Directional drilling

Version 2.0.0, May 2005

Paee References Introduction and objectives Resume
Topic I 2 3 4 4.1 4.2 1 Vertical drilling from the vertical of drilling holes assemblies

7/3/3 7/3/4

9 9

Causes of deviation Mechanical Formation Deviation behaviour control

effects on deviation in vertical technique drilling assemblies

The pendulum Packed-hole

12 12 12

Topic 2

Other factors
Applications of directional drilling

13 14

Topic 3
1 2

Well planning
Reference Planning systems and co-ordinates the well trajectory (anti-collision) analysis

20 24




Topic 4 1

Downhole motors Positive displacement


34 39 7/3/41 41 43 46
7/3/52 52

Topic 5 1

Deflection toots and techniques Whipstocks

3 Topic 6 I 2 3
Topic 7 1 2 2.1 2.2 2.3

Downhole motor and bent sub Toot face orientation Deviated well geometry Constructing vector triangles Setting the toolface
Directional control with conventional rotary systems


61 62 62

Side force and tilt angle Basic directional The fulcrum The pendulum The stabilisation control principle (packed-hole) principle principle principles

66 68


Summary and recommended


Over /...

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4 5

Effect of bit type on the directional behaviour of rotary assemblies
Stiffness ofdrill collars The effects of formation on bit trajectory 5.1 General 5.2 The relationship betweendip aangle and deviation force 5.3 The effective dip angle in a deviated hole 5.4 Formation hardness 5.5 Summary
Conventional steerable drilling systems

70 72

74 74 75
77 78 78

Topic 8 1

7/3/79 79
80 80 81 82 82 82

Steerable turbines

2.1 2.2 3

Steerable positive displacement motors
Double tilt assemblies single tilt assemblies Adjustable

Tilt angle and stabiliser

3.1 3.2 3.3

Theoretical geometric dog - leg severity Tilt angle First string stabiliser

4.1 4.2

Kicking off
Bottomhole assemblies Recommended guidelines
Length to drill in oriented mode

83 84 84 86 86
87 87 87 87 88

5.1 5.2 5.3 6 7

Tangent section drilling
Basic assembly Operational Drop sections Azimuth control design principles assembly for tangent section drilling Steerable drilling


89 7/3/90 90 91 93 96 7/3/98 98 99
100 100 102 103 7/3/105 7/3/109 7/3/115

Topic 9

Rotary steerable systems
Operating principles

2 3 4 Topic 10 1

The AuroTrak system The PowerDrive systems The Geo-Pilot system BHA weight and weight on bit
Along - hole components Required Running 3.2 BHA weight of force for rotary assemblies


drill - pipe in compression of running drill pipe in compression

3.1 Critical buckling force

Appendix Appendix

BHA requirements 1 Mathematical 2 Critical

when the drill - pipe is not rotated solutions forces



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Well Engineers Notebook,
IFP Drilling Data Handbook,

Sections C & L
Sections B &J

Service Companies Cementing


API Bull 5C2: Bulletin on performance properties of casing, tubing, and drill pipe API Spec 5D: Specification for drill pipe API Spec 7 Specification for rotary drill stem elements API RP 7G Recommended practice for drill stem design and operating limits

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Directional drilling is the science of directing intersect a designated sub-surface target.
From its early beginnings drilling industry is founded in directional in the 1920s on directional drilling

a wellbore along a predetermined

trajectory to

when it was regarded drilling. Without

as a "black

art", directional drilling in produc-

drilling has evolved to the point where it can truly be regarded as a science. The offshore
the use of directional with advances


it would not be economical to produce oil from most offshore fields.
tools and techniques coupled

tion techniques have led to a steady increase in the proportion of wells drilled directionally rather than vertically. As the search for oil extends into ever more hostile and demanding environments, this trend is continuing. While studying this Parr there are some terms with which you need to be familiar concerning
the geometry of a borehole. These are inclination, and explained azimuth, dogleg angle and dogleg severity. They are fully defined, illustrated in the "Borehole surveying" Part of this

Section, which you should refer to beforecontinuing further.

After studying this Part, consulting other relevant documents and, if necessary, discussions with your mentor, you will be able to:
• List the main causes of deviation from the vertical.

• •

Describe the principal mechanical forces which act on a drilling assembly.
Explain Describe what is meant the influences by the "pendulum of formation effect"and of formation dip angle on the trajec-


tory of the drill bit. • • Explain how to design a BHA to drill a vertical hole in a formation drilling. of given hardness.

List and explain

at least six applications

of directional

Describe the general aspects involved in well planning.
Explain the terms "measured depth", "true vertical depth", "inclination" and "azimuth",

"true North", • • Explain Describe



and "grid North". are used. well patterns and list the applications and dis-

why grid coordinate the main features


of the common

advantagesof each. • • Explain Calculate what is meant trajectories by "nudging" for basic "Build and why it is done. and hold" and "S type" well patterns (2-d well paths)

using radiusof curvaturecalculations.

Describe the two basic types of downhole motor and give a simple explanation of the operating principles of each.
Explain what is meant by "multi-Lobe" PDM motors.

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the relationships



and differential


and between

flow rate

and RPM.
• Explain drilling. what is meant by "reactive torque" and the importance of this in directional

• • • • •
• •

List the main advantages and disadvantages motors.

of both turbines and positive displacement of each.

List the main deflection tools available and state the advantages and disadvantages Explain the basic concept of the jet deflection method.

Explain the basic concept of using a downhole motor and bent sub as a deflection tool. Specify a typical motor and bent sub BILA.
Explain Explain what is meant by the "toolface" torque of a deflection of a motor tool. and how to

what effect the reactive for this. the advantages

has on the tool face setting

compensate •

List and explain

of a PDM motor

over a turbine

when used with a bent

sub as a deflection tool.
• Define and explain the terms "Tool Face Orientation", "High Side Tool Face", and


Tool Face".

Using rules of thumb, select the required tool face settings to achieve any desired result with a deflection tool..
Explain the terms "dogleg" and "dogleg severity" and calculate their values in specific

cases. • •
• •

Determine tool face orientation and predict the results obtained by drilling ahead with thecalculated TFO, usinga vector analysis method. List the main factors which affect the directional
Explain the Fulcrum, Stabilisation and Pendulum

behaviour of rotary assemblies.
principles. assembly and explain the effect

List six factors which

affect the rate of build

of a fulcrum

which eachhas.
• Explain the effect of varying assembly. the drilling parameters (WOB, RPM, etc) on the build rate

of a fulcrum

Explain the effect of varying the gauge of the first string stabiliser on the directional behaviour of a packed assembly.
Explain the effect of varying the drilling parameters on the directional behaviour of a

packed assembly.
• • List and explain Explain the optimum design WOB features of a pendulum assembly.

the effect of varying

and rotary speed on the drop rate of a pendulum

• Design a suitable rotary BHA for any given application, including the exact placement

and gauge • Explain

of all stabilisers. affect the stiffness of drill collars.

the factors which

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• •

Explain Explain

what is meant

by the term "steerable



the use of the offset stabiliser

in steerable


• • • •

List the components of both the double tilt assembly and the adjustable kick-off assembly and explain the function of each component. Explain the concept of "three-point geometry" and calculate the "Theoretical Geometric Dogleg Severity" (TGDS) of a Navigation System. List the main design features of both stabilisers used with steerable motor systems and
explaintheir purpose.

Explain the criterion used in selecting the gauge of the first string stabiliser and select an
appropriate gauge for a given application. bottomhole assembly incorporating a steerable mud motor for any given


a suitable

application. • Explain the guidelines to be followed when kicking off with a steerable mud motor.

Explain the guidelines section.

to be followed for drilling a tangent section and for drilling a drop

Listand explainthe generalconsiderations involvedin selecting the length and total

weight (in air) of the bottomhole
• Calculate given • • Explain Explain the required air weight desired

of BHA to avoid running drill pipe in compression,

the maximum

WOB, under

the hole inclination

and the mud weight.

the circumstances what is meant


drill pipe may be run in compression. load" and calculate values of critical buckling

by "critical

buckling data.

force for drill pipe, given the necessary • Explain in general terms

the effect of drill string


on BHA weight


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This Part covers the reasons

why directional


may be required,

the geometrical


of a well to reach a specified objective, and all the tools and techniques used in normal directional drilling, including the use of steerable systems.
The first Topic deviation looks at how a vertical well can be maintained as are the mechanical close to the vertical. behaviour of drilling Causes of assem-

from the vertical

are considered

blies. Formation effects are also discussed. Methods of deviation control in vertical wells are then outlined. Much of the material in this first section anticipates topics discussed in later
sections Topic with reference to directional wells. of directional drilling.

2 briefly outlines

some of the many applications

Topic 3 covers well planning and includes an explanation of reference systems and coordinates. The discussion focusses mainly on the geometrical and collision are describedplanning of the well path and deals briefly with subjects In Topic 4, downhole such as "nudging" drilling motors avoidance. The operating principles of both turbine

and positive displacement

motors are explained.

The major sub-assemblies

of both types are

describedand their functions explained; typical output characteristics are given.

Topic 5 provides a brief review of the traditional tools and methods of deflecting wellbores in a controlled fashion. Whipstocks, the jet deflection method and the use of bent subs with downhole motors are all described.
Topic 6 deals with the vital subject of toolface orientation, which is relevant not only to the


deflection toots but also to steerable motors. Typical examples of rotary BHA design are given and

In Topic 7 the principles used to take advantage of the natural directional tendencies of rotary

assemblies are discussed in detail.
explained. Topics 8 and 9 provide a detailed


of "steerable


The currently

most com-

mon system - using downhole motors - is described in detail, newly developed rotary steerable systems are presented

and three examples of the

Finally, Topic 10 deals with BHA weight requirements. There is a discussion of buckling analysis which is relevant to the subject of running drill pipe in compression. The section
explains how directional BHAs can be shortened anti-stick by running drill pipe in compression, which is consistent with the Group's philosophy.

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Drilling a vertical deviated well. well is, in fact, a special case of drilling a directionally

In the normal course of drilling all wells will depart naturally from the vertical. Whether they are spiralling or deviating away in a particular dirention, this is not a problem until it can be seen that there is a risk of missing the target that has been specified in the drilling programme. If that happens the techniques of directing the trajectory in a chosen direction have to be applied to ensure that the target is achieved. For that to be done it is necessary to know the reasons why a drilling assembly does not just continue in a straight line.

The factors which affect the tendency of a drilling assembly to drill in a direction other than the existing axis of the well remain the same whether the deviation is an unwanted problem, or the deviation is deliberate. There will in general be a tendency for the inclination of the hole to increase if : • • a more flexible drilling increased weight assembly is used.

is applied

to the bit.

The formation being drilled will also exert an influence on the direction in which the hole will tend to deviate. A homogeneous formation will have little effect, a bedded (or unhomogeneous) formation will have some effect and alternating layers of rocks having different hardnesses will have the most effect. The direction in which the well will tend to deviate from its current track will depend on the relative inclinations of the borehole and the formation.

of the bottom along the drill hole

The principal mechanical forces acting on the lower section assembly are shown in Figure 7.3.1, overleaf. W1, W2 and W3 are arise from the axial forces transmitted

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collars from the upper part of the bottom hole assembly the drill string.

and the remainder


W1 = the total weight -on-bit, which acts along the axis of the bit. W2 = the component of


acts along the axis of the hole. and normal to W2, acting at

W3 = the component of W1, complementary right angles to the hole axis.

If the BHA and the hole are co - axial then W1 = W2 and W3 = 0. In that case it will not produce a tendency to deviate . However in practice the BHA will bend until one or another component touches the borehole wall. In this situation the axes of borehole and bit are not coincident and W3 will have a nonzero value producing a tendency for the inclination of the hole to change. Since it is due to the bending of the assembly this effect is known as the "buckling effect ". For more details of this effect see overleaf. The forces W4, W5 and W6 are due to gravity BHA, below the wall contact point. W4 = the vertical downward wall contact point. acting on the lower part of the of the section below the

force, i.e. the weight

W5 = the component of the drill collar weight axis of the assembly, and
contributes weight-on-bit, to the W1. total Drill collar

W4 which acts along the
Well contact i /

Hole axis

W6 = the component of W4 normal to
the axis of the assembly. The force W6 at the centre of gravity of

axis I/ /i

the part of the BHA below the wall
contact point is equivalent to a force at the bit plus a force at the contact point. The force at the bit acts on the low side of the hole and produces a tendency for the inclination to decrease. Since it is due to a force towards the vertical this effect is known as the "pendulum effect".


Effective drill string length

/ I/ l' W





When weight is applied to the bit the lower part of the drill collars will bend to some extent under the compressive load. The direction of the force applied at the bit will then no longer coincide exactly with the centre line of the hole; as the bit drills ahead the lateral component of the bit weight, W3, will tend to deflect it.


Figure 7.3.1: Mechanical
forces at the bit

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The direction

of W3 depends

on the direction

of bending

of the lowest part of

the bottom hole assembly, which in turn depends system - in particular the position of the lowest fulcrums). In the figure no stabiliser is present, the lower side of the hole and the inclination at greater than that of the hole. The inclination of increase. The amount of inclination will depend on: • • • • the and the the the change,

on the geometry of the two stabilisers (which act as the BHA is sagging towards the lower end of the collars is the hole is thus likely to

and the position

of the wall contact


stiffness of the drill collars, which is a function material properties hole diameter arrangement of stabilisers in the assembly compressive load applied and the corresponding lateral

of their dimensions

Bending, • • •

force at the bit, W3, is increased and the hole.


greater clearance between the drill collar assembly smaller, more flexible drill collars. more compressive force, i.e. weight-on-bit.

As bending increases, the length of the assembly from the bit to the first point of drill collar wall contact tends to shorten. This is called the "active drill collar length", and in practice the position of the first stabiliser determines this dimension. Usually not more than the bottom 50 in (150 ft.) of the assembly is active in the absence of stabilisers; or at high inclination or with high bit weight, it could be less than 20 in (60 ft.).



The effect of gravity on the drill collars below the wall contact point acts vertically downward. Part of this force is transmitted to the bit along the axis of the drill collars, and its complementary component, W6, acts towards the vertical, perpendicular to the axis of the assembly. This force is transmitted the formation at the wall contact point and at the bit (see diagram). This lateral force at the bit tends magnitude increases: • • • to reduce the inclination of the hole. Its to

when hole inclination is greater. when heavier drill collars are used below the contact when the active drill string length is increased.


In Figure 7.3.1 each of the above factors will tend to increase the value of the lateral component (W6) of the drill collar weight (W4) below the wall contact point.


the make-up of an assembly and altering the drilling parameters to vary the magnitude of the lateral forces at the bit, thus

By changing it is possible

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directly influencing the tendency of the hole in a vertical plane.

of the bit to deviate

from the existing


Formation characteristics add considerably to the complexity of deviation problems, and numerous theories have been suggested to explain observed effects. One is presented alongside in the4 box In uniform rocks, equal chip volumes are formed on each side of a bit tooth, and the bit drills straight ahead. However, in dipping laminated formations, larger chip volumes are formed on one side of the tooth, causing the bit to be pushed laterally, with resultant deviation. The magnitude of this effect varies with the degree of dip angle. Normally the direction of deviation generated is updip for angles of dip up to 45° - 60° and down-dip for high angles of formation dip (over 60°).

There is no completely satisfactory explanation for naturally occurring deviation. However, theory and practice indicate that uncontrolled deviation will not exceed an angle perpendicular to, or parallel to, the formation dip.

The overall objective in a vertical well is to achieve the most economical cost per unit length, consistent with keeping the inclination (among other important factors) within acceptable limits. This means it is necessary to select a drilling assembly that will produce an equilibrium of the deviating forces at the bit, while allowing the maximum weight-on-bit and therefore the optimum drilling speed. The two methods are: • • 4.1 commonly employed to control inclination in vertical holes

the pendulum technique. the use of packed-hole drilling THE PENDULUM TECHNIQUE


Factors which determine towards vertical are: • • •

the magnitude

of the force bringing

the well back

the drill collar weight below the wall contact the active drill string length. weight-on-bit.


The use of heavier drill collars above the bit increases the lateral corrective force (W6). Larger collars are also stiffer and more resistant to buckling, and their larger outside diameter allows less displacement of the assembly from the centre line of the hole.

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The logic of this approach has been clearly demonstrated by experimental work using extra-heavy drill collars above the bit, which are manufactured from depleted uranium or tungsten. With these collars, higher bit weights could be used without increasing inclination. Raising the wall contact point by including a stabiliser at a specified distance above the bit increases the active drill string length, and also therefore the lateral force (W6). This will again reduce the displacement of the drill collars from the axis of the hole, and the lateral force (W3). This approach is limited by the possibility of buckling below the stabiliser if this is placed too high, which would then necessitate a reduction in bit weight. Reducing bit weight alone will cause less buckling and decrease the lateral force W3, but less weight-on-bit will produce a lower rate of penetration and higher cost per meter. In 1953/1955 Woods and Lubinski published data with recommended optimum stabiliser positions for the fastest penetration rate within given deviation limits. For quoted hole sizes and inclinations, combined with values for formation dip and an index which represents the severity of the formation effect, the tables specify: • • • drill collar diameter, position of the first stabiliser allowable weight-on-bit, above the bit, of the forces at the bit,

all for a condition of zero lateral and no change in inclination.

force, i.e. equilibrium

Modern developments of such research provide computer programs which evaluate a comprehensive range of forces acting at the bit and at other points in the assembly. In particular the magnitude of the transverse forces exerted by the bit on the formation, perpendicular to the hole axis, can be predicted. A positive transverse force tends to increase inclination. The value of this force, and the tendency of the formation influence, together determine whether existing inclination will remain constant or change. Such predictions can be very helpful when selecting a drilling assembly, both to control inclination and obtain the best possible progress. Further information on this subject is given in Topic 7.



This technique seeks to prevent further deviation by preventing displacement of the lower 120 ft/40 in of the assembly from the centre line of the hole. Progressive application of the principle would involve: • • • the use of drill collars with the largest practicable outside diameter. using three or more stabilisers. using square drill collars (the maximum development of the first two points) having a diagonal dimension equal to 1/16" or 1/8" less than the bit size.

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Square drill collars are effective in hard rock when natural deviating effects are severe, but they can be difficult to trip, are liable to stick, and are difficult to fish. They also have to be used from the beginning. Packed-hole assemblies minimise trends to deviate from the current track, but equally they make it difficult to correct any unwanted deviation that does occur. In addition the decreased annular clearance and increased number of stabilisers substantially increase swabbing risks, overpulls, and the chances of sticking the string. Also, extra handling time is involved on the rig floor.

The factors already mentioned include the composition of the bottom hole assembly, the weight on bit, and formation effects. Varying the other drilling conditions, particularly rotary speed and bit hydraulics, may also influence the behaviour of the assembly. Such effects are difficult to predict or quantify, but in general terms, if more hole is made due to increased RPM or bit hydraulics, then the same magnitude of directional deflection will be achieved by the bit over a longer drilled interval. Therefore the rate of inclination change (dogleg severity) will be reduced. Conversely, reducing the rate of penetration by using less rotary speed or hydraulics will tend to increase the deviation rate. When it is essential to keep the inclination of a vertical limits, and the techniques described are not sufficiently alternative remaining is to employ corrective directional hole within tight effective, the only drilling methods.

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The following text and sketches directional drilling.


the most common



Multiple wells from offshore structures
A very common application of directional drilling techniques is in offshore drilling. Many oil and gas deposits in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea and other areas are situated beyond the reach of land based rigs. To drill a large number of vertical wells from individual platforms is obviously impractical and would be uneconomical. The conventional approach for a large oilfield has been to install a fixed platform on the seabed, from which many directional wells may be drilled. The bottomhole locations of these wells can be carefully
spaced for optimum recovery.

In a conventional development, the wells cannot be drilled until the platform has been constructed and installed in position. This may mean a delay of two to three years before production can begin. This delay can be considerably reduced by pre-drilling some of the wells through a subsea template while the platform is being constructed. These wells are directionally drilled from a semi-submersible rig or jack-up and tied back to the platform once it has been installed.


Figure 7 .3.2: Multiple wells from offshore structures

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Controlling Vertical Wells
Directional techniques are used to straighten crooked holes. In other words, when deviation occurs in a well which is supposed to be vertical, various techniques are used to bring the well back to vertical. This was one of the earliest applications of directional drilling.

