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MWD Operational Manual

KAMBI ENTERPRISES Inc.


11981 44 St SE.
Calgary AB T2Z 4G9
Ph: +1(403) 243-4438
Fax: +1(403) 243-8958
www.kambi.ca

MWD OPERATIONS
MANUAL

Prepared by: Ewert Muoz


December 01, 2006
Revision: 2

This manual is primarily intended to provide Kambi Enterprises Inc. or associates Operators with guidance of the best
practice in the operation of MWD systems in a variety of downhole conditions.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview

Theory of Operation

MWD System

Modular Design
Retrievable and Reinsertable
Operating Specifications
Flow Ranges
Pressure Drop
Data Transmission
Electrical Power/ Operating Time
Battery Duration Table
Operational Modes
Maximum Lateral Displacement Error
Inclination Accuracy
Tool face Accuracy
Dip Angle Accuracy
Sensor Performance
Sensor Tolerance
Maximum Lost-circulation Material
Environmental
Shock
Vibration
Operating temperatures
Table Orifice / Poppet
Flow Chart
Pulse Shape.
Resolution
Data word transmission times
Down Link Communications Detection
Coding, Detection and Decoding Processes.
Directional Computations Summary

Surface Equipment Considerations

Rig Considerations
Rig Type & Equipment
Make-up and Break-out of MWD UBHO
Retrievable / Replaceable MWD Tools
Fishing Equipment

MWD Hardware
Pressure Transducer (Sensor)
Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)
Rig Data Acquisition System

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Mud Pumps
Pump Type
Duplex Pumps
Pulsation Dampeners
Liner Condition / Efficiency.

MWD and BHA Configuration

Sensor Placement and Orientation (Directional Module)


Drillstring Magnetic Interference
External Magnetic Interference
Shock & Vibration
Drill Pipe Screens

Downhole Considerations

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Signal Strength
Flow Rate
Pressure Drop
Signal Attenuation
Pulse Width (Transmission Frequency)
Positive Displacement Motors
Drilling Fluids
Compressible Drilling Fluids
Planned Mud Additives ( Add LCM)
Lost Circulation Material (LCM)
Lubricating Beads
Barite
Hematite
Mud Mixing
Mud Contaminants
Pipe Scale / Plastic / Cement
Gloves, Wrenches and Other Junk
Cuttings and Mud Solids
Heavy Cuttings in High Angle Holes
Drilling Conditions
Deep Drilling
Hole Size Restrictions
Temperature
Pressure
Stuck Pipe / Borehole Stability

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Trajectory / Geological Considerations

Wellbore Profile
MWD Surveying Procedures
Dogleg Severity
Survey Accuracy / Uncertainty
Sag Corrections
Depth Error
Gyro Limitations
Collision Avoidance
Target Shrinking
Physical Formation Parameters
Formation Measurements
Hard or Cemented Formations
Rugosity and Washouts
Applications / Techniques
Invasion / Time-Lapse Logging
Real-Time / Recorded Data Densities
Economic and Regulatory Considerations
Critical MWD Information
Economically Beneficial MWD
Logistics and Geographics

Reliability and Statistics

Failure Analysis
Failure Type
Environment
Additional Questions

MWD Operational Guidelines Check List

Glossary

Conversion table

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Overview
This manual is primarily intended to provide operators of Measurement-While-Drilling (MWD) Tools with guidance on
the best practice in the operation of the GE system under a variety of downhole conditions. It contains advice on how
to set up the operational environment most conducive to successful operations. Due to the variety of MWD operations,
this manual covers most of the operations of the company in Canada.

