The demands of land-based drilling have evolved in recent years, requiring the drilling of complex, extended reach, horizontal wellbores to cross multiple production zones as well as to optimize the production of unconventional plays. Rotary Steerable System (RSS), technology is now being applied to enable drillers to meet today's directional challenges. The cost of operating these systems has limited their use to high profile land and offshore use in most cases leaving a technology gap to be addressed in markets with cost constraints.
Although RSS technology has proven its value in the field, adoption in low-cost applications has been limited. High lost in hole(LIH) rates, day rates that are double or triple that of mud motors, and harsh drilling environments that can lead to premature failure of RSS electronics are all barriers to the use of RSS in many land markets. The horizontal land market requires a technology capable of providing the performance of an RSS with a cost structure that doesn't place it out of reach for operators and regions on a limited budget.
Today a fully-mechanical rotary steerable tool has been developed that provides full 3D directional control during full rotation of the drill string without the high costs of conventional RSS tools and without the sensitive and costly electronics. This rugged and durable push the bit design withstands the most challenging of formations, and reduces the number of vibration related failures. Without the limitations of conventional electronics, this tool can also handle high temperature environments while improving ROP (rate of penetration) verse conventional RSS. A proven 3-point geometry and strategically placed stabilization are utilized to reduce tortuosity and drill a premium wellbore at a cost well below that of standard RSS.
This paper provides case studies from North American land operations proving the ability of this fully mechanical RSS to drill at ROP's up to 50% higher than a steerable motor. Reduction in operating cost of as much as 40% vs RSS and minimized financial risk associated with lost in holes charges (LIH) over conventional RSS are shown in the supporting study.