Original hole

Originalhole Sitlelrack Sidetrack I

Figure 7.3.3 : Controlling vertical wells

Sidetracking out of an existing wellbore is another application of directional drilling. This sidetracking may be done to bypass an obstruction (a "fish") in the original wellbore, to explore the extent of the producing zone in a certain sector of a field, or to sidetrack a dry hole to a more promising target. Wells are also sidetracked to access more reservoir by drilling a horizontal hole section from the existing well bore.

Originalt] %well path Correcle o well path

Figure 7 .3.4 : Sidetracking

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Inaccessible locations
Directional wells are often drilled because the surface location directly above the reservoir is inaccessible, either because of natural or man-made obstacles. Examples include reservoirs under cities, mountains, lakes etc.

Figure 7.3.5 : Inaccessible locations

Fault Drilling
Directional wells can be used to avoid drilling a vertical well through steeply inclined fault plane which could slip and shear the casing. They are also used to drain, tions trapped below a fault. a

in one well, a staggered series of small accumulaThis technique is known as "fault scooping".


Figure 7.3 .6 : Fault drilling

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Salt Dome Drilling
Directional drilling programs are sometimes used to overcome the problems of salt dome drilling. Instead of drilling through the salt, the well is drilled at one side of the dome and is then deviated around and underneath the overhanging cap.

Figure 7.3.7 : Salt dome drilling

Shoreline Drilling.
In the case where a reservoir lies offshore but quite close to land, the most economical way to exploit the reservoir may be to drill directional wells from a land rig on the coast.

Figure 7.3 .8: Shoreline drilling

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Relief Wells
Directional techniques are used to drill relief wells from a safe distance order to "kill" wells which are flowing out of control (blow-outs). in

The relief well(s) is/are designed either to enter the reservoir close to the blow-out well, for a so-called saturation kill with water, or to intersect the blow-out well for a direct kill using high density drilling fluid.

Figure 7.3.9 : Relief wells

The above are only some of the many applications of directional drilling. Although it is not a new concept, horizontal drilling is the fastest growing branch of directional drilling, with major advances occurring in the tools and techniques used. One application which is specific to horizontal (and almost horizontal) wells is to drill through a shallow reservoir parallel to the bedding plane, thus allowing one well to drain an area which would have required several vertical or medium angle wells. Horizontal wells also make possible the recovery of liquid hydrocarbons from an interval between an oil-water contact and a gas-oil contact that is so thin that it could not be produced at all from a vertical well, because of the coning effect.

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There are many aspects involved in planning a well and many individuals from various companies and disciplines are involved in designing various programs for the well (e.g. drilling fluid program, casing program, drill string design for each section, bit program, etc.). The engineered approach to well planning means that service contractors become equally involved in areas such as drill string design which are vitally important in planning a deviated well, especially horizontal or extended wells. In this Topic we shall concentrate on those aspects of well planning have always been the province of directional drilling companies. which

With the measure measured systems reference • • • exception of Inertial Navigation Systems, all survey systems inclination and azimuth at particular measured depths (depths "along hole"). These measurements must be tied to fixed reference so that the borehole course may be calculated and recorded. The systems used are:

Depth references Inclination references Azimuth references

There •

are two kinds of depths: Measured depth measured along ence point to the way, for example, depth counter. or the depth "along hole" (ahd) is the distance the actual course of the borehole from the surface refersurvey point. This depth is always measured in some pipe tally, wireline depth counter, or mud loggers

True vertical depth (tvd) is the vertical distance from the surface reference point to a point on the borehole course. This depth is always calculated from the deviation survey data. operations the Rotary Table or Derrick Floor elevation is used

In most drilling

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as the working depth reference. The abbreviations "brt" (below rotary table) and "bdf" (below derrick floor) are used to indicate depths measured from the rotary table. The kelly bushing (KB) is sometimes also used as a depth reference. For floating drilling rigs the rotary table elevation is not fixed and hence a mean rotary table elevation has to be used. In order to compare individual wells within the same field, a common reference must be defined and always referred to. Offshore, mean sea level is usually used, in which case the depth is called a sub-sea depth. Variations in actual sea level from MSL can be read from tide tables or can be measured. As an example, the drilling crew would usually refer to the depth of a casing shoe as being 1,000 in ahbdf, whereas the field development geologist would prefer to relate it to a formation boundary and would say that the casing is at 700 in tvss. (There is no significance in these numbers.)



The inclination of a well is the angle (usually expressed in degrees) between the vertical and the bore hole axis at a particular point. The vertical reference is the direction of the local gravity vector and would be indicated by, for example, a plumb bob.


surveying there are three azimuth reference systems:

For directional • • •

Magnetic North True (Geographic) Grid North


All "magnetic type" tools initially give an azimuth (hole direction) reading referenced to Magnetic North. However, the final calculated co-ordinates are always referenced to either True North or Grid North. True (Geographic) North This is the direction of the geographic North Pole which lies on the axis of rotation of the Earth. The direction is shown on maps by the meridians of longitude.

Grid North
During drilling operations we are working on a curved surface (i.e., the surface of the Earth) but when we calculate horizontal plane co-ordinates we assume we are working on flat surface. Obviously it is not possible exactly to represent part of the surface of a sphere on a flat well plan. Corrections have to be applied to the measurements. There are many different projection systems which can be used.

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UTM System As an example of a grid system, let us examine the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) System. In the transverse mercator projection, the surface of the spheroid chosen to represent the Earth is wrapped in a cylinder which touches the spheroid along a chosen meridian. (A meridian is a circle running around the Earth passing through both geographic North and geographic South Poles.) The meridians of longitude converge towards the North Pole and therefore do not produce a rectangular grid system. The grid lines on a map form a rectangular grid system, the Northerly direction of which is determined by one specified meridian of longiTrue NØ tude. This direction is called








Grid North. It is identical to
True North meridian. only for the central



The relationship between True North and Grid North is indicated by the angles `a' in Figure 7.3.10. Convergence is the difference in angle between grid north and true north for the location being considered. The reference meridians used are 6° apart starting at the
Greenwich meridian, which

Figure 7.3.10 : Azimuth references

means the world is divided into 60 zones. The zones are numbered 0 to 60 with zone 31 having the 0° meridian (Greenwich) on the left and 6° East on the right. Each zone is further divided into grid sectors - a grid sector covering 8° latitude starting from the equator and ranging from 80° South to 80° North. The sectors are given letters ranging from C to X (excluding I and 0). Therefore each sector is uniquely identified by a number from 0 to 60 (zone number) and a letter. For example, sector 31 U, shown in Figure 7.3.11, is the Southern North Sea. Co-ordinates in the UTM system are measured in meters. North co-ordinates are measured from the equator. For the Northern hemisphere, the equator is taken as 0.00 in North whereas for the Southern hemisphere the equator is 10,000,000 in North (to avoid negative numbers). The East co-ordinates for each sector are measured from a line 500,000 in west of the central meridian for that sector. In other words, the central meridian for each zone is arbitrarily given the co-ordinate 500,000 in East. Again, this avoids negative numbers. So UTM co-ordinates are always Northings positive numbers. See Figure 7.3.12. and Eastings, and are always

Page 7 /3/22

WDLP - Directional drilling


DEG W DEG E 24 18 12 6 0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 V 56 U 48

Figure 7 .3.11 : UTM sector 31 U

Figure 7 .3.12 : UTM co-ordinates
Grid North 0


40 DEGN 32 24

Central Meridian
















. . N

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



500,000m E

. . . . .

To the Equator








An alternative projection system used in some parts of the world is the conical projection or LAMBERT system, whereby a cone as opposed to a cylinder covers the spheroid under consideration. This produces a representation with meridians as convergent lines and parallels as arcs of circles. Further discussion of the co-ordinate beyond the scope of this text. systems and map projections is



Although the co-ordinates of points on a well path could be expressed as UTM co-ordinates, it is not the normal practice. Instead, a reference point on the platform or rig is chosen as the local origin and given the co-ordinates 0,0. On offshore platforms this point is usually the centre of the platform. The Northings and Eastings of points on all the wells drilled from the platform are referenced to this single origin. This is important for comparing positions of wells, in particular for anti-collision analysis.



950 0 10 2o

Survey tools measure the direction of the wellbore on the horizontal plane with respect to the North reference, whether it is True or Grid North. There are two systems used for reporting the direction: • The azimuth system



41 a




In the azimuth system, directions are expressed as a clockwise angle from 0° to 359.99°, with North being 0°.



0K! Dy[ W



Figure 7.3.13

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Page 7/3/23

The quadrant

20 p 10

0 1o

Figure 7.3.14

In the quadrant system (Figure 7.3.14), the directions are expressed as angles from 0°- 90° measured from North in the two Northern quadrants and from South in the Southern quadrants. Figure 7.3.15 shows how to convert from the quadrant system to azimuth, and vice versa, and also shows how to apply the correction from Magnetic to True North in the two systems. The subjects of Magnetic Declination Corrections and Grid Convergence Corrections will be dealt with in detail later, in the Part on surveying.







Figure 7.3.15

N Zo 10 0 10 20

Ø 350 0

10 20



g gE
o per'

One area of well planning in which directional companies are often closely OA OE OST O61 OZ involved is the planning of the well O! 0 or S trajectory. Again, this is not as simple a task as it might seem at first glance, particularly on a congested multi-well platform. A number of aspects carefully considered before calculating the final well path.

must be



The target is specified by the geologist, who will not merely define a certain point as the target but also specify the acceptable tolerance (e.g. a circle of radius 100 feet having the exact target as its centre). A target zone should be selected as large as possible to achieve the objective. If multiple zones are to be penetrated, the multiple targets should be selected so that the planned well trajectory is reasonable and can be achieved without causing excessive drilling problems.



With the advent of steerable systems, some wells are planned and drilled with complex paths involving 3-dimensional turns. This happens particularly in the case of re-drills, where old wells are sidetracked and drilled to completely new targets. These complex well paths are, however, harder to drill and the old adage that "the simplest method is usually the best" holds true. Therefore, most directional wells are still planned using the traditional well trajectories which

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have been in use for many years. The common trajectories used for the vertical projection are shown on this and the following pages. A mathematical treatment is given in Appendix 1.
Figure 7 .3.16 : Build& hold trajectory

Build and Hold
The features of this trajectory are:

Shallow kick-off point (KOP)
Build-up section (which may have more than one build-up


section are:

to TD

Its applications • •

Deep wells with large horizontal displacements. Moderately deep wells with moderate horizontal displacement, where intermediate casing is not required.


S Type Well
The features of this trajectory are:

Figure 7 .3.17 : S-shape trajectory

• • •

Shallow KOP
Build-up section Tangent section Drop-off section variations:

There are several vertical

• Build, hold and drop back to • Build, hold, drop and hold (illus• tratedhere) Build, hold and continuous through reservoir are: drop


Its applications • • • • •

Multiple pay zones. To reduce final angle in reservoir for easier completions. Lease or target limitations. For well spacing requirements on multi-well fields. Deep wells with a small horizontal displacement. of the S-Type well are: torque and drag. risk of key-seating.


The disadvantages • • Increased Increased

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It may give logging problems due to increased maximum inclination.

Figure 7.3.18 : Deep kick-off and build trajectory

Deep Kick-off and Build
The features of this trajectory are:

• Deep KOP
• • Build-up section Short tangent section are: (optional)

Its applications • • •

Appraisal wells to assess the extent of a newly discovered reservoir. Repositioning of the bottom part of the hole or re-drilling. Salt dome drilling.

The disadvantages of the Deep Kick-off and Build-Type well are: • • Formations
tion may

are harder
be more

so the initial
to achieve.



It is more difficult to achieve desired tool face orientation with steerable motor assemblies due to a longer more flexible string, more friction and more reactive torque (see Topic 5.3). Longer trip time for any BHA changes required. On multi-well platforms, only a very few wells may be given deep kickoff points because of the small separation of the slots and the difficulty of keeping wells vertical in firmer formation. Most wells must be given shallow kick-off points to reduce congestion below the platform and minimise the risk of collisions.

• •

Catenary curve well plan
It has been suggested that an efficient well path for many directional wells would be to plan the well as a catenary curve all the way from KOP to target; the so-called catenary method. A catenary is the natural shape that a cable, chain or any other line of uniform mass per unit length assumes when suspended between two points. The similar suspension of a drill string would also form a catenary. Proponents of the catenary method argue that it results in a smoother drilled wellbore, that drag and torque are reduced and that there is less chance of key seating and differential sticking than with traditional well profiles. However, in practice it is hard to pick BHAs which will continuously give the required gradual rate of build, so it is in reality no easier to follow a catenary curve well plan than a traditional well plan. Also, the catenary curve method produces a much higher maximum inclination than would result from the build and hold or S type patterns.

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Even this is not always as simple as you would think. Obviously, from a directional driller's viewpoint, slots on the North East of the platform or pad should be used for wells whose targets are in a North Easterly direction. However, there are generally other considerations (e.g. water injection wells may have to be grouped together for manifolding requirements). Also, as more wells are drilled and the reservoir model is upgraded, it has been known for targets to be changed! The inner slots are used to drill to the innermost targets (i.e., those targets at the smallest horizontal distances from the platform) and these wells will be given slightly deeper kick-off points. The outer slots are used to drill to the targets which are furthest from the platform. These wells will be given shallow kick-off points and higher build-up rates to keep the maximum inclination of the well as low as possible.



The selection of both the kick-off point and the build-up rate depend on many factors including the hole profile selected, the casing program, the drilling fluid program, the required horizontal displacement and the maximum tolerable inclination. Choice of kick-off point may be severely limited by the requirement to keep the well path at a safe distance from existing wells. The shallower the KOP and the higher the build-up rate used, the lower the maximum inclination to reach a given target. In practice, the well trajectory may be calculated for several choices of KOP and build-up rate and the results compared. The optimum choice is that which gives a safe clearance from all existing wells, keeps the maximum inclination within desired limits and avoids unnecessarily high dogleg severities.



During the eighties, a number of extended reach drilling projects were successfully completed. If wells are drilled at inclinations up to 80°, the area which can be covered from a single platform is approximately 8 times that covered if the maximum inclination of the wells is limited to 60°. However, inclination angles over 65° may result in excessive torque and drag on the drill string and present hole cleaning, logging, casing, cementing and production problems. These problems can all be overcome with today's technology, but should be avoided whenever there is an economic alternative. Experience over the years has been that directional control problems are aggravated when the tangent inclination is less than 15°. This is because there is more tendency for bit walk to occur (i.e. change in azimuth) so more time is spent keeping the well on course. To summarise, most run-of-the-mill directional wells are still planned with inclinations in the range 15° - 60° whenever possible.

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ease of It is in the spent

On S-type wells, the rate of drop off is selected mainly with regard to running casing and avoidance of completion and production problems. much less critical with regard to drilling because there is less tension drill pipe that is run through this deeper dogleg and less time will be rotating below the dogleg.



On many well plans, the horizontal projection is just a straight line drawn from the wellhead position to the target. On multi-well platforms it is sometimes necessary to start the well in a different direction to avoid other wells. Once clear of these, the well is turned to aim at the target. Of course, this is a 3-dimensional turn, but on the horizontal plan it would typically look like

Figure 7.3.19.
The path of the drilled well is plotted on the horizontal projection total North/South co-ordinates (Northings) versus total East/West nates (Eastings). These co-ordinates are calculated from surveys. 2.8 LEAD ANGLE by plotting co-ordi-

In the old days (pre 1985) it was normal practice to allow a "lead angle" when kicking off a well. Since roller cone bits used with rotary assemblies tend to "walk to the right", the wells were generally kicked off in a direction several degrees to the left of the target direction. In extreme cases the lead angles could be as large as 20°. The greatly increased use of steerable motors and the widespread use of PDC bits for rotary drilling have drastically reduced the need for wells to be given a "lead angle". Most wells today are deliberately kicked off with no lead angle (i.e. in the target direction).

The technique of "nudging" is used on platforms in order to "spread out" conductors and surface casings and thereby minimise the chance of a collision when wells are drilled. Basically, when the hole for surface casing is drilled, some angle is built at a low rate (e.g. 1°/100') in the chosen direction. As well as the basic reason "nudging" are: • • • of "spreading things out", other reasons for

to drill from a slot located on the opposite side of the platform target, when there are other wells in between to keep wells drilled in the same general direction as far apart

from the as possible

if the required horizontal displacement of a well is large compared to the total vertical depth, then it is necessary to build angle right below the surface conductor to avoid having to use a high rate of build later

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(Structure Field Platform 5 - JRG Field 5 - JRG Location

North Sea

East -->

I e



s.. I

East -->
Figure 7.3.19 : A three-dimensional turn on the horizontal plan

• •

When the formation is suitable (soft), jetting is the best technique to use.

The most common method is to use a mud motor of 91/2" OD or greater with a 171/2" bit and a 11/2° bent sub. Using a 11/2° bent sub gives a low build rate and hence a low dogleg severity as required. The hole is opened out to the required gauge after the mud motor run. Occasionally the job is performed with a large mud motor and 26" bit from the start. In this case either a 11/2°or 2° bent sub might be used.



The directions in which the wells are "nudged" should be chosen so as to achieve maximum separation. The wells will not necessarily be nudged in their target directions.

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The nudges will not only be shown on the individual well plans for each well, but also a structure plot will be drawn which will show the well positions at the surface casing point after the nudge.

On multi-well projects, particularly offshore, there is only a small distance between slots. In order to eliminate the risk of collisions directly beneath the platform, a proposed well path is compared to existing and other proposed wells. The distances between other wells and the proposal are calculated at frequent depth intervals in the critical section. These calculations can be

performed using the applications


Survey uncertainty must also be computed both for the proposed well and the critical existing wells. All the major operating companies have established criteria for the minimum acceptable separation of wells, which are usually linked to "cone of error" or "ellipse of uncertainty" calculations.



of well plans are shown on the following


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5 -



Field 5 -





East -->


L -ST i :N

Figure 7.3.20: Typical directional well plan showing both vertical and horizontal projections

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Page 7/3/31

''Structure Field

PleHor m 5 -JRG Field 5 - JRG




North Sea

- - - -



Figure 7.3.21 : Well plan of a complex re-drill performed with a DTU steerable motor system

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Structure Field

Platform 5 - JRG Field 5 - JRG






East -->
Figure 7.3.22: Example of surface plan view of wells drilled from an offshore platform

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The idea of using a downhole motor to directly turn the bit is not a new one. Indeed, the first commercial motor used was turbine driven. The first patent for a turbo-

drill existed in 1873. The USSR focused
efforts in developing downhole motors as far back as the 1920s and has continued to use motors extensively in their drilling activity. After 1945, the West focused efforts more on rotary drilling but the field of application for downhole motors increased spectacularly from about 1980 onwards.


The turbine consists of a multistage vane type rotor and stator section, a bearing section, a drive shaft and a bit rotating sub. Each stage consists of a rotor and stator of Figure7.3.23 identical profile. The stators are stationary, Differences between the turbine motor (left) and positive displacement motor locked to the turbine body, and deflect the (right) designs flow of drilling fluid onto the rotors which are locked to the drive shaft. The rotors are forced to turn; the drive shaft is thus forced to turn, causing the bit sub and the bit to rotate. A positive displacement motor is a hydraulically uses the Moineau principle to drive the drilling

driven downhole motor that bit, independent of drill string

The PDM is made up of several • • • • The by-pass The universal The bearing sections:

valve or dump valve (optional). joint or connecting rod section.

The motor section. section with drive sub.

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A by-pass valve allows drilling fluid to fill the drill string while tripping in the hole and drain while tripping out. While the drilling fluid is being pumped, the valve closes so that it passes through the motor. Most valves are of a spring piston type which closes under pressure to seal off ports to the annulus. When there is no downward pressure, the spring forces the piston up so the fluid can channel through the ports to the annulus. (Figure 7.3.24) 1.2 MOTOR SECTION application


Pump OFF

Pump ON



9 i

i i



Figure 7.3.24: BypassValve

This is a reverse

of Rene Moineau's

pump principle.

