Prabhu Elango - Australia

Prabhu obtained his Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India before graduating from Curtin University with an MEngSci in Petroleum Engineering in 2016. Currently, his research comprises of all things relating to shale rock, with an emphasis on shale hydration and inhibition. His final goal at the end of his PhD is to have produced a commercially viable shale inhibitor that is potent enough to effectively inhibit various types of shale rock and yet be environmentally friendly.

Presently, Prabhu is also a research engineer at Deep Exploration Technologies (DET) CRC where his work complements the CRC's objective of developing a Coiled Tubing Drilling Rig (CT Rig) at a cost of $50/metre to a depth of 500 meters and weighing less than 10 tons with ancillary safety/environmental benefits.

Outside of his academic activities, Prabhu is actively involved in volunteering and community outreach. Most recently, he took in a leadership programme where he and a team of six assisted in fundraising over $20,000 at an Auction Ball benefiting those affected by melanoma, a form of skin cancer. He feels that this has been his greatest accomplishment so far - the thought that he has made a positive and lasting difference in someone's life.

The impact of drilling fluid composition on the integrity of cuttings

The accumulation of fine solid particles (cuttings) that are created by the crushing and chipping of the drilling bit is an increasing problem for operators, especially so for offshore rigs where space is becoming very valuable. Emphasis on the cleanliness of drilling fluids, to prevent formation damage, has increased the importance of monitoring solids in the fluids.

This presentation summarizes a newly developed laboratory testing method and the subsequent results that were produced for characterising cuttings integrity using the chemical composition of the drilling fluid. Over two dozen tests were run with a laser particle counter track changing particle count and then a particle size analyser was used to generate particle size distributions. Test results showed that using the combination of aforementioned particle size analysers proves to be very powerful at precisely quantifying the effectiveness of the additive at inhibiting the sample.


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