This paper describes a new Rotary Steerable System (RSS) and results from its field testing program. The RSS has been designed to handle the technical requirements of the most challenging wells, but also to be economical for use in low cost wells. This important feature was achieved by a unique hydraulics and electronic design and through the use of durable but low cost materials. The tool itself consists of three active and independent steering blades placed close to the bit, and a near-bit stabilizer which acts as a fulcrum. The steering blades apply a constant force to the formation. The displacement of the blades is measured to offset the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) in the desired direction. The clamping force of the tool in the hole acts to stabilize the lower part of the BHA and remove unwanted vibration and instability from the drill bit. This significantly improves BHA response, borehole quality, ROP and bit life. Since the RSS has a full 3D capability, it can drill constant curvature boreholes in any direction.
The tool has been tested in wells in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and the Gulf of Mexico. The results of these tests will be presented in detail. It is shown that BHA optimization can make a significant difference to the quality of directional holes drilled with a RSS. The data obtained during testing have, in fact, lead to an optimized BHA configuration which is unique compared with any other existing RSS. This optimized BHA configuration was determined from test runs in both point-the-bit and push-the-bit modes. Through the course of this exercise, it was shown that point-the-bit technology can provide superior borehole quality, improved Rate Of Penetration (ROP) and consistent Dog Leg Severity (DLS).
Finally, the improved performance and time saving obtained with this new RSS will be compared with offset data from directional wells that were drilled with conventional steerable motor assemblies.