing 100 reliability) to shrink and an area of the contour plot 202 representing less than 100% reliability to grow. For instance, in an example of operating loads including torque and WOB, during a shift, a maximum torque within the operational window 204 may decrease, and a maximum WOB within the operational window 204 may decrease. As a result, the operational window 204 may shrink and ranges of operating loads within which the earth-boring tool can operate with a 100% reliability may decrease.

In one or more embodiments, the cumulative damage of the earth-boring tool may be calculated based on laboratory test data, simulation data, historical data (e.g., actual field failures, offsets, bit records, repair data, and evaluation of surface defects), and/or data from one or more sensors of the earth-boring tool. Regardless, in some embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift the operational window 204 continuously (i.e., shift in a continuous motion). For example, throughout a drilling operation, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift the operational window 204 continuously as the earth-boring tool ages, as the earth-boring tool is subjected to operating loads, and as damage to the earth-boring tool is detected and/or calculated. In alternative embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift the operational window 204 at intervals of time. For instance, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift the operational window 204 every thirty seconds, every sixty seconds, every five minutes, every 30 minutes, every hour, every six hours, every day, etc. As a non-limiting example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may shift the operational window at any intervals of time.

Referring to FIG. 4B, if, due to the shift in the contour plot 202, newly overlaid markers 302 he outside of the operational window 204 (i.e., indicate risk based on the operating loads), the newly overlaid markers 302 (i.e., markers 302 overlaid after the most recent shift) may be differentiated from previously overlaid markers 302. For example, as discussed above, the newly overlaid markers 302 may be displayed with a different color than markers 302 within the operational window 204. Furthermore, previously overlaid markers 302 that did not previously indicate risk (e.g., were positioned within the operational window 204), but now, due to the shift, would now indicate risk may remain unchanged.

In view of the foregoing, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 of the present disclosure may provide advantages over conventional methods of monitoring earth-boring tools. For example, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 129 may enable operators to quickly and efficiently visualize risks in order to manage and balance both risk and performance in real time.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a surface control unit 128 according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 5, in some embodiments, the surface control unit 128 may include the earth-boring tool monitoring system 500. One will appreciate that one or more earth-boring tool monitoring systems may implement the earth boring tool monitoring system 500. The earth-boring tool monitoring system 500 can comprise a processor 502, a memory 504, a storage device 506, an I/O interface 508, and a communication interface 510, which may be communicatively coupled by way of a communication infrastructure 512. While an exemplary computing device is shown in FIG. 5, the components illustrated in FIG. 5 are not intended to be limiting. Additional or alternative components may be used in other embodiments. Furthermore, in certain embodiments, the earth-boring tool monitoring system 500 can include fewer components than those shown in FIG. 5. Components of the earth-boring tool monitoring system 500 shown in FIG. 5 will now be described in additional detail.

In one or more embodiments, the processor 502 includes hardware for executing instructions, such as those making up a computer program. As an example and not by way of limitation, to execute instructions, the processor 502 may retrieve (or fetch) the instructions from an internal register, an internal cache, the memory 504, or the storage device 506 and decode and execute them. In one or more embodiments, the processor 502 may include one or more internal caches for data, instructions, or addresses. As an example and not by way of limitation, the processor 502 may include one or more instruction caches, one or more data caches, and one or more translation lookaside buffers (TLBs). Instructions in the instruction caches may be copies of instructions in the memory 504 or the storage device 506.

The memory 504 may be used for storing data, metadata, and programs for execution by the processor(s). The memory 504 may include one or more of volatile and non-volatile memories, such as Random Access Memory (“RAM”), Read-Only Memory (“ROM”), a solid-state disk (“SSD”), Flash, Phase Change Memory (“PCM”), or other types of data storage. The memory 504 may be internal or distributed memory.

The storage device 506 includes storage for storing data or instructions. As an example and not by way of limitation, storage device 506 can comprise a non-transitory storage medium described above. The storage device 506 may include a hard disk drive (HDD), a floppy disk drive, Flash memory, an optical disc, a magneto-optical disc, magnetic tape, or a Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive or a combination of two or more of these. The storage device 506 may include removable or non-removable (or fixed) media, where appropriate. The storage device 506 may be internal or external to the earth-boring tool monitoring system 500. In one or more embodiments, the storage device 506 is non volatile, solid-state memory. In other embodiments, the storage device 506 includes read only memory (ROM). Where appropriate, this ROM may be mask programmed ROM, programmable ROM (PROM), erasable PROM (EPROM), electrically erasable PROM (EEPROM), electrically alterable ROM (EAROM), or Flash memory or a combination of two or more of these.

