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OTC 2297

Successfful Broadband Drillstring Technolog
gy Uptak
ke: From Field Tes
st to
d Reach Offshore
Daan Veening
gen, Jason Pa
almer, Greg Steinicke,
sus Saenz, National Oilwell Varco
Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Confere
This paper was prepare
ed for presentation at the Offshore Technolog
gy Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA , 30 April3 May 2012 .
This paper was selected for presentation by an
a OTC program comm
mittee following review
w of information containned in an abstract subm
mitted by the author(s)). Contents of the pape
er have not been
eviewed by the Offshore Technology Confere
ence and are subject to
o correction by the autthor(s). The material dooes not necessarily reeflect any position of the Offshore Technologyy Conference, its
officers, or m embers. Electronic
n, distribution, or stora
Conference is prohibite
ed. Permission to
age of any part of this paper without the wriitten consent of th e O
Offshore Technology C
eproduce in print is res
dgment of OTC copyrig
stricted to an abstract of
o not more than 300 words;
illustrations mayy not be copied. The abbstract must contain co
onspicuous acknowled

h offshore wells in Trinidad and
a Tobago aree characterizedd by hole cleaniing challenges,, wellbore instaability,
Extended reach
that damage tools and
a reduce thee rate of perforaation. To improove the perform
mance in a multi-well
aand downhole vibrations
uce operational risks, the operrator successfuully tested and iimplemented a wired pipe orr
ddrilling campaiign and to redu
worked drillstriing system for an offshore caampaign.
bbroadband netw
n data from dow
wnhole measurrement tools an
nd along stringg annular presssure evaluationn was provided in realHigh-resolution
oadband networrk system for approximately
95% of the 84,,000ft drilled dduring the trial period. From tthe very
tiime by the bro
duction in non--productive tim
me due to moree accurate interrpretation
ffirst well onwarrds, the campaaign achieved a significant red
nditions while drilling and red
duction of welllbore conditionning practices or even initiatiing early respoonses to
oof wellbore con
bility to recognnize inadequatee drilling practiices, optimize ssweep
uunfavorable treends. Hole cleaaning was imprroved by the ab
duce tool failurres through dow
wnhole diagno
ostics, and stickk-slip vibrationn mitigation.
sstrategy and red
This paper desccribes the successful integratiion of high-deffinition downhhole operations through projecct managemennt,
a practical, scalable
solutioons to solve operational and llogistical challeenges.
w third party tool partners and
ccollaboration with
wo rigs, managging the inventoory, the
per describes th
he experiencess gained during
g the system insstallation on tw
Further, the pap
g of an in-counttry shorebase and
a the pioneerring of local reepair and mainttenance for speecialized netwoorked
o the successfull integration in
nto the operatorrs workflow aand process forr a multi-year ccampaign.
ddrilling tools to
nded Reach Wells
Challenges in Drilling
wells and
Todays wells are
a characterized by their increased reservoir contact, whiich is achievedd by drilling lonnger step-out w
ccompleting multilateral, horizzontal wellborees. These wellss represent a steep-change in ccomplexity for drilling operattions, and
nal challenges in terms of cleeaning of the ho
ole, managing the significantt torsion in the drillstring, andd limiting
ppresent addition
g or casing duee to the wells geometry
and llength. Additioonal challengess in todays envvironment
aany buckling off the drillstring
g rates and deeeper, hotter reseervoirs in increeasing water deepths.
innclude high rig
nd Tobago are high-angle witth extended reaach stepout andd have historically been
The operators offshore wellss in Trinidad an
ulties, and multtiple problemattic faults. For tthis reason, a ffield test
b wellbore instability, hole cleaning difficu
ccharacterized by
he objective to demonstrate th
he benefits of tthe networked drillstring systtem in helping mitigate
pprogram was deesigned with th
thhese problems. See Figure 1 for the approximate location.
he first well of a set of five weells, was plann
ned with a 10,0 00ft step out, a local record. It was determiined that
Specifically, th
manage the occuurrence of welllbore instabilitty. Further,
quired in real-tiime to better m
n density imagee logs were req
quency pressuree-while-drilling
uired high-freq
g data to manaage hole cleaninng and pack offf prevention inn an
thhe project requ
eenvironment where lost circullation is frequeently experiencced.
pact on projectt metrics, requiires a drilling tteam have real--time
Overcoming these challenges safely while minimizing
nditions as they
y drill the well s.
a control of subsurface con
uunderstanding and