THEORY OF OPERATION GE-MWD


Downhole Sensor.
The main sensor is a GE magnetometer. It is a standard electronic instrument proven by many years of use
in downhole survey systems ranging from utility boring devices to MWD systems and Steering tools.
The GE electronics package contains Temperature Sensors. Three-Axis Magnetic Sensors and Three-Axis
Accelerometers that are capable of detecting the Borehole Temperature, The Earth's Magnetic Field and
the Gravitational Field with High resolution and precision. The output from these sensors can be digitized
and processed to find the vector to the earth's magnetic north pole and the vector for "down" center of the
earth, with temperature compensation. This information, along with other parameters, produces data such
as Inclination, Azimuth and Magnetic and Gravity Toolfaces. Data such as Battery Voltage, Dip Angle, total
Gravity field, and Total Magnetic Field, may also be transmitted to the surface to assist in the quantifying of
the survey data.
Proccesor.
The GE-MWD Downhole Processor is the controller of the system and commands all functions of the
system and performs all downhole calculations. Contained inside the assembly are: a Single Port MPU, a
Triple Power Supply and a Digital Orientation Module. The Single Port MPU is a modular micro-controller
assembly based on the Motorola MC68HC11 microprocessor that implements qMIX communications
protocol (qMIX/11). The Triple Power Supply provides regulated power for the complete assembly.
The processor monitors the state of the flow sense to determine when mud flow has starred or stopped.
When it senses No Flow after a Flow On position the processor initiates the program to activate the sensors
for measuring the parameters required to complete a survey. Upon completion of the survey acquisition
procedure by the sensors, the processor digitizes, formats, and stores the data for transmission uphole.
After the processor senses that flow has resumed, the pulser is activated and begins the pulsing sequences
transmitting the coded signals to the surface via the mud column in the bore of the drill string.
Battery Pack.
Energy is supplied to the downhole probe via the battery pack(s). A "Long Duration" probe
incorporates two single battery packs housed in their individual battery barrels. If the operator is planning to
use the directional package and requires extended battery life, then the system can be stacked in the
standard arrangement, with the second battery barrel placed above the Survey Electronics module. Should
the operator require the use of the Gamma Ray detection module, then the batteries can be stacked in
tandem above the Survey Electronics module, while the Gamma Ray detection module will be placed
directly above the Pulser Module. The arrangement of the modules in the tool design is limited only to the
dedicated collar design. The battery modules and the gamma module are identical in length and are
therefore interchangeable, The design of the dedicated collar places the Survey Electronics module above
the battery(or gamma) module.
NOTE: The Pulser in the QDT MWD is always on the lower end of the tool.
The batteries are lithium. Lithium packs go to 150 degrees C., eight cells are used in the lithium packs. It is
estimated that a single lithium battery pack will last over 160 hours. The battery pack life depends on the
pulse length, the tool configuration and operational modes used.

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Pulser.
The pulser consists of an oil filled pulser section and an electronic Pulser Driver. The Driver contains a
capacitor bank that derives its energy from the batteries and is controlled by the timing / switching circuitry.
The oil filled pulser section contains two solenoids or coils with the first solenoid designated the "pull-back"
solenoid. When energized, the pull-back solenoid retracts a plunger that is connected to a series of rods
and shafts to the servo-poppet. The second solenoid designated the "Holding Coil" solenoid, energizes after
the first solenoid pulls the assembly back. The retraction of the servo-poppet initiates mud flow through the
servo-orifice and into the pulser plenum below. This maneuver and resulting mud flow redirection initiates
the propagation the mud pulse.
The pull-back solenoid requires a large energizing charge, supplied by the capacitors in the driver. The
capacitors then discharge to the "Holding Coil", just below the Pull-Back solenoid. The Pull-Back solenoid
only operates for about 80 milliseconds before it is de-energized. For the remainder of the pulse length the
servo-poppet and shafts are held in the "up", or open position by the force applied to the Holding Coil. While
energized a clapper maintains contact to the front face of the Holding Coil completing a magnetic circuit.
To sustain this position the Holding Coil requires very little current. When the Holding Coil is de-eneigized,
the return springs drive the shafts and servo-poppet back to the "down", or closed, position. This reverse
maneuver and the resulting mud flow redirection initiates a return of the signal poppet to the open position
and completes the pulse generation procedure.
To summarize, the processor sends a signal to the pulser driver. The Driver Circuit controls and energizes
the two solenoids, one to pull-back and one to hold, and moves the shafts up in the pulser, thus controlling
the servo-poppet movement. The servo-poppet, by opening and closing, regulates the fluid movement into
the plenum. The resulting mud flow through the plenum pushes against the main signal piston in
association with the force from the main spring, and overcomes the opposing forces which hold the signal
poppet up or in the open position. The main signal poppet is forced down, partially obstructing mud flow
through the restrictor orifice creating a higher back pressure in the annulus. When the servo-poppet moves
down and seats, flow through the plenum is shut off. Though holes in the probe fluid enters and pushes on
the opposite side of the main signal piston and pushes it up, due to the lower differential pressure in the
plenum, and overcomes the main piston spring force.
This pulls the main signal poppet up and out of the main orifice allowing full fluid flow and a resulting
reduction in the annular pressure. The differences in annular pressure created by the main signal poppet is
perceived as a pulse.
Thus, the servo-poppet is electro-mechanically controlled, and drives the action of the main signal poppet
which is powered by regulated fluid pressure. This makes the probe very energy efficient and because only
two parts must move [ the servo-poppet and main signal poppet]. It is also very reliable. This design has
allowed GE to develop a small O.D. MWD that is capable of producing a very large (high pressure) positive
and clean pulse with very low energy consumption. This results in more reliable signals and longer battery
life. The capability to use two battery packs independently of each other allows the operator to utilize one
battery pack at a time gaining the maximum battery life from each pack before switching to the fresh pack
thus insuring that the investment in batteries is fully realized.
Flow Sensor.

