50 Tonne drilling equipment

Unique set-up for drilling experiments under in-situ pressure conditions

Pressure bombe
for drill bit
Pumps for mud circulation system
Drill bit


The unit can test the performance of different drill bits or other drilling technology (e.g. jettting) on different rock specimen under different pressure conditions. Sensor techniques and shaker optimization techniques can be applied and tested, and the setup can be modified to test other flow techniques.  Projects are planned to evaluate the performance of steering technology for horizontal/multilateral wells, a technique that will probably become invaluable to enhance the performance of geothermal wells.

Application areas

This unique facility allows testing of various drilling systems at dowhole conditions. Rock specimen can be placed in the pressure vessel to simulate various rock formations. The 50T compression stroke drilling machine is serviced by a full capacity mud circulation system with pumps and ring line and is connected to a shaker.

Related projects

The 50T drilling machine has and currently is used for the following projects.

Facts and figures

  • Maximum drill string: 1200 rpm

    Rotations per minute (RPM) are variable.

  • Maximum WOB: 50T

    Weight-On-Bit (WOB) can be varied.

  • Maximum operational pressure: 250 bar (3626 psi)

    Maximum pressure in the bombe, delivered by the mud system. The pump can deliver up to 690 bar, but the maximum opertional pressure is 250 bar.

  • Maximum flow rate of the mud system: 2600 l/min

    Flow rate of the pump is variable..

  • Handling: Fully automated, single operator

    There is a safe operator room where the drilling system and the mud system can be controlled.

  • Status: fully operational

    The set-up has been completely revised in the last 2 years and is ready for new projects.

Rock samples

Drilling tests are executed on real rock samples or on  artificially made samples, like cement, that represent natural rock samples. Advantage of using real rock samples is the analogy to field conditions, while the big plus for artificially made samples is that their properties are easier to reproduce for follow-up experiments.