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Figure 1 Position for the apprroximate well construction
sitees and overview
w of local mainttenance facilitiees in Trinidad aand Tobago

on Downhole and
a Subsurfacce Data in Rea
The need for reeal-time subsurrface information has spurred
d on the advanccement of a rannge of measureement-while-drrilling
((MWD) tools designed
to keeep the bit on tarrget and notify
y the driller of ppotential probllems quickly, w
while drilling. H
nvelopes of maany convention
nal MWD toolss are challengeed as extended--reach drilling practices move to
thhe operating en
ggreater step-outt distances.
Broadband and
d bi-directional data communiication with do
ownhole tools iis currently avaailable throughh a wired or networked
ddrillstring. Thiss bi-directionall transfer of infformation at high telemetry raates is of particcular importannce as it allows for faster
uupdating of geo
ology and geop
physics informaation and reducces geological uncertainty. Itt also provides greater controol of the
BHA while run
nning advanced
d services such
h as rotary steerrable tools andd conducting foormation pressuure testing. Fuurther, the
aability to send commands
to downhole
toolss at any time viia the broadbannd network proovides better toool control, reaal-time tool
ddiagnostics and
d troubleshootin
ng, and more efficient
downllink abilities. R
Real-time transsfer of high-deffinition inform
mation also
eensures improv
ved ability to co
ontrol placemeent of the well.
Compared to wireless
systems, the benefits for the wired networked
drilllstrings includee (See Figure 22):
No losss of signal streength through the
t entire lengtth of the drillsttring and no innterference from
m noise introduuced by
ms and surface systems such as
a mud pumps
ork operation in
n any downholle environmentt, as broadbandd telemetry woorks independenntly of fluid prresence or
condittion. The broad
dband telemetry
y network has been run whilee drilling with air, foam, or tootal losses
Bi-directional data trransfer, allowin
ng for commun
nication and acctuation of dow
wnhole tools baased on the meemoryy data that wass streamed to th
he surface, with
hout needing too trip the tool oout of hole

Figure 2 Comp
parison between mud pulse tellemetry and teleemetry provideed through netw
worked drillstriings i.e. the InteelliServ
broadband netw

Networked Drrillstring Components
The networked drillstring com
mponents are siimilar to conveentional tubulaars in terms of ffunctionality, hhandling, and
sspecifications, but
b are modifieed to ensure th
hat all componeents, from the bbottomhole asssembly (BHA) to the surface (including
ffloat sub, stabillizers, reamers,, and jars), are networked to convey
the brooadband signal.

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The technology
y consists of th
hree major com
mponents: 1) a stainless
steel aarmored coaxiaal cable runninng between the pin and
bbox of each tub
bular, 2) inducttion coils at both the pin and the
t box of eachh connection, aand 3) booster subs, which arre
eelectronic elem
ments that preveent the data sig
gnal from degraading as it travvels the length oof the pipe to pprovide measurrements of
vvarious parameeters (pressure, temperature, vibration)
all allong the drill sstring. Data is ttransmitted by means of an
eelectromagneticc (EM) field asssociated with the alternating
g current signall transmitted allong the cable. As the alternaating EM
ffield from one coil
c induces an
n alternating cu
urrent signal in
n the nearby coiil, data is transsmitted from onne joint of the drillpipe
too the next, see Figure 3 and 4.

Figure 3 - Overv
view of the main components of
o the wired nettworked drillstrring system for bi-directional h
high-speed dataa

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Figure 4 Crosss section view of
o a premium do
ouble-shouldereed pin tool jointt with inductivee coil and armoored coaxial cab
ble that is
eembedded in thee tool joint, and
d run through th
he interior of th
he drillstring too the box-conne ction inductive coil.

Currently, the networked
drilllstring enables the along-strin
ng evaluation oof annular and bore pressure, and annular teemperature
aat discreet posittions. This cap
pability is comp
parable to annu
ular pressure w
while drilling (A
APWD), but rooutinely half a dozen
aadditional senso
ors provide inssights in the weellbore environ
nment, beyond just the sensorr near the bit. S
See figure 5.

Figure 5 Typiccal wellbore tra
ajectory and pla
acement of six-a
along string ann
nular pressure evaluation senssors

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Highlights While Drilling the First Well

During the campaign, substantial benefits were revealed during operations. A few highlights are listed below.

