SPE/IADC MPD & UBO 2022 Conference & Exhibition

September 26, 2022

Join me in Kuala Lumpur for my presentation during the Session “Technology Advances in Managed Pressure Operations” at the SPE/IADC Managed Pressure Drilling & Underbalanced Operations 2022 Conference & Exhibition which will take place on 27-28 September in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For complete program and registration please visit:


Hope to see you there!

RT-IME shown at Gibson Reports

August 13, 2021

David Gibson, the VDoor Locksmith, hosted an MPD event on the 16th of June. Our own Martin Culen revealed an industry first - the Real-Time IME, live on the show.

Click the picture below to see the announcement.

First milestone of R&D project supported by Innovation Norway

June 4, 2021

Our team has been working hard on an exciting digital twin R&D initiative that has been made possible through financial support by Innovation Norway.

The innovation of the project is simulator technology that enables the same hydraulics engine to be used effectively through all phases of the complete life-cycle of well construction, from the initial planning to real-time drilling advisory and control. The primary objective is to allow the handling of hydraulics model parameters in one place, cascading them through all of the phases.

Traditionally, planning, training, advisory and operational control tools each employ different calculation methodologies and solvers. Furthermore, they have been developed on different platforms, each operating in isolation from the other. This introduces large opportunities for input error, deviation from expected results, and data re-entry end-user frustration.

This project uses new results from research on fast multiphase models combined with the latest improvements of cloud-based technology to develop a hydraulics engine that can be used for effective simulations of all time-scales from steady-state to full transient simulations. This enables the same hydraulics engine to be used for effective simulations on the scale of hours and days of drilling in the planning phase, to realistic simulator-based training on well control incidents with compressible gas transport on a minutes scale, to full transient simulations with high-frequency pressure wave transients for controller testing in the seconds scale.

We have now reached the first milestone of the project, and are ready to release the first module of the simulator, named LeidarPlan. We are excited about what we’ve developed so far, and will have more news very soon.

LeidarPlan, soon to be released.



Aberdeen Drilling School to Exclusively Use Kelda’s Hydraulic Engine

March 25, 2021

Aberdeen Drilling School (ADS) and Kelda Dynamics have entered into an agreement whereby Kelda’s dynamic hydraulic engine will be used exclusively in ADS drilling and well control simulators.

“We have been using Kelda’s multiphase hydraulics engine in our advanced training simulators in Oiltec since 2016, and have been very happy with its performance and reliability. Kelda’s shared vision for cloud-based solutions fits very well with our plans to provide cloud-based training to our international clients. ” said, Jason Grant, Managing Director of ADS.

Glenn-Ole Kaasa, CEO of Kelda, adds ” We are very pleased to be working with ADS on their new initiatives. It’s an honor to be chosen as exclusive supplier to a world-renowned training organization. The ADS team is very forward thinking and we’re excited to be working with them. It’s extremely rewarding to experience how the drilling industry now adapts our technology further, to improve drilling efficiency and enhance operational safety.”

The hydraulic simulator engine will be rolled out to ADS and RelyOn training centers around the globe as well as planned cloud-based training courses.

Aberdeen Drilling School Ltd, part of the RelyOn Nutec group and globally recognized for its advanced drilling, well engineering and well control training. From our RelyOn Nutec Copenhagen headquarter and 33 sites around the world, we serve +10,000 companies every year, from the sole employee contractor to some of the biggest companies in the high-risk industries across the world.

Kelda Dynamics has a unique competence in drilling technology, delivering fit-for-purpose solutions for the drilling industry. Our dynamic hydraulic model is a core element of our expertise and of many Kelda’s market leading technology products. It is being continuously developed, based on new research, data from newly drilled wells and feedback from customers.

Contact for further information:
Jason Grant: jgrant@aberdeendrilling.com
Martin Culen: martin@kelda.no

Is There a Doctor on the Rig? (CB explains: His PhD)

February 2, 2021

We asked Christian Berg (CB) to give us some “behind the scenes” information about his PhD journey. Enjoy.

Drilling for oil and gas is a complex process, involving pumping of fluid through kilometers of fluid conduit, leading to wave propagation phenomena that becomes important at timescales relevant for automatic control. In my PhD work I have mainly focused on hydraulic modelling of drilling and has been supervised by Professor Bernt Lie and Adjunct Associate Professor Glenn-Ole Kaasa. The work has been funded as an Industrial PhD project by the Norwegian Research Council. The PhD project has taken place in the Telemark Modelling and Control Centre (TMCC) research group at USN, as well as at Kelda Dynamics.

