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Innovating While Drilling

Next-gen microchip plots cracks, pores through frac fluids

The size of this newly developed microchip, including the on-chip camera and the pads, is only 0.55 mm by 0.85 mm.

Rice University’s Integrated Systems and Circuits (RISC) laboratory has developed a new generation of microchips, approximately the size of a grain of sand, that travels downhole through fracturing fluids to plot the cracks and pores through which oil and gas move to the surface. Activated by electromagnetic signals sent from an aboveground transceiver, the microchips return real-time data to create high-resolution maps of reservoirs and formations formed by hydraulic fracturing.

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Dissolvable tools, plug-less and wave fracturing among innovations delivering more efficient multistage completions

The Infinity dissolvable plug-and-perf system uses degradable fracturing balls and seats instead of plugs to isolate zones during stimulation. The ball and seat disintegrate into a fine powder, eliminating the need for milling and enabling full-bore production. The system is suitable for multistage stimulation in various well geometries, including extended-reach wells and underpressured reservoirs.

The past 12 months have been marked by market volatility, pressures to cut costs and a drastic reduction in the number of onshore wells drilled. In the unconventional sector, however, innovation for multistage completion technology has not diminished. R&D efforts are pressing on in response to operator demands to drive down costs and boost recovery.

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Firmus, Duro technologies reduce environmental footprint of drilling operations

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Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows that for every foot drilled in the US, 1.21 bbl of drilling waste is generated. Of that, 50% is solid drilling waste – or mud and cuttings, made up of solids, liquids and other additives. As regulators continue to raise the level of expectations on drilling companies’ management of drilled solids...

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