Ingo Forstner: Challenges and Misconceptions in Drilling BHA Design

When:  Sep 21, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (CET)
Associated with  German Section

Challenges and Misconceptions in Drilling BHA Design

Ingo Forstner


Downhole technology for drilling has developed greatly. It was limited to nimble mechanical-only systems just a couple decades ago. Today, complex and smart multi-purpose Bottom Hole Assemblies (BHAs) consist of mechanical, hydraulic, electrical hardware run by sophisticated software. Rotary steerable systems with multiple logging tools have become a standard. Drilling BHAs serve more and more purposes than just making hole, not just for drilling departments, but also for G&G and production roles. At the same time, drilling applications have become increasingly demanding, such as in terms of step-out, placement accuracy, or environments drilled.

This has made drilling engineering, and especially BHA design, both more complex and less tolerant to error. But the tools in the BHAs as well as the procedures and parameters they are run with, affect each other in complex ways. The sum can be more than its parts, but it also can be significantly less.

In consequence, BHA design has become a specialty trade. It is usually performed in detail with the help of analysis tools, done by engineers with drilling focus by the company that provides the majority of the specialized BHA tools. This ensures that the main concerns of drilling and these specialized tools are being considered. Broader goals such as for hole quality or geosteering are considered adequately when intense, all-stakeholders meetings take place in the planning and operational stages (e.g. IPWP). These meetings are most effective when stakeholders of all disciplines have a good understanding of the interdependency of procedural and BHA design choices.

This talk reviews some of these more general, organizational challenges and then discusses some common drilling engineering misconceptions concerning the BHA design, the consequences they have, and some possible solutions.


Ingo Forstner has been working in the drilling industry for 20 years, in various functions with Baker Hughes of drilling engineering, field test, technical support, and professional development management. He has been based in Germany, the US, Russia, Kazakhstan, and KSA. For much of his career, he has focused on optimizing drilling BHAs and their drilling parameters as well as developing engineers’ knowledge and skills. An author of ten patent applications and five papers, Mr. Forstner also serves as a volunteer to GSSPE and SPE International in various roles since 2009. He holds a Dipl.-Ing. of mechanical engineering from Leibniz Universität Hannover and is PMP-certified as well as OASIS-certified in Drilling Systems Optimization.

Details und Registrierung

Ort/location: Mercure Hotel Hannover, Oldenburger Allee 1, Hannover
Datum/date: 21.09.2017
Vortragssprache/language: Englisch/English
Ablauf: Social Hour 18:00, Vortrag/Lecture 18:30, Essen/Meal 20:00

Anmeldung/registration: bei/with Sabine Pretzel  (; bitte geben Sie an, ob Sie am Essen teilnehmen/Please indicate if you stay for the meal.
Frist zur Registrierung/registration deadline: 18.09.2017

Eintritt/admission (incl. Getränke, Essen): 
  SPE und DGMK Mitglieder 30€
  SPE Mitglieder reduziert (Rentner und Studenten) 10€
  Nichtmitglieder 35€


Hotel Mercure Hannover
Oldenburger Allee 1
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