New sensors for influx loss detection

Research on gas influxes, and their detection has surged after the Macondo incident. The design of kick detection and well control strategies require mathematical models of the same dynamics as control design for Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD). It can be said that in terms of kick detection, especially for conventional drilling, it is not the algorithms on how this can be done that is missing, but the sensors required for them. Prior to starting my PhD program, and through the work on the Thesis, a feasible alternative measurement principle has been studied, applicable to conventional drilling operations, using a subcritical venturi flume. A venturi flume is a critical-flow flume with a constricted flow which causes a sub to super critical flow transition. The upstream liquid level is correlated to the flow rate of the fluid. A venturi flume flow meter offers an accurate and economic alternative to return flowmeters currently used in the drilling industry. Three separate PhD theses have now been defended on the development of subcritical flumes for drilling fluid flow rate estimation in the research project SemiKID at the University of South-Eastern Norway, where Kelda has been a partner.

Running CFD analysis on a prototype venturi flume sensor design to evaluate how it behaves in a step from zero up to maximum flow.

Making Digital Twins

Through the work of my PhD, the topic of modelling, at different detail levels has been studied. This has been performed in parallel with the development of the Leidar MPD control system at Kelda Dynamics.  For design and upgrades of the Leidar control system, extensive testing is performed on high-fidelity Partial Differential Equation (PDE) models capturing the dynamics of the drilling process. Development of these models and their validity is covered in multiple papers in my Thesis and has been a big part of the collaborative work in the HYDRA research project where Kelda has been a partner.

The control system developed by Kelda Dynamics through the last 6 years is based on the most commonly used simplified model and has been found to have good performance in real drilling operations for both single phase and multiphase cases. Perhaps one of the main success criteria in this has been the extensive testing of different solutions on the high-fidelity models coming from my work.

Christian with Sam, one of the drillers on Kelda’s first MPD Operation in the UAE. Not only was this our first job, but it was our first operation where the drillers were running constant bottom hole pressure control with hands off connections.

Managed Pressure Drilling: Influx handling

MPD opens a lot of possibilities when it comes to both detection of unwanted reservoir influx and circulating the influx out. MPD systems have less regulatory requirements and lower pressure ratings than conventional well control equipment. Due to this, performing what would normally be considered a well control operation using MPD equipment should be done with care.  The Influx Management Envelope (IME) helps to deal with this. Although wanted by industry, little systematic description of the IME has existed in peer-reviewed journals until my work on describing the IME, demystifying, and deriving the IME from first principles, then discussing the implications of the different IME zones from an operational context.

Visualization of the Influx Management Envelope

“PhD on the rig”

Through my PhD work I have has spent 10 weeks on drilling rigs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Siberia in Russia, supporting setup and first time use cases of the Leidar Control System with high fidelity model testing of the control system in parallel. This has given valuable operational understanding outside of the “classroom” and these drilling operations are the topic of two of the Thesis papers. This has also given the rare opportunity of going from idea and prototype, to seeing the research in use and in person on actual drilling rigs, a privilege that few PhD students can claim to have experienced within the timespan of their PhD project.

Christian helping with rig up in Russia on Kelda’s first automated UBD operation. Here he is seen carrying the UPS to the dog house and proving to be a true Viking.

The full PhD thesis can be downloaded here: https://openarchive.usn.no/usn-xmlui/handle/11250/2646417?locale-attribute=en

Research collaboration in 2020

January 22, 2021
Our mission in Kelda is to improve efficiency and safety of drilling operations through intelligent automation using advanced control/machine learning, sensor fusion, hydraulics modelling and drilling expertise. A vital part is the continuous development of key competence to keep us at the forefront of the research in each of these areas. We achieve this by close collaboration with both local and international universities through a number of PhD projects. Last year, we came to the conclusion of three academic research projects on hydraulics modelling and sensor technology, resulting in the defence of all-together 10 PhDs by end of 2020.


PROJECT 1: In-house industrial PhD on influx modelling”

The first one of these projects has been an internal research project on multiphase modelling for enhanced influx management, which to some degree has served to coordinate the research of the two other larger PhD projects (described below).
The project was an industrial PhD scholarship for our leading specialist on hydraulics modelling, funded in parts by the Norwegian Research Council (NRC).
  • PhD #1: Christian Berg – Modelling for automatic control and estimation of influx and loss during drilling operations

Christian Berg at his public defense (disputation) in March 2020.

PROJECT 2: “HYDRA – HYdraulics modelling for DRilling Automation”

This has been an EU-funded industrial PhD research project which has been a collaboration between Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e), Mines Paristech and Kelda. The project was dedicated to solving particular challenges related to model-order reduction and numerical solutions to enable more efficient mathematical models for multiphase hydraulics in drilling.
For the duration of the 4-years, the PhD candidates spent two periods of 12 months and 6 months, respectively, with Kelda’s R&D team in Norway.
  • PhD #2: Mohammad Abbasi – Modeling and Order Reduction for Hydraulics Simulation in Managed Pressure Drilling
  • PhD #3: Sajad Naderi Lordejani – Model reduction for infinite-dimensional systems, with application to managed pressure drilling
  • PhD #4: Naveen Velmurugan – Distributed dynamics of influx during MPD operations; modelling and estimation
  • PhD #5: Harshit Bansal – Structure-preserving model order reduction for drilling automation


From an early kick-off meeting of the HYDRA project in Porsgrunn, Norway: B.L: Linn, Ulf Jacob Aarsnes (IRIS), Prof. Will Schilders (TU/e), Prof. Nathan Van der Wouw (TU/e), Prof. Florent Di Meglio (Mines ParisTech), Glenn-Ole, Christian and Geir Arne. F.L: Harshit Bansal (TU/e), Mohammad Hossein Abbasi (TU/e), Jon Åge, Sajad Naderi Lordejani (TU/e) and Naveen Velmurugan (Mines ParisTech).

