Research and Activities

Experimental Investigations

This involves the fundamental study of the effect of various drilling parameters on drilling efficiency including ROP enhancement and bit wear reduction:

  • Measurement and characterization of bit wear subjected to vibration
  • Penetration mechanisms of PDC cutters under simulated bit operating conditions including bit vibration
  • Physical and mechanical material characterization of rocks and synthetic rocks

ROPBit Wear TestPDC bit




Tool Performance Evaluation 

This team simulates and evaluates the general drillstring behavior under various loadings from the environment including various BHA tooling and the potential VARD prototype using FEM and low-order models:

  • Modelling of drill string vibrations excited from bit penetration mechanisms, axially vibrating drilling tools, influence of shock absorbers,
  • Evaluation of real-time Seismic-While Drilling potential,
  • Development of numerical drilling simulators.

Simulation Control


Numerical bit/rock/fluid interaction Investigation

This team conducts the numerical studies on the effect of vibration-assisted rotary drilling and develops the drilling optimization guidelines and VARD prototype specifications.

  • Fundamental rock penetration mechanisms for rotary, vibration, and percussion conditions,
  • Penetration mechanisms of PDC cutters under simulated bit operating conditions including bit vibration using numerical simulators.



System Design

This team designs and develops laboratory systems and drilling prototypes, specifing the requirements, design and develop the desired systems. The focus is the development of small-scale drilling simulators and other facilities to perform experimental investigations, and design of prototype experimental systems and field drilling tools.



Field Trials

The objective of the field trials are to test the prototype drilling tool under simulated and actual subsurface and operational conditions using a commercial rotary drilling rig, and to assess tool operation, and performance and reliability as per API RP17N.

 Tool Frame

Field Trail 1


Field Trail 2


Field Trail 3





230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000