Interconnect Modules.
The intermodules serve four purposes.
1. They provide the wire ways between modules.
2. They act as flex points in the probe allowing it to bend to a very tight radius downhole.
3. The intermodules act as part of the centralizer system, that holds the probe centered in the drill
collar.
4. The elastomeric cushioning around the intermodule acts as a shock and vibration absorption
system that filters out much of the low frequency vibration energy transmitted through the BHA from
the action of the bit and rotation.

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The intermodules were designed to be the points at which the components of the downhole probe are
made-up and broken down, i.e., the field connections.
Subs.
The muleshoe works like all other orienting devices by having a key which catches the helical edge on the
probe end, and orients the probe to a fixed location as it seats. The key is in line with an orientation bolt that
goes through the wall of the drill collar and to orient and lock the muleshoe in the collar. This allows the
MWD operator to easily measure the offset angle between the orientation bolt/muleshoe key and the bent
sub/mud motor scribe line. This angle is entered as the Driller's Assembly Offset (DAO) in the qMWDCnfg
program into the DRT through the Toolface Offset Procedure.
Note: the operator must also be aware of the Internal Mounting Offset (IMO) of MWD probe and go through
the procedure to measure this angle and insure that the total offset is correct and that both corrections are
registered into the propel systems.
The muleshoe also contains the main orifice into which the pulser main signal poppet projects into to create
the pressure pulse. There are 9 different sizes of orifices. 1.20 1.23 1.25 1.28" 1.30" 1.35" 1.40" 1.50"
1.60 I.D. They may be changed out by removing the muleshoe from the drill collar and removing the snapring and sliding the orifice out of lower end of the muleshoe.
The amount of the flow will dictate the size of the main orifice. A new snap ring should be used whenever
the orifice is reseated. The muleshoe is held in place in the lower end of the drill collar by 2 screws.
Surface Equipment.
The GE-MWD system is designed to operate with PC, a Surface Receiver, a Safe-Area Power Supply, and
a Pressure Transducer. The qMWD software to communicate with the receiver and downhole probe,
provided by GE, is loaded onto the hard disk of the PC. The qMWD software allows the operator to
configure the Tool and the DRT using the PC the Instruction Manuals supplied by GE.
Connecting the PC and the cabling as diagrammed in drawings, will allow the selection of the parameters
desired; such as Pulse Length, Delay Times and Local Magnetic Dip Angle, etc. Then the MWD Operator,
can select the various parameters and options necessary to configure the downhole probe and the Drillers
Remote Terminal display with the proper operating parameters.
After the desired parameters and format are selected, they are loaded into the MWD Transmitter and the
DRT. The PC should then be loaded with the qMWD/PC program to monitor field operations from a Safe
Area.
Note: the PC does not actively function in the decoding operations, but can act as the permanent filing
source for all data transmitted by the MWD probe. The Programming Cable to the probe should then be
disconnected and the spear point re-attached to the probe, and torqued to the proper 58 ft/lbs. Then it can
be loaded into the drill collar, ready for downhole operations. Power draw from a completely made-up tool is
minimal. With no flow to the tool, depending on the program installed, the probe will initiate a survey and
just monitor the circuits until flow is recognized. Only when flow is sensed by the flow switch will the tool
commence the pulsing process and go into the Survey and Toolface Sequencing Modes.
The surface receiver is powered by the Safe-Area Power Supply. which must be located in a Safe Area.
(i.e. an area where flammable vapors do not exist). The surface receiver is the only unit that is qualified for
Hazardous Area operation. It may be set up on the rig floor to supply MWD data to the driller. The Power
Supply Cables should be neatly run from the Driller's Console to the Safe Area Power Supply. The
Transducer Cable should be nearly run also from the Transducer to the DRT. The PC is then connected to
the Safe Area Power Supply via the qBUS connection on the power supply to the EOM port on the PC.

