In the present paper, directional drilling job failures were carefully analyzed for the period 2014 and 2015 in wells drilled in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The focus of the study was to evaluate the performance and efficiency of the Positive Displacement Motors (PDM) and Rotary Steerable Systems (RSS) during drilling operations.

The data was collected from Saudi Aramco database and limited to wells that used PDM and RSS as a directional drilling system. A total of 7772 runs were reviewed and the information was classified according to tool size, number of runs, operating time, lost time, number of failures and hole size. A detailed and comprehensive study was conducted individually for each run that a PDM and RSS was used, reviewing daily drilling reports and analyzing the performance and efficiency of the PDM and RSS in drilling operations across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Focusing on PDM failures, it was observed that 45.41% of the problems occurred before 50 hours of operating time. In the case of RSS, the study revealed that 49.59% of the failures occurred before 50 hours of operating time. The causes of the failures were a combination of different factors such as vibration, temperature, type of drilling fluids used and reservoir properties such as H2S and CO2 content. The PDM average operating time remained almost the same (77 hours to 78 hours from 2014 to 2015), moreover the efficiency improved from 95.37% to 96.94% (1.64% improvement). The RSS average operating time dropped from 103 hours to 97 hours from 2014 to 2015, a reduction of 5.83%. The efficiency improved from 88.78% to 90.83% (2.30% improvement). The study concluded that the reduction of the operating time can lead to a higher efficiency on the PDM and RSS and this can be achieved by replacing these tools on every trip and performing preventive maintenance after each run. Also, improving the drilling parameters and durability of the directional drilling system will improve their performance and efficiency.

The research became a useful reference to analyze the performance and efficiency of PDM and RSS Systems across Saudi Arabia's drilling operations. Directional Drilling Service Companies are encouraged and challenged to improve the performance, efficiency, and durability of their drilling tools.

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