The motor

Figure 7.3.25 : Motor details

of a stator

steel rotor. The stator is made of an elastomer compound and is moulded inside the outer steel 56 romrl rrar housing. The stator will always have one more lobe than the rotor. Hence motors will be described as

1/2, 3/4, 5/6 or 9/10 motors. The
simplest type has a helical rotor which is continuous and round. This is said to be a single lobe type. Both the rotor and stator have a certain pitch length and the ratio of the pitch lengths is equal to the ratio of the number of lobes on the of lobes on the stator.

rotor to the number

As drilling fluid is pumped through the motor, it fills the cavities between the dissimilar shapes of the rotor and stator. The rotor is forced to give way by turning or, in other words, is displaced; hence the name positive displacement motor. It is the rotation of the rotor shaft which is eventually transmitted to the bit.



Since the rotor is a helix, and is not supported by bearings inside the stator, it does not rotate concentrically - rather it traces a back and forth motion. This

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motion must be converted to concentric motion before being transmitted the bit via the drive sub. This is achieved by a connecting rod assembly. are several possible types.

to There

U-joint assemblies (Figure 7.3.26a) have been conventionally utilised by the industry and are still used in most positive displacement motors presently in the field. The assembly consists of two universal joints, each grease filled and sealed with oil-resistant reinforced rubber sleeves which protect them from drilling fluid contamination. A drawback of the U -joint assembly is that its strength is critical for higher torque applications such as that encountered with recent generations of high torque PDMs, particularly when used with

PDC bits. Flex rod
Another development in connecting rod assembly technology has been the utilisation of flexible steel or titanium flex rods lil Rotor Rotor-

Flex rod



(Figure 7.3.26b ). While, in
general, flex rods are limited by the degree of allowable lateral bending, they have the advantage of low maintenance as they do not require the
use of lubricants or rubber



Figure 7.3.26 : Connecting rods

sleeves as with U-joints. Their utilisation has generally been limited to low offset steerable motors or straight motor applications. One unique approach has been to mount the flex rod inside the hollow rotor of a short, high torque steerable PDM rather than connecting it to the bottom of the rotor. By connecting a long flex rod to the inside of the top end of the rotor and extending the flex rod through the rotor to connect to the top of the drive sub assembly, the overall rate of bend of the flex rod is decreased due to its increased length.



A typical positive displacement motor utilises three sets of bearings attached to the drive shaft. These are two sets of radial bearings ("upper" and "lower") with one set of axial thrust bearings. The axial thrust bearing section supports the hydraulic thrust. It consists of a series of ball the other, each set being contained in its own axial thrust bearings will vary, depending on on and off bottom loading and bearings stacked one on top of race (or groove). The number of the size of the tool.

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The upper and lower radial bearings are lined with elastomers, or with tungsten carbide inserts. The function of these bearings is to support the concentrically rotating drive shaft against lateral loads. The inherent design of the upper radial bearing limits the amount of fluid flow diverted to the annulus to cool and lubricate the bearing package. This diversion of flow
is typically 2 - 10%, depending

Inner rin

Axial pressure bearin

Tungstencarbide bearing inserts

Lower radial bearing housin

on motor and bit pressure Rotating drive su drop. The major portion of the drilling fluid is collected by Radial bearing assembly ports in the drive shaft and exits through the bit. In some Figure 7.3.27 : Bearing sections motors, diamond bearings are being used and may need up to 20% of the flow to be diverted, depending upon conditions. Figure 7.3.27 illustrates typical bearing sections found in


PDMs come in various configurations. As has been mentioned previously, the stator will have one more lobe than the rotor. The first types of PDMs, and the simplest, are 1/2 motors. These generally give medium to low torque output and medium to high speed. Torque output is directly proportional to pressure drop across the motor. The 1/2 motors have good applications in performance drilling with a PDC, diamond, or TSP-type bits. Some shorter models are used for directional purposes. Multi-lobe motors have high torque output and relatively slow speed. They therefore have good applications with roller cone bits and for coring. These motors are also suitable for use with PDC bits, especially the large cutter types which require a good torque output to be efficient. Being fairly short, they also have good directional applications with bent subs as a deflection device. Multi-lobe motors may be constructed with a hollow rotor plus a seat at the top into which either a nozzle or blank can be placed. A nozzle enables high pumping rates to be accommodated by allowing some of the drilling fluid to by-pass the motor section while the entire flow still passes through the bit. Figure

7.3.28 is an illustration

of a multi-lobe

(5/6) positive


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Page 7/3/37


Bypass valve

Torque is directly proportional to the motor differential pressure. This makes the tool very simple to operate. RPM is directly proportional to flow rate, though somewhat affected by torque output. Hydraulic Hydraulic Where power input =





power input = P X Q HP 1,714 : P = the pressure drop across the motor (kPa / psi) = the flow rate (m3/min / Q gals/min) power output =

Universal joint

Mechanical Where


Bearing assembly Drive sub Bit

: T = the torque (Nm / lbs-ft) N = the bit speed (rpm) = Mechanical Hydraulic power output power input

Efficiency 1.7 •

OBSERVATIONS Motor stall will be obvious due to an increase of surface pressure. Motor stalling is best avoided as it erodes the elastomer of the stator and shortens the service life of the motor.
Figure 7.3 .28 : Navi-Drill Mach 1C

• • • • • • •

LCM can be pumped safely, though care should be taken that the material is added slowly and evenly dispersed, and the system is not slugged. Sand content Temperature ture stators in the drilling fluid should be kept to a minimum. 270°F, 130°C, but higher is typically temperaof limits are normally around have been developed.

Pressure drop through 50 - 800 psi.

the tool while working

in the range

Allowable wear on axial bearings upon tool size. The tool should be flushed

is of the order of 1- 8mm , depending prior to laying down.

out with water

In general, drilling fluids of a low aniline point may damage the rubber stator. As a rule, the oil in oil based muds should have an aniline point of at least 150°F (60°C). Usually, this is related to the aromatic content which should be equal to or less than 10%. Contact the local supplier if there is any doubt. If a by-pass nozzle is fitted to a multi-lobe rotor, then it must be sized very

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carefully to allow the motor section to develop the necessary power. Any subsequent variation from the flow for which the nozzle was designed will compromise the motor's performance.



All directional wells require steering during initial kick-offs, correction sidetracks, and re-drills. This is discussed in subsequent Topics.

The turbine • • • is made up of several sections:

The drive stages or motor section. The axial thrust bearing assembly The bit drive sub.

and radial


The drive stages, or motor section, consists of a series of stator and rotor discs of a bladed design. One stator and one rotor together form a stage. Turbines will be referred to as 90 stage, 250 stage, etc. The number of stages will determine the torque generated. Each stage, theoretically, applies an equal amount of torque to the control shaft and it is the sum of those torques which will be output to the bit. The drive sub is simply the bit connection and bearing shaft. The radial bearings support the shaft during lateral loading. The thrust bearings support the downwards hydraulic thrust from drilling fluid being pumped through the tool and the upward thrust of weight being applied to the bit. Theoretically, the correct a-, T bine section amount of weight on bit should be applied to equalise the hydraulic thrust and thereby unload the bearings and prolong their life. 2.1 DRIVE SECTION
Seal Bearing and Radial
seal section

This consists of a series of bladed stators, fixed to the outer tool housing and bladed rotors fixed to the central rotating shaft. Drilling fluid flow is deflected at a pre-determined angle off the stator blades to hit the rotor blades and cause the shaft to rotate. The angle of the blades will affect the torque and speed output of the turbine. (Figure 7.3.29)

I/ v i Radial bearings

Thrust bearings

Figure 7 .3.29: Turbine details

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Usually, thrust bearings are made up of rubber discs (Figure 7.3.29) which are non-rotating, being fixed to the outer housing of the tool, and rotating steel discs attached to the central rotating shaft. Long bearing sections known as cartridges are used for long life in tangent or straight hole drilling sections. These are changeable on the rig. If the bearings wear past the maximum point, considerable damage can be inflicted as the steel rotors will crash into the steel stators below.



This is a short tool which has a set number of stages and its bearing section entirely within one housing. That is, it is not a sectional tool and will be typically less than 30 ft (9 m) long. It is designed for short runs to kick off or correct a directional well, using a bent sub as the deflection device. Steerable turbodrills do exist and will be discussed later.

• • • • • • • • •

Torque and RPM are inversely decreases and vice versa). RPM is directly proportional proportional (i.e., as RPM increases, torque). torque

to flow rate (at a constant

Torque is a function of flow rate, drilling fluid density, blade angle and the number of stages, and is affected by varying weight on bit. Optimum Changing Off bottom,

power output the turbine


place when thrust the characteristic


are balanced. is and

the flow rate causes

curve to shift. speed" and torque maximum torque

RPM will reach "runaway achieves

On bottom, and just at stall, the turbine RPM is zero.

Optimum performance is at half the stall torque and at half the runaway speed, the turbine then achieves maximum horsepower. A stabilised turbine used in tangent to "walk" to the left. sections will normally cause the hole

• • • • • • •

There is minimal Turbines Sand content surface indication of a turbine stalling.

do not readily

allow the pumping components,

of LCM. is able to operate in high from

of the drilling

fluid should be kept to a minimum. the turbine

Due to minimal rubber temperature wells.

Pressure drop through the tool is typically 500 psi to over 2,000 psi. Turbines Usually, do not require the maximum a by-pass allowable valve. bearing

high and can be anything

wear is of the order of 4 mm.

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Deflection tools are those which are used to force the bit to drill along a different trajectory from that which could be obtained by taking advantage of the normal deviating tendencies of a "straight" drilling assembly. What they all have in common is that they must be oriented in a specifically chosen direction. Methods of doing this are described in the following Topic. There are two basic methods of forcing the BHA to deviate from its natural trajectory. One is simply to push the bit sideways by means of a whipstock which is external to the string. The others use equipment included in the string. Normally this is equipment which causes the bit to rotate about an axis which is at an angle to the axis of the main part of the assembly. It follows that, in order for this to be effective it, the string cannot be rotated (at least until the required trajectory has been achieved). In other words, it involves the use of the downhole motors described in the previous Topic. A different, little used, method of using equipment internal wash away the formation preferentially in a given direction asymmetric arrangement of nozzles in the bit. to the string is to by using an

A recent development has been a combination of the two basic methods involving pushing the bit sideways by means of equipment installed in the BHA. This has the advantage that it can be activated at will when required, and left inactivated when the trajectory being followed corresponds to what is desired. This system is not described in the present Topic but in Topic 9 Rotary steerable systems.



The whipstock was the main deflection tool from 1930-1950. Its use then declined as directional drilling techniques improved, but is being used increasingly again in multilateral applications. Whipstocks are now also used in coiled tubing drilling for re-entry work. There are three types of whipstock:



The standard removable whipstock is used mainly to kick off wells, but is also used for sidetracking. It consists of a long inverted steel wedge which is concave on one side to hold and guide a whipstock drilling assembly. It is also
WDLP - Directional drilling Page 7/3/41


provided with a chisel point at the bottom to prevent the tool from turning, and a heavy collar at the top to withdraw the tool from the hole. This whipstock is used with a drilling assembly consisting of a bit, a spiral stabiliser, and an orientation sub, rigidly attached to the whipstock by means of a shear pin. The whipstock assembly is lowered to the bottom of the hole and orientated. Weight is applied to set the whipstock and shear the pin. The bit is then drilled down and forced to deflect to one side by the whipstock. A 12 to 16 foot (4-5 m) "rat hole" is drilled below the toe of the whipstock. The assembly is then pulled out of hole, taking the whipstock with it. A hole opener run is made to open the rat hole out to full gauge. The hole opener assembly is then tripped out and a rapid angle build assembly run in hole to "follow up" the initial deflection. This whole procedure may have to be repeated several times in the kick-off. It is obvious that the major disadvantage of the Figure7.3.30 standard whipstock is the number of "trips" involved The standard removable whipstock which uses a lot of rig time. The other important disadvantage is that the whipstock produces a sudden, sharp deflection - in other words, a severe dogleg - which may give rise to subsequent problems with the hole. The advantages are that it is a fairly simple piece of equipment which requires relatively little maintenance and has no temperature limitations.



The "circulating whipstock" is run, set and drilled like the standard whipstock. However, in this case the drilling fluid initially flows through a passage to the bottom of the whipstock which permits more efficient cleaning of the bottom of the hole and ensures a clean seat for the tool. It is most efficient for washing out bottom hole fills.



The "permanent casing whipstock" (Figure 7.3.31) is designed to remain permanently in the well. It is used where a "window" is to be cut in casing for a sidetrack. The casing whipstock is set using a permanent packer. The special stinger at the base of the whipstock slips into the packer assembly. A stainless steel key within the packer locks the whipstock's anchor-seal and prohibits any circular movement of the whipstock during drilling. The normal procedure is to set the packer and then measure After this, the starting mill is pinned to the casing whipstock assembly run slowly in hole and seated in the packer. its orientation. and the whole

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After the whipstock has been "seated" in the packer, the pin is sheared and circulation and rotation begun. The starting mill is used to make an initial cut through the casing and mill approximately 2 ft (50-60 cm) of casing. The lug that held the starting mill to the whipstock must also be milled off.
Starting mill

This assembly is tripped out and the mill changed. A tungsten carbide or diamond speed mill is used to cut the rest of the window. Once the window has been cut, approximately 5 ft (150-160 cm) of formation is cut before pulling out of hole. Next, a taper mill is run with a watermelon mill immediately above it. This is done to "clean" the top and the bottom of the window. Finally, another trip is made to change over to the drilling assembly which is used to drill ahead. The advantage of using a casing whipstock, instead of the normal method of milling a relatively long section of casing, setting a cement plug and sidetracking through it is that window milling usuall Y takes less time. The main disadvantage is that it gives a sharp dogleg, and so the casing whipstock is not recommended if there is a considerable distance to drill below the sidetrack, i.e. if several trips in and out through the window may be required. This is because problems can occur when trying to pull stabilisers, etc. back into the casing through the window. On the other hand, if there is only a short distance to be drilled below the sidetrack point, then the casing whipstock is well worth considering. In recent years, improvements in the design of casing whipstock systems have eliminated the need for so many trips in and out of hole.

Shear pin


Wear pad

or lug


Casing Whipstock



anchor assembly

packer Aligning key
4'to8' pup joint Bull plug

Jetting (or badgering) is a technique used to deviate wellbores in soft formation. The technique was developed in the mid 1950s and superseded the use of whipstocks deflection technique.

Figure 7.3.31:
The permanent casing

whipstock as the primary

Although jetting has subsequently been supplanted by downhole motor deflection assemblies (as the primary deflection method) it is still used frequently and offers several advantages which make it the preferred method in some situations. A special jet bit (like the one shown in the figure overleaf) may be used, but it

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is also common practice to use a standard soft formation tricone bit, with one very large nozzle and two small nozzles. 2.1 REQUIREMENTS FOR


• The formations must be soft enough to be eroded by the drilling fluid emerging from the large jet nozzle. As a rough rule of thumb, if formations cannot be drilled at penetration rates of greater than 80 ft/hr using normal drilling parameters, they
are not suitable for jetting.


Figure 7.3 .32 : A jetting bit

Jetting is most effective in soft, sandy formations, and of course effectiveness is reduced as depth increases, since the formations become more compacted. In the Gulf of Mexico, the maximum depth for effective jetting is approximately 2500 feet. • Adequate rig hydraulic horsepower must be available. For jetting to be successful there must be adequate hydraulic energy available at the bit to erode the formation. A rule of thumb for jetting is that drilling fluid velocity through the large jet should be 500 ft/sec or greater.


assembly used to drill a 121/4" pilot hole is:

A typical jetting • • •

121/4" jet bit extension sub 121/4" stabiliser

• UBHO sub • 3x8"DC
• • 121/4" stabiliser HWDP as required.

• DC
This is essentially a strong angle build rotary assembly (see Topic 8) with a suitable bit for jetting. The upper stabiliser is optional and is often omitted.


are three alternatives: jet bit with a large extended nozzle in place of one of

a) Use a specialised the cones.

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Directional drilling

V 2.0.0

b) Fit one large and two small nozzles in a conventional c) Blank off one nozzle of a conventional other two. bit to divert


bit. the

the flow through

Flow through two jets may be desirable in large hole sizes (e.g. 171/2") because of the large washout required to deflect the bit and near bit stabiliser. Both (a) and (b) work well in most hole sizes which are commonly jet drilled. (b) is the most common option because it uses standard bits and nozzles and results in a bit dressed in such a way as to be suitable for both jetting and drilling. A 121/4" bit dressed for jetting
or 28 / 32" and the other two

would typically

have the main nozzle size 26/32"


10/32" or 8/32".



1. The assembly is run to bottom, a survey is taken and the large jet nozzle (the "toolface") is orientated in the required direction. 2. Maximum circulation is established (e.g. 800 gpm [3,000 1/min] in 121/4" hole) and a controlled washing away of the formation opposite the large jet is effected, with the kelly in the rotary table and the table locked. 3. The drill string may be spudded up and down periodically, but not rotated, until several feet of hole have been made and the bit and near bit stabiliser have been forced into the washed out pocket. The technique is to lift the string 5 to 10 feet (2-3 m) off bottom and then let it fall, catching it with the brake so that the stretch of the string causes it to spud on bottom rather than using the full weight of the string. Another technique which may improve the effectiveness of jetting involves turning the rotary table a few degrees (15°) right and left while jetting. 4. Having jetted 3 to 8 feet (1-3 m) of hole, the exact distance depending on required build rate and previous results, drilling is begun. The circulation rate is now reduced to about 50% of that used for jetting. Hole cleaning considerations are ignored while drilling the next 10 feet (3 m) or so. High

weight on bit (40-45 Klb / 18-22 tons) and low rotary speed (60-70 RPM)
should be used to bend the assembly and force it to follow through the trend established while jetting. Progress may be difficult at first because of interference between the stabiliser and the irregularly shaped jetted hole.
5. After approximately 10


feet (3 m) of hole has been drilled, the pump rate can be increased to perhaps

60% - 70% of the rate
originally used while

Figure 7 .3.33 : Jetting

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jetting. High WOB and low RPM should be maintained. down to the next survey point.

The hole is drilled

6. A survey is taken to evaluate progress. If the dogleg is too severe the section should be reamed and another survey taken. 7. At the start of a kick-off, jetting is repeated every single until about 3° of angle has been built. After that, it is normal to jet every "double". After drilling each section, the jet nozzle has to be re-orientated to the desired tool face setting before jetting again. The operation is repeated until sufficient angle has been built and the well is heading in the desired direction. The principle is that, during the initial spudding and washing process, a pocket is produced in the formation opposite the jet nozzle. When high WOB is then applied and the drill string rotated, the bit and near bit stabiliser work their way into the pocket (the path of least resistance). The collars above the near-bit stabiliser bend and contact the low side of the hole. This causes a bending moment about the near-bit stabiliser which acts as a pivot or fulcrum, and the bit is pushed harder into the pocket (i.e. the direction in which the large jet nozzle was originally orientated).

• • • • •

It is a simple and cheap method of deflecting well bores in soft formations. No special equipment is needed except, perhaps, a jet bit. The dogleg severity can be partly controlled number of feet "jetted" each time. from surface depths by varying the

The survey tool is not far behind the bit, so survey less than the corresponding bit depths. Orientation of tool face is fairly easy. can be used for normal rotary The same assembly build assembly.

are not much


as an angle


The technique only works in soft formation and so usually only at shallow depths. For this reason, jetting is mainly used to kick wells off at shallow depths. In jetting, high dogleg severities are often produced. Deviation is produced in a series of sudden changes, rather than a smooth continuous change. For this reason, it is normal practice to jet drill an undergauge hole and then open it out to full gauge, which smooths off the worst of the doglegs.

