In order to improve the cost efficiency of petroleum exploration and production, it is required to develop improved technology. The Reelwell Drilling Method (RDM) is a multi purpose drilling method with a unique arrangement for Extended Reach Drilling and Managed Pressure Drilling. A conventional drill string with a special inner string forms a dual concentric drill string, which is used to remove drill cuttings from the bottom of the well. A separate hydraulic fluid system is used to push the drilling assembly forward using fluid pressure from the surface.
The development of RDM started in 2004 and has since then been through several full scale operations in Norway. In 2009 RDM was successfully used to directional drill the 8 ½" section of a land well. The proof of concept and the practical application on conventional drilling rigs has been verified, as well as the features of the system, such as:
Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) – Unique isolation using a new downhole valve solution.
Very precise well pressure management and flow control (gain/loss).
Efficient hole cleaning and cutting removal from wellbore
Efficient hydraulic traction and WOB control.
The RDM is currently planned to be used for drilling horizontal wells in Canada. The potential to increase the reach for horizontal wells is here further discussed.