A new integrated expandable reamer technology was jointly developed by a major Norwegian operator and a service company, and was field tested at offshore Norway and the Gulf of Mexico deepwater environment. The reamer is fully integrated with the company's rotary steerable systems, enabling flexible and optimal placement of reamers in the bottom hole assembly (BHA), unlimited on-demand activation cycles, and real-time feedback via mud pulse telemetry. The flexibility of placement in the BHA allows the reamer to be used as a near bit reamer, a main reamer, or a combination of both. When used for near bit reaming service, the reamer can reduce the rat hole length to a minimum of 4 meters, compared to a standard 50 to 70 meters, in the same run. Substantial time savings can be achieved by removing the need for a dedicated rat hole elimination run. The unlimited activation/deactivation cycles are achieved through mud-pulse telemetry, and each cycle takes less than five minutes. The real-time feedback from the reamer includes confirmation of blade activation status as fully extended, reducing operational uncertainty during reaming and saving time for a shoulder test that is otherwise required.
Since being introduced offshore Norway, the technology has been successfully applied as both main and near bit reamers. It has proven its capability as a reliable main reamer as well as an integrated near bit reamer reducing rat hole to a minimum while maintaining full directional drilling control and enabling full Measurement While Drilling (MWD) and Logging While Drilling (LWD) measurements. Real-time feedback from the reamer reduced operational uncertainty and enabled efficient drilling.
This paper presents the main features and functionalities of the new expandable reamer technology and discusses results from two field testing runs at the Grane field in offshore Norway.