High quality real time with eight sector sector gamma imaging (ultimately 60-sector logging was provided, with the
potential for 120 sector logging), was transmitted via the networked drillstring drilling the 17 hole section at
rates exceeding 100ft/hr.
Prior to the deployment of networked drillstring, data density of the gamma image was too sparse to achieve an
acceptable quality image given the ROP for the hole section being drilled. Futher, efficiency was gained by the
elimination of non-productive time associated with the occasional mud-pulse telemetry decoding.


Memory quality azimuthal density image logs provided a real-time image of wellbore conditions in the 12 x 13
and 9 hole sections while drilling with waterbased mud. These images and the ability for re-log or 4D
logging of problematic zones improved the interpretation of wellbore failure modes. This understanding limited
further deterioration of hole conditions and helped adjusting drilling practices to avoid agitating the instability.
Without saying, the pore pressure prediction in real time was also improved due to high-resolution downhole data.
These enhanced capabilities allowed in real time the identification of previously unmapped structural features such
as faults and unconformities as well as breakouts and subsequent updates to geological models for better well


Networked drillstring enabled the verification of hole cleaning practices conducted during drilling of the wells
through the additional along string annular pressure evaluation. There were no pack-offs, no loss circulation events,
very minimal torque/drag, minor tight spots and no severe vibration events experienced in a number of the wells,
which was attributed to hole cleaning in the 12 x 13 hole section.


The networked drillstring contributed to the enhanced capability of managing BHA vibration with better quality
drilling dynamics data. The reduced downhole shocks improved mean-time between failure for M/LWD tools and
enabled a rapid response to avoid damaging the bit, reamers and tools while drilling.


Due to improved hole quality, trips were slick and without any major issues. Even after long open hole exposure
(twenty one days), the 10 casing was run without issues through potentially unstable zones that were identified
by azimuthal density image logs. In one instance, it was confirmed that the reamer arms had properly opened during
a relog while back reaming at 180ft/hr through the density caliper log ensuring that casing would make it to bottom.


Elimination of a trip after diagnostics with the tool still downhole that while a LWD sensor had failed, it was
determined that the remaining sensors warranted drilling ahead with logging at sufficient quality without the need to
relog using wireline. Drilling ahead while the downhole LWD memory had filled up, using the ability of the
networked drillstring to stream data in memory quality over the broadband network.


Reduced survey time and less stationary time by simply stopping rotation at survey depth and trigger the flow-on
survey. The efficiency gain also resulted in reduced potential for differential and mechanical sticking. The
electronic downlinks as opposed to the downlinking through flow variations seemed to reduce wear on pumps and
increase time between pump repairs, as claimed by one rig contractor.


Additional data did not mean additional interpretation effort. It was found that high-resolution data provided clarity
at the time of drilling without the need for a second interpretation that uses memory data from tools at surface to
sublement the initial interpretation from much-coarser mud pulse data.

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Figure 6 High-definition
n downhole gam
mma ray, resistiv
vity and densityy data in real-tiime. Note the reeduced data ressolution in
the 90 ft secction in the mid
ddle transmitted
d using mud pu

Success Factorrs during Imp
plementation and
a Execution
As research, en
ngineering man
nufacturing and
d support staff currently residde in the USA, it was evident that this five-w
ccampaign requiired local supp
port. Further, a smooth techno
ology uptake reequired the devvelopment and practice of robbust
pprocesses. Heree we describe as
a example firsst the local basee and second, tthe process to iinstall the dataa swivel.
1. Commission
loccal shorebase with Mainten
nance and Servvice Capabilitty
orked drillstring equipment, as
a all equipmen
nt,must be insppected and maiintained at reguular intervals bbut requires
the additional electriical inspection and verificatio
on. Historicallyy, components that caused intterruption to thhe signal
repairs as encounttered by any piipe or electricaal repair that is unique to netw
and reequired either mechanical
drillstrrings would bee removed from
m service, and sent
s back to th e facility in thee USA for repaair.
For this deployment,, relationships were built with
h several local shops that hadd the facilities aand equipmentt to
mmodate repair and maintenan
nce needs. Thiss included, maake and break m
machines, presssure test facilitties, and
generaal machine sho
op services, and
d area sufficien
nt to store apprroximately 25,0000ft of pipe. Field maintenaance
technicians devised procedures
for the field which mirrored maaintenance proccedures in placce at our base inn the USA.
These local shops beecame our prim
mary remote rep
pair facilities, aiding in our aability to servicce equipment llocally
ding jars, stabilizers, float sub
bs, reamers, jet subs, cross ovvers and savers subs.
One liimitation of thiis maintenance program invollved servicing the ring groovve which is fouund on the secoondary
der of all wired
d equipment. This ring groovee contains the iinductive coil, which allows the passing off data
between two drillpip
pe connections.. While mainteenance personnnel were able too maintain som
me equipment loocally in
uiring reface orr recut meant th
that the equipm
ment would neeed to be sent baack to our
countrry, damage to equipment
main facility
in the USA
to be serv
viced. This wass both inconvennient and costlyy in terms of eequipment avaiilability,
and sh
hipping costs.

