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Schlumberger launches autonomous directional drilling

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Autonomous directional drilling could be the next frontier in the digital transformation of the oil and gas industry, according to Schlumberger. On 16 August, the company introduced its vision for autonomous directional drilling, which includes services that can steer through any section of the wellbore and improve drilling trajectory accuracy.

In this video interview with DC, Raul Suarez, Well Construction Product Manager at Schlumberger, speaks about the range of different technologies his company has developed under the autonomous directional drilling umbrella, as well as its overall vision for what can be achieved.

“Our customers, and the industry at large, are asking for how they can really make a big change with performance, how can we be more consistent, how can predict outcomes and do things sustainably?” Mr Suarez said. “That’s when you start looking at what we are doing in terms of digital enablement, what we are doing in terms of automation, and that’s when we began our automated directional drilling journey.”

He focused primarily on Schlumberger’s downhole automated control system, a closed-loop control unit designed to reduce surface interference and eliminate downlinks for onshore and offshore wells by instantly interpreting and acting on downhole data.

“For the measurements we’re taking downhole, we’re using inclinations and direction sensors. The closer they are to the bit, the better I am. Having this information downhole, I’m better able to understand where I am, and then of course I’m able to track where I’m supposed to go. The faster I can take these measurements, the faster I’m able to react, the smoother the borehole I’m going to have,” Mr Suarez said.

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