Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Course contents

FIRST PART: drilling techniques

  • Drilling techniques for the production of hydrocarbons. Modern onshore drilling rigs; systems with rotary table and top drive. Outline of directional drilling and Measuring While Drilling (MWD) Systems.


  • Drilling fluids. Calculation of pressure drop in the hydraulic circuit of a drilling rig. Pressure drop in laminar flow, for Newtonian and Binghamian fluids. Pressure losses in turbulent flow.


  • Composition of the drill string, tools, accessories and special bits for deep wells. Analysis of drilling battery instability.


  • Pore pressure, fracturing pressure and drilling mud pressure analysis.


  • Principles of casing design, cementing operations and well control practices.


  • Outline of offshore drilling. Jack-up type self-lifting systems. Semi-submersible drilling rigs. Drilling ships. Techniques of anchoring and dynamic positioning. Drilling riser, submarine BOPs. Fixed drilling and production platforms.

SECOND PART: Italian legislation and safety

  • Outline of the legislation relating to the granting of concessions for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Italy. Reference regulatory framework for activities related to the prospection, exploration and cultivation of hydrocarbons in Italy.


  • The Plan for the sustainable energy transition of suitable areas (PiTESAI), Law 11 February 2019, n. 12. Knowledge elements to support choices in prospecting, research, hydrocarbon production and decommissioning of mining infrastructures. Determination of the areas suitable for the continuation of administrative procedures and those, compatible - in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability - for the continuation of research or production activities that are already in place.


  • Offshore safety for oil and gas operations. EU Directive 30/2013 and Italian Legislative Decree 145/2015 implementing the Directive. The 2010 incident in the Gulf of Mexico at the Macondo well. Contents of the Report on Major Risks of offshore platforms and plants. The state and safety of upstream activities in Italian territorial seas and in the countries of the European Union. National guidelines for the mining decommissioning of platforms and related infrastructures. Outline of the legislation relating to the granting of concessions for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Italy.


  • Autori Vari, Esplorazione, produzione e trasporto, Enciclopedia degli idrocarburi, Volume 1, Treccani, Roma 2005.
  • Chilingarian, Vorabutr: Drilling and Drilling Fluids , Elsevier.
  • Rabia: Oilwell Drilling , Graham & Trotman.
  • Bai, Yong, and Qiang Bai. Subsea Engineering Handbook, Elsevier Science & Technology, 2012. (Full text access through UniBo library).
  • Ministero della Transizione Ecologica: Piano per la transizione energetica sostenibile delle aree idonee. Art. 11-ter della legge 11 febbraio 2019, n.12, Luglio 2021.
  • Arscott L., and Moreau R.: Post-Macondo Focus on Safety, Journal of Petroleum Technology, 2020.
  • Vamanu B., Necci A., Tarantola S., Krausmann, E.: Offshore Risk Assessment, JRC Technical Report – European Commission, 2016.
  • Direttiva 2013/30/UE del 12 giugno 2013, "Sicurezza delle operazioni in mare nel settore degli idrocarburi e che modifica la direttiva 2004/35/CE".
  • Decreto legislativo 18 agosto 2015, n. 145, “Attuazione della direttiva 2013/30/UE sulla sicurezza delle operazioni in mare nel settore degli idrocarburi e che modifica la direttiva 2004/35/CE”.
  • Decreto Ministeriale 15 febbraio 2019,  "Linee guida nazionali per la dismissione mineraria delle piattaforme per la coltivazione di idrocarburi in mare e delle infrastrutture connesse".

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures, seminars.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in an written test and/or oral interview in order to assess the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student. The student will be invited to discuss the topics covered during the lessons.

The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and/or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and/or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

Video projector, PC, overhead projector, traditional blackboard, pen tablet.

Office hours

See the website of Ezio Mesini