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March/April

Weatherford sensors track vibration to increase ROP, temperature changes for early kick detection

By Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor Weatherford’s newest tool in its Hostile Environment Logging (HEL) MWD system is its True Vibration Monitor (TVM) sensor, which is focused on providing pertinent downhole information to monitor bit and BHA vibration, primarily lateral and axial vibration, as well as rpm. Drilling is all about moving energy from the rig floor to the bit. If the driller is getting the maximum amount of energy, the drilling process is optimized and obtaining the most footage possible. Any time vibration occurs in the drill string as a result of torque or drag, for example, the bit is being robbed of energy and rate of penetration (ROP) suffers. With TVM, the company is better able to identify what ...

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Seismic while drilling keeps bit turning to right while acquiring key real-time data

By Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor Under development since 1988 and commercialized in 2003, the Schlumberger seismicVISION seismic-while-drilling service (SWD) enables operators to make seismic measurements during the drilling of the well. Operators can thus reduce uncertainty, optimize drilling decisions and improve safety. Previously, in most environments, this meant stopping the drilling process and running a wireline survey. Since its commercialization, Schlumberger has been working on enhancements, the latest of which is the capability to send real-time waveforms from downhole to the surface. Previously, wave-form information was retained in the tool’s memory to be retrieved when the BHA was tripped out of the hole. Now, with real-time waveform capability, waveform data can be accessed through mud pulse telemetry to increase the ...

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PathFinder pushes temperature, pressure limits with Survivor series of MWD/LWD

Compared with other sensor measurement tools such as wireline logging, logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools must stay downhole for extended periods of time and are subject to high vibration. While ratings of 25,000 psi and 350ºF may not be considered HPHT for some drilling environments, they are generally categorized as high pressure, high temperature for LWD tools, said Alan Rennie, operations specialist for PathFinder Energy Services. It’s “fairly straightforward mechanically to get systems that will withstand 25,000 psi – there’s just a design and manufacturing cost associated with it,” he said. But mechanical failures are not the issue with improving HPHT ratings for LWD tools. The real challenges, he said, are with electronics surviving downhole in temperatures up to 350ºF. “There are ...

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Halliburton’s next-generation LWD sensors read faster, clearer deeper into formation

The InSite Generation, being launched by Halliburton’s Sperry Drilling Services, is a new generation of LWD sensors and applications that provide deeper reading, higher resolution measurements with faster telemetry and greater reliability, said Blaine Comeaux, Sperry global marketing manager. Advanced miniaturization techniques have been used with the InSite Generation to reduce the number of components while increasing power. So far, three InSite sensors have been made available: the azimuthal deep resistivity (ADR), the azimuthal focus resistivity (AFR) and the IXO. The InSite ADR is a deep-reading (up to 18 ft) resistivity device that can measure in 32 directions around the borehole. “That means if we detect a change in resistivity, we can tell whether that’s happening above us, below us, ...

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INTEQ magnetic resonance LWD tool successfully measures T2 for the first time

By Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor Baker Hughes INTEQ’s MagTrak LWD tool provides a comprehensive range of magnetic resonance data for the operator, including formation porosity, bound and volume, free fluid volume, permeability, hydrocarbon detection and T1 and T2 distribution spectrums. Because the tool is based on magnetic resonance technology, it does not require a radioactive source. Porosity measurement is not dependent on formation lithology. The tool, the first to measure T2 successfully, according to the company, is capable of delivering real-time T2 distributions. Measuring T2 results in significantly more measurements, higher resolution and more accurate information for interpretation. That aids decision-making to optimize wellsite efficiency, safety and hydrocarbon recovery. The real-time applications and benefits include identifying potential borehole problems by ...

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Advances in MWD, LWD, SWD continue to give drillers ever-clearer downhole pictures

For decades, the industry has been chasing the “look-ahead” dream – being able to see ahead of the bit as we drill. Whether that’s still an unfulfilled dream with current measurement-while-drilling (MWD), logging-while-drilling (LWD) and seismic-while-drilling (SWD) tools is up for debate. According to Schlumberger, its newest SWD tool, seismic-VISION, can send up to two seconds of partially processed stacked waveform data to the surface in relevant drilling time, allowing for a limited look-ahead potential. The primary technological breakthrough enabling the system was building a downhole clock accurate enough to measure milliseconds and rugged enough to survive downhole, the company said. At the same time that we’re trying to look ahead of the bit, we’re getting significantly better at looking ...

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Combining RSS, LWD achieves milestone in Abu Dhabi

By Ivor Sinclair, Weatherford International Characterized by harsh, carbonate formations inducing high levels of stick-slip and vibration, drilling and completion work in Abu Dhabi presents a unique set of challenges. Nevertheless, the Revolution rotary steerable system (RSS) and Precision LWD have been used by a major operator in the region to successfully achieve complex drilling objectives both on- and offshore. In the onshore Abu Dhabi case, the tools were used to drill and complete two water injection wells. In one of the wells, the tools were used to drill a horizontal section while staying within the zone of interest using real-time geosteering services. The well was planned with a vertical kick-off and doglegs up to 8º/100 ft, requiring performance at ...

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Automation may be the key to next-generation, difficult-to-exploit wells

By Jon Ruszka, Baker Hughes INTEQ Today, operators faced with discovering and developing hydrocarbon reserves are facing more, and more extreme, challenges. Every year, reservoirs are becoming more challenging to find and exploit. Similarly, the environments in which these reservoirs are located are getting increasingly hostile – either because they are in remote areas or because they are positioned deeper below the Earth’s surface. In addition, the need to improve field recovery will intensify and the efficiency of drilling operations in relation to BOE produced will continue to be a measure of field operators’ success, irrespective of field size. As conventional plays deplete, we will exploit different reservoir types. Finally, there are the personnel challenges. Personnel safety will remain the ...

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Downhole motors, wired pipe, LWD sensors enhance RSS results as service companies address cost concerns with simpler systems targeting land, shallow-water operations

By Linda Hsieh, assistant managing editor In February 2008, when Exxon Neftegas Ltd (ENL) completed the world-record extended-reach well on Russia’s Sakhalin Island — drilled with Baker Hughes INTEQ’s AutoTrak G3.0 system — the well’s measured depth of 38,322 ft (11,680 m) stood as a testament to how far rotary steerables had come. Once an unreliable tool that was exclusively deployed on the highest-end offshore projects, it was loved and hated at the same time — loved for its precise 3D steering capability and potential for improving drilling performance, yet hated for its limited reliability and added costs. Slowly but surely, especially in the past five years, rotary steerable technology has finally grown up. Nowadays, everywhere there’s drilling, rotary steerables ...

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