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Phase 2: 1 January 2012 – 31 December 2024
The ability to routinely drill towards lithological targets based on feedback from in-hole sensing systems is highly desirable as it will significantly improve drilling accuracy and efficiency. However no integrated real-time trajectory control (i.e. geo-steering) suitable for the minerals industry exists. The project 4 team have embarked on a research program intended to provide this capability. The first and highly significant steps have been made in Phase 1 of MinEx CRC. That is the development of a first LWD sensor system for the MinEX Coil Tube Drilling system.
Real time vectoring during drilling with a CT rig will be a transformative technology intended to significantly improve the effectiveness of drilling. Researchers and industry are working together to build this capacity into a new generation of light weight coil tubing drill rigs suitable for mineral exploration and mining. The team intends to integrate geophysical sensing during drilling with a life of CRC objective that real-time update and reconstruction of the subsurface is sufficiently advanced for vectoring while drilling to be a new industry standard. New LWD sensors and real time subsurface reconstruction algorithms will be designed to integrate
within exploration or mining workflows.
This research has two linked components; (i) development of new sensors for real time multi-parameter logging while drilling with a Coil Tubing drill rig and (ii) automatic subsurface reconstruction for steering based on geophysical sensing while drilling. The real time trajectory control/vectoring component will systematically work towards the goal of providing the inputs needed to geo-steering CT drilling towards lithological targets. This research will extend the reach and value of every meter drilled into a 3D search space ahead of and around the drill bit.