Rotary-Steerable Tool Brings Cost-Effective Performance to High-Volume Drilling

Fig. 1—LDS components.

A 100% fully mechanical rotary-steerable tool has been developed specifically for the high-volume drilling market, providing full 3D directional control while under full rotation of the drillstring from surface. This durable push-the-bit rotary-steerable system (RSS) has eliminated the costly and sensitive electronics common to most RSS tools and has eliminated a number of vibration-related failure modes, making it suited for applications where shock and vibration are prevalent and for high-temperature applications.


With the introduction of the downhole drilling motor in the 1980s, horizontal drilling became much more feasible. Horizontal wells are now the most common well type drilled in the US. Successful horizontal wells rely on accurate placement of the wellbore inside the desired reservoir. To achieve this, a directional driller is provided with drilling targets on a well plan, which are typically selected on the basis of offset-well information, seismic data, and geological models.

In an effort to optimize production while minimizing the number of rig moves and wells drilled, horizontal wells have stepped out farther and farther. As the horizontal displacement of a wellbore increases, torque and drag become major obstacles that must be overcome to enable efficient drilling. RSS tools provide a means to extend the wellbore beyond a steerable motor’s capabilities, but they come at a price that is often not economically feasible for the high-volume market. This forces operators to drill complex wells with either standard steerable motors or to pay for expensive RSS tools that challenge the economic viability of the well.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 166717, “Fully Mechanical 3D Rotary-Steerable Tool Brings RSS Performance to the High-Volume Drilling Market at a Fraction of the Cost of Conventional Rotary-Steerable Tools,” by K. Hershberger and D. Herrington, NOV, prepared for the 2013 SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition, Dubai, 7–9 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Rotary-Steerable Tool Brings Cost-Effective Performance to High-Volume Drilling

01 December 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 12


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