A common method of deflecting wellbores is to use a downhole bent sub. As illustrated in Figure 7.3.34, the bent sub is placed the motor and it is the bent sub which makes this a deflection lower thread (on the pin) is inclined 1°- 3° from the axis of the The bent sub acts as the pivot of a lever and the bit is pushed motor and a directly above assembly. Its sub body. sideways as

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WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

well as downwards. This sideways component of force at the bit gives the motor a tendency to drill a curved path, provided there is no rotation of the drill string. The degree of curvature (dogleg severity) depends on the bent sub angle and the OD of the motor, bent sub and drill collars in relation to the diameter of the hole. It also depends on the length of the motor. A downhole motor and bent sub assembly may be used for kicking off wells, for correction runs or for sidetracking. Notice the absence of any stabilisers in the lower part of this assembly. Usually there would be no stabilisers for at least 90 feet (30 m) above the bent sub. In fact, it is not uncommon for the entire BHA to be "slick" when a motor and bent sub is used for kicking off at shallow depths. 3.1 REACTIVE TORQUE
torque is a factor in the use

Bent sub



- Bit


Figure 7 .3.34: Downholemotor and bent sub

assembly of both types of downhole motor. It is created by the pressure of the drilling fluid pushing on the stator. The stator is locked to the body of the motor, so the effect of this force is to twist the motor and, hence, the whole BHA anticlockwise. As the weight-on-bit is increased, the drilling torque created by the motor increases. The reactive torque increases in direct proportion. Thus a reasonable, although simplistic, way to view this is that the clockwise drilling torque generated at the bit is the "action" and the counter-clockwise torque on the motor housing is the "reaction". The reactive torque at the motor is equal to the drilling torque. Reactive torque causes a problem for directional drillers when they are using a motor and bent sub to deflect the well-bore. The twisting of the BHA caused by reactive torque changes the facing of the bent sub (i.e. the tool face orientation). If they are obtaining tool face orientation from single shot surveys, the directional driller has to estimate how much turn to the left they will get due to reactive torque. He initially sets the tool face that number of degrees round to the right of the desired tool face, so that the reactive torque will bring it back to the setting required while drilling. Drill string design will affect the extent of "drill string twist." This concept is

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important to understand because it can directly affect the tool face orientation of the downhole motor. This twisting of the drill string becomes more critical at greater depths, especially when using smaller OD drillpipe in a high torque environment. When drilling is in progress, drilling parameters constant a steady tool face setting. every endeavour must be made to keep the and, hence, obtain constant reactive torque and

Factors affecting reactive torque
The reactive torque which the motor generates will be in direct proportion the differential pressure across the motor. This in turn is influenced by: • • • • Motor characteristics Bit characteristics Formation drillability Weight on bit to

The estimation of reactive torque has always been a problem for the directional driller. Several charts and rules of thumb have evolved to give a first estimate in the absence of data . One such rule is that the reactive torque will produce a rotation of the order of 10-20° / 1000 feet measured depth (3060°/1,000 m). The lower end of the range may be used for low torque motors and the higher end for high torque motors.

The use of MWD
The problem of reactive torque disappears if MWD tools are used because orientation of the BHA can be measured, with a surface read-out, under drilling conditions (see Topic 5). the


and then tested using standard procedures. the bent sub

The motor is first inspected

Before drilling can begin with a motor and bent sub assembly, (toolface) must be orientated in the desired direction. •

The pipe is worked until string torque is eliminated. Best results are obtained by using a moderately fast up and down pipe movement. It is recommended that the bit be kept a minimum of 5 feet from the bottom the hole. Make a reference mark on the kelly bushings, lock the rotary take a survey to determine tool face orientation. Turn the pipe to achieve the desired tool face orientation. should include an allowance for the anticipated left-hand table and


• •

This orientation reactive torque.

When orienting, turn the pipe to the right unless the turn is less than 90° left of the present setting. Work the string up and down so that the turn reaches the bottomhole assembly. • Lock the rotary table before beginning to drill.

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For directional work with a bent sub, positive displacement motors offer several advantages over turbines. When drilling with a PDM, the directional driller can use the pump pressure gauge as a weight indicator. If the pump pressure is constant, the differential pressure across the PDM is constant, so the torque and WOB are constant. It is also much easier to tell if a PDM has stalled because there will be an immediate large increase in surface pressure. PDMs give a longer bit life than turbines because of the slower rotational speed. They can tolerate LCM whereas turbines cannot (or only a very limited amount). Finally, instead of using a bent sub, a PDM with a small bend at the adjustable housing can be used. As this bend is nearer to the bit, a smaller angle of bend will have the same effect as a larger bent sub angle. This reduces the problem of the bit riding the side of the hole while tripping in and

A major advantage tures than PDMs.

of turbines

is that they can operate

at higher


• • • •

It drills a smooth, Dogleg severity continuous curve. than with other deflection tools. is more predictable

It can be used in most formations. As there is no "steering tool" Measurement normal choice rotation from surface, it is possible to use a wireline for surveying and orientation while drilling. Alternatively, While Drilling system can be utilised, which would be the nowadays. a


Reactive torque changes the tool face when drilling commences. It may also be difficult to keep a steady tool face because the assemblies used are often "slick" (no stabilisers) - stabilisers have an "anchoring" tendency.. The motors themselves are expensive and require maintenance. Of course, this is more than offset by the savings due to good hole condition and the greater degree of control which motors give. POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MOTORS WITH KICK-OFF SUBS (BENT HOUSING)


An alternative to using a bent sub is to use a PDM with a single bend in the universal joint housing, described either as a kick-off sub or a bent housing by different manufacturers. Historically, these "single tilt" motors were used for difficult deviation jobs such as sidetracking over a short section of hole into hard formation. Since the bend is closer to the bit than when a bent sub is used, a smaller tilt angle can be used while still giving a strong deviation tendency.

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A further development of the single tilt motor was the double tilt motor in which there are two bends in the housing (in the same plane). The effect of this is to tilt the axis of rotation of the lower section with the bit, but keep the bit closer to the axis of the hole. Both single and double tilt motors have been used as steerable motors. If the drill string is rotated so that the body of the motor rotates, then a fairly straight path is drilled, whereas if the tilt (tool face) is orientated in a desired direction and there is no drill string rotation, then the motor will drill a controlled curve. This subject is more fully discussed in Topic 8. After having been tried, double tilt motors are being phased out again in favour of the single tilt versions as they slide better and give better control of the desired inclination change. 3.7 TURBINES WITH A BENT HOUSING

Currently some operators are using a steerable turbine design which incorporates a bent housing close to the bit. It has been demonstrated that they can sustain a dog-leg capability of up to 8°/100 ft. Incorporation of a stalling pressure indicator has also been achieved with these new designs.

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The "Toolface" of a deflection tool or steerable motor system, is the part which is oriented in a particular direction to make a desired deflection of the wellbore. There are two basic ways of expressing toolface orientation: • Magnetic or Gyro Toolface: this is the toolface orientation measured as a direction on the horizontal plane. If measured by a "magnetic" type survey tool, this is called a magnetic toolface; whereas if it is measured by a gyroscopic survey device, it is called a gyro toolface. Toolface orientation is only measured and expressed in this way at low inclinations, say less than 5° typically. High Side Toolface: this is the toolface orientation measured from the high side of the hole in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the hole.

It must also be pointed out that the term toolface is commonly used by directional drillers and surveyors as a shortened version of "toolface orientation". A magnetic or gyro toolface reading reading using the formula: High side toolface = mag/gyro can be converted to a high side toolface

toolface - hole azimuth

(A negative answer means the angle is measured anti-clockwise or left of high side). The above formula is based on the fact that the high side direction is the azimuth of the borehole. In the remainder of this Topic, methods for selecting the required toolface orientation are discussed. These methods are also used to predict the changes in inclination and azimuth which result from drilling ahead with that toolface setting.

Before discussing the orientation of deviation tools further it is important that you can visualise the significance of the values of azimuth and inclination in deviated wells. This is shown in Figure 7.3.35. The inclination at any survey point, S, is the angle I between the well bore and the vertical. the tangent to

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By projecting this tangent on to a horizontal plane (as shown in the

Tangentto well bore
path at survey point

), the
(A) can

be measured


Azimuth at survey point (A)

relative to north (true, magnetic or grid). In practice, changes in inclination and azimuth



Figure 7 .3.35

Deviated well geometry

usually occur simultaneously and it is necessary sions in order to define the change points Si and S2.

to consider the situation in three dimenin course of the well between two survey

If the inclination and azimuth at each survey diagrams can be constructed enabling: • • the position of S2 to be calculated

point are known, vector


to S1. i.e.

the actual angular change the value of the dogleg.

in the path of the well to be calculated,

In practice this may be done using a computer program cosine rules or by constructing vector triangles.

based on sine and

Vector triangles A change survey may be constructed orientation as shown below. is achieved between survey point Sl and

in downhole

point S2 according point

to the following




Survey Inclination


Sl It =
S2 12

= 1026 m (3365 ft.) AH = 8° 95° Mag.
= = 1056 m (3466 ft.) AH 6°


A2 =

the survey points, and the toolface-setting angle

Find the dogleg between employed.

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Page 7/3/53


the vector triangles

as follows:

Draw N-S & E-W axes




Draw in the azimuth


- Al (initial)

and A2 (required)




Make the lengths inclination

Il and I2 proportional inclination

to the initial
Scale 1cm : 1°

and the required

A2 W


the vector triangle
N Toolface



Az (=87°)




li (=8°)
Ai (=95°)

Figure 7.3.36


Measure these angles with a protractor and ruler. You may then confirm them using a computer. You should have found that the toolface-setting angle was 158° (a) and the dogleg was 2.1° ((3). We will now move on to look at the ways in which these vector triangles be practically applied. may

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Toolface Setting for Inclination Change only
To change inclination while maintaining a constant azimuth, the toolface must be set at 0° or 180°. Setting the toolface at 0° increases the inclination; setting it at 180° decreases the inclination. This is shown in the following example. Given the following Existing Existing data: Il Al = 12° = 93° = 3°/100 ft of 100 ft of:

inclination azimuth

Tool dogleg potential

What will be the effect over an interval 1. Setting 2. Setting 1. Setting the toolface the toolface at 0° at 180°

the toolface

at 0° the initial inclination
Scale 1cm = 2° 1,=12°
A, 93°mag

Draw the vector representing

and azimuth


an arc representing

the dogleg radius

with the toolface

set at 0°


Il until it meets

this are. Measure

the new inclination,



With a toolface setting

of 0° the new inclination

is 15°.
Figure 7.3.37a

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the toolface

at 180° the initial
1,=12° A,

Draw the vector representing


and azimuth

Construct an are representing a toolface setting of 180°

the dogleg radius


Dogleg radius 3°


the new inclination

12where I, meets this are.

With a toolface setting
Figure 7.3.37b

of 180° the new inclination

is 9°.

Toolface Setting for Azimuth Change only
If the inclination of the well is to be kept constant, isosceles triangle. the vector diagram is an

To maintain a constant inclination with a tool of given dogleg potential the resultant azimuth change can be determined as shown in the example overleaf. You should note that there is only one toolface-setting angle possible when a change in azimuth is required. You are given the following Existing Required Existing inclination inclination azimuth Al Il 12 data: 8° 8° 117° Mag 3.5°/100 ft the

Tool dogleg potential

Assuming that a left-hand change in azimuth is required over a 100 ft interval, what will be the new azimuth of the bore-hole (A2) ? Estimate toolface setting required.

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WDLP - Directional drilling

V 2.0.0

Draw vector I1 representing inclination and azimuth

the initial

Scale. 0 .75 cm=1

A , - 117 Mag '= 8


an arc representing

the tool
Tool dogleg radius 3.5

dogleg potential for a left hand change


Construct an are representing
required inclination, thisintersects the dogleg are.


I2, such that




the vector triangle

/setting Azimuth than e AA angle


Read off the azimuth change (AA) and toolface setting angle (a).

DA = 25.3°

For a left hand toolface setting: Determine the new borehole azimuth (A2)

A2 = Al-AA
A2 = 117°- 25.3° = 91.7° Mag Note: for a right hand

toolface setting A2 = Al+AA
and toolface setting

Determine the toolface
setting azimuth

For a left hand toolface setting: toolface setting azimuth = Al-a = 117°-102.7° = 14.3° Mag

Figure 7.3.38

The new bore-hole azimuth is thus 91.7° Mag. This is achieved toolface setting angle of 102.7° left side (azimuth = 14.3° Mag).

with a

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You require an azimuth change of 20.16° (left) over an interval of 100 ft. What toolface-setting angle would be required to achieve this change given the following data? Required inclination Existing inclination Existing azimuth = 10° = 10° = 198° Mag

Tool dogleg potential

= 3.5°/100 ft
Scale2 = 1cm

Your vector diagram should have looked like Figure 7.3.39.

potential = 3.5

\z `
11 = 10


Figure 7.3.39

From your computer following results: Toolface-setting Toolface-setting


or the vector diagram

you should have the

angle azimuth

= 100.1° = 198° - 100.1° = 97.9°Mag azimuth change possible without changing

Note that 20.16° is the maximum the inclination.

Toolface Setting for Combined Inclination and Azimuth Change
Tools may be set for combined inclination combinations of azimuth and inclination toolface-setting angle. and azimuth change. A variety of change is possible depending on the

When setting tools for combined inclination and azimuth change there are always two possible toolface settings. The setting you choose depends on the required inclination. However, as you increase the azimuthal change, the capacity to change the inclination is reduced (See below). Consider overleaf. the following worked example which is illustrated in Figure 7.3.40

You want to change the azimuth dance with the data below: Existing Existing Azimuth inclination azimuth change setting (SA)

of the well over an interval

of 100 ft in accor-

= 17° = 93° Mag

Tool dogleg potential
What toolface

= 3.5°/100 ft
= 10.5° right and what will be the new inclination ?

is required

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Draw vector I1 representing initial inclination and azimuth


Scale 1 cm =3°

AI= 93'mag

Constructthe dogleg arc fora right hand change


Tool dogleg radius 3.5


a line representing


new azimuth (A2) as shown

Azimuth change 10.5 right AA

Complete the vector triangles


I,= 17 AA 12=15

this case there are two) and read off the required data

Toolfacesetting= 128 Azimuth = 221 A,



Toolfoce setting = 72.7 Azimuth = 22 1 a

s A,

12= 18.4 A2

Figure 7.3.40

Toolface Setting for Maximum Azimuth Change
To find the toolface setting senting the new inclination and azimuth is
constructed tangen-

for maximum


change A2

the line repre-

Tool setting angle

tially to the dogleg arc as illustrated in Figure 7.3.41. A deviation

N ' AA

oglegarc Azimuth at
survey point, Al

tool is
run in Figure 7.3.41

order to achieve the maximum possible azimuth correction. In these circumstances a small decrease in inclination may also be expected. However, this effect is only significant at low angles of inclination.

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Effect of Inclination on Potential Azimuth Change For a given dogleg potential the maximum azimuth change rapidly decreases as inclination increases. The effect of inclination on azimuth change for a dogleg angle of 3° is illustrated in the table alongside and in Figure 7.3.42. Over a wide range of inclination its effect on potential azimuth change is more conveniently shown on a graph - see Figure Table2.4.1 Inclination Azimuth ( are sin{ 5° arc sin 3 -17.5° 110
arc sini151

change = 36.9°


7.3.43, also for a dogleg angle of 3°.


= 11.5°

Figure 7.3.42 The effect of inclination on potential azimuth change (constantdogleg of 3)
5 Inclination 10 15


Azimuth change = 17.5


Azimuth change = 36.9



Azimuth change = 1 1 5

Figure 7.3.43

You can see that there is a big advantage in maintaining a low angle of inclination. It allows greater azimuthal changes in course direction to be made for a given tool dogleg potential. However you should remember that inclination angles below 15° also allow the bore hole to "wander" more easily.

Potentialfor azimuth change with
Potentia azimuth

increasing inclination (dogleg = 3)








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An important aspect of a directional driller's job is to design which will drill the planned trajectory. In this Topic we shall the basic principles used in directional control when drilling assemblies, and the typical assemblies used for each section. drilling parameters such as weight-on-bit will be considered of formation anisotropy. rotary BHAs concentrate on with rotary The effect of as will the effect

Historically, it has always been possible to control the angle (inclination) of directional wells during rotary drilling by correct design of the assembly and use of suitable drilling parameters. However, the control of hole direction has traditionally been poor. Roller cone bits usually walk to the right, and directional control was formerly limited to using well-stabilised assemblies to reduce this tendency, or initially to aim off to the left to allow for it The normal procedure has been to drill as much of a directional well as possible using a conventional rotary asssembly designed according to the principles explained in the Topic, and to use orientable turbines/Moineau motors to initiate major changes of angle and/or direction and for fine-tuning. However, as mentioned in the Introduction to Topic 5, recent technical advances have enabled rotary steerable systems to be developed that are now coming into use. These are described in Topic 9. Their advantage is that as long as the bit lasts the same assembly can be kept in the hole and used both for straight and curved sections. Even so, the principles described here still need to be applied so that the natural tendency of the string will help rather than hinder the maintenance of the required trajectory.

Directional trends are accepted to be related to the direction of the resultant force at the bit. It has also been shown that the bit tilt angle (i.e. the angle between the bit axis and the hole axis) influences the direction of drilling. This is because a drill bit is designed to drill parallel to its axis. In rotary assemblies where there is a near bit stabiliser, the bit tilt angle is small and the magnitude of the side force at the bit is the key factor.

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Factors which affect the directional behaviour of rotary assemblies are: • • Gauge and placement of stabilisers. Diameter collars. • • Weight -on-bit. Bit type. anisotropy and dip angle of the bedding planes. • • • Formation hardness. Flow rate Rate of penetration. are interrelated.
Hole gaug
Side forc at bit


length of drill

• Rotary speed.

C:nl.. f ..--..1




, anisotropy
Figure 7.3.44 : Bit forces and tilt angle

Of course, some of the above factors

• • • The Fulcrum inclination) Principle is used to build angle (i.e. increase is used to hold (maintain) borehole

The Stabilisation


angle and direction. (or to prevent a

The Pendulum Principle is used to reduce vertical well from deviating).

the inclination

We shall now consider each of these principles assemblies which are used. 2.1 THE FULCRUM PRINCIPLE

in turn

and look at typical

An assembly with a full gauge near-bit stabiliser, m) of drill collars before the first string stabiliser, will build angle when WOB is applied.

followed by 40'-120' (12-36 or no string stabiliser at all,

As illustrated in Figure 7.3.45, the collars above the near-bit stabiliser bend, partly due to their own weight and partly because of applied weight-on-bit. The near-bit stabiliser acts as the pivot, or fulcrum, of a lever and the bit is pushed to the high side of the hole. The bit therefore drills a path which is gradually curving upwards (i.e. the assembly builds angle).

The rate of build will be INCREASED by the following:
• An increase in the distance string stabiliser. from the near-bit stabiliser to the first

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• • • • •

Increase Reduction Increase Reduction Reduction

in hole inclination. of drill collar diameter. in weight in rotary on bit. speed.

in flow rate (in soft formations).

Distance from the near-bit stabiliser to the first string stabiliser
The distance from the near-bit stabiliser to the first string stabiliser is the main design feature of a fulcrum assembly affecting

the build rate. The build
rate increases as this distance is increased because a lon g er fulcrum section will bend more which will increase the fulcrum effect and the side force on high side. There is a limit, however. Once the upper stabiliser is more th an 120 ft (36 m ) fr om the near-bit stabiliser (depending on hole size, collar OD , etc.), the collars are contacting the low side of the hole and any further
increase in this distance



Component of force
on high side
Full gauge near-bit stabilizer

Figure 7.3.45 : The fulcrum principle

will have no additional

effect on build rate.

Increase in hole inclination The rate of build of a fulcrum assembly increases as the inclination increases because there is a larger component of the collars own weight causing them to bend. A simplified picture of the mechanics involved predicts that the rate of build should increase in direct proportion to the sine of the inclination. In reality, the situation and the actual response are more complicated. To take an example, a strong build assembly which built at a rate of 1.5° per 100ft/30 in when the inclination was only 15° might build at 4° per 100ft/30 in when the inclination was 60°.

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Drill collar diameter
As will be discussed later in this Topic (sub-Topic 4), the stiffness of a drill collar is proportional to the fourth power of the diameter. So a small reduction in the OD of the drill collars used in the fulcrum section considerably increases their flexibility and hence the rate of build. However, it is not common practice to pick drill collar diameter according to build rate requirements. Usually, standard collar sizes for the given hole size are used.

