Exploration and Production Technologies

Electromagnetic (EM) Telemetry Tool for Deep Well Drilling Applications  

DE-FC26-02NT41656

Goal:
To develop a wireless, electromagnetic (EM) based telemetry system to facilitate efficient deep natural gas drilling at depths beyond 20,000 feet and up to 392˚F (200˚C)

Background:
The wireless, EM telemetry system will be designed to facilitate measurement-while-drilling (MWD) operations within a high temperature, deep drilling environment. The key components that will be developed and tested include a new high efficiency power amplifier (PA) and advanced signal processing algorithms. The novel PA architecture will provide greater and more efficient power delivery from the subterranean transmitter through the transmission media. Maximum energy transfer is especially critical downhole, where the transmitter’s principal power source is typically a battery. Increased energy at the receiver antenna equates to increased recoverable signal amplitude; thus, the overall receiver signal-to-noise ratio is improved resulting in deeper operational depth capability.

The data fusion effort will develop and validate a set of algorithms designed to maximize the noise rejection capabilities of the high-sensitivity subterranean communications receiver. Increasing a receiver’s noise rejection capability allows the receiver processing engine to recover and demodulate very small amplitude signals in the presence of large amounts of interfering ambient noise. Specifically, receiver noise rejection enhancement improves the signal-to-noise ratio parametric of a subterranean telemetry receiver, making the receiver capable of recovering the extremely weak signal associated with deep telemetry applications.

Performer: E-Spectrum Technologies, Inc.

Location:
San Antonio, Texas 78249

Project Impact:
The potential impact of this two-way, subsurface to rig-floor communications technology is to make available to industry a tool that can communicate significant information gathered in real-time from near the bit or from measurement-while-drilling (MWD) equipment and seismic-while-drilling (SWD) equipment being developed in other parts of the DOE/NETL Deep Trek program. This communications system is expected to exceed current capabilities of other existing electromagnetic telemetry and mud telemetry systems in both quality and quantity of data. It is also expected to have wider industry application and be significantly less expensive than specialized drill pipe telemetry systems already successfully developed by DOE/NETL, especially for ultra deep wells.



Schematic of the EM Telemetry System

Accomplishments:
Phase I successfully completed:

  • Demonstrated feasibility of viable signal conditioning algorithms to enhance low-frequency communications
  • Developed of high-efficiency power amplifiers
  • Developed of the EM Communications Module
Shallow well test was completed in September 2003

Developed a new ultra-low frequency electro-magnetic (ULF EM) telemetry receiver:

  • It employs unique data-fusion methodology which uses a set of algorithms to improve signal to noise ratio.
  • The receiver is capable of recovering extremely weak signals at deep depth.
Phase II successfully completed:
  • Demonstration in cooperating industry service company test wells generates interest in early potential for commercialization

Current Status and Remaining Tasks:
A decision was made by the performer to move towards early commercialization due to industry interest and need for more rapid development and thus forego need for further government assistance

Project Start Date: September 30, 2002
Project End Date: February 28, 2006

DOE Contribution: $1,349,005
Performer Contribution: $632,334

Contact Information:
NETL - William Gwilliam (304-285-4401 or william.gwilliam@netl.doe.gov
E-Spectrum Technologies – J. Gablemann (210-696-8848 or jgablemann@espectech.com)

Innovative Telemetry System Will Help Tap Hard-to-Reach Natural Gas Resources - NETL news release on the commercialization of the telemetry communications system

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