ABSTRACT

Safety, efficiency, and reliability are at the forefront priorities when it comes to planning and executing drilling and completion operations. As an industry moving toward exploration and development in far more demanding environments and is consequently driven to find new and innovative ways to optimize drilling and well completion costs; The integration of RFID technology into the oil and gas industry is an excellent approach which has resulted in reduction of risks, operating time as well as increased operational flexibility. The use of RFID technology as a technique for remote actuation of downhole drilling tools has proven to be very effective over the conventional mechanical (ball-actuated) drilling tools enabling operators to run multiple remotely activated drilling tools on same drilling BHA while also maintaining full through-bore ID. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) provides a game-changing solution across a broad range of disciplines to maximize efficiencies and reduce operating costs significantly. This paper reviews a field application in which an RFID-actuated circulation sub was deployed in a multiple-assembly tool string to drill and simultaneously log a 6-in. hole section for a well in Karachaganak field.

The risk of downhole losses in a 6-in. horizontal section (∼1,200-m length) in Karachaganak field led to separate drilling and logging runs. The main driver of adopting RFID technology in this application was the inability to retrieve a logging-while-drilling (LWD) radioactive source (RA) and also pumping high-concentration lost-circulation material (LCM), should downhole conditions dictate activation of a circulation sub. RFID-enabled circulation sub to eliminate additional trips of the LWD tool, as the previously deployed mechanically-actuated circulating sub would not allow access to the LWD RA because of its limited post-activated inside-diameter (ID) size. This requires additional time for tripping operations to change out the BHA in case of downhole problems, such as stuck pipe and total loss scenarios. Introducing RFID-enabled tool provided full through-bore access enabling RA retrieval while keeping the option for multiple activations of the circulation sub as per operational requirements thereby enabling the operator to immediately eliminate the additional trip for the LWD tool. In this case study, no downhole losses were experienced; however, the RFID circulation sub served to boost hole cleaning once total depth was reached as this operation required high fluid-circulation rates for efficient cuttings transport, especially in the avalanche zone of the well. Additionally, the full through-bore flow provided by the RFID-actuated sub enabled the client to displace the well with a high flow rate and therefore save significant time and costs on fluid displacement

The adoption of RFID-actuated circulation sub improved drilling performance by enabling the operator to complete the entire operation in a single run and saved 4 operational days. The main objective of the system was to drill and log safely and efficiently to the target depth in one run and achieve high flow rates to enhance wellbore cleaning.

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