Increasing the weight on bit will bend the drill collars behind stabiliser more, so the rate of build will increase. the near-bit

Rotary Speed
A higher rotary speed will tend to "straighten" the drill collars and hence reduce the rate of build. For this reason, low rotary speeds (70 - 100 RPM) are generally used with fulcrum assemblies. Flow Rate In soft formations, a high flow rate can lead to washing ahead of the bit which reduces the build tendency. out the formation

Typical build assemblies
Four typical Build Assemblies are illustrated on the opposite only one set of units is shown - in this case oilfield units) : Figure 7.3.46 shows a 90' Build Assembly: page (for clarity

171/2" bit / 171/2" NB stab / 3 X 91/2" x 30' DCs / 171/2" stab / 91/2" x 30' DCs as needed/ etc. This assembly will build angle rapidly, typically at 2.0° 3.5°/100', depending on the inclination and the drilling parameters. Figure 7.3.47. shows a 60' Build Assembly

171/2" bit / 171/2" NB stab / 2 x 91/2" x 30'DCs / 171/2" stab / 91/2" x 30' DCs as needed / etc. This assembly will build angle at the rate of 1.5° 2.5°/100', depending on the inclination and the drilling parameters. Figure 7.3.48 shows a Gradual Angle Build Assembly

171/2" bit / 171/2" NB stab / 91/2" x 12' DC / 91/2" x 30' DC / 171/2" stab / 91/2" X 30'DCs as needed / etc. This assembly will build typically at 0.5° 1.5°/100', depending on the inclination and the drilling parameters. Figure 7.3.49 shows a Gradual Angle Build Assembly section when it is neces-

121/4" bit / 121/4" NB stab / 8" x 30' DC / 121/4" stab / 8" x 30' DCs as needed
/ etc. This assembly would be used in the tangent

sary to build angle gradually. It would build typically at 0.5° - 1.0°/100'.

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Figure 7.3.46 Rapid angle build
assembly - 171/2"
Full gauge string stabilizer

Figure 7.3.47 Medium angle build assembly - 171/2'
Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar

Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer


Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar

Drill collar

Drill collar


Full gauge near bit stabilizer 17-1/2" Bit


Full gauge near bit stabilizer 17-1/2" Bit

Figure 7.3.48 Gradual angle build
assembly - 171/2'

Figure 7.3.49 Gradual angle build
assembly - 121/4"

Drill collar Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar

Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer Slightly under gauge string sl Drill collar

Drill collar



Short drill collar

Drill collar

WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

Full gauge near bit stabilizer 17-1/2" Bit

Full gauge near bit stabilizer Bit

Page 7/3/65


This principle is that if there are three stabilisers in quick succession behind the bit separated by short, stiff drill collar sections, then the three stabilisers will resist going round a curve and force the bit to drill a reasonably straight path. The first of the three s t a blh > isers s on ld b e zmine d'iately behind the bit (a near-bit stabiliser) and should be full gauge. Assemblies which utilise this principle are called packed hole assemblies and are used to drill the tangent sections of directional wells, maintaining angle and direction. High rotary speed (120 to 160+ RPM) will assist the tendency to drill straight.








Note that it is important that the stabilisers used should have blades that wrap in a clockwise direction. The contact area of the blades and the area left open for fluid flow are also important design parameters. Four different packed hole assemblies are illustrated on the opposite page:

Figure 7.3.50 : The packed hole principle

Figure 7.3.51: This assembly will give a very slight build or drop rate of 0.1° 0.5°/100' depending on various factors such as formation characteristics,

WOB, RPM, bit type, etc.
Figure 7.3.52: This assembly should hold angle or drop very slightly on the exact gauge of the first string stabiliser and hole inclination. Figure 7.3.53: The use of two short collars increases near-bit and the first string stabiliser. This assembly most applications. depending

the distance between the should hold angle in

Figure 7.3.54: The tandem stabilisers make this assembly very rigid. In the past it was more common to use tandem stabilisers to control the bit walk of roller cone bits. Presently, its use is limited to areas where extreme bit walk is common. Rotation of an assembly such as this will generate high rotary torque. Generally, as the number of stabilisers in the BHA increases, so does the possibility of hole sticking.

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Figure 7.3.51

Figure 7.3.52

Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer


Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer
Drill collar

Drill collar


Full gauge string stabilizer

Under gauge string stabilizer

S Short drill collar
Short drill collar

Full gauge near bit stabilizer Bit

Full gauge near bit stabilizer

Figure 7.3.53

Figure 7.3.54

Full gauge string stabilizer

Full gauge string stabilizer Drill collar Drill collar Full gauge string stabilizer Full gauge string stabilizer Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer


Full gauge string stabilizer 10' short drill collar 10' short drill collar

Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer

Full gauge near bit stabilizer

Full gauge near bit stabilizer



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Page 7/3/67



This was the first directional control principle to be formulated and was originally analysed for slick assemblies drilling straight holes. We shall concentrate on pendulum assemblies used in deviated wells. The portion of the assembly from the bit to the first string stabiliser hangs like a pendulum and, because of its own weight, presses the bit to the low side of the hole. The major design feature of a pendulum assembly is that there is either no near-bit stabiliser or an undergauge near- bit stabiliser. In most cases where a pendulum assembly is used, the main factor causing deviation is the component of force at the bit acting on the low side of the hole. The length of collars from the bit to the first
Figure 7.3 .55 string stabiliser (the

The pendulum principle Boa



not be

allowed to bend too much towards the low FORCE side of the hole.

If the collars make contact with effective length of the pendulum reduced. The situation depicted bit axis has been tilted upwards the dropping tendency. (In itself,

low side as shown in Figure 7.3.56, then the and the side force on low side are both in this figure is also undesirable because the in relation to the hole axis which will reduce this would produce a build tendency).

Careful selection of drilling parameters is required to prevent this. High rotary speed (120 to 160+) helps keep the pendulum straight to avoid the above situation. Initially, low weight-on-bit should be used also, again to avoid bending the pendulum towards the low side of the hole. Once the dropping trend has been established, moderate weight can be used to achieve a respectable penetration rate. Some elementary texts on directional drilling depict the pendulum effect as shown in Figure 7.3.57. The implication is that part of the dropping tendency is produced by a downward tilting of the bit axis. It is interesting to note '
that then if this the picture were true WOB dropping

Ar--Tangency point

Effective length

of pendulum
Figure 7.3.56 Reduction of pendulum force

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Figure 7 .3.57: One possible interpretation of the pendulum effect

tendency would be increased by increasing WOB and reducing rotary speed, the precise opposite of what was recommended in the previous paragraph. The example in Figure 7.3.57 is possible for certain lengths of pendulum when there is no near-bit stabiliser and only one string stabiliser. The collars above the upper stabiliser are sagging towards the low side of the hole causing a fulcrum effect about the string stabiliser and tilting the upper portion of the pendulum towards the high side of the hole as shown. Some experienced directional drillers recount instances of pendulum assemblies dropping faster with high WOB and low rotary speed.

Hole Axis



It must be The gauge pendulum most likely 2.4

emphasised, however, that this is not what would normally occur. of the bit is effectively a point of support, so that for most assemblies, especially longer pendulums, the pendulum section is to bend towards the low side of the hole as described previously. PRACTICES.


The safest approach to designing and using a pendulum assembly is to concentrate on producing a side force at the bit on the low side of the hole. This is best achieved by running an assembly where the pendulum portion will be as stiff and straight as possible. It is also desirable that the section immediately above the first string stabiliser is also stiff and straight and so a second string stabiliser within 30 ft (9 m) of the first is recommended. • Omit the near-bit stabiliser when azimuth control is not a concern or when drilling with a PDC bit. When drilling with a roller cone bit, use an under-gauge near-bit stabiliser if azimuth control is a consideration. Typically, the near-bit stabiliser needs to be 1/4" to 1/2" undergauge in order to produce a dropping tendency. The assembly should have two string stabilisers with the second stabiliser not more than 30 ft (9 m) above the first. Initially use a low WOB until the dropping tendency is established, then gradually increase bit weight until an acceptable penetration isachieved. Use a high rotary If possible, speed, depending on bit type. in hard formation. do not plan drop sections rate

• •

• •

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Four different



are illustrated

on the opposite


Figure 7.3.58 shows a 30 ft (9 m) pendulum assembly. The rate of drop depends on the wellbore inclination and the diameter and weight of the bottom drill collar, as well as the drilling parameters. At 45° inclination,


assembly would typically drop at 1.5° - 2.0° per 100'/30 m.
Figure 7.3.59 shows a 30 ft (9 m) pendulum assembly with under-gauge near bit stabiliser. This will give a slightly lower rate of drop than the previous BHA, but should reduce bit walk and thereby give better azimuth control. Figure 7.3.60 shows a gradual angle drop assembly. This short pendulum hook-up would give a more gradual drop rate approximately 1° per 100' /30 m depending on inclination, etc. Figure 7.3.61 shows a 60 ft (18 m) pendulum assembly used to drill vertical wells. This is too strong a dropping assembly to use on directional wells, except perhaps low angle wells. It is commonly used to drill vertical wells through soft to medium hard formations.

When rotary drilling with roller cone bits, the type of bit used makes very little difference to whether an assembly builds, holds or drops angle; as already discussed, this is determined by the configuration of stabilisers and collars and by varying the drilling parameters. However, the type of bit used has a significant influence on walk rates. Conventional tri-cone rock bits cause right-hand walk in normal rotary drilling. Generally speaking, long tooth bits drilling soft to medium hardness formation give a greater right walk tendency than short tooth bits drilling a hard formation. This is mainly because soft formation bits have a larger cone offset and hence cut rock by a gouging/scraping action. PDC BITS During the eighties it became common practice to use PDC bits for rotary drilling, with low WOB and fast rotary speed. When rotary drilling with PDC bits, it has been found that almost no walk occurs (the assemblies hold their direction). It has also been found that the control of the inclination angle is affected by PDC bits, particularly when an angle drop assembly is used. The gauge length of a PDC bit may significantly affect the rate of build in a rotary assembly. A PDC with a short gauge length may result in a build rate greater than that would be expected with a tri-cone bit. On the other hand, a longer gauge stabilises the bit, thereby tending to reduce the rate of build. The low WOB typically used with PDC bits may also reduce the build rate, as collar flexure decreases with decreasing WOB. When used with packed

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Figure 7.3.58
Drill collar Drill collar

Figure 7.3.59

Drill collar Drill collar


Full gauge string stabilizer

Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer


Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar

Drill collar Under gauge string stabilizer



Figure 7.3.60
Drill collar

Figure 7.3.61


Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar

Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer

Full gauge string stabilizer

Drill collar Drill collar

Full gauge string stabilizer Drill collar Short drill collar (10' to 15')



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Page 7/3/71

assemblies maintaining

in tangent section drilling, longer gauged PDC bits seem to aid in inclination and direction due to the increased stabilisation at the

When used with angle drop assemblies, PDC bits may reduce the drop rate previously obtained with a tricone bit. Generally, the longer the gauge length of the PDC bit, the lower the rate of drop obtained because the bit gauge acts similar to a full gauge near-bit stabiliser. Short gauge length PDCs can be used effectively for dropping angle. When such a suitable PDC bit is used in a rotary pendulum assembly, the low WOB and high RPM, typical to most PDC bit applications, should assist in dropping angle.

As stated earlier, the behaviour of bottom-hole assemblies, particularly fulcrum and pendulum assemblies, is affected considerably by the stiffness of the drill collars used in the lowest portion of the BHA. It is generally accepted that drill collars may be considered as thick walled cylinders. Their stiffness depends on the axial moment of inertia and the modulus of elasticity of the steel. (See Figure 7.3.62) The axial moment of inertia, I, is given
Figure 7.3.62


I= 64 (OD4 - ID4) per unit length, W, is calculated from of the steel.


The weight

W = 4 p(OD2 - ID')


p is the density

Notice that the stiffness is proportional powers of the diameters whereas collar between their squares. This means that significant effect on collar weight than
Table 2 .4.2 : Properties of steel drill collars Collar Ins mm Moment in4 of Inertia cm4

to the difference between the fourth weight is proportional to the difference the inside diameter has a much more on the stiffness. The relative weights and inertia of some common drill collar sizes are listed in the table alongside. It is interesting to notice that the moment of inertia of a 91/2" collar is double that of


length kg/m


4.75 6.5 8.0 9.5

2.25 2.81 2.81 3

121 165 203 241

57.2 71.4 71.4 76.2 24 85 200 400 1,000 3,500 8,200 16,400 47 93 151 217 70 135 234 321

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an 8" collar, which in turn

is more than double that of a 61/2" collar.

The component of weight/unit length tending to bend the drill collars and contributing to the lateral forces at the bit and stabilisers is WX

where: W = weight/unit length of the drill collar in air, BF = buoyancy factor of the drilling fluid (Well Engineers Notebook, Section A) 0 = inclination of the wellbore all in consistent units and density of various

The accompanying table gives the modulus of elasticity metals which can be used to manufacture drill collars. The main thing
to notice is that
ItlUIC . . fl, upeI tie ui









steel and monel which are
actually drill used in have collars

Metal Steel (low
carbon) Stainless steel


of Elasticity


(106 psi)
29.0 28.0 26.0 10.6 51.5

(106 kg/cm2)
2.04 1.97 1.83 0.75 3.62

491 501 529 170 1205

7.87 8.03 8.47 2.72 19.30

about the same
modulus of elasSo in the K Monel Aluminium Tungsten

ticity and
density. practice

stiffness of a drill collar depends almost entirely on its outside diameter and is proportional to the fourth power of the OD. However, aluminium drill collars would be more limber than steel drill collars of the same dimensions whereas tungsten collars would be much stiffer. In general, it is recommended that standard drill collar diameters should be used for each hole size. However, it is important that directional drillers understand the effect of changing the drill collar OD.

Effects of changing drill collar OD.
With a fulcrum (build) assembly, reducing collar OD will dramatically increase the build tendency because the collars will be more limber and will bend more. Another factor here is the clearance between the outside of the drill collars and the wall of the hole. The greater the clearance, the more the collars can bend before they contact the low side of the hole. Once the collars contact the low side of the hole, further increases in WOB will have only a marginal effect on build rate by moving the contact point down the hole. With a packed assembly, reducing collar OD may give a slight build tendency
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the collars can bend more.

With a pendulum assembly, it is best that the pendulum portion be as stiff as possible so it is preferable to use large diameter collars if possible. Reducing collar OD increases the likelihood that the collars will bend towards the low side of the hole which will reduce the pendulum effect and the rate of drop obtained. Also, of course, reducing the collar OD reduces the weight of the bottom collars which reduces the pendulum force and the rate of drop.


In some cases, the nature and hardness of the rock being drilled can have a pronounced influence on directional tendencies, although in many cases the importance of formation effects is exaggerated. Of fundamental importance is whether the rock is isotropic or anisotropic. An isotropic rock is one which has the same properties, or behaves in the same way, no matter which direction you approach it from. Most sandstones are isotropic. Conversely, anisotropic rocks such as shales do not have the same properties in all directions.

Most oilfield drilling (although not all) is done in sedimentary formations. Due to the nature of their deposition, sedimentary rocks have layers or bedding planes and most sedimentary rocks show some degree of anisotropy. Experience from drilling into dipping (tilted) formations has shown that the drill bit is forced towards a preferential direction related to the dip angle and direction of the bedding. The trends are most prevalent in low angle medium to hard drilling, notably in formations with pronounced structure. A number of explanations and models have been proposed over the years to explain these effects. In their early work on the pendulum theory, Lubinski and Woods proposed a variable drillability model which related an index of the rock strength when attacked perpendicular to the bedding planes to the rock strength when attacked parallel to the formation beds. They produced tables of anisotropy indices and formation classes which could be used as a guide in selecting pendulum length, drill collar size or weight on bit. Another theory proposes that as the bit drills into hard layers, will fracture perpendicular to the dip. This creates a miniature which guides the bit to drill into the dip. the hard layer whipstock

Another explanation, proposed by McLamore and others, is that of preferential chip formation. This considers the mode of chip formation at a single tooth. Anisotropic formations have preferential planes of failure. As it impacts the formation, the bit tooth sets up a compressive stress in a direction perpendicular to the face of the tooth. Shear failure will occur more readily along the bedding planes in a sedimentary rock. When the bit is drilling an anisotropic rock, large chips will be cut rapidly on one side of the bit and small chips will be cut out more slowly on the other side. Unequal chip volumes will therefore

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be generated

on each side of a bit tooth as shown below.
Figure 7.3.63



Bedding plane





The forces between the bit tooth and the rock will be greater on the right side of the tooth in the diagram. Therefore there will be a resultant force on the bit acting to the left. This is Fd, the deviation force. It follows that the deviation force depends on the angle of dip. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ANGLE OF DIP AND DEVIATION FORCE. Based on the preferential chip formation theory explained above, the graph shown below in Figure 7.3.64 has been derived from experimental work. The effective angle of dip is the angle at which the bit strikes the bedding planes. The graph predicts that when the effective angle of dip is less than 45° the direction of the deviation force is up-dip, but when the effective dip angle is greater than 45° the direction of the deviation force is down-dip. The
Figure 7.3.64 Maximum deviation force as a function of formation dip

5000 a v a 2500



0 15 30 45 60 75




1000 5000

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Figure 7.3.65 : Meaning of up-dip and down-dip

Up dip


Down dip

meaning of up-dip and down-dip is illustrated in Figure 7.3.65. In practice, has sometimes been observed that an up-dip tendency is observed at dip angles as high as 60°.


Experience of unwanted deviation in vertical wells over many years has borne out the predictions of the graph shown in Figure 7.3.64. Drilling through alternately hard and soft formations with low dip angles, using a well stabilised bit and weights high enough to cause collar flexure, usually results in a course perpendicular to the bedding planes. Figure 7.3.66 illustrates the ten d ency of the b it to deviate in the up-dipdirection when the formation dip angle is low.
Figure 7.3.66

Up-dip deviation

Dog leg angle

The formation attitudes will have a similar effect on directional tendencies. For dip angles less than 45°, if the direction is due up-dip then the bit will tend to maintain direction but build angle. But if the borehole direction is left of up-dip, the bit tends to walk to the right; whereas if the direction is right of up-dip the bit tends to walk to the left. Both these phenomena are in reality just special cases of the up-dip tendency. When the formation dip angle is greater than 60°, the usual tendency of the bit is to drill parallel to the bedding plane, i.e. down-dip as shown in Figure 7.3.67. For cases where the dip angle is greater than 60°, if the hole direction (Figure 7.3.67) is right of down-dip direction then the bit tends to walk to the left. If the hole direction is left of down-dip direction, then the bit tends to walk to the right. Again, these are simply special cases of the down-dip tendency.

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There will be no deflection of the bit caused by the formation at 0° or 90° dip. This is because the bit is cutting into a structure that is essentially uniform and is constantly cutting into the same layers at the same time or constantly drilling between layers.

Figure 7.3.67 : Down-dip deviation


angle of dip is the angle at which the bit

In a directional well, the effective strikes the bedding planes.

Figure 7.3.68

Hole inclination

= 30°

Real dip angle = 35° Effective dip angle = 30° + 35° = 65°;

There will be a down-dip



Figure 7.3.69

Hole inclination = 0° Effective angle of dip equals

real dip angle (35°). force.


will be an up -dip deviation

Figure 7.3.70

Hole inclination Effective

= 35°

Real dip angle = 35°
dip angle = 0° force.


will be no deviation

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The preceding discussion has concentrated on the effects of rock anisotropy and changes in hardness between layers on directional response. There are a few general points concerning the effect of rock hardness on directional behaviour which should be mentioned. In very soft formations, the formation may be eroded by the drilling mud exiting from the bit nozzles and an overgauge hole created. This can make it hard to build angle, even with a strong build assembly. If this problem is anticipated then fairly large nozzles should be fitted in the bit. If it occurs while drilling, then the pump rate should be reduced and prior to making each connection, increase the flow rate to clean the hole with the bit one joint off bottom. Hole washing or enlargement in soft formations may also cause packed assemblies to give a dropping tendency at high inclinations. This may be counteracted by increasing WOB and reducing flow rate. If anticipated beforehand, a possible solution would be to run a mild build assembly. BHAs tend to respond more closely to their theoretical behaviour in harder formations. This is mainly because the hole is more likely to be the correct gauge. In medium to hard formations, building assemblies are more responsive as maximum bit weight may be applied to produce the required build. The main directional problem encountered in hard formations is getting a pendulum assembly to drop angle. Generally speaking, the harder the formation, the longer it takes a dropping assembly to respond. There may also be a conflict between the need to reduce weight on bit to get the dropping trend established and the need for high weight on bit to maintain an acceptable penetration rate. Where possible, it is best to avoid planning a drop section in hard formation. When a drop section must be drilled in hard formation, either large diameter, heavy collars should be used or a steerable PD motor.