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MWD System
An MWD system is a valuable downhole tool, with surface sensors and a surface computer. The surface sensors
include a signal receiver (Transducer) and drilling monitors (Rig Display). The surface computer may need to be
located in a safe area away from the rig floor normally inside the doghouse. The downhole tool is made up of multiple
components - a pulser section (Pulser), a power section (Battery Barrel), a main brain or computer processor which
interprets the readings from the sensors that measure borehole direction, formation properties and drilling performance
(Directional Module), and normally a second power section for long runs or back up power.
Our MWD designs are modular and the different sections can be configured or interchanged relatively easily on the Rig
site. Sensors that are available today measure borehole direction, (inclination, azimuth, and tool face orientation)
natural formation gamma-rays, resistivity, downhole vibration, temperature and pressure
Our System is a Positive Pulse, through positive pulses, downhole life and servicing is simplified through the production
of and minimal moving parts. Maintenance in the field can be achieved with minimum tools and time.

Modular Design
The GEs modular MWD System is easily assembled in the field, enabling easy addition of formation evaluation
systems such as gamma ray modules and centerfire resistivity solutions. The component structure of the system
enables a flexible sensor position and placement close to the drill head, optimizing sensor performance. Replacement
of individual sensors in the field is another added benefit, eliminating the need to replace the entire MWD system.

Retrievable and Reinsertable


The GE MWD probe can be retrieved and reinserted, maximizing downhole time effectiveness and enabling efficient
probe upgrades and replacements. In the event that the pipe gets stuck in the hole, this feature minimizes the rig time
lost for probe retrieval. Two people can transport the probe to the rig floor, eliminating the need for overhead cranes.

Operating Specifications
Flow Ranges
75-165 gpm, 3.5 in. O.D. collar
100-300 gpm, 4.75 in. O.D. collar
150-600 gpm, 6.5 in. O.D. collar
400-1200 gpm, 8.25 in. O.D. collar

Pressure Drop
100 psi @ 400 gpm

Data Transmission
Positive-pulse

Electrical Power/Operating Time


Lithium battery operates to +150C or +175C. Will operate for 175 to 200 hours per battery pack under normal used, in
cold weather like Canada, batteries perform poorly and in temperatures around -15 to -20 the voltage reading decrease
dramatically, it is recommend that under -5.0 C, uses battery blanket over Batt1.
The pulse width used in the configuration will also affect battery life. The faster the pulse width, the more battery life
that is used.

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Battery Duration Table


Standard Tool
Pulse Width
3.00
2.00
1.50
1.20
1.00
0.80

Duration in Hs.
210
190
160
135
120
100

Standard Tool + Gamma


3.00
2.00
1.50
1.20
1.00
0.80

190
150
120
100
90
75

Notes : Standard Tool is Pulser + Battery Section + Directional Module.

Operational Modes
Operator-selectable sequences and downlinking options. Highly flexible operating software. Selectable resolution all
parameters

Maximum Lateral Displacement Error


2.6 ft. /1000 ft. or a conical uncertainty of 0.15 maximum

Inclination Accuracy
0.1

Toolface Accuracy
0.5

Dip Angle Accuracy


0.1

Sensor Performance
Azimuth
Inclination
Gravity Toolface
Magnetic Toolface
Gravity Intensity
Magnetic Intensity
Dip Angle
Temperature

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0 to 360
0 to 180
0 to 360
0 to 360
0 to +/- 1000 mg
0 to +/- 700 mGauss
-90.0 to 90.0
0 to +150C

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+/- 0.15 conical uncertainty


+/- 0.1
+/- 0.1, Inclination = 90
+/- 0.1, Inclination = 0, 0 Lat.
+/- 1.0 mg
+/- 0.10 mGauss
+/- 0.15
+/- 2C

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Sensor Tolerance

Magnetic Field Strength : Accepted tolerance is 0.020 Gauss.


Total Gravity Field : Accepted tolerance is 0.005 g. ( For Canada average reading is 1.003/1.005)
Dip Angle : Accepted tolerance is 0.65 Degrees.

