Anja Torsvik - SINTEF

interview with a DrillWell researcher

Name: Anja Torsvik
Age: 44
Nationality: Norwegian
Education: I have an MSc in molecular biology and a PhD in biomedicine, both from the University of Bergen.

Department: SINTEF Petroleum Research, Drilling and Well.
What are you working on (related to DrillWell) right now?
I am working on a DrillWell project called "Gas influx in oil-based mud".  In this project I have done experimental work to study the impact of gas influx in oil-based drilling fluids at HPHT conditions. I have measured saturation point, density and viscosity for a number of gas/drilling fluid mixtures at temperatures ranging up to 200°C and pressures up to 1000 bar. The results from my measurements can be used as input for computational models for kick detection.

What do you find inspiring about the projects in which you are involved?
Gas influx during drilling may lead to serious well control problems. If not detected and handled in time, it may lead to an uncontrolled gas kick. Current kick models are mainly based on measurements at lower temperatures and pressures, and extrapolated to HPHT conditions. In my work I have recorded data at HPHT conditions, so that well control models can be based on true values instead of extrapolations. In the long run this may improve the safety for the operators on the oil rigs.
Furthermore, knowledge from this DrillWell project can also be relevant within other research fields. Better understanding of gas/fluid interactions can for example be applied in the development of the CCS technology.

In your opinion, what are the main benefits by doing a PhD in a center with both academic and industry partners?
Through various meetings and seminars, DrillWell offers the opportunity of close discussions with the industry partners. This provides a unique arena for the PhD students to learn about the challenges of the petroleum industry, and to focus their research on problems that the industry needs to meet.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
By then I have 10 more years of experience within the field of petroleum research and I have been the project leader of many interesting research projects related to challenging drilling conditions, gas/fluid interactions and petroleum fluid rheology. I also hope to initiate projects where I can utilize knowledge from my former background, for example microbial precipitates for well integrity or EOR. My goal is that my research from both DrillWell projects and other projects, will contribute to new improved technology solutions for the petroleum industry.