It should be emphasised that in many formations, the properties of the rocks have only a minor effect on the directional response of the BHA. In soft to medium soft formations and in isotropic formations, the rock has little influence on directional response and the BHA should follow its theoretical behaviour. In medium to hard sedimentary rocks which have an appreciable degree of anisotropy, directional tendencies can be significantly affected by formation attitudes and in particular by the effective dip angle of the bedding planes. If the effective dip angle is less than 45° - 60°, then the bit tends to drill up-dip. If the effective dip angle is greater than 60°, then the bit tends to drill down dip. When the effective dip angle is approximately 0°, the bit has no tendency to deviate from a straight path. Unwanted deviation tendencies caused by formation effects can best be reduced by packed assemblies. The use of a full gauge near-bit stabiliser definitely reduces bit walk. In cases where strong formation effects have been observed on previous wells in the same area, the design of the assembly should be suitably modified to compensate for the anticipated effect.
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® •


In directional drilling with conventional rotating assemblies, extra round trips are sometimes necessary to change the BHA for directional control. Also, bit performance may be reduced by conventional deflection techniques. Several methods exist for continuously controlled directional drilling using "steerable downhole motors". These methods are based on tilting the axis of the bit with respect to the axis of the hole and/or creating a side force at the bit. If the drill string, and hence the body of the motor, is rotated from surface, then the bit will tend to drill straight ahead. However, if the drill string is not rotated from surface then the bit will drill a curved path determined by the orientation of the side force or the tilt of the bit axis. A steerable turbine exists which has been used successfully in the North Sea and elsewhere, however most steerable systems presently being used are based on a positive displacement motor and use the principle of tilting the axis of the bit with respect to the axis of the hole. The advantages of steerable drilling systems are that: • • • • They virtually eliminate thereby saving rig time. They permit Smaller They allow the drilled directional trips made for directional to be drilled. assembly changes,

more complex well paths targets can be hit.

well to be kept close to the plan at all times.

Early steerable turbines used the side force method by having an eccentric stabiliser at the lower end of the bearing section, i.e. at the bottom end of the turbine body, quite close to the bit. One blade is larger in surface area and is offset by 1/8" as shown in Figure 7.3.71,. When the drill string is rotated, the offset stabiliser has no effect on the well path. When it is

1/8" Offset

Figure 7.3 .71 : Excentric stabiliser

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desired to deflect the well path, the toolface (the point opposite the centre of the offset blade) is orientated using an MWD tool. Drilling continues with no rotation from surface and the turbine drills a curved path. These are now obsolete. Modern steerable turbines incorporate a bent housing close to the

Steerable turbines have been used to perform various types of deflection including kick-offs. Their most successful application has been tangent section drilling, performing correction runs as required to keep the well on course.

The tilt in a steerable PDM is created by incorporating a bent U-joint housing in the assembly. The system can include either a single tilt or a double tilt. The advantage of single tilt motors is that they are usually rig-floor adjustable, enabling the tilt angle to be set at any value between zero and some maximum. The advantage of double tilt motors is that they have a small bit offset that facilitates rotating the string when oriented drilling is not required.


steerable drilling from the bit: drilling bearing bit housing with system consists of the following compo-

A double-tilted nents, upwards • • • • • • • a suitable an upper stabiliser

Figure 6.2.72

Steerable double tilt mud motor
Underdaude integral bladestringstabilizer

a double tilted U -joint housing A motor section a by-pass A survey valve string stabiliser MWD. system, usually

Standardbypass valve

An undergauge

Standard motor section
(Novi-Drill Mach 1 or Mach 2)

The double tilt steerable motor assembly is shown in Figure 7.3.72, and the geometry of the system, compared with a single tilt system is shown in Figure

Double-tilted U-joint housing

The concept of the double tilt is that by having the two tilts in the same plane but opposed (at 1800) to each other, the bit offset is minimised. This bit offset is the distance (in millimetres or inches) from the centre of the bit to the axis of the motor section (extrapolated down to the bit). A small bit offset facilitates
Standard bearing assembly with underdaude integral stabilize

Bit Bit offset-/-il l.4--

Bit angle

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rotating the string when oriented drilling is not required.

Figure 7.3.73 : The double-tilted universal joint housing

The double tilted





DTUS= . 75 Bit offset = .60"


0 = .75° Bit offset= 1 .1

is slightly longer than a straight housing and universal joint. is available in various tilt angles and is identified by the tilt angle, which is the mathematical resultant

angle computed from the two opposing tilt angles. •

Bit offset DTU4

Bit offset

is available in various diameters ranging from 43/4" to 111/4". Each diameter has three standard tilt angles designed to provide approximately 2°, 3° and 4° per 100 ft/30 m theoretical dogleg rates.

As mentioned in Topic 5 the double tilted universal joint housing was developed from the single tilt housing. However after a period when it was used it has now been phased out again as most operators prefer the single tilt housing. 2.2 ADJUSTABLE SINGLE TILT ASSEMBLIES called adjustable of single-tilt kick-off housings) adjustable motors are that they:


The advantages •

incorporate a rig site-adjustable bent housing which can be set to achieve maximum build rates in the medium radius range (8°/30m 20°/30m), varying with tool size and stabiliser configuration, allow a single motor to be used for a variety well require fewer tools to be transported advantage for remote locations. of build rates on the same

• •

to and from the rig, a particular

The variable tilt angle is possible because the internal connections of the housing feature a tilted pin thread which screws into a tilted box thread. The relative position of the two tilted angles determines the tilt angle of the tool and the position of the High Side. This is rig floor adjustable between 0° and up to 2-3/4° - the maximum angle varies between tools.

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The addition of an alignment bent sub, with a 2° tilt angle, above the motor section allows the tool to achieve build rates up to 24°/100 ft. This is the Double Adjustable Motor.


Figure 7.3.74 : TGDS


An essential concept when designing and operating directional drilling assemblies is that of the Theoretical Geometric Dogleg

Motor/UBH stabiliser

Severity (TGDS). It is defined by
three points on a drilled arc:


• The bit
• The motor stabiliser or Upper Bearing Housing Stabiliser

• The first string motor. stabiliser above the length/L) degrees per characteristic length

TGDS = a x (2 x characteristic Where : a L Note: = =

the tilt angle in degrees the length between the bit and the string = Li + L2 (in consistent units) stabiliser

This equation for calculating TGDS is based on a system contains full gauge stabilisers.



is usually of the well

The proper tilt angle and steerable motor deflection technique dependent on the directional requirements and characteristics plan.

For kicking off or sidetracking, a high tilt steerable motor is recommended. The tilt angle selected should produce a greater dogleg severity in the oriented mode than the rate of change specified in the well plan. By getting higher dogleg severities than specified, the directional driller can "get ahead" of the well plan build requirements and begin utilising the practice of drilling intervals of oriented and rotary modes. The directional driller can reduce a high build up rate increasing the percentage of footage drilled in the rotary mode. Typically, the rate of penetration will increase greatly when switching from the oriented mode to the rotary mode. As a rule of thumb, the tilt angle selected should theoretically produce a minimum of 1.25 times the maximum dogleg severity required for the well plan. Directional drillers must keep in mind that the TGDS (Theoretical Geometric Dogleg Severity) assumes that

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tool face orientation is constant. In practice this is difficult to do, especially in high torque applications. As a result of a constantly changing tool face orientation, the actual rate of change could be less than expected. When a choice is available, a tool with a higher dogleg capability overall efficiency by reducing oriented drilling requirements. can increase

When tangent section or straight hole drilling, a lower tilted tool may be more desirable to reduce bit wear and increase ROP. However, this depends on the extent to which orientation may be necessary and the anticipated ease of oriented drilling.



It is normal practice to run a string stabiliser either directly above the motor or with a pony drill collar between the motor and the stabiliser. Reasons for using this include: • • • It defines It produces It centralises the third point of contact directional in the steerable response. drilling assembly.

a predictable

the drill string.

Placement Most commonly it is run directly above the motor. According to the 3-point geometry, increasing "U" by moving the first string stabiliser higher in the BHA reduces the Theoretical Geometric Dogleg Severity. This does not always work in practice. It has been found that moving the stabiliser higher can make it harder to get away from vertical in a kick-off. However, once some inclination has been achieved, the rate of build is often greater than the TGDS. For flat turns or for dropping angle, increasing "L" does reduce the dogleg rate as theory predicts.

Size and design
The diameter of the first string stabiliser must not be greater than the diameter of the UBHS and is usually less. It should have preferably the same physical design as the UBHS.

First string stabiliser size - oriented mode
If the first string stabiliser diameter is decreased to less than the UBHS and an upward toolface orientation is present, then the oriented dogleg rate is increased. This is true for both single and double tilted systems.
Figure 7.3.75 : Assembly for increased dogleg rate e lp Al

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If the first string stabiliser diameter is decreased to less than the UBHS and a downward toolface orientation is present, then the oriented dogleg rate is reduced.
Figure 7.3.76 : Assembly for decreased dogleg rate

In either of the above cases, the more undergauge the first string stabiliser, the greater the effect. Again, the same basic effect is seen with both the single and double tilted systems.

First string stabiliser size - rotary mode
Field results have shown that an undergauge first string stabiliser is required to produce a holding tendency when a steerable drilling assembly is run in the rotary mode. The required first string stabiliser diameter is a function of formation and hole inclination. gauge trends
Table 2.4.4 : String stabiliser size for maintaining angle
Hole size
8112n 9 7/8n

First string stabiliser gauge diameter

9 1/8"




Table 2.4.4 can be used as a general guideline for determining the required diameter of the first string stabiliser such that inclination is maintained.

121/4' 143/4' 171/2"

113/4' - 12" 141/8" - 141/2" 16" - 17"

The second table can be used as a general guideline for determining first string stabiliser changes in diameter to Inure c.4 . 3 : auuiy siduwser site iur p roduce a si g nificant chan g e (minimum of chan ging an g le 0 .2 5 ° per 10~30 m) i n rotary inc l ination
reaction. Hole Size 81/2" 121/4"

F lrs t s t'ring s tbl' a iser gauge diameter reduction


1/4" 3i8"


During kick-off operations, two basic factors will determine general steerable drilling assembly design: • • Build up rate required. Expected length of run.

Four examples of BHAs are presented on the following two pages , two for 171/2" holes and two for 121 /4". Note that crossovers have not been mentioned although they have to be used wherever appropriate.

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The following example hold tendency. 171/2" Bit 111/4" Steerable


for a 171/2" hole is designed

to have a rotary

mud motor Stabiliser

171/4" UBHS
161/2" First String

Float Sub 91/2" MWD tool 91/2" Drill Collar
161/2" Stabiliser

2 x 91/2" Drill Collars
2 x 8" Drill Collars Jars (increase or decrease if required)

8" Drill Collar HWDP
The following example assembly for a 171/2" hole is designed to have a considerable rotary build tendency. A good estimate would be 2°/100'. 171/2" Bit 111/4" Steerable mud motor

171/4" UBHS
16" FirstStringStabiliser

Float Sub 91/2" MWD tool 91/2" Drill Collar
161/2" Stabiliser

2 X 91/2" Drill Collars
2 x 8" Drill Collars Jars 8" Drill Collar (increase or decrease if required)

The following example hold tendency. 121/4" Bit 91/2" Steerable assembly for a 121/4" hole is designed to have a rotary

mud motor

121/8" UBHS
12" FirstStringStabiliser

8" MWD tool 8" Drill Collar
12" Stabiliser 2 x 8" Drill Collar

8" Drill Collar HWDP

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The following example build tendency. 121/4" Bit 91/2" Steerable


for a 121/4" hole is designed

to have a rotary

mud motor Stabiliser

121/8" UBHS
11" First String

8"MWD tool 8" Drill Collar
113/4" Stabiliser

2 x 8" Drill Collars

8" Drill Collar HWDP


When beginning a kick-off, it is recommended to have the first string stabiliser in open hole and not up in the casing to prevent hanging up or any other anomalous assembly reactions. Be aware of the fact that when using a steerable motor assembly in vertical or near vertical holes, the actual dogleg may be less than the

TGDS calculated.
• Initially, in a kick-off, the directional driller should observe the actual oriented dogleg severity of the steerable assembly for a interval of at least 60 feet. Constant monitoring of the actual oriented dogleg severity is necessary to plan subsequent oriented/rotary drilling intervals. Minimising rotary speed will slightly increase practice can reduce oriented drilling intervals system. the fulcrum effect. This and further optimise the

During the initial stage of a kick-off from vertical, stabiliser hang-up can occur. This problem may exist until the wellbore is inclined and/or the first string stabiliser enters the curved, oriented hole. Consider beginning the kick-off early; this can reduce oriented requirements and the maximum inclination of the well path. drilling



An estimate of the proportion of the footage which will have to be drilled oriented mode can be determined by the following formula.
% foota

g e oriented :


(DL - DLR) x 100 DLO - DLR


DL = required dogleg (°/unit length) DLO = actual dogleg when oriented (°/unit length) DLR = actual dogleg when rotary drilling (°/unit length)

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WDLP - Directional drilling



Planned build-up rate = 2.5°/30 m
Build-up Build-up
% footage

rate obtained rate obtained
oriented =

when oriented = 3.5°/30 in during rotary drilling = 0.5°/30 in (2-5-0 5)x 100 =



Tangent or hold sections can prove to be very economical using steerable drilling assemblies, although their performance will not usually match that of straight motor drilling. Long sections of hole can be drilled faster than with conventional rotary assemblies, and corrections can be performed, if required, to keep the well on course.

• • •

An undergauge first string stabiliser is required to maintain when rotary drilling with steerable drilling assemblies. inclination

The assembly chosen should be capable of producing an acceptable dogleg rate to allow for shorter corrective oriented intervals. Decreasing the diameter of the first string stabiliser versus increasing "L" is preferred because TGDS is affected less. This practice also limits the number of variables to one, the OD of the first string stabiliser.


DRILLING BHA for drilling a 121/4" hole tangent section is:

A typical

121/4" Bit 91/2" Steerable

mud motor stabiliser

121/x" UBHS
113/4" String

8"MWD tool 8" Drill Collar
113/4" Stabiliser

3 x 8" Drill Collars
Jars 8" Drill Collars as required HWDP as required



After observing the steerable assembly directional tendencies over a rotary drilled interval of at least 200' (30 m) , a plan for drilling long distances between orientations should be established. This plan should minimise the

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number •

of orientation


and maximise


rate. drilling in a well path and to

Oriented drilling intervals should be minimised. Oriented tangent or hold section is performed to correct the present compensate for anticipated trends. Never let the drilled well path Temper this with the fact that more expensive than allowing calculate and plot the position times there must be a feasible the intended target.

get too far from the planned trajectory. "drilling on the line" can be significantly small deviations. As surveys are obtained, on both horizontal and vertical plans. At all course to drill from the current location to

When a drop section is to be drilled, the gauge of the first string stabiliser can be increased to produce more of a dropping tendency in the rotary mode. The recommended diameter, however, is no larger than the UBHS. Increasing the diameter of this stabiliser can also increase hole drag and stabiliser hang up. Typical rotary drop rates are seldom much higher than 1°/100', with 0.5°to 0.75°/100' commonly produced when the angle is less than 20°. If higher drop rates are required. then oriented drilling will be mandatory. The following is a general design for a drop assembly while rotary drilling.

121/4" Bit 91/2" Steerable mud motor (slick) 121/8" First String Stabiliser

8" MWD tool 8" Drill Collar
12" Stabiliser Etc. The following • guidelines should be considered when drilling drop sections.

Except in stringent circumstances, the drilled well path can be positioned "ahead" of the planned path. This will usually reduce the oriented drilling requirements. In hard-to-drill or problem minimised or avoided. formations, oriented toolsets should be

• • • •

Actual dogleg rate when drilling less than the TGDS. The steerable drilling assembly is at least 125% of the required


to drop inclination

is usually

should be designed drop rate.

such that the TGDS in

Stabilisers should be selected such that rotary drilling either assists achieving the desired dog-leg, or produces a neutral tendency.

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Rotary Mode
• • • Rotary drilling with steerable azimuth hold tendency. drilling assemblies usually exhibits an

The dip and strike of the formation drilling assembly to walk. The conventional directional concept assembly is applicable with steerable

will affect the tendency of increasing rotary drilling assemblies.

of the steerable RPM to stiffen an

Oriented Mode
• • Changes in azimuth are most efficiently performed in oriented mode. Due to the stabilisation of the steerable motor, the toolface can be orientated for maximum turn without dropping inclination (a typical problem with motor and bent sub assemblies in soft formations). A reduction in TGDS can be expected when oriented effect of the undergauge first string stabiliser. for a turn due to the

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Rotary steerable systems bring a number of significant benefits to the directional drilling process in comparison with the use of conventional bent housing positive displacement motors. In short these are: • Continuous rotation while steering means less friction between wellbore and pipe, resulting in better weight transfer to the bit. This in turn gives higher penetration rates both directly and by allowing the use of more aggressive bits. It also facilitates the drilling of extended reach wells. Compared with rotated bent housings these systems produce smoother, "in-gauge", non-spiralled borehole, which further reduces friction and results in easier casing, wireline, and completion operations as well as simpler tripping operations. Constant steering over the full drilling cycle instead of short periods of sliding results in a less tortuous well profile and again reduces friction, with the same benefits accruing. Constantly rotating pipe means improved cuttings the need for wiper trips, and reducing the chances removal, reducing of stuck pipe.

Since their introduction in the mid nineties, rotary steerable drilling systems have delivered significant gains in drilling efficiency. In addition to this fundamental benefit, they have also enabled ever more challenging wells to be drilled with a wide range of other benefits ranging from reduced HS&E exposure to improved hydrocarbon recovery, as well as improved hole cleaning. In this Topic three different rotary steerable drilling systems will be discussed, the Power Drive(s) developed by Schlumberger, the AutoTrak system developed by Baker Hughes Inteq and the Geo-Pilot from Halliburton.

There are two operating principles rotary steerable systems - namely that are often referred to when discussing "Push the Bit" or "Point the Bit".

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WDLP - Directional drilling




A pure "push the bit" rotary steerable system steers simply by applying a side load to the bit - usually using pads close to the bit to apply this load. This forces the bit's outer cutting structure and gauge to cut sideways into the formation to drill a curved hole in that direction. Systems employing this principle are restricted to very short gauge bits (typically less than 2" gauge length) where the gauge is set with an active cutting structure. While these systems are agile, permitting a quick and precise response to any required changes in wellbore deviation, the short gauge bits used by these systems may drill a "spiralled hole" when high side-loading is applied. 1.2 THE " POINT THE BIT " OPERATING PRINCIPLE:

A pure "point the bit" rotary steerable system steers by precisely pointing (tilting) the bit in exactly the direction the wellpath needs to be steered. In doing so, the drill bit's face is pointing perfectly in the direction to be drilled and there is no side loading on the bit. The advantage of this operating principle is that longer gauge bits can be used to avoid hole spiralling. Unfortunately, these systems are slower to respond to required trajectory changes and the overall dogleg severity capability is typically lower than that of a "push the bit" system.

