Output-feedback inclination control of directional drilling systems

N. Van De Wouw, N. A.H. Kremers, E. Detournay

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Directional drilling techniques, based on rotary steerable systems, are used to generate complex curved boreholes. In practice, however, boreholes drilled with such systems often show instability-induced borehole spiraling, which negatively affects the borehole quality and increases drag losses while drilling. As a basis for controller synthesis, we present a directional drilling model in terms of delay differential equations characterizing the evolution of the borehole inclination. Next, the problem of curved well-bore generation is formulated as a tracking problem and an output-feedback control strategy is developed, solving this tracking problem while guaranteeing the prevention of borehole spiraling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Event2nd IFAC Workshop on Automatic Control in Offshore Oil and Gas Production, OOGP 2015 - Florianopolis, Brazil
Duration: May 27 2015May 29 2015


  • Delay differential equations
  • Directional drilling
  • Output-feedback control
  • Tracking control

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