The I/O interface 508 allows a user to provide input to, receive output from, and otherwise transfer data to and receive data from earth-boring tool monitoring system 500. The I/O interface 508 may include a mouse, a keypad or a keyboard, a touch screen, a camera, an optical scanner, network interface, modem, other known I/O devices or a combination of such I/O interfaces. The I/O interface 508 may include one or more devices for presenting output to a user including, but not limited to, a graphics engine, a display (e.g., a display screen), one or more output drivers (e.g., display drivers), one or more audio speakers, and one or more audio drivers. In certain embodiments, the I/O interface 508 is configured to provide graphical data to a display for presentation to a user. The graphical data may be representative of one or more graphical user interfaces and/or any other graphical content as may serve a particular implementation.

The communication interface 510 can include hardware, software, or both. In any event, the communication interface 510 can provide one or more interfaces for communication (such as, for example, packet-based communication) between the earth boring tool monitoring system 500 and one or more other earth-boring tool monitoring systems or networks. As an example and not by way of limitation, the communication interface 510 may include a network interface controller (NIC) or network adapter for communicating with an Ethernet or other wire-based network or a wireless NIC (WNIC) or wireless adapter for communicating with a wireless network, such as WI-FI.

Additionally or alternatively, the communication interface 510 may facilitate communications with an ad hoc network, a personal area network (PAN), a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a metropolitan area network (MAN), or one or more portions of the Internet or a combination of two or more of these. One or more portions of one or more of these networks may be wired or wireless. As an example, the communication interface 510 may facilitate communications with a wireless PAN (WPAN) (such as, for example, a BLUETOOTH® WPAN), a WI-FI network, a WI-MAX network, a cellular telephone network (such as, for example, a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network), or other suitable wireless network or a combination thereof.

Additionally, the communication interface 510 may facilitate communications with various communication protocols. Examples of communication protocols that may be used include, but are not limited to, data transmission media, communications devices, Transmission Control Protocol (“TCP”), Internet Protocol (“IP”), File Transfer Protocol ( FTP ). Telnet, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (“HTTP”), Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (“HTTPS”), Session Initiation Protocol (“SIP”), Simple Object Access Protocol (“SOAP”), Extensible Mark-up Language (“XML”) and variations thereof, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (“SMTP”), Real-Time Transport Protocol (“RTP”), User Datagram Protocol (“UDP”), Global System for Mobile Communications (“GSM”) technologies, Code Division Multiple Access (“CDMA”) technologies, Time Division Multiple Access (“TDMA”) technologies, Short Message Service (“SMS”), Multimedia Message Service (“MMS”), radio frequency (“RF”) signaling technologies, Long Term Evolution (“LTE”) technologies, wireless communication technologies, in-band and out-of-band signaling technologies, and other suitable communications networks and technologies.

The communication infrastructure 512 may include hardware, software, or both that couples components of the earth-boring tool monitoring system 500 to each other. As an example and not by way of limitation, the communication infrastructure 512 may include an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) or other graphics bus, an Enhanced Industry Standard Architecture (EISA) bus, a front-side bus (FSB), a HYPERTRANSPORT™ (HT) interconnect, an Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, an INFINIBAND® interconnect, a low-pin-count (LPC) bus, a memory bus, a Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) bus, a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus, a PCI-Express (PCIe) bus, a serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) bus, a Video Electronics Standards Association local (VLB) bus, or another suitable bus or a combination thereof.

The disclosure further includes the following embodiments.

Embodiment 1 : An earth-boring tool monitoring system, comprising: at least one processor; and at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to: generate a contour plot representing reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads, the contour plot showing a range of reliabilities of the earth-boring tool from about 100 percent reliable to about 0 percent reliable; and overlay a plurality of markers over the contour plot, each marker representing an instance in time and representing operating loads of the earth-boring tool at that instance in time.