The AutoTrak system uses a non-rotating sleeve, positioned close to the bit. The sleeve utilises three independent hydraulic and control systems. The hydraulic pistons can push the bit to one side of the hole resulting in a change in inclination and/or direction of the wellbore. See Figures 7.3.77 and 7.3.78

3 independent hydraulic units & control systems

No rototing mud oil seals

Highest rotary speed specification of any rotary $teeroble


Figure7.3.78: The pistons of the AutoTrok tool

The AutoTrak system consists of a "Hybrid" operating system whereby the bit is either pushed in one direction or pointed in a certain direction. The AutoTrak Rotary Closed Loop System (RCLS, Figure 7.3.79) determines which operating mode is required for the wellbore's immediate requirement. When initiating a
Figure 7.3.77 : The AutoTrak tool

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I odhe,


change to a wellbore trajectory (e.g. ending a tangent, starting a 3-D turn etc.) the bit is immediately pushed to the side. Once a few feet of the new curvature is drilled, the steering mechanism is then used to bend the bottom hole assembly into the new curvature and effectively point the bit in the direction to be steered.
loop system

The Rotary Closed Loop System (RCLS) incorporates an automatic drilling mode in which the inclination is measured continuously (at 5 seconds intervals) by a near bit sensor. These measurements are fed into the tool's downhole logic system, which compares the near-bit inclination trends to the Target Inclination programmed into the system's downhole memory within a small fraction of a degree. If the inclination trends are of greater value than the Target Inclination the tool automatically steers down to drop inclination and vice versa. When required by the well plan, the Target Inclination value is reset by downlinking to the tool from surface.
Figure 7.3.79 : The rotary closed

Figure 7.3.8 shows a BHA with the bit, the non-rotating stabiliser (Ll) and the electronic control unit (1).

sleeve (2), a rotating

L2 4




Constant - Steer Vector
L1 2 1 /

S ••••• Bit "pointing " in '•r 3

BHA bent into curved hole by steering vector
ryste operates using a ' hybrid- of oper ing pane, pe, nmu ltaneuvisly delivering estems - consisteit, reliable steea bility and superior hole quality

direction of steer

The autoilk

the best of bh øt,blhhed

Figure 7 . 3.80:

The AutoTrak BHA

The AutoTrak steerable system can be integrated with LWD systems such as Gamma Ray, Neutron Density, Calliper etc. With many of these measurements being at the bit and without a long conventional downhole motor assembly a much reduced BHA length is achieved. Additionally with formation measurements being much closer to the bit, improved geosteering capability is achieved. In addition to the AutoTrak called VertiTrak. system, BHI market a vertical drilling system

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Schlumberger provides three types of rotary steerable system with different principles of operation, and different generations of tools exist within some of these groups. The division of systems is as follows: • • • PowerDrive Xtra, PowerDrive X5 PowerV - vertical drilling system PowerDrive Xceed to the above a fourth service is available that combines technology with an integrated motor power section. vorteX - PowerDrive + integrated motor power section.

In addition PowerDrive •


All these tools have one feature in common that is unique in the market place today. They are designed such that all external components exposed to the annulus are fully rotating at the same speed as the drillstring (or motor bit box should a power section be incorporated above the rotary steerable i.e. PowerDrive vortex configuration). The advantages of a fully rotating system versus those that utilise external stationary components can be summarised as follows... • • • • • • Less friction with the borehole wall More efficient cuttings removal Less chance of becoming mechanically or differentially stuck Less chance of drilling spiral hole Reduced interference through casing shoes, windows, and across whipstocks More transparency to the drilling operation e.g. more compatible with reaming operations.


consist of four main components.
Stabiåer ControlUnt Biasiat

These systems

Figure 7.3.81

: The Powerdrive XTRAand X5 assembly

1) The Bias Unit consists of an internal rotary valve controlling actuation of three externally mounted pads. 2) The Control the collar. Unit is a geostationary electronics package

the hydraulic within


3) A Stabiliser acts as a third point of borehole wall contact for directional control. Selecting the option of string, integral blade, or sleeve type stabilisers allows the position and size to be varied to fine tune the behaviour in different environments. 4) An optional

Flex Joint can be used to increase

the dogleg capability

of the

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The Control Unit, mounted inside a Control Collar derives power from the flow of drilling fluid across an impeller. It houses the control electronics and directional instrumentation required to control the tools behaviour, and is able to hold itself stationary inside the rotating collar . Attached to the downhole end of the Control Unit is a control shaft . This runs down into the Bias Unit.
Next pad to act, as

When the Control Unit is stationary, so too is the control shaft. A valve on the end of this rod seats over three ports that rotate along with the rest of the Bias Unit. As the ports pass underneath the stationary valve drilling fluid is diverted into them . The fluid then activates each of the three p ads in turn such that they always push out at the same relative position in the borehole. The action of the pads on the same point of the borehole wall forces the bit in the opposite direction. The amount of time that the Control Unit is held stationary
over a given period of time determines the

Resultant Direction

collar rotates past
stationary valve


f_N .'###BOT_TEXT###gt;11

Current pad acting against the formation

Figure 7.3.82

: The Power Drive Bias unit

dogleg capability

of the tool.

Communication to the tool to change steering direction and strength is achieved by executing combinations of flow rate changes at the surface.

PowerDrive Xtra Features
• • • • Rated to 125°C Dogleg capability up to 8°/100ft Real-time link to MWD available for Near Bit Inclination and Azimuth, and tool status information. Stabiliser size and placement options i.e. stabilised control collars

• Max RPM 220 PowerDrive X5 Features
• • • • As above, but rated to 150°C Azimuthal Gamma Ray for Near Bit data in four quadrants Cruise Control providing automatic inclination hold i.e. downhole loop functionality Ruggedised and simplified Bias Unit and Control Unit design.




PowerV operates on the same principle as PowerDrive Xtra and PowerDrive X5. However, it is designed to drill vertical holes only. It maintains vertical hole by automatically correcting for any deviation from vertical. The system is fully rotating, even when performing corrections. As well as conferring the usual benefits of rotary steerable drilling, the system has the

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WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

following • • • •


More weight on bit can be applied without fear of building angle. The need for time consuming sliding intervals, or correction runs, is removed. No interaction from surface is needed to maintain vertical drilling. The system can be run stand alone i.e. without MWD systems

PowerV Features
• • • 150°C rating Automatic closed loop vertical drilling Can be run below a motor power section (PowerDrive tion).

vorteX configura-



PowerDrive Xceed operates on a point the bit principle. It comprises three internal modules and a collar. Unlike PowerDrive all internal, as well as external parts rotate at the same speed as the drillstring.
Sensor package Motor rotation CCW

& control system

@ collar speed
i_.. r

Power generating

Collar rotation CW



Figure 7.3.83

: The PowerDrive XCeed assembly

The collar has two threaded shoulders for the mounting of variable size sleeve stabilisers. Along with the bit these provide the three points of contact that determine directional response. The Power Generation Module uses PowerPulse MWD technology generate tool power from the flow of drilling fluid over a turbine. The electronics contain an MWD type directional systems for the tools operation. package to

• • •

and control

The steering section orients an offset bit shaft to provide a toolface offset at the bit that determines the direction in which the hole is drilled.

In the steering section the bit shaft is connected to an electric motor slightly off centre from the tool axis. This results in an offset at the bit box, and thus at the bit itself. To hold a given toolface the motor is rotated at exactly the same speed as the collar, but in the opposite direction. The net result is that the bit shaft offset remains stationary relative to the borehole. PowerDrive Xceed will then drill in this direction. The amount of time that the offset position is held constant over a given period of time determines the dogleg capability of the tool. Drillstring RPM, torque, and weight are transmitted through the collar, and into the bitshaft just above the bit box by a universal joint arrangement. The internal components of the tool are thus protected from the forces generated

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Page 7/3/95

by the drilling


Communication to the tool to change steering direction and strength is achieved by executing combinations of flow rate changes at the surface. PowerDrive Xceed's method of operation certain applications. These are... • • • • results in it being very well suited to

High dogleg capability in unconsolidated or interbedded Open hole sidetracking. Drilling & steering with a bi-centre bit. Drilling in tough or abrasive environments.


PowerDrive Xceed Features
• • • • • Rated to 150°C Dogleg capability up to 8°/100ft Real-time link to MWD for Near Bit Inclination status information. Stabiliser size options Cruise Control providing automatic inclination downhole closed loop functionality

• Max RPM 350
and Azimuth, and tool

and azimuth

hold i.e.



PowerDrive vorteX combines an integrated motor power section with PowerDrive systems. Combining these two technologies results in higher, more consistent bit RPM, and smoother power delivery. The following benefits to the drilling process can be realised... • • • • Increased penetration rates Reduced stick-slip Reduced casing and drillstring wear Rotary steerable usage on power limited


The Geo-Pilot rotary steerable system from Halliburton also uses "point the bit" technology. The design concept involves deflection of a flexible shaft between the bit and the drill string. A high-side reference housing contains a compact and rugged computer controlled bias unit (eccentric rings) to cuemrm øeos impart a controlled deflection to this shaft element, allowing for continuously variable - both in toolface and ,'y effective bend angle - steering . The "'°°""' concept is shown in the Figure. The Geo-Pilot system is designed for use with extended gauge PDC bits
which aim to minimise the nonFigure 7.3.84: Principle of Geopilot operation

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constructive bit behaviours caused by short gauge bits i.e. hole spiralling. The extended gauge bits used with Geo-Pilot are box up bits (see Figure 7.3.85) and are usually provided by Halliburton DBS as part of the overall package.

Figure 7.3.85 :
Bit for use with Geopilot

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An important consideration in designing the bottom-hole assembly is the total number of drill collars and heavy weight drill pipe required to provide the desired weight on bit. In drilling vertical wells, it has long been standard practice to avoid running ordinary drill pipe in compression. (This was recommended by Lubinski in 1950). This is achieved by making sure that the buoyed weight of drill collars and heavy weight pipe exceeds the maximum weight on bit. This practice was also adopted on low-angle directional wells. In directional wells it has to be remembered that, since gravity acts vertically downwards, only the along-hole component of the weight of BHA elements contributes to the weight on bit. The problem this creates is that if high WOB is required when drilling a high-angle well, then a long and expensive BHA would be needed in order to avoid having any drill pipe in compression. It is, however, common practice to use about the same BHA weight as would be used on a low-angle well and run the drill pipe in compression. Analysis of drill pipe buckling in inclined holes by a number of researchers, notably Dawson and Paslay, has shown that drill pipe can tolerate significant levels of compression in small-diameter high-angle holes because of the support provided by the low side of the hole. Drill pipe is commonly run in compression in drilling horizontal wells, without apparently causing damage to the pipe. Additional information about the design of bottom-hole assemblies wells is given in the Part dealing with drill string design. in deviated

Consider a short element of a BHA which has a weight W. Its effective weight in drilling fluid= W x BF, where BF = the buoyancy factor of the drilling fluid. The component
cosO, where

of the weight



along the element

= W x BF x

0 is the borehole



the BHA


are coaxial). 0 is used for inclination and I is used for axial moment

Note: In this chapter, of inertia.

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If the BHA is not rotated, the friction force, Ff, acting up the borehole on the BHA element is given by Ffr = µN, where t is the coefficient of friction and N is the normal reaction force between the BHA element and the bore hole wall.
Figure 7.3.86: Forces on the BHA If this normal reaction is due

only to the weight of the BHA Borehole -axis element itself, then N= W x BF x sin o and hence


xsin 0

N=W(BF)sinØ Force = W (BF) cos e Buoyed weight = W(BF)

The net contribution to the WOB from this BHA element istherefore


cos 0 - µsino)

When two contacting surfaces are in relative motion, the direction of the force of sliding friction on each surface acts along the line of relative motion and in the opposite direction to its motion. Therefore, when a BHA is rotated, the friction forces mainly act circumferentially to oppose rotation (torque) with only a very small component acting along the borehole (drag). Measurements of downhole WOB by MWD tools confirm that when the BHA is rotated there is only a small reduction in weight on bit due to drag. This can be allowed for simplistically by using a safety factor. Neglecting drag, and extending the discussion above to the whole BHA,

W elt = WBHAx BF x cos 0
Where Therefore, : WBIIA= the total air weight Wbit= the weight on bit of the BHA

if no drill pipe is to be run in compression, weight of BHA (in air) = maximum WOB x safety factor

Required Example

BF x cos o

Drilling 171/2" hole the tangent section avoid running any 10ppg. Use a 10% Required

with a roller cone bit, we want to use 45,000 lbs WOB in at 30° inclination. What air weight of BHA is required to drill pipe in compression? The drilling fluid density is safety margin. = 45, 000 x 1.1

BHA weight

0.848 x cos 30° = 67,400 approximately

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we have 180' of 91/2" tubulars


220 lbs per foot, a 91/2"

MWD tool weighing 3,400 lbs and 90' of 8" tubulars
How many joints of 5" HWDP would be required? Total weight of DC section Required air weight of HWDP Weight of 1 joint of HWDP

weighing 154 lbs per foot.

= (180 x 220) + 3,400 + (90 x 154) lbs = 56,860 lbs = 67,500 lbs - 56,860 lbs =10,640 lbs =1,480 lbs 10, 640 1,480

N umber o f jo ints of HWDP required =

= 7.2 Therefore a minimum of 8 joints of HWDP are required.

It must be emphasised that the Safety Factor in the preceding example is to compensate for loss of weight due to friction while drilling in the deviated section of the well.

Consider the following example.

We are drilling a 121/4" tangent section in hard formation using an insert bit. We want to use 50,000 lbs WOB. The hole inclination is 60° and the drilling fluid density is 11 ppg. What air weight of BHA is required if we are to avoid running in compression ? Use a 15% safety margin. Required BHA weight = 50,000 x 1.15 0.832 x cos60° lbs any drill pipe

=138,200 lbs This is roughly the weight of ten stands of 8" drill collars, or alternatively, six stands of 8" collars plus 44 joints of HWDP ! This is just not practical ! It would be a long, stiff and expensive BHA.



Dawson and Paslay developed the following equation for critical buckling force in drill pipe. Where: E is Young 's modulus. I F -2 1
EIW sin 0

is the axial moment of inertia.
weight per unit length.

W is the buoyed


0 is borehole inclination. r is the radial clearance between the pipe (tool joint ) and the borehole wall. Note that consideration must be given to the possibility of an oversize hole when calculating 'r'.
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If the compressive

load reaches

the value Fei, then sinusoidal



The sinusoidal buckling equation given above can be used to develop graphs and tables of values such as those in Appendix 2. If the compressive load at a given inclination lies below the graph, then the drill pipe will not buckle. The reason that pipe in an inclined hole is so resistant to buckling is that the hole is supporting and constraining the pipe throughout its length. The low side of the hole forms a trough that resists even a slight displacement of the pipe from its initial straight configuration. It follows that this equation is not applicable for vertical holes, for which other equations are available. Note that, intuitively, it may seem that the "radial clearance" in the above equation would be that between the drill-pipe and the hole rather than between the tool joint and the hole. However in practice it appears that a better correlation with theory is obtained if the radial clearance of the tooljoint is used.

Calculating critical buckling force
A set of graphs and tables is presented in Appendix sets of conditions. The following example illustrates critical buckling load for other conditions. 2 . These are for specific how to calculate the

Suppose we have 41/2" drill pipe with a nominal weight of 16.6 lbs/ft in 81/2" hole at 50° inclination with a drilling fluid density of 14 ppg. Young's modulus, I E, for steel is 29 x 106 psi

64 (OD° -ID 4) can be found in API RP7G.

The ID of the drill pipe is 3.826". This information 4= I= 64 4.5° -3.826 The approximate weights 9.61ins4 for different

sizes of drill pipe can also be found in

API RP7G . In this case it is 17.98 lbs/ft.
In the equation, W is the buoyed weight in lbs/inch.

The air weight = 17.98 lbs/ft = 1.498 lbs/in and the buoyancy factor for 14ppg drilling fluid = 0.786.
.•. W = 1.498x 0.786 = 1.178 lbs/ in sin 50 ° = 0.766
Radial clearance = Y2(Hole OD - Tool joint OD)

= Y2 (8.5" - 6.375") = 1.06"

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The values obtained above may now be substituted critical buckling force. =2 29x106 x9.61x1.178x0.7661bs 1.06

in our equation

for the

= 30,800 lbs

Calculating BHA weight with drill pipe in compression
The conclusion of the previous paragraph is that on high-angle wells in small hole sizes, a fraction of the weight on bit can safely be provided by having drill pipe in compression. It is suggested that 90% of the critical buckling force be used as the maximum contribution to the weight on bit from ordinary drill pipe. Denoting the total air weight of the BHA by WHHA , the weight and the critical buckling load by F« , we have: WH[TxSF=(WHHA xBFxcos0)+0.9Fcr

on bit by W HIT


Continuing the example at the beginning of this sub-Topic 3, let us recalculate the weight of the BHA required assuming some drill pipe is to be run in compression. Suppose we are using 5" drill pipe; referring to the table for 5" drill pipe in 121/4" hole in Appendix 2, we see that the critical buckling load at 60° inclination is 29,300 lbs. Our equation then gives:

0.832 x 0.5 = 74,800 lbs approximately


Thus a total air weight of 74,800 lbs is required. This is much more feasible than the value of 138,000 lbs previously calculated. The graphs and tables in Appendix 2 are for the particular drilling fluid density of 10.68 ppg. However, variations in drilling fluid density have only a minor effect on the value of critical buckling load and so the graphs could be used for drilling fluid densities of up to 14 ppg without introducing a significant error. For drilling fluid densities above 14 ppg, the value of critical buckling load should be re-calculated.


When drilling vertical wells, ordinary drill pipe must NEVER be run in compression in any hole size. Therefore sufficient BHA weight must be used to provide all the desired weight on bit with an appropriate safety margin.

Page 7 /3/102

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Given that the clearance is in the denominator of the Dawson & Paslay equation, the critical buckling force will decrease as the hole size increases, even in high angle holes. In hole sizes of say 16" or more the drill-pipe should only be run in compression in exceptional cases. In smaller hole sizes on high-angle wells (over 45°), drill pipe may be run in compression to contribute to the weight on bit provided the maximum compressive load is less than the critical buckling force. This critical buckling force is the minimum compressive force which will cause sinusoidal buckling of the drill pipe. A safety margin of at least 10% should be used in the calculation to allow for some drag (friction) in the hole. However, axial drag is not a major factor when assemblies are rotated.

The preceding discussion concerned rotary assemblies. However, it would also apply to steerable motor systems used in the rotary mode. Provided the steerable system was to be used mainly in the rotary mode, with only minimal oriented drilling anticipated, then the required BHA weight could be calculated on the same basis. If a significant amount of oriented drilling was likely, then the following Sub-Topic is applicable.

As stated earlier, when the drill string is rotated the along-hole component of sliding friction (drag) is small and may be allowed for simply by using a safety factor in BHA weight calculations. Drill string friction for rotary assemblies will mainly affect torque values. When the drill string is not rotated, as when a steerable motor system is used in the oriented mode, axial drag can become very significant and drill string friction may be evaluated taking in more factors by using computer simulation (WellPlan) . In practice, BHA weight for steerable is not a problem for two reasons. • • The WOB is usually assemblies on typical directional wells

fairly low, especially

when a PDC bit is used.

When the drill string is not rotated the drill pipe is not subjected to the cyclical stresses which occur during rotary drilling. Therefore, sinusoidal buckling can be tolerated when there is no rotation of the drill string. Helical buckling must, however, be avoided. buckling occurs at 1.41 Far, where FeC is the compressive buckling occurs. force at


which sinusoidal

Therefore, if BHA weight requirements are evaluated as for rotary drilling, the results will be valid for steerable systems in the oriented mode except for unusual well paths which create exceptionally high values of axial drag. The standard practice of minimising BHA length and weight for steerable assemblies has not created any noticeable increase in the incidence of drill string failure, even when long sections are drilled in the oriented mode.

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BUILD AND HOLD CONFIGURATION The following information • Surface is required:

(slot) coordinates

• TVD of the kick-off point (VDI)
• Build-up rate

• Target coordinates

• TVD of target

In the solution which follows for the vertical projection, the well is assumed to be vertical to the




kick-off point (KOP). The
following lated: • • • •


will be calcuat end of

Measured depth build section.


Horizontal displacement at end of build section (HI). Vertical depth at end of build section (VD2 ). Inclination
section (a). depth of Figure 7 .3.87 : Cross section through a "build and hold" type well




of tangent

Total measured the target.



of target

(H2). is calculated from the two sets

First the horizontal displacement of horizontal plane coordinates: Hz = (NT - Ns) +(ET

of the target where:



NS = Northing of slot EØ =Easting of slot NT =Northing ET =Easting of target of target or rig

These Northings reference point.

and Eastings

must all be measured

from the platform

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Referring to Figure 7.3.78, the build-up section is assumed to be on an are of a circle of radius R. Let the build-up rate be BUR degrees per 100 ft. Then BUR 100 R 360 2 7tR 36,000 _ 18,000 2Ic(BUR) Ir(BUR)

DT=H,-R OD = VD3 - VD, VD1 and VD3 are known values
Angle 0 = arctan DT


OT = Al


BC7T = arccos


__ Ø //

a = 90°-B(D BT = OT'-R'

BC = BTcosa CT = BTsina We can now calculate all the required values:

Measured depth at end of build = VD, +


Vertical depth at end of build = VD, + R sin a

Horizontal displacement at end of build, H, = R(] - cos a) Alternatively, H, = H2 -CT Total measured depth to target = VD, + 100a BUR Note : The above solution assumes that the radius of curvature of the build-up section is less than the horizontal displacement of the target; that, however, need not be the case. The trainee is invited to sketch a new trajectory and work through the logic of the solution on the assumption that the R corresponding to the chosen build-up rate is greater than the horizontal displacement of the target. + BT

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S-TYPE WELL The following required: Surface Target information is

Figure 7 .3.88 : Cross section through an S-type well

(slot) coordinates. coordinates.


