Physics-based vs Experience-based?

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When you hear about Limiter Redesign, you’d hear the term “physics-based” a lot, as opposed to “experience-based” or “empirical”. So much so that you may think they’re opposite each other, and if you go with A, then you’ll be against B.

It seems to me that it is not a question of whether, but a question of structure.

The question is not: should I go physics-based or experience-based? But rather: what’s the foundation of my operational decisions on the rig floor? Is it the offset stats and trial-and-error, or is it the understanding of how things really work in the hole?

Being physics-based doesn’t mean you don’t care about experience. A driller who starts to perform regular WOB/RPM step tests to identify limiters will be gaining new “experience”. He will capitalize on such experience as he drills more, but his thinking will always be rooted in the understanding of the physical making of each foot of the hole.

So when you go physics-based, you’re not abandoning your experience, but renewing it with a new understanding. You see new things and make new operational decisions. And your performance gets transformed.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” (Romans 12:2a ESV)

Originally posted on LinkedIn in February 2021

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