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A solu
ution was needed whereby mo
ost, if not all networked compponents could be fully reworrked locally, annd then put
back in
n service. A concept was dev
veloped to allo
ow for a full rebbuild of wired drilling equipm
ment in any loccation.
This concept
requireed the cooperation of third parrty partners to perform recutss or refaces on damaged equiipment,
and also the certificaation of a local partner to perfform machininng of the coil grroove. This sollution would pprovide a
hipped anywheere, and would contain the necessary tools aand
modullar remote repaair facility, whiich could be sh
ment to rebuild
d and qualify a large variety of
o wired equipm
ment, includingg drill pipe.
ontainerized reepair and mainttenance unit (C
CRM) is a 45 sshipping contaainer that has beeen fully outfittted with
The co
the equ
uipment requirred to maintain
n and service wired
drill pipe,, heavy weightts, drill collars,, as well as maany other
speciaalty componentts.

Figuree 7 Containeriized repair and maintenance capability.

2. Tested and Pro

oven Process for
f Rig Surfacce System instaallation
At surrface, the data signals
are extrracted from thee rotating drillsstring. This is aachieved throuugh the installattion of the
data sw
wivel. Typicallly, the data swivel is installed
d between the uupper and loweer IBOP. The pprocess below was
repeatted twice during the campaign
n, as the operattor awarded thhe rig contract tto a second conntractor midwaay through
the cam

g visit to obtain
n measurementss, serial numbeers
view of servicee records, upgraades and mainttenance
gineering review of initial sollution for data swivel placem
gineering review by the topdrrive manufactuurer
nufacturing of IBOPs and oth
her topdrive coomponents by tthe OEM
op installation and
a qualificatio
Pre--job meeting
Wellsite installatio
Wellsite electricall / mechanical qualification
mmissioning fo
or service

n and commissio
oning of the datta swivel inside the topdrive
Table 1 process for the installation

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Figure 8 Engin
neering drawin
ng for the placem
ment and ancorring of the data swivel in the toopdrive assembly

Telemetry Serrvice Performa
ance in Summ
The overall nettworked drillstrring time that broadband
vice was providded as a ratio w
with the total tiime that telemeetry was
rrequired exceed
ded 85% throughout the camp
paign. Approximately 95% oof the total foottage drilled waas drilled with tthe
nnetworked drilllstring.

Well #

Footage Drilled

Table 2 Footag
ge drilled for ea
ach well.

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Figure 9 Uptim
me or availabiliity of the broadband network service
for each
h drilled in the ccampaign

11. Operator su
ucceeded in itss approach to make
well consstruction operaations in Triniddad & Tobago m
more economiccal and
reliable thrrough the reducction of wellbo
ore-stability rellated non-prodductive time, alll enabled by thhe high-definitiion
downhole and subsurfacee data in real tim
22. Over the co
ourse of drillin
ng five wells ussing the broadb
band network tthe NPT decreaased from 47%
% to 12%
33. Hole clean
ning was impro
oved through th
he ability to reccognize inadeqquate drilling prractices, optim
mize sweep straategy
44. Operationaal efficiency was improved by
y reduced tool failures througgh downhole ddiagnostics, andd stick-slip vibbration
55. The achiev
ved high-degree of reliability was key to thee successful upptake of networrked drillstringg telemetry servvice.
Future well con
nstruction camp
paigns will ben
nefit from linin
ng up the advanntages of broaddband telemetrry with the probblems that
thhe project speccific expects, and
a ensuring th
hat expertise is present to trannslate the subsuurface data intoo an improved control of
thhese downholee conditions, viia data acquisittion, interpretaation, and experrt input into opptimised drillinng practices, alll onsite
aand hence in reeal time.
the firrst gravel pack was installed using
the moniitoring capabiliities of annularr and bore presssure in
IIn Trinidad & Tabogo,
rreal time at disccrete positions along string ab
bove the screen
ns. It is envisiooned that manyy completion as well as well ttesting
ooperations may
y benefit from real-time
measurement of preessure and temp
mperature measuurements alongg the drillstringg.