PROJECT 3: “Semi-KIDD – Sensors and models for improved kick/loss detection in drilling”

The final project concluded this year is a research project proposed by Kelda to solve key challenges related to new sensor technology and modelling of return flow measurements in drilling. The project was funded by the Research Council of Norway’s PETROMAKS 2 programme and Equinor, which has been run by the University of South-East Norway (USN) in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Kelda, MHWirth, Cybernetic Drilling Technologies, Sencor-Tecnology, and Norwegian Research Centre AS (NORCE).
  • PhD #6: Prasanna Welahettige: Transient drilling fluid flow in Venturi channels: comparing 3D and 1D models to experimental data
  • PhD #7: Khim Chhantyal – Sensor Data Fusion based Modelling of Drilling Fluid Return Flow through Open Channels
  • PhD #8: Asanthi Jinasena: Models and Estimators for Flow of Topside Drilling Fluid
  • PhD #9: Haavard Holta – Kick & loss detection and estimation using distributed models
  • PhD #10: Morten Hansen Jondahl – Data-driven Models for Estimation of Drilling Fluid Rheological Properties and Flow Rate

Parts of the SEMI-KIDD team at the lab.

Name change

January 10, 2021

“More than just controls.”

A new year brings new beginnings. We are pleased to announce that Kelda Drilling Controls will now be known as Kelda Dynamics.

“With the growth of Kelda over the past year, we felt that our company name should reflect the evolution of our products and services”, says Glenn-Ole Kaasa, CEO. “Leidar has grown from an industry-leading pressure controller, to include a hydraulics simulator for planning, a real-time hydraulics model for drilling process monitoring, enhanced influx-loss detection using cutting edge stochastic methods, contingency management, and much more to come in 2021. We have also adapted it for conventional drilling, so drillers can experience the benefits of Leidar on non-MPD hole sections as well.”

R&D is part of our DNA. We are always looking for better ways of doing things, and our engineers are involved in numerous development projects. For example, we are continuing our research on influx management to include dynamic influx tracking for safer and more efficient drilling.

“Kelda is more than just controls. Kelda is Dynamic.”

Christian Berg Ph.D.

August 3, 2020

In the middle of COVID-19 restrictions, 20th of March 2020, our bright star Christian Berg had his public defense (disputation) and became the fifth Ph.D. in the Kelda team.

 Congratulations! (Photo: Bernt Lie)

Doctoral thesis: Modeling for Automatic Control and Estimation of Influx and Loss During Drilling Operations
Click here to read the abstract or download the whole doctoral thesis.

Many, many hours of thinking, programming, simulations, analysis, re-doing, writing, and discussions have been used to produce this excellent doctoral thesis, and his in-depth knowledge, wide perspective, and practical understanding make this thesis even more interesting to read.

Other fun facts:
He is a husband, father of two, pilot, gamer, hunter, and did not take the ordinary path to become Ph.D., as he went from vocational education path over to the university and completing it with an industrial Ph.D.
Click here to read more about it.

Nominated for Gullkronen 2020

January 24, 2020

Kelda Drilling Controls has been nominated for Gullkronen 2020 in the category for the “New Venture of the Year”, awarded by Rystad Energy.

Kelda was chosen as it has demonstrated exceptional achievement in one of the eight Gullkronen Awards categories, reflecting the program’s core values of innovation, success and ethics.

“We are truly honoured to be considered for the Gullkronen Awards by Rystad Energy” said Kelda’s Chief Executive Officer, Glenn-Ole Kaasa. “We’re humbled to be in the auspicious company of all nominees, some of which are InflowControl, Shell, Equinor, and Interwell” he continued. “The nomination alone is a testament to the vision, creativity and hard work of the entire Kelda team.”

Jarand Rystad, CEO of Rystad Energy, said: “The nominated companies are the most inspirational, successful and dynamic in the Norwegian energy space”. He continued: “They drive the Norwegian energy business and create jobs. The nominees are a benchmark of success for the rest of the Norwegian energy industry.”

Kelda will now have the chance to compete in one of the eight categories of this year’s Gullkronen competition. The awards ceremony will be held at Wallmanns Oslo on January 28.

Read more about it and the other nominees here.