Passive compensator load variation for deep-water drilling

Jan T. Hatleskog, Mathew Walter Dunnigan

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the dynamic behavior of a passive drill string compensator being used for deep-water drilling in moderate seas using a detailed dynamic simulation. Vessel heave, even moderate, gives rise to a disturbance; the purpose of the compensator is to mitigate this effect and to maintain a near-steady load on the drill bit; any variation is termed "load variation"; the compensator is imperfect with various friction elements and viscous losses affecting the compensator performance; the simulation set out in this paper illustrates the load variation in a manner consistent with that experienced during actual drilling. Significant load variation is demonstrated by the simulation, with the main contribution arising from the nonlinear friction in the compensator seals; in addition, significant contact instability occurs when drilling on a very hard bottom formation resulting in bit bounce; this effect is commonly observed. © 2007 IEEE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-602
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Bit bounce
  • Bit weight
  • Contact instability
  • Drill string compensator
  • Load variation
  • Passive compensator
  • Sensor noncollocation


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