Embodiment 2: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiment 1, wherein the range of reliabilities is represented with a color gradient or grayscale gradient. Embodiment 3: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiment 1 and 2, wherein the contour plot is generated based on simulation data from simulations or laboratory testing of drilling operations.

Embodiment 4: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 1-3, wherein the contour plot is generated based on historical data from previously performed drilling operations.

Embodiment 5: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 1-4, further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to: after overlaying the plurality of markers over the contour plot, detect a user interaction to change an operating parameter of the earth-boring tool due to risk indicated by at least one marker of the plurality of markers; and in response to detecting the user interaction, change the operating parameter of the earth-boring tool.

Embodiment 6: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 1-5, wherein overlaying a plurality of markers over the contour plot comprises overlaying one or more markers of the plurality of markers in a first color when, based at least in part on the operating loads represented in the one or more markers, the earth-boring tool is at low risk of failure.

Embodiment 7: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiment 6, further comprising overlaying at least one additional marker of the plurality of markers in a second color when, based at least in part on the operational loads represented in the at least one additional marker, the earth-boring tool is at high risk of failure.

Embodiment 8: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 1-7, wherein the range of operating loads comprises a range of torque and a range of weight-on- bit, and wherein each marker of the plurality of markers represents an applied torque and applied weight-on-bit of the earth-boring tool at the instance in time represented by the marker.

Embodiment 9: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 1-8, wherein data for the operating loads for the plurality of markers is acquired from a surface control unit of a drilling assembly.

Embodiment 10: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 1-9, wherein data for the operating loads for the plurality of markers is acquired from sensors disposed downhole on the earth-boring tool. Embodiment 11 : An earth-boring tool monitoring system, comprising: at least one processor; and at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to: generate a contour plot representing a range of reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads; overlay a plurality of markers over the contour plot, each marker representing an instance in time and representing operating loads of the earth-boring tool at the instance in time; and shift the contour plot based at least in part on a cumulative amount of damage experienced by the earth-boring tool.

Embodiment 12: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiment 11 , further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to determine the cumulative damage experienced by the earth-boring tool based at least in part on simulation data from simulations of drilling operations.

Embodiment 13: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 11 and 12, further comprising instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to determine the cumulative damage experienced by the earth-boring tool based at least in part on historical data from previously performed drilling operations.

Embodiment 14: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 11-13, wherein overlaying a plurality of markers over the contour plot comprises overlaying one or more markers of the plurality of markers in a first color when, based on the operating loads represented in the one or more markers, the earth-boring tool is at low risk of failure.

Embodiment 15: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiment 14, further comprising overlaying at least one additional marker of the plurality of markers in a second color when, based on the operating loads represented in the at least one additional marker, the earth-boring tool is at high risk of failure.

Embodiment 16: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 11-15, wherein shifting the contour plot based at least in part on a cumulative amount of damage comprises shrinking an operational window of the contour plot.

Embodiment 17: An earth-boring tool monitoring system, comprising: at least one processor; and at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions thereon that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the system to: generate a contour plot representing a range of reliabilities of an earth-boring tool within a range of operating loads; overlay a first marker over the contour plot representing a first instance in time, representing a first operating load of the earth-boring tool at that instance in time, and having a first color indicating no risk; shift the contour plot based at least in part on a cumulative amount of damage experienced by the earth-boring tool; and overlay a second marker over the contour plot representing a second instance in time, representing a second operating load of the earth-boring tool at the second instance in time that is less than the first operating load, and having a second color indicating risk.

Embodiment 18: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiment 17, wherein the shift of the contour plot is based at least partially on an age of the earth-boring tool.

Embodiment 19: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 17 and 18, wherein the range of reliabilities is represented with a color gradient or a grayscale gradient.

Embodiment 20: The earth-boring tool monitoring system of embodiments 17-19, wherein the range of operating loads comprises a range of torque and a range of weight-on- bit.

The embodiments of the disclosure described above and illustrated in the accompanying drawings do not limit the scope of the disclosure, which is encompassed by the scope of the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Any equivalent embodiments are within the scope of this disclosure. Indeed, various modifications of the disclosure, in addition to those shown and described herein, such as alternative useful combinations of the elements described, will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the description. Such modifications and embodiments also fall within the scope of the appended claims and equivalents.