Drilling Rig

integrated Drilling Research Laboratory

The objective of the integrated Drilling Research Laboratory (iDRL) is to provide cutting-edge collaborative and interdisciplinary research in the drilling domain to improve drilling performance, reduce trouble time and reduce environmental impacts of drilling operations to access hydrocarbons, minerals, and geothermal energy.

Advancing knowledge of drillstring dynamics and control

Resources in the deep subsurface (hydrocarbons, thermal energy, minerals, etc) are typically accessed by drilling a wellbore from the surface to the target formation.  Significant advances have been made in industrial control systems for supervisory control (various auto-driller systems) and machine control (vibration control and friction reduction) that have doubled drilling rates.  However, non-productive time remains a significant time sink for drilling operations, where rigs spend time tripping for broken tools or dealing with wellbore problems.  Being able to diagnose tool and bit health and identify the onset of wellbore problems early are critical to continue improve drilling performance.

iDRL is working to develop a comprehensive set of reduced-order fully coupled dynamic models of a drillstring in a complex wellbore for use in control and optimization workflows for the subsurface exploration industry.  these models are capable of operating in real-time and may be used for monitoring, diagnosis and control. This modeling system is being deployed with multiple industry partners and the University of Calgary is one of the anchor custodians of the Open Source Drilling Community, an open-source repository of models relating to well construction.  This work is being extended to drilling for Geothermal Resources by including the effects of temperature and expanding to hard-rock drilling scenarios. 

A series of plots showing drilling data

Systems Modeling

Reduced-order models of the drillstring system, including transient torsional, axial, and coupled axial-torsional models that accurately replicate observed drillstring behavior.

Plots showing parameter estimation

Automation and Control

Benchmarking of deployed control systems and development of new control paradigms, ready for field deployment.

Plots showing estimated parameters

Machine Learning

Application of machine learning to problems in the energy sector, including the development of physics-informed and theory-driven models.



  1. Auriol, J., Aarsnes, U.J.F., Di Meglio, F, and Shor, R.J. Robust control design of under-actuated 2 x 2 PDE-ODE-PDE systems.  IEEE Control System Letters (5). 469-474.  2020.
  2. Hu, H., Guan, Z., Shor, R.J., Xu, Y., Han, C., Liu, Y. and Lu, B. Dynamic Response and Strength Failure Analysis of Bottomhole under Balanced Drilling Condition.  Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering (194). 2020.
  3. Novotnik, B., Nandy, A., Venkatesan, S. V., Radović, J. R., De la Fuente, J., Nejadi, S., Silva, R.C., Kouris, A., Thangadurai, V., Bryant, S., Karan, K., Shor, R.J., Strous, M., and Larter, S.R. Can fossil fuel energy be recovered and used without any CO 2 emissions to the atmosphere?. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology, 1-24. 2020.
  4. Auriol, J., Shor, R.J., Aarsnes, U. J., & Di Meglio, F. Closed-loop tool face control with the bit off-bottom. Journal of Process Control. 2020.
  5. Liu, H., Shor, R.J., and Park, S.S. Data Fusion by a Supervised Learning Method for Orientation Estimation Using Multi-Sensor Configuration Under Conditions of Magnetic Distortion and Shock Impact. IEEE Access, 8, 7776-7791. 2020.
  6. Auriol, J., Kazemi, N., Shor, R.J., Innanen, K. A., and Gates, I. D. A Sensing and Computational Framework for Estimating the Seismic Velocities of Rocks Interacting With the Drill Bit. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 2019.
  7. Aarsnes, U.J.F., Auriol, J., Di Meglio, F., and Shor, R.J. Estimating friction factors while drilling. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 179, 80-91. 2019.
  8. Aarsnes, U.J.F., Di Meglio, F. and Shor, R.J. Avoiding stick slip vibrations in drilliing through startup trajectory design. Journal of Process Control (70) 24-35. 2018.
  9. Aarsnes, U.J.F. and Shor, R.J. Torsional vibrations with bit off bottom: modeling, identification and field data validation. Journal of Petroleum Science and Technology (163) 712-721. 2018.
  10. Cayeux, E., Shor, R.J., Ambrus, A., Daireaux, B., Pournazari, P., Ashok, P., and van Oort, E. From the Laboratory to ERD Wells: How Scale affects Drillability and the Management of Drilling Incidents. Journal of Petroleum Science and Technology (160). 91-105. 2018.
  11. Drake, S. and Shor, R.J. Oceans of Plastic. Penn Arts & Sciences Magazine. Fall/Winter 2010.

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings

  1. Auriol, J., Aarsnes, U.J.F. and Shor, R.J. Self-Tuning Torsional Drilling Model for Real-Time Applications.  American Controls Conference.  2020.
  2. Auriol. J., Kazemi, N., Innanen, K. and Shor, R.J. Combining Formation Seismic Velocities while Drilling and a PDE-ODE observer to improve the Drill-String Dynamics Estimation.  American Controls Conference. 2020.
  3. Aarsnes, U.J.F, Di Meglio, F. and Shor, R.J. Benchmarking of Industrial Stick-Slip Mitigation Controllers. IFAC Automatic Control in Offshore Oil and Gas Production Conference. 2018. Nominated for best paper award.
  4. Aarsnes, U.J.F and Shor, R.J. Stick-slip and Torsional Friction Factors in Inclined Wellbores. MATEC Web of Conference 148. International Conference on Engineering Vibration. 2017.
  5. Shor, R.J., Pehlivanturk, C., Acikmese, B., van Oort, E. Propagation of Torsional Vibrations in Drillstrings: How Borehole Geometry Affects Transmission and Implications on Mitigation Techniques. International Conference on Engineering Vibration 2015.
  6. Shor, R.J., Pryor, M. and van Oort, E. Drillstring Vibration Observation, Modeling and Prevention in the Oil and Gas Industry. ASME Dynamic Systems and Controls Conference. 2014. (DSCC2014-6147).

