This paper describes the successful introduction of ultraslim rotary steerable system (US-RSS) drilling in Saudi Arabia. A case study is presented where a 2167ft power water injector redrill lateral was successfully drilled in the reservoir using an US-RSS on 2 3/8"drillpipe in conjunction with ultraslim logging-while-drilling tools, which were used for concurrent high accuracy geosteering. The existing casing design required that the sidetrack had to exit the liner in the reservoir section, since sidetracking higher up was not an option because of the risk of exposing problematic formations and pressurized zones. A number of challenges had to be overcome, including engineering design for sufficient weight transfer to be able to drill and good bit selection, since it would have been impossible to drill the planned section with a motor or conventional drilling assembly.

Each stage of the job was carefully planned in detail and all stakeholders were briefed and contributed to the plan to ensure that all objectives – both drilling and well placement, could be met. The US-RSS was run in hole to drill the lateral, which was drilled with a 3 7/8" bit and concurrently opened up to 4¼". The US-RSS tool performed as planned and produced an overall rate of penetration (ROP) of 28ft per hour in a single run during the geosteering operation. All well objectives were achieved, and the system clearly demonstrated a robust technical solution to the problem.

The US-RSS will enable greater reservoir access, especially in the redevelopment drilling application, and when used in conjunction with ultraslim LWD tools, can also be used to place the well in the best position for optimal additional production. Recovery rates from the field are now expected to be enhanced as a result of this technology, and without the need for drilling further new wells.

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