SPE 143430 - Novell High Speed Telemetry

Systeem with Measuurements Alonng the String M
Mitigate Drillingg Risk and
Improve Drilling Effficiency, Daan Veeningen, NOV
IntelliServv, SPE, Copyriight 2011, Sociiety of Petroleuum
d for presentatiion at the Brassil Offshore Coonference and E
Exhibition heldd in
Engineers, This papeer was prepared
7 June 2011.
Maca, Brazil, 1417
22239-PP Alon
ng-String Presssure Evaluation
n Enabled by B
Broadband Nettworked Drillsttring Provide S
Efficieency Gains Daan Veeningen,, NOV IntelliSeerv
Sourcee for pump wear - article

The authors wish to thank maanagement, opeerations teams and wellsite crrews of Nationnal Oilwell Varrco IntelliServ,, and our
sservice partnerss for their conttribution and su
upport in publishing this papeer.


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Implementation of new technology requires additional logistics. In this case, the two drill strings were present. In addition,
additional people and equipment at rigsite, all at a cost. However, the following benefits were encountered:

Unlimited memory quality data available (not limited by MWD tool memory capacity, once the downhole tool
memory is full the transmission of memory quality data via WPT ensures the logs and data sets are complete rather
than having to substitute MPT data for the intervals acquired once the memory is full or tripping to dup the
Short space density image logs available in real-time for Wellbore Stability Issues and fault identification.
Presentation of bulk density, LS and SS density images provides images at a variety of depths of investigation.
Higher data density results in higher quality RT LWD Logs.
Gamma Ray images in real-time with sufficient quality to recognize faults (and some borehole breakouts). Able to
provide image logs in 17 hole size.
Improved image quality increases confidence RT Dip picking service, and saving time as need for relogging is
Potential for 120 sector RT Hi definition resistivity image in WBM (with suitable salinity)
No loss of data even if LWD tools are lost downhole
Able to determine borehole quality in and around cement plug, and confirm when bit is sidetracked in to new
Improved diagnostics capabilities from both AutoTrak and MWD/LWD tools.
Diagnose hole conditions and gauge of Hole Opener when backreaming density tool into opened hole section.
Wired pipe provides increased data density meaning that images acquired at relatively high bit velocity (180 ft/hr)
are still sufficiently good to provide invaluable information wrt wellbore integrity/stability.
Improved CoPilot Drilling Dynamics service from higher data density/quality, resulting in higher tool reliability.
Reduced Survey time (no need to switch off pumps for survey WPctl has the option to request a flow on survey,
simply set the pipe at the survey depth, stop rotation and click on the flow-on survey button in the software). Less
stationary time, less time at a connection with pumps down reduced potential for differential sticking.
Reduced time for TesTrak stations. Less stationary time, less time off bottom, improved quality of the Gamma relog
and higher data density of toolface orientation for positioning of the probe.
Redundancy WP/MPT. If WP fails, the other system takes over.
Improved AutoTrak steering quality and accuracy resulting in better hole quality.
Fewer downlinks using ABPA/BPC this form of DL only required during periods when WPT is offline. Once
WPT is functioning DL is done electronically thereby reducing the issues often thrown up by drilling contractors wrt
to wear on pumps (due to racing etc).
Integration into operators workflows
The ability to seamlessly integrate our network into the customers operation is one of the first priorities during the
planning phase. As part of the local support for this deployment the field support organization consisted of: a field
coordinator, wellsite based field specialists and maintenance technicians. In addition to this, a US-based team
monitored the network status and assisted the local operations team in resolving any problems encountered during
the implementation and operation phase.
Throughout the well construction operations, the telemetry provider became an integral part of the operations team
with the other services providers, i.e. mud, M/LWD, DD, rig contractor, mud logging to mention some. This is a
decisive strategy in order to enhance communication and synergy during this project. Moreover, it was determined
that locating the field coordinator inside of the operators work office was the best approach to assist in topics related
to the network functionality.