Maximum Lost-circulation Material


40-50 ppb concentration, any size, pre-mixed

Shock
1000g, 0.5 msec, 1/2 sine all axes

Vibration
5-30 Hz, 1 in. (double amplitude)
30-500 Hz, 20 g, all axes

Operating temperatures
Models available for -20C to +150C
or -20C to +175C

Table Orifice / Poppet

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ORIFICE

POPPET TIP

FLOW AREA

(ID)

(OD)

(SQ/IN2)

(GPM)

1.28
1.28
1.28
1.35
1.35
1.35
1.40
1.40
1.40
1.50
1.50
1.50

1.125
1.086
1.044
1.125
1.086
1.044
1.125
1.086
1.044
1.125
1.086
1.044

0.297
0.360
0.437
0.443
0.505
0.582
0.550
0.612
0.690
0.778
0.840
0.918

Under 250
200-375
300-500
225-475
350-550
475-600
350-575
450-650
475-700
475-750
500-800
Over 700

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FLOW RANGES

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Flow Chart

1.20 1.167

1.20 1.125

1.28 1.122

1.28 1.086

1.35 1.086

1.28 1.040

1.35 1.122
1.40 1.122

1.40 1.086
1.35 1.040

300

1.50 1.122

1.50 1.086

200
Max Flow 6-3/4" Collar

Pulse Amplitud (PSI)

400

Max Flow 4-3/4" Collar

Min Flow 4-3/4" Collar

500

100

1.40 1.040

1.50 1.040

0
0.3785

0.757

1.135

1.514

1.892

2.271

2.649

3.028

3.406

Flow (M)
1.28 1.122

1.28 1.086

1.35 1.122

1.35 1.086

1.28 1.040

1.40 1.122

1.40 1.086

1.35 1.040

1.50 1.122

1.50 1.086

1.40 1.040

1.50 1.040

1.20 1.125

1.20 1.167

Pulse Shape

Amplitude Decreases rapidly


for Pulse Lenghts < 1.5 Sec.
Max average Amplitude reached
for pulse duration 1.0 & 1.2 Sec.

Pulse
Amplitude

0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

3.0

Pulse Duration (sec)

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Resolution
Here are the values to program the tool for accurate information. Listed below are the ranges for each of the variables.

Variable
Azim
Inc
Temp
MagF
DipA
Grav
TFA
Gama
BatV

Range
360
180
255
1
90
2
360
255
51.1

6 Bit
5.714
2.857
4.048
0.016
1.429
0.032
5.714
4.048
0.811

7 Bit
2.835
1.417
2.008
0.008
0.709
0.016
2.835
2.008
0.402

8 Bit
1.406
0.703
[1]
0.004
0.353
0.008
[1.412]
[1]
[0.2]

9 Bit
0.705
0.352
0.499
0.002
0.176
0.004
0.705
0.499
0.1

10 Bit
0.352
0.176
0.249
[0.001]
0.088
0.002
0.352
0.249
0.05

11 Bit
0.176
0.088
0.125
0
[0.044]
[0.001]
0.176
0.125
0.025

12 Bit
[0.088]
[0.044]
0.062
0
0.022
0
0.088
0.062
0.012

Notes:
1)

The red values are recommended for most operations to the best configuration to program the tool.

To estimate the figures shown in the above chart it is only necessary to take 2 times itself to the number of
bits and divide this into the span of the variable. Azimuth would be:
2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 4096
360 (span) divided by above (4096) = Resolution

Data Word Transmission Times

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PULSE WIDTH

RESOLUTION

UPDATE TIME

0.8
0.8
0.8
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.5
1.5
1.5
2.0
2.0
2.0
3.0
3.0
3.0

6
8
12
6
8
12
6
8
12
6
8
12
6
8
12
6
8
12

11 Sec.
14 Sec.
21 Sec.
14 Sec.
18 Sec.
26 Sec.
17 Sec.
22 Sec.
31Sec.
21 Sec.
27 Sec.
39 Sec.
28 Sec.
36 Sec.
52 Sec.
42 Sec.
54 Sec.
78 Sec.

