Integrated MWD platform launching in unconventional US land market

Posted on 28 August 2013

A key component in the downhole section of the MWD string is the directional sensor, which contains the accelerometers, magnetometers and processors that generate the data used to steer the drill string.

A key component in the downhole section of the MWD string is the directional sensor, which contains the accelerometers, magnetometers and processors that generate the data used to steer the drill string.

By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor

Enteq Upstream, a provider of technology and products for upstream oil and gas, has launched an integrated measurement while drilling (MWD) platform for directional drilling, vibration monitoring and real-time gamma and data transmission. The new system is being introduced in the US unconventional land market and will later be expanded worldwide, including remote locations in Russia, China and other regions.

The system currently provides mud-pulse telemetry and is testing an electromagnetic telemetry product that is due to be deployed in the Eagle Ford play in the next month. Both services have been designed for a variety of drilling environments, said Danny Broughton, head of corporate development for Enteq. “By integrating a downhole interface module, drivers and other MWD components into a single operating unit, we are delivering a service that in the past has been very fragmented, with components provided by various manufacturers, forcing service companies and contractors to integrate their own MWD systems themselves, much like building a PC.” That practice, which has been common in the cost-driven North American land market, can result in reduced performance and reliability, he said.

“But with more major operating companies coming into the US market, they are putting a high priority on performance and reliability,” Mr Broughton said. “By integrating this system as the single provider, we are ensuring that our software and hardware all flawlessly work together. We supply the entire package, including the rig-transportable unit and hand tools, and test and configure the equipment. This provides a cost-savings to operators and service companies and minimizes problems that can occur when interfacing equipment from various electronics manufacturers.”

The technology has been designed to operate with redundancy and efficiency in temperatures up to 177°C (350°F) for extended periods. Reliability at these temperatures has been achieved though evolutionary manufacturing techniques implemented across the entire platform. In these deeper reservoirs, the platform uses the industry standard mud-pulse telemetry. For shallower, less hostile wells or top sections, the new higher-speed electromagnetic (EM) telemetry will be an option.

The system also incorporates analog and digital third-party interfaces. “Because this is an open platform that is fully integrated, newer high-tech sensors and other components can easily be brought on board and incorporated into the system,” he added.

Development of the new MWD system was based on proven technologies by Extended Exploration Technology and KM Services, two downhole electronics providers acquired by Enteq in 2012. Headquartered in London, Enteq is building a new assembly and support facility in The Woodlands, Texas, to support its growing business in the US land market.

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