Conference Proceedings

  1. Adepoju, Y., Shor, R.J., Chen, Z. Geothermal Energy Development in the Canadian Cordillera, a Case Study.  In Geothermal Research Conference. 2020.
  2. Kazemi, N., Auriol, J., Innanen, K., Shor, R. and Gates, I. Successive Full-Waveform Inversion of Surface Seismic and Seismic-While-Drilling Datasets without Low Frequencies. In 82nd EAGE Annual Conference & Exhibition. 2020.
  3. Nejadi, S., Kazemi, N., Curkan, J., Auriol, J., Durkin, P., Hubbard, S., Innanen, K., Shor, R.J. and Gates, I.  Look ahead of the bit while drilling: potential impacts and challenges in the McMurray Formation. In SPE Canada Heavy Oil Conference. 2020.
  4. Trivedi, A. S., Clarkson, C. R., and Shor, R. J. Accounting for Hydraulics and Vibration in MSE Calculations to Estimate Formation Properties. In IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers. 2020. (SPE-199672-MS)
  5. Saadallah, N., Gravdal, J.E., Ewald, R., Moi, S., Ambrus, A., Daireaux, B., Sivertsen, S., Hellang, K., Shor, R., Sui, D. and Sandor, S.I.,. OpenLab: Design and Applications of a Modern Drilling Digitalization Infrastructure. In SPE Norway One Day Seminar. Society of Petroleum Engineers. 2019. (SPE-195629-MS)
  6. Pastusek, P.E., Payette, G.S., Shor, R.J., Cayeux, E., Aarsnes, U.J.F., Hedengren, J. Menand, S., Macpherson, J.D., Gandikota, R.A., Behounek, M., Harmer, R.J., Detournay, E., Illerhaus, R., and Liu, Y. Creating Open Source Models, Test Cases and Data for Oilfield Drilling Challenges. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. 2019 (SPE-194082-MS).
  7. Liu, H., Shor, R.J., and Park, S. Intelligent Wellbore Path Estimation Using Multiple Integrated MEMS Sensors. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. 2019 (SPE-194127-MS).
  8. Okoli, P., Vega, J.C. and Shor, R.J. Estimating Downhole Vibration via Machine Learning Techniques Using Only Surface Drilling Parameters. SPE Western Regional Meeting. 2019. (SPE-195334-MS).
  9. Nejadi, S., Hubbard, S.M., Shor, R.J., Gates, I.D. and Wang, J. Optimization of placement of flow control devices under geological uncertainty in steam assisted gravity drainage. SPE Thermal Well Integrity and Design Symposium. 2018. (SPE-193364-MS).
  10. Kazemi, N., Shor, R.J., Innanen, K. Illumination Compensation with Seismic-While-Drilling Plus Surface Seismic Imaging. EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2018.
  11. Kazemi, N., Shor, R.J., Innanen, K. Imaging with a seismic-while-drilling dataset. Geoconvention 2018.
  12. Farhangfar, A., Torre, A.M., and Shor, R.J.. Evaluating Human-Machine Interaction for Automated Drilling Systems. SPE Canada Unconventionals Conference. 2018. (SPE-189811-MS).
  13. Shor, R.J., Dykstra, M.W. and Coming, M. For Better or Worse: Applications of the Transfer Matrix Approach for Analyzing Axial and Torsional Vibration. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. 2015. (SPE-173121-MS).
  14. Ashok, P., Ambrus, A., Shor, R.J. and van Oort, E. Overcoming Barriers to Adoption of Drilling Automation: Moving Towards Automated Well Manufacturing. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. 2015. (SPE-173164-MS).
  15. Shor, R.J. and Sharma, M.M. Reducing Proppant Flowback from Fractures: Factors Affecting the Maximum Flowback Rate. SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference. 2014. (SPE-168649-MS).

Student Theses

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D,)

  1. Liu, H. (2019). Subsurface Sensing Through Data Fusion of Redundant IMU Sensors with Supervised Learning (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

  1. Omusi, D. (2019). Optimal Energy Management of a SAGD Microgrid Participating in a Volatile Electricity Market (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  2. Etaje, D. C. (2018). Identifying the Optimum Zone for Reducing Drill String Vibrations (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/32358

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Sustainable Energy Development

  1. Adepoju, Y. O. (2020). Business Case for Geothermal Energy Development to power LNG Project in BC (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  2. Arya, T. A. (2020). Economic and Environmental Analysis of Carbon Fibres from Bitumen (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  3. Flowerday, S. C. (2020). The Case for Energy Storage in Alberta, Canada (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  4. Lea, E. (2020). A Step Towards A Lower Carbon Future: Integrating Closed Loop Geothermal Technology in District Cooling Applications (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  5. Moazami, S. (2020). Feasibility Analysis on Geothermal Heat Storage Capacity and Recovery of Alberta’s Decommissioned Wells (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  6. Enachescu, M.S. (2019). Closed Loop Cryptocurrency Mining in Alberta (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
  7. Masri, A.O. (2019). Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology for Carbon Utilization in Alberta (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.