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Downlink Communications Detection


There are two different modes for Down-linking Mode number and Rate Sequence. Rate Sequence allows
the operator to change much more of the configurations of the downhole tool. Mode Number allows the operator to
downlink into 1 of 4 different mode numbers. While rate sequence allows you more versatility, Mode Number take less
time to configure the tool and is more effective configuration. The downlink communications detection process receives
and processes commands sent to the telemetry process through a series of timed flow on and off sequences. These
commands are generally used to control the telemetry data rate and data content. Down-linking is done by bringing the
pumps on and off in a predefined sequence of Down-linking pulses. These pulse time lengths are set by the Down Link
Time Period (DLTP), which is normally set at 60 seconds. The pulse time lengths is of DLPT with +/- 10 Sec.
Tolerance.
The downlink command protocol consists of a series of short flow on periods, referred to as command pulses,
and a specific flow off time between the last command pulse and a flow on condition which exceeds the command pulse
period.

Mode Number
Mode Number allows the operator to downlink into 1 to 4 modes that are configured on surface. Each of these modes
will include one of the four mode numbers that you configure in MWDConfig with pulse width / survey sequences and
toolface sequences. Next example show standard case in the field.
Example:
To downlink into Mode 2 using a DLTP = 60 seconds

(Step1)Pumps will be shut off for 60 seconds

(Step2)Turn pumps on for 35 seconds (downlink pulse #1)

(Step3)Turn pumps off for 35 seconds.

(Step4)Turn pumps on for 35 seconds (downlink pulse #2)

(Step5)Turn pumps off for 120 seconds (DLTP (60 sec) x 2 (mode 2) tolerance of +/-10 Sec. to recognize flow.

(Step6)Turn pumps on at least 60 Sec. to finish the sequence.

Step1

Step2

Step4

Command
Pulse #1

Command
Pulse #2

Step6
Step5

Step3

Coding, Detection and Decoding Processes.

Background
A large number of different coding schemes have been used for encoding MWD mud pulses signal.
A paper bu Steve Monroe ( SPE 20326, 1990) discusses the relative advantages and disadvantage of
many of these methods, especially with regards to their Data Rate ( data bits per second), Pulse Rate
(pulses per data byte), and Signal Efficiency (data bits per pulse). The method that GE uses is not
discussed by Steve Monroes paper but has a name similar to one described in the paper. We call our
coding method the M-ary coding. We have chosen this method for its reasonable combination of good
data rate, and good signal efficiency, as well as some desirable characteristics related to having to detect
only a single pulse in the present of noise.

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M-ary Coding
GE coding method involves breaking up any data word into a combinations of 2 and 3 symbols,
each encoded by locating a single pulse in one-of-four or one-of-eight possible time slots. An example for
these case of 8 bit data word encoding a value of 221 is shown below:
Word value: 221 Maximum Value: 255; Digital value:

128 64 32 16 8
1 1 0 11

421
101

This encodes in M-ary as 3,3,5 where the first 3 comes form the symbol containing 11, the two most
significant bits of the digital word, then 3 from the next symbol, 011, and the final 5 from the 3 bits symbol,
101. Visually this can be shown as:

3
P P 2 1 0
START OF DATA WORD

7 6

5 4

P 2

P P

2 1

0
END

Where the pulses are transmitted most significant first.


In the above example we have chosen to use time slots (time resolution-intervals) equal to one half
the pulse width, and have allowed for a full pulse width (two slots) pulse-interference-gap (PIG) or recovery
time after each pulse. These choices were mainly based on earlier modeling and experimental work
(Marshal, Fraser and Holt: SPE 17787, 1988). One important feature of this method is that we have to find
only the best single pulse in a window containing four or eight possible locations for the pulse. This feature
increases the robustness of the detection process at the expense of data rate and signal efficiency.
Synchronization of the Detection and Decoding Processes with the Transmitted Signals.
GE uses a triple wide pulse followed by three to eight single wide pulses to provide a method of synchronizing
the surface equipment to the transmitted data sequences. The surface receiver equipment functions by looking first for
one received pulse matched to the shape of the triple wide pulse, followed by establishing a time base derived from the
received positions in time of the three or more single wide pulses. The receiver also utilizes a tracking loop that
removes clock drift by slowly adjusting the surface timing based on the average location in time of the received pulses.
Pulse Detection
GE receiver uses the cascade of a simple front end analog roofing filter, followed by a steep cut off tunable low
pass filter, followed by matched filter executed in software. This methodology is discussed in the paper by Marshal, et.
Al., mentioned above. The matched filter has been shown to be optimum filter for detecting signals corrupted by
additive while Gaussian noise under a wide variety of criteria. Use of the matched filter has proven effective in many
different MWD systems over the years. GE has the ability to shift the tunable filter edge during operation to help reduce
the effect of inband interference. For those cases where the noise/interference is concentrated in the upper portion of
the passband, manually lowering the low pass cutoff frequency will reduce the noise/interference faster than it reduce
the signal resulting in enhanced signal detection quality. The results of the pulse detection process are the location in
time of the centroid of the best pulse located in the allowed time window, its amplitude and other characteristics. In
case multiple pulses are detected in the allowed symbol window, an evaluation in contained in the qMWD Engineers
Reference MANUAL, SECTION 2.4.5.2
Decoding Process
After each pulse is detected, the value of the symbol corresponding to its location is determined, and when the
expected pulses making up a data word have been received, the decode value is reported to the receiver display and
logging function, The receiver display maintains files containing all decoded data words, pulses data buffers (contains
the characteristic of all detected and suspect detected pulses), and pulse waveform records (contains a stripchart vs
time of the output of the matched filter process).

