Machine learning methods applied to drilling rate of penetration prediction and optimization - A review
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Drilling wells in challenging oil/gas environments implies in large capital expenditure on wellbore's construction. In order to optimize the drilling related operation, real-time decisions making have been put in place, so that prediction of rate of penetration (ROP) with accuracy is essential. Despite many efforts (theoretical and experimental) throughout the years, modeling the ROP as a mathematical function of some key variables is not so trivial, due to the highly non-linearity behavior experienced. Therefore, several researches in the recent years have been proposing to use data-driven models from artificial intelligence field for ROP prediction and optimization. This paper presents an extensive review of the literature on ROP prediction, especially, with machine learning techniques, as well as how these models can be used to optimize the drilling activities. The ROP models are classified as traditional models (based on physics-models), statistical models (e.g. multiple regression), or machine learning methods. This review enables to see that machine learning techniques can potentially outperform in terms of ROP-prediction accuracy on top of traditional or statistical models. Throughout this work, an extensive analysis of different ways of obtaining ROP models is carried out, concluding with different strategies adopted in literature to perform data-driven model optimization. Despite the saving potential which can be achieved with real-time optimization based on data-driven ROP models, it is noticeable that there is a lack of implementation of those techniques in the industry, as per literature review. To take a step forward in real implementations, the petroleum industry must be aware that yet no rule of thumb already exists on this specific area, but still, good and very reasonable results can be achieved by following the best practices identified in this review. In addition, the modern practices of machine learning provide promising guidelines for implementing projects in oil and gas industry.