TVD of target. TVD of kick-off point.
Build-up rate. Drop-off rate.






TVD at the end of the
drop-off section.
. F

Final inclination the target.


The well is assumed to be vertical to KOP. The following values are calculated: • Measured depth at end of




build. • TVD at end of build (VD2).
• • • • • • • • Horizontal Inclination Measured Horizontal Measured Horizontal Horizontal displacement of tangent depth at section (a). of drop. at start


Hr H, H4

end of build (111).
at start

• TVD at start of drop (VD3).
displacement depth displacement displacement of drop (H2). at end of drop. at end of drop (H3). of target (H4). depth to target.

Total measured

Let BUR be the build-up rate in degrees per 100 ft. and DOR be the drop-off rate in degrees per 100 ft. As before, the horizontal slot and target The radius coordinates. curve is calculated, as before, by: displacement of the target, H4, is determined from

of the build-up


_ 18,000 rt(BUR)
, the radius of curvature of the drop section is calculated by


18,000 R 71(DOR)

WDLP - Directional drilling V 2 .0.0

Page 7131107

Now referring

to Figure

7.3.79, OF is constructed


to BC, therefore:

Angles /3,H4,VD4 and VD; are known quantities

x=H4-R,-R,cos/3-(VD5-VD4)tanf OP = VD4+R,sin/3-VD, EF=R,+R, OE = VW -+ X2 (in triangle OPE) OF OE' - EF'

Then we have: B = arctanL
R, +R2

OF Ø = arctan OP Hence the inclination We can now calculate of the tangent all the required section values: can be calculated since a = 0+ Ø

MD at end of build VD at end of build (VD2)
Horizontal displacement

= VD 1 +

100 a

BUR = VD1+R1sina
at end of build = R1(1-cos(x)

MD at start of drop VD at start of drop (VD3)
Horizontal displacement at start

= VD,+ BUR +OF (BC = OF) = VD2 + OF cos a (BC = OF)
of drop (H2) = Hl + BC sin a

MD at end of drop
VD at end of drop, V4, was given
Horizontal displacement at end of drop, H,

= VD 1 + 100a + BC + 100(a BUR DOR

= H2+ R, (cosf3 - cos a)

Total measured depth

= VD, +

100a BUR

+ BC +

100(a-P) DOR

+ VD; - VD4 cost

Final note:

An S well which drops back to vertical the above.

is simply

a special

case of

Page 7/3/108

WDLP - Directionaldrilling V20.0




The tables and graphs on the following four pages give the critical buckling forces for specific values of hole inclination when using 5" S135 drillpipe and 5" Hevi-wate drill-pipe in 121/4" and 81/2" holes, with a drilling fluid density of 10.68 lbs/gal (1.28 kg/1). These are common combinations of hole size and drillpipe, and the drilling fluid density is of the order of magnitude of what will commonly be required. They provide therefore a quick approximation to the critical buckling forces which will be applicable when drilling many conventional wells in normally pressured formations. For critical

cases, or for different
in Topic 10.3.


an exact value should be calcu-

as explained

These tables and graphs have been made by applying the equations Topic 10.3, and using the dimensions of new drill-pipe.

given in

The lines plotted on the graphs do not start from 0° (where the equation would indicate a zero critical buckling force) because the equation is not valid for vertical wells. In that case, where a different equation applies. Fer will have a small but non-zero value. The graphs have (arbitrarily) been plotted from 2° to illustrate how sensitive the critical buckling force is to the inclination in this range. In practice it is irrelevant whether Fcr is zero or small in vertical wells, because both emphasise the point that drill-pipe should only be run in compression in significantly deviated wells.

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for new 5" 19.5 lbs/ft S135 drill -pipe in 121/4" hole Drill pipe O.D.
Drill pipe I.D. Drill pipe weight*

5 inch
4.21 inch 22.60 lbs/ft

127 mm
106.9 mm 33.6 Kg/m

Tool joint O.D. (NC50)
Hole diameter

6.625 inch
12.25 inch

168.3 mm
311.15 mm

Drilling fluid density

10.68 ppg

1.28 Kg/I

* Taken from API RP7G (August 1991)
Fer (KN)
Fer (Ribs)

2 26.20 5.90

5 41.4 9.3 35 106.1 23.9 65 133.4 30.0

10 58.4 13.1 40 112.3 25.3 70 135.8 30.5

15 71.3 16.0 45 117.8 26.5 75 137.7 31.0

20 81.9 18.4 50 122.6 27.6 80 139.0 31.3

25 91.1 20.5 55 126.8 28.5 85 139.8 31.4

30 99.1 22.3 60 130.4 29.3 90 140.1 31.5

Fer (KN))

Fer (Klbs) Inclination Fcr (KN)) FeC(Klbs)
Figure 7.3.89







Klbs 20












Page 7/ 3/1 10

WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

Critical for new



(Far) in 121/4" hole

5" Hevi-wate


Drill pipe O.D. Drill pipe I.D.
Drill pipe weight*

5 inch 3.00 inch
49.30 lbs/ft

127 mm 76.2 mm
73.4 Kg/m

Tool joint O.D. (NC50)
Hole diameter Drilling fluid density

6.50 inch
12.25 inch 10.68 ppg

165.1 mm
311.15 mm 1.28 Kg/I

* Taken from API RP7G (August 1991)
Inclination FaC(KN) 2 50.60 5 79.9 10 112.8 15 137.7 20 158.3 25 176.0 30 191.4

FaC (Klbs)
Inclination Fer (KN)) Fer (Klbs) Inclination Fer (KN)) Fer (Klbs)


35 205.0 46.1 65 257.7 57.9

40 217.1 48.8 70 262.4 59.0

45 227.7 51.2 75 266.1 59.8

50 237.0 53.3 80 268.7 60.4

55 245.0 55.1 85 270.2 60.8

60 251.9 56.6 90 270.7 60.9

Figure 7.3.90 280



KN cm c 160

K16s 40

0° 10° 20° 30°








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for new 5" 19.5 lbs / ft S135 drill -pipe in 81/2"hole
Drill pipe O.D. 5 inch 127 mm

Drill pipe I.D. Drill pipe weight* Tool joint O.D. (NC50)
Hole diameter

4.21 inch 22.6 lbs/ft 6.625 inch
8.5 inch

106.9 mm 33.6 Kg/m 168.3 mm
215.9 mm

Drilling fluid density

10.68 ppg

1.28 Kg/1

* Taken from API RP7G (August 1991) Inclination
Fcr (KN) Fcr (Klbs)

0 0

71.6 16.1 35 183.8 41.3

101.1 22.7 40 194.5 43.7

123.4 27.8 45 204.0 45.9

141.9 31.9 50 212.4 47.7

157.7 35.5 55 219.6 49.4

171.6 38.6 60 225.8 50.8

Fcr Fer

(1(N)) (Klbs)

Fer (KN))

231.0 51.9

235.2 52.9

238.5 53.6

240.8 54.1

242.2 54.4

242.7 54.6

Fer (Klbs)
Figure 7.3.91





a m 80

Klbs 40

0° 100 20 ° 30° 40 ° 50° 60 ° 70° 80° 90°


Page 7/3/1


WDLP - Directional drilling

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Critical buckling

forces (Fcr)
drill -pipe in 81/2" hole

for new 5" Hevi -wate

Drill pipe O.D. Drill pipe I.D. Drill pipe weight* Tool joint O.D.(NC50)
Hole diameter

5 inch 3.00 inch 49.30 lbs/ft 6.50inch
8.25 inch

127 mm 76.2 mm 73.4 Kg/m 165.1 mm
215.9 mm

Drilling fluid density

10.68 ppg

1.28 Kg/l

* Taken from API RP7G (August 1991)
Inclination Fcr (KN) Fcr (Klbs) Inclination Fcr (KN)) 0 0 0 5 135.5 30.5 35 347.7 10 191.3 43.0 40 368.0 15 233.5 52.5 45 386.0 20 268.5 60.4 50 401.8 25 298.4 67.1 55 415.5 30 324.6 73.0 60 427.2

Fcr (Klbs) Inclination
Fcr (KN)) Fcr (Klbs)

78.2 65
437.0 98.2

82.7 70
445.0 100.0

86.8 75
451.2 101.4

90.3 80
455.5 102.4

93.4 85
458.2 103.0

96.0 90
459.0 103.2

Figure 7.3.92 480

400 360 320 KN rn 280 c 240 ø 200

160 120

80 40 0 0° 10° 20°
30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80° 90°


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Page 7/3/1 14

WDLP - Directional drilling



(print name)

Received by mentor:

Name (print)


& date


List six applications

of directional



For the three applications above which you consider give a brief explanation of each.

most important,



the following


bearings Quadrant bearing

into azimuth. Azimuth

Quadrant bearing


S641/2°E S883/4°W S22.25°E S89°E S25.5°W


N35°E N66.5°W

N35.5°W N711/2°E N33/4°W S45°E I


WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

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The drawing below is a schematic of a "build and hold" type well. The design data (VD1, VD3, H2 and BUR) are given. Fill in the values of the

derived data (VD2, H1, MD1 , MD2 and W.

VD1 4,200

R a BUR=2°/100

VD2 "' ATVD MD1 i a=

VD3 7,600 0---•0•--------------


H2 1,030

Page 7/3/1 16

WDLP - Directional drilling

V 2.0.0


The drawing below is a schematic of an " S" type well. The design data (VD1, VD4, VD5, H3, BUR and DOR) are given . Fill in the values of the

derived data (VD2, VD3, Hl, H2 MD1, MD2, MD3, MD4 and W.

VD, 1,200





1 1 1

a= 1


1 1 1




DOR = 1.5°/100

VD4 8,000 MD3 I

VD5 10,000 a1-_i -----------MD4




H3 2,405.95

WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

Page 7/3/1 17


An exploration land well is to be drilled to a target 1,002m North and 569m West of the wellhead position, at a depth of 3,300m below the reference level, which is mean sea level. The target is the top surface of the flank of an anticline in which a horizontal reflector can be seen possibly a hydrocarbon/water contact. It is required to set intermediate casing 20m vertically above the target formation and to penetrate at least 300m vertically into it in order to verify, and ascertain the depth of, the hydrocarbon/water contact. The operational area is hilly and a drilling location has been constructed by cutting and filling to a level of 320m above msl. The derrick floor elevation is 10m above ground level. It has been decided to kick off 10m below surface casing set at 990m bdf and use a build-up rate of 8°/100m until a point is reached where a straight tangent section will pass through the target. What will be the inclination How much intermediate Hydrocarbons of the tangent section ? ? at

casing will be required

were indeed

found, and and an OWC was crossed

3,990.7m ahbdf.
What is the depth 7) of the OWC below sea level ?

After drilling the above well it was found that, although hydrocarbons had been confirmed, the structure was more complex than had been anticipated, consisting of a series of stacked anticlines with successively deeper crests being displaced towards azimuth 330°. It was decided that the most economical method of further appraising the structure would be to plug back the exploration well, recover the upper section of the intermediate casing, set a cement plug in the shoe of the surface casing and kick off from the same depth as before, and in the same direction, but to use a build up rate of 12°/100m in order to stay above the previous hole. The plan was to penetrate the crest of the uppermost anticline at such an angle that the well would penetrate the crests of the successive anticlines until reaching a total depth 100 in below the OWC found in the original well. The project geologist produced a cross-section through the well along azimuth 330° showing that the uppermost crest was at a distance of 1200m from the rig at a depth of 3,200m below reference level. A line drawn on the cross-section joining the crests had an inclination of 10°. It was again planned to set casing just above the uppermost objective formation; it was therefore decided that the end of the drop section should be 100 in vertically above that formation. A drop-off rate of 8°/100m was chosen.

Page 7/3/1 18

WDLP - Directional drilling V 2.0.0

What will be the inclination What will be the measured • at the end of the build-up • at the end of the tangent

of the tangent depths section ? section ?



• at the end of the drop-off section ? • when the uppermost objective is penetrated ?

It is planned to carry out a production test through a string of production casing run to 5m (ah) above TD. How much will be required 8) What is a "lead angle"and why is it used.


Explain briefly what "nudging" for the use of the technique.


and state the fundamental



What type of motor is a Moineau motor ?


In a Moineau motor, what is the relationship lobes of the rotor and the stator ?


the number



Which of the two types of mud motor is most tolerant material in the mud, and why ?

to lost circulation

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Which of the two types of mud motor is most suitable ture applications, and why ?

for high tempera-


Give the typical ranges of operating different types of mud motor.


drop through the two

PDM Motor



What are the values optimally ? Torque

of torque

and speed of a turbine

which is operating



State one advantage and two disadvantages whipstock as a deflection tool.

of a standard




the circumstances

in which a casing whipstock

is used.


What nozzle sizes would you fit in a 121/4" tri- cone bit you intended use for jetting ?



Specify a possible BHA you would use to jet drill a 121/4" pilot hole starting from vertical.

Page 7/ 3/120

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You are going to perform a kick-off in 171/2" hole with a mud motor and bent sub. The required build-up rate is 2.5°/100'. Specify the BRA you would use.


Explain what is meant why it causes problems

by the reactive for directional

torque of downhole drillers.




List three


of a motor plus bent sub as a deflection



What alternative bent sub.

tool can be used for kicking

off instead

of a motor plus

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A 91/2" motor with a 21/4° bent sub is being used to kick off a well in

171/2" hole.
• A dogleg severity of about 3°/30m has been obtained consistently. • The latest survey result is: 12.0° inclination, 327° azimuth. We want to build 2° and get some left turn over the next 30m. What tool face setting should be used and what result should be obtained ? Tool face orientation New inclination New hole azimuth = = =


A steerable

motor system

is being used in 171/2" hole. 140° azimuth.

• The latest survey shows a 28.5° inclination, • The expected dogleg severity is 3°/30m.

We require to correct the azimuth to the right. Determine the tool face setting required for a maximum right turn and predict the result of drilling 18m with that setting. Tool face orientation New inclination New hole azimuth = =


We are drilling

with a steerable

motor system

in 121/4" hole. is 3.6°/30m.

• The predicted dogleg severity with this drilling system • The latest survey is 44.2° inclination, 194.5° azimuth.

We need to turn left while maintaining inclination constant and have decided to drill the next two singles oriented. Find the required tool face orientation and the expected results after drilling 18m. Tool face orientation New inclination New hole azimuth = = =

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We are drilling 171/2" hole with a steerable motor system theoretical dogleg severity of 4.0°/30m. The latest survey tion, 77.5° azimuth.

which gives a is 48.4° inclina-

We want to turn (azimuth) 2° to the right and build angle over an 18m course length. Determine the required tool face orientation and the expected results. Tool face orientation New inclination New hole azimuth 28) = the tool setting required for

Using the following data, determine maximum azimuth change: • The existing • The existing inclination azimuth is 17° is 117° Mag

• The tool dogleg potential Tool face orientation If a change in azimuth =

is 3.5°/100 ft.

of 23° is required

over an interval ?

of 100 ft, could

this be attained

with the above tool setting

What inclination would be obtained over a 100 ft interval is set for maximum azimuth change ? New inclination 29) =

when the tool

A well has been kicked off by jetting and the angle built to 15° approx. The hole has been opened to 171/2" diameter. It is now planned to run a conventional angle-build rotary BHA to increase the inclination to 62°, which is the planned inclination angle of the tangent section. The build up section will all be in 171/2" hole. The planned build-up rate is 3.0°/100'; the well is "on the line" on the vertical plan. Design a suitable rotary BHA using a soft formation tri-cone bit and incorporating an MWD tool. Specify on the description the actual gauge of stabilisers to be used and suggest possible drilling parameters.



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Write down a packed assembly which could be used to hold angle in the tangent section of a directional well. Assume that the inclination angle is in the range 45° - 50° and that the 121/4" hole section is being drilled. Indicate on the description the gauge of all stabilisers. possible forma-

State whether a PDC or roller cone bit is to be used and suggest drilling parameters, assuming you are drilling medium hardness tion.

Type of bit:



The tangent section of a directional well has just been drilled. The well plan requires that the angle be dropped from 50° to 25° at the rate of 1.5°/100'. In fact, the well is slightly below the line and the actual inclination angle at the end of the tangent section was 47°. Suggest a suitable angle drop assembly which might be used and indicate suitable drilling parameters. (The drop section is in 121/4" hole and 8" collars are to be used). State whether a PDC or roller cone bit is to be used.

Type of bit:
32) Describe response


stabiliser affects the

how the placement of the first string of an NDS assembly.


List five recommendations that will help reduce stabiliser and string drag when drilling in the oriented mode with an NDS assembly.

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It is planned

to drill a well as follows:

• Drill 22" to 1,500' and set 185/8" casing.
• Drill 171/2" vertically to the kick off point at 2,500' • Drill ahead, building angle at 2°/100' until an inclination of 35° is reached. • Drill the tangent section to the 133/s" casing setting point at 7,000'.

• Drill 121/4" to the kick-off point at 8,000.
• Drill ahead dropping angle at 1°/100' until an inclination of 20° is reached at 9,500'. • Drill ahead, holding 20°, to the 95/s" casing setting point at 11,000'.

• Drill 81/2" to TD at 11,000'.
Design two NDS assemblies, one for drilling the whole of the 171/2" section using rock bits, the other for the whole of the 121/4" section using

PDC bits.

In the following 2 questions assume that no drill pipe is to be run in compression and ignore drag in the calculation.


Find the air weight following cases. Desired

needed Mud

to get the desired Hole


on the bit in the Air


WOB 40,000 lbs 40,000 Ibs 40,000 lbs
40,000 lbs

Weight 13 ppg 16 ppg 13 ppg
13 ppg

Angle 20° 20° 48°

margin 10% 10%

weight (lbs)



20,000 lbs

13 ppg


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Find the number cases.

of joints


to get the air weight

in the following

a. 62,000 lbs air weight How many joints

required. are needed ?

6 x 7" OD x 2" ID DCs are available.
of 4.5" Hevi-Wate

b. 62,000 lbs air weight needed.
30 joints of 4.5" Hevi-Wate are to be used. ? How many 71/4" OD x 21/2" ID DCs are needed

c. 35,000 lbs air weight needed. 2 x 71/2" OD x 2" ID DCs plus 3 x 6" OD x 21/2" ID DCs are available How many joints 37) Calculate cases. the critical of 31/2" Hevi-Wate buckling are needed ?

load for the drill pipe in the following

a. Hole size = 81/2"
Drill-pipe = 41/2" grade E with an approximate Hole inclination = 60° Drilling fluid density = 11.5 ppg What is the critical b. Hole size= 6" buckling load ? weight of 18.37 lb/ft

Drill-pipe = 31/2"high strength with an approximate weight of 14.7 lb/ft
Hole inclination = 80° buckling load ?

Drilling fluid density = 11 ppg
What is the critical

In the following

questions force.

, assume

that drill pipe may be run in

the critical

but that the compressive

force must not exceed

90% of

In all cases assume
Use the graphs

that 5" S135 drill -pipe is being used.
2 to find the critical buckling load.

in Appendix


Desired maximum WOB = 50,000 lbs;
Hole inclination = 50° Drilling fluid density = 12ppg; Hole size = 121/4". Use a safety factor of 10%. What is the air weight required ?

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Desired maximum WOB = 60,000 lbs;
Borehole inclination = 45°; Drilling fluid density = 11ppg; Hole size = 121/4". Use a safety factor of 10%. What is the air weight required ?


Desired maximum WOB = 45,000 lbs;
Borehole inclination = 65°;

Drilling fluid density = 14ppg;
Hole size= 81/2". Use a safety factor of 15%. What is the air weight required ? (including stabilisers, etc)

Suppose you have 200' of 61/2" tubulars

weighing 96 lbs/foot.
How many joints of 5" HWDP are required?


Desired maximum WOB = 50,000 lbs;
Borehole inclination = 55°;

Drilling fluid density = 13ppg;
Hole size = 121/4". Use a safety factor of 10%. What is the air weight required ? 150lbs/foot

Suppose you have 100' of 8" tubulars weighing and 93' of 61/2" tubulars weighing 99 lbs/foot. How many joints of 5" HWDP are required ?

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