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Parity Check and Error Correction Code
Each data word and header (if used) can be encoded with parity or ECC symbols added to the data. The parity
check will detect a single one-slot position error contained in the detected data word. The error correction code will
detect a single two-slot pulse position error, and correct a single one-slot pulse position error. The single slot error in
pulse location is the most likely form of error sources to be expected in the received signal.

Directional Computations Summary

Grav = ( Ax + Ay + Az )
MagF = ( Mx + My + Mz )
Azm = ATAN2(( Mx*Ay My*Ax ) * Grav) /
(Mx*Ax*Az+My*Ay*Az+Mz*(Ax+Ay))
TAzm = Azm + MDec
Inc = ATAN2 ( ( Ax + Ay ) / Az )
mInc = ATAN2 ( ( Mx + My ) / Mz )
UgTF = ATAN2 ( Ax / Ay)
UmTF = ATAN2 ( Mx / My)
UmT2 = ATAN2(( Grav*Mx + Ax *Mz ) /
(Grav*My + Ay*Mz))
dTFA = UgTF UmTF
dMTF = 0 for magnetic toolface type 1
OR
dMTF = UmTF2-UmTF fpr magnetic toolface type 2
gTFA = UgTF TFO
gPTF = dTFA+UmTF TFO
mTFA = UmTF TFOMDec for magnetic toolface type1 (mTTy=1)
OR
mTFA = UmT2TFOMdec for magnetic toolface type2 (mTTy=2)
mPTF = UmTFTFOMDec for magnetic toolface type1 (mTTy=1)
OR
mPTF = = dMTF+UmTFTFOMDec for magnetic toolface type2 (mTTy=2)
aTFA = gTFA, if Inc >=IncT
OR
aTFA = mTFA, if Inc <=IncT

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pTFA = gPTF, if Inc >=IncT


OR
pTFA = mPTF, if Inc <=IncT
DipA = ATAN2( Mv / (Mx+My*+Mz-Mv) )
Where: Mv=(-Mx*Ax-My*Ay+Mz*Az) / Grav
dMag = MagF-NMag
dDip = DipA-NDip
SMxy = (Mx+My*); measured during survey data acquisition.
TMxy = (Mx+My*); measured during toolface data acquisition.
dMxy = SMxy - TMxy

Surface Equipment Considerations


Rig Type & Equipment
Rig Type: (Triple or Double) is important for MWD tools the length of the Rig and Catwall. We always have to be careful
how we will run in the Tool in the BHA for first time, it is necessary 3 people to pull up the tool from the ground, you as
operator must be in the pulser section holding the tool, the second person will be in the middle of the tool and must
support the tool so that it does not generate too much bend on the way up, the third person must be on the rig floor
giving orders to the Driller who commands the winch.

Make-up and Break-out of MWD UBHO


Careful make-up and break-out of MWD UBHO is important to insure proper operation and safe handling of the MWD
equipment. Typically, one or more of the MWD crew will be on the rig floor to assist with this phase of the operation.
Two critical operations conducted by the drill crew can affect the MWD UBHO: the location of the pipe tongs (holes for
the screw); connection torque applied to the MWD UBHO.Connection-torque specifications for MWD systems are often
different from other drill string elements. Specific directions are provided by the MWD crew.

Retrievable/Replaceable MWD Tools


First of all we will need to know all our IDs in the BHA to determine if we will be retrievable ( Minimum ID required is 21/4 or 57 mm.), Second the Fishing tools require to accomplish the Task. Replaceability is typically used to change out
depleted batteries, change the set up of a tool or replace failed and damaged MWD tool components. Retrievability is
most often used to avoid lost-in-hole charges when a BHA and MWD tool becomes stuck in a borehole. Retrieval and
resetting are accomplished either through the use of a wireline-logging-unit cable or a slick-line unit.

Fishing Equipment

See Appendix 1.

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MWD Hardware
Pressure Transducer (Sensor)
A key sensor in MWD mud-pulse telemetry operations is a pressure transducer installed between the mud pumps and
the kelly or top drive of the rig. The purpose of the transducer is to convert the pressure pulse sent by the MWD tool
into an electrical signal that is then sent to the surface data acquisition system via cable.
Placement of the sensor is important to obtain the optimum signal. The transducer is normally mounted at a bull plug
connection close to the main part of the stand pipe, or on a T-piece inserted between the standpipe and the flexible
hose. Occasionally, we have to install the transducer below the rig floor, for last resources we can do it but always try
to be the closet to the standpipe.
Note: Sensors thread is 2.0 NPT.

Revolutions per Minute - (RPM)


The recording of RPM is important to monitor rotary-drilling versus sliding and is an important parameter in controlling
bit bounce, drillstring whirling, shock, and vibration. The RPM sensor is typically either an optical counter or a proximity
/ magnetic switch sensor that detects rotation of the rotary or top drive system. Top drives often have their own internal
RPM sensors and counters.

Data Acquisition System / Cabin


The data acquisition system is the center of action for the MWD operation. It is used for the acquisition, storage, and
management of real time and downhole recorded data, and for preparation of equipment for future runs. Ideally, it
should be located near the rig floor and also close to an area where downhole tools can be checked out prior to the bit
run.
The data acquisition system can either be located in an existing safe area on the rig, such as an office or living quarters
or can be installed in a service company cabin. A cabin is typically 8-ft to 10-ft wide and 15 to 25 ft in length. Electrical
cabling connects the unit with surface sensors mounted around the rig. A telephone link from the cabin to the rig floor is
advisable.
Pertinent information acquired by the MWD system is often displayed on video terminals, usually on the rig floor and/or
in the company representative's office.

Mud Pumps
Pump Type
Triplex pumps typically have smoother pressure outputs and less interference with MWD mud pulses than duplex pump
systems. Correct pump maintenance (see the discussion on dampeners and liners below) is most important.
When Working with Duplex Mud Pumps
Normally before leaving to a job, we will know which type of pump we will be working on. In order to be able to work in
the worst case scenario you will need to run 1.28 orifice and 1.125 Poppet for muleshoe configuration. This
configuration will give you a good pulse size to eliminate the eventual pump noise.
For Configuring the Pulse Widths is good practice to go to the Pump and see how long take one complete
stroke. That value will be the period of your noise. Try to be out of that period, normally Duplex pumps take around
1 Sec that stroke. It is recommend to be up of this time normally 1.2 or 1.5 Sec Pulse Width.
Use Downlink controls to have more options. Give more time to the pump to stabilize the operation pressure normally
40 to 50 Sec Receive delay time and around 60 Sec for Transmit Delay time. It is highly recommended to use the
FILTER BANDWITH FACTOR CLOSE TO 1.

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Pulsation Dampeners
Mud pump discharge pulsations are responsible for mechanical vibrations and fatigue failures of pump components
such as valves, fluid cylinders, system instrumentation, pipes, and fittings. Pulsation dampeners mounted close to the
discharge side will significantly moderate these pulsations to acceptable levels and thus extend the life of the system.
Pulsations may produce an interfering pump signal in the piping that compromises the detection of the real-time mudpulse MWD signal as a function of several parameters: pump rate, standpipe pressure, mud type and pulsation
dampener condition.
Success of the pulsation dampener depends on the condition of the dampener itself in terms of the bladder and
operating pressure. If improperly maintained or at an incorrect pressure, the smoothing effect of the pulsation
dampener is reduced.
The ideal pre-charge pressure for MWD operations is 50% to 70% of the standpipe pressure, or slightly lower. In
general, Hydril dampeners can be pre-charged to 2000 psi (maximum), and Continental Ensco dampeners to 1000 psi