Abstract

The combination of high rig rates, complex reservoirs, and extended reach wellbores drilled in deeper water is placing greater burden on drillers as they attempt to meet the world's growing energy demands in a safe and sustainable manner. Answering the need for faster and more accurate decision-making while drilling, wired-pipe or networked drillstring telemetry has given drillers real-time access to high-definition downhole data such as wellbore images, formation pressure tests and high-frequency pressure and vibration measurements. What's more, the technology transmits this data and sends commands to downhole tools at high resolution and speeds that are more than three orders of magnitude higher than the dozens of bits per second afforded by mud-pulse telemetry methods.

This paper describes the components of the networked drillstring telemetry technology, its theory of operation and the safety and cost efficiency gains it can provide to a drilling operation. The broadband speed aids with mitigation of vibration in real time, to increase the rate of penetration and reduce the number of bit trips. The network nodes offer the unique opportunity to make additional pressure measurements distributed along the entire length of the drillstring. The system's additional dynamic insights also help to manage constant bottomhole pressure as well as drilling at or under balance. Finally, the paper provides examples showing how the system's along-string pressure evaluation capabilities help to identify and locate a pipe wash-out, detect a pack-off, detect the early kicks associated with a wellbore influx and verify that the reamer arms are opened.

Introduction

Today's oil and gas exploration efforts are characterized by high rig rates, complex reservoirs, and extended reach wellbores drilled in deeper water. These complex challenges are complicating driller's efforts to meet the world's growing energy demands in a safe and sustainable manner. To mitigate these challenges, tools to facilitate faster and more accurate decision-making while drilling are required.

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