The drilling in the Western Desert area of Egypt is experiencing a shift from vertical to horizontal drilling.

Challenging geology, critical landing zones, complex well profiles, and tight lease boundaries lead to the requirement of High Build Up Rate (HBUR) values. This creates a drilling challenge with the limited capabilities of the current, commercial Rotary Steerable Systems (RSS).

The maximum Dogleg Severity (DLS) output capability for a RSS drilling 8–1/2 in hole size from most major directional drilling service providers is about 6.5° /100 ft. In soft formations, these doglegs output drop significantly and the RSS is replaced by a mud motor assembly. To overcome these challenges, the operator and directional drilling service provider teamed up to strengthen performance and consistency utilizing a new HBUR RSS technology coupled with an optimized bit design.

The operator and directional drilling service provider started a drilling campaign in 2013. The plan was to drill a HBUR curve in 8–1/2 in hole and land in the target zone with planned (DLS) in the range of 8.00 to 10.00° /100 ft. Then set a liner and drill 6 in lateral hole to the well TD. To date, this campaign has resulted in the successful drilling of three wells. The operator's costs were lowered through improved performance with the new HBUR RSS technology. The new technology reduced the number of trips and enabled faster curve drilling with pure rotary and better toolface control. The average number of drilling days per curve and lateral were reduced. In all cases, the curve HBUR planned rates were successfully achieved in a single run with optimum rate of penetration. This paper will discuss the case histories of the three successful wells. The benefits, cost savings and performance improvements of the HBUR RSS technology will be described for each well.

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