Proposed JIP aims to define next generation of MWD directional tools in well-placement applications

Posted on 13 December 2011

Directional measurement-while-drilling (MWD) tools have seen few major improvements in the last 35 years, but a proposed Drilling Engineering Association Joint Industry Project (DEA JIP) may change that, organizers of the JIP said. The proposed project, “Requirements for Advanced MWD Directional with Ranging for Safety in Intersection, SAGD, Anti-Collision” (DEA 164), sponsored by ConocoPhillips, will survey operators to determine specific needs and requirements in MWD directional tools.

Relief well application is one area that could benefit from advanced MWD directional tools. Organizers of the joint industry project said the industry needs tools that provide better accuracy in distance and direction.

Organizers are seeking companies to participate in the JIP and will begin the project as soon as funding is acquired. Relief well, anti-collision and SAGD applications are some areas in which improved directional MWD tools have the potential to boost accuracy and precision, resulting in improved safety and efficiency.

The project, estimated to cost $260,000 and span seven to eight months, will comprise two parts, both involving interviews with drilling engineers and managers. Part one will focus on developing preliminary findings, and part two will confirm findings and conclusions.

Preliminary findings will include determining the universe of currently available tools, their capabilities, operator value perceptions and desired improvements. The idea is to help service companies determine improvements in existing technology.

The JIP’s final report will include functional specifications for next-generation directional MWD and a cost-benefit analysis for HSE liabilities, well shut-in cost vs better proximity determination, and development, deployment and maintenance expectations.

Independent consultants Gordon Richardson, principal of TechRich Consulting, and Bob Waters, founder of Robert Waters Consulting, will design and conduct a survey of operators to define requirements, recommendations and assess price tolerance for next-generation MWD service for multiple applications.

Mr Richardson and Mr Waters both have extensive backgrounds in engineering and in the industry. Mr Richardson, the primary consultant, has been active in the design, development and evaluation of electronic systems, instrumentation and drill string components for oil and gas for more than 35 years. Mr Waters, the technical consultant for magnetic measurements, has focused on design of downhole instrumentation and incorporation since 1975. He was co-inventor, developer and operating engineer of MAGRANGE, the proximity detection system, first used in 1975, and performed services with this system for clients in the oilfields worldwide in approximately 130 relief wells.

For more information or to become a sponsor of the JIP, please contact Mr Richardson at gr@techrichconsulting.com or +1-617-504-3340. Mr Waters is available at rwaters@austin.rr.com or +1-512-258-2419.

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