RED: Revolutionary Drilling Technology for Hard Rock Formations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

26 Citations (Scopus)


Large Rates of Penetration (ROPs) with a good borehole stability in hard rock formations is still one of the major challenges in downhole drilling. In this regard, the Resonance Enhanced Drilling (RED), a new downhole drilling technology being developed by the University of Aberdeen, could offer a radically new way of drilling for oil and gas wells at a reduced cost and a lower environmental footprint. Market research estimated that the RED technology could result in an annual savings of $1.05 billion for operators [1].

The RED technology applies a controllable high frequency dynamic stress on the drilled formation, which is induced by axial oscillations of a drill-bit at the resonance conditions. The resonance conditions between the drill-bit and the formation are maintained for varying drilling conditions by adjusting the frequency and amplitude of the dynamic load to produce a steadily propagating fracture zone. The RED technology is particularly well suited for hard rocks.

Through an extensive physical and mathematical modelling, and experimental studies on the developed full scale experimental rigs, it has been proved that RED can significantly reduce wellbore creation time and deliver the capability to drill with one bit through in various rock formations and drilling conditions. RED also allows to drill efficiently even with a smaller Weight-On-Bit (WOB).

The University of Aberdeen is just about to complete a large multi-million pounds research and development programme funded by the Scottish Enterprise aimed to scale up the laboratory findings and bring the RED technology closer to the commercial world. The paper introduces this technology and discusses its potential impact on the industry. © 2017. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition 2017
Subtitle of host publicationSPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition, 14-16 March, The Hague, The Netherlands
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781510842076
ISBN (Print)9781613995013
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition - The Hague, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Mar 201716 Mar 2017


ConferenceSPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition
CityThe Hague


  • vibro-impact drilling
  • drilling
  • optimal progression
  • new downhole technology


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