In the Arabian Gulf, a rotary-steerable system utilizing "point-the-bit" technology decreased the well-construction cost in two Saudi Arabian offshore oil fields. Drilling offshore, in many (if not all) parts of the world, is an expensive adventure. "Point-the-bit" technology has successfully and consistently controlled capital expenditures for wells in these offshore fields and, in head to head comparisons, has cost less money when compared to the conventional drilling systems that had previously been used.

When it comes to offshore operational costs, time is a nemesis. The application of "point-the-bit" technology as a way to help solve this problem by permitting the economical completion of a quality borehole will be discussed in this paper. A major concern has been that the phenomenon known as "hole-spiraling" which has created hole-quality issues. These issues range from tortuous paths, torque-and-drag frictional forces, key-seating or sump effects, and poor log responses to name just a few of the problems. Thus, when the quality of a borehole and the time it takes to drill it are considered less than desirable, the drilling process and its resultant effects increase well costs and reduce operational efficiencies.

Several case histories within two offshore fields will be presented in this paper. These case histories will show that having the capability to make adjustments to downhole drilling tools "on-the-fly" makes for better steering control and creates better hole geometries. Correctly applying "point-the-bit" rotary-steerable systems on these wells demonstrates the value-added potential of this technology.

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