Mud Pulse Telemetry (MPT) is the most common down hole-to-surface communication technology utilized by MWD/LWD systems. Compared to alternative technologies, MPT systems are characterized by a proven record of high reliability in a wide range of operating environments. Reliable data delivery is feasible in a variety of scenarios ranging from shallow vertical to complex, deep water wells in all types of drilling fluid media.

Recent years have seen the introduction of many new LWD technologies which are providing unparalleled amounts of wire line quality evaluation data in realtime. Access to high quality, complete, evaluation data sets whilst drilling is enabling geologists and engineers to make decisions with higher confidence based on more and higher quality datasets, consequently enabling wells to become more complex and fulfill multiple objectives. The ever increasing volume of information generated by these new technologies has begun to exceed the bandwidth transmission capacity that traditional MPT technology can deliver. To fully capitalize on the LWD technological advances being implemented, an increase in data transmission speeds is required.

This paper discusses a new telemetry system that delivers data rates in excess of 6 bits per second (bps). The system has been deployed in a number of complex 3D extended reach offshore wells in Norway. During operations, the system reliably delivered high data rates of up to 20 bps, resulting in improved drilling efficiency, and reduced operational risk due to enhanced realtime decision quality based on the improved quality of FE and downhole diagnostics data.

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