The objectives of this project are to design and build 1) a smart drillbit steering motor integrated with a high-performance downhole motor and 2) a logging-while-drilling (LWD) formation resistivity evaluation sensor that provides real-time information about the rock being drilled. The tools will be designed for deployment in ultra-small diameter wellbores.
Baker Hughes INTEQ
State-of-the-art BHAs for coiled tubing drilling of (CTD) 3 1/2-inch diameter (microhole) horizontal wells tend to drill holes that are not smooth and straight. The lack of straightness leads to higher friction when sliding the coil, which limits the maximum horizontal extension that can be drilled with coiled tubing equipment.
Also absent in the currently available CTD BHAs for microholes is a suitable LWD tool. In order to keep the well within the target zone and above the oil-water contact, resistivity measurements taken during the drilling process are needed to provide instantaneous information about the distance to the water boundary. This allows the well to be drilled for maximum recovery and minimum risk of water invasion. Furthermore, such formation evaluation sensors will be able to detect trapped hydrocarbons along the well path.
Two prototypes were manufactured of each tool, and field tested in an Alaskan North Slope well in April 2006.
2 3/8-inch Rib Steering Motor
2 3/8-inch Multiple Propagation Resistivity Device
The advanced drilling, steering, and logging bottomhole assembly (BHA) is expected to enable faster drilling, increased well-path accuracy, improved hole quality, and longer horizontal sections. The improvements in drilling and LWD will lead to increased production while decreasing the number of wells needed.
Lower costs and reduced environmental risks of drilling smaller holes with smaller-footprint rigs and minimal drilling fluid volumes make the technology ideal for producing remaining oil in shallow, mature U.S. reservoirs. Step-out wells, lateral deep perforations, and well deepening all can improve recovery of domestic resources.
The 2 3/8-inch diameter RSM is being designed to serve a 3 1/2-inch or smaller diameter hole. Modules are being designed so they fit seamlessly in the commercially available modular 2 3/8-inch CoilTrak™, a CTD assembly. Hydraulically powered moveable ribs on the steering motor generate steering forces in every direction, allowing both smooth curves and straight borehole sections to be drilled. The MPR tool is being developed for microholes that will allow true real-time geosteering with instantaneous steering actions based on resistivity (and gamma) measurements. See Results section above for a summary of work done.
Both components of the project, the RSM prototype and the MPR prototype, have been successfully field tested. The project received a no cost extension to June 30, 2006 due to the manufacturing of downhole drillstring components being detrimentally affected by the current high level of activity in the oil industry. DOE is awaiting the final report for the project.
$249,084 (25% of total)