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Oklahoma State University

Runar Nygaard

Associate Professor, Courson Chair and

Petroleum Program Director



Ph.D., Geomechanics, University of Oslo, 2004

M.Sc., Geotechnics, University of Oslo, 1996

B.Sc., Geology, University of Oslo, 1995


Petroleum Geomechanics and Wellbore Integrity

Dr. Nygaard’s research in petroleum geomechanics, drilling engineering and well design, addresses the technical, economical and environmental challenges that arise between the man made well and the natural subsurface environment made up of the fluid filled porous rocks.

Wellbore integrity monitoring and modeling of CO2 injection wells. The objective of this research is to develop tools and methods to verify the integrity of well barriers in injection wells. Recent work has been focused on developing a barrier monitoring system using permanently installed distributed coaxial cable sensor system and model the integrity of the cement sheet. 

Wellbore stability, fluid losses and wellbore strengthening. The overall goal is to reduce drilling non-productive time and reduce the number of required casing strings. We have addressed how to mitigate loss circulation for mm size fractures, increase the fracture gradient by better LCM selection including use of nano-particles, and by modeling to predict wellbore breakout and wellbore strengthening effects.

Drilling efficiency and drill stem vibration analysis. The main target of this research topic is to reduce drilling cost by developing analysis tools to analyze drilling and log data. Recent work has addressed drill stem vibration predictions and the effectiveness of vibration mitigation strategies.

Li, Y., Nygaard, R., Zhu, W., Xiao, H., 2016, Real-time Coaxial Cable Casing Imager for CO2 Leakage Risk Detection. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, 1-3 August 2016, San Antonio TX.

Alsaba, M., Nygaard, R., Saasen, A. and Nes, O-M, 2016, Experimental Investigation of Fracture Width Limitations of Granular Lost Circulation Treatments. January 2016. J. Petrol. Explor. Prod. Technol.

Rahimi, R., Alsaba, M., Nygaard, R. 2016. Can Particle Size Distribution of Lost Circulation Materials Affect the Fracture Gradient? AADE-16-FTCE-80. AADE Fluids Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, TX, 12-13 April.  

Al Dushaishi, M. F., Nygaard, R., Andersen, M., Jeffery, C., Hellvik, S., Saasen, A., and Hareland, G. 2016. Selecting Optimum Drilling Parameters by Incorporating Vibration and Drilling Efficiency Models. IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, 1-3 March, Fort Worth.

Li, Y., Nygaard, R., Zhu, W. and Xiao, H. 2015. Robust and Cost Effective Distributed Coaxial Cable Sensors Verified As Real-Time Permanent Downhole Monitoring for Groundwater Safety in Geological CO2 Storage. Carbon Management Technology Conference, 17th Nov., 2015.

Contreras, O., Alsaba, M., Hareland, G., Husein, M. and ,Nygaard, R. 2015, Effect on Fracture Pressure by Adding Iron-Based and Calcium-Based Nanoparticles to a Non- Aqueous Drilling Fluid for Permeable Formations. J. Energy Resour. Technol. 2016. V138 (3):032906-032906-7. 

Rahimi, R., Nygaard, R. 2015.  Comparison of Rock Failure Criteria in Predicting Borehole Shear Failure. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, V 79, 29-40. 

Salehi, S. and Nygaard, R. 2015. Full fluid-solid cohesive finite-element model to simulate near wellbore fractures, ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology, V 137 (1), 012903.

Nygaard, R., Salehi, S. Weideman, B. and Lavoie, R., 2014. Effect of Dynamic Loading on Wellbore Leakage for the Wabamun Area CO2 Sequestration Project, Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, V 53(1). 

Al Dushaishi, M., Nygaard, R., Hole, E., Hellvik, S., and Andersen, M. 2015. Post Well Vibration Analysis in the North Sea: A tool to understand drilling performance. Proceedings of the ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. Newfoundland, Canada, May 31- June 5. OMAE2015-42227.  

Alsaba, M., Nygaard, R., Saasen, A., and Nes, O., 2014. Laboratory Evaluation of Sealing Wide Fractures Using Conventional Lost Circulation Materials”. SPE 170576, SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 27–29 October 2014.

Weideman, B. and Nygaard, R. 2014. How Cement Operations affect your Cement Sheath Short and Long Term Integrity, 2014 AADE Fluids Technical Conference and Exhibition, April 15-16, 2014, Houston, Texas. AADE-14-FTCE-20.

Tongwa, P., Blue, A. Nygaard, R., Bai, B. 2013. Evaluation of Potential Fracture-Sealing Materials for Remediating CO2 Leakage Pathways during CO2 Sequestration. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, V 18, 128-138. 

Nygaard, R. and Salehi, S. 2011. A critical review of wellbore strengthening: Physical model and field deployment. American Association of Drilling Engineers 2011 National Technical Conference and Exhibition, Drilling Ahead, April 12-14, 2011, Houston, Texas.

Nygaard, R., Gutierrez, M. and Bratli, R.K. 2006. Brittle-ductile transition mudrocks and shales it's implication for hydrocarbon migration and seal. Marine and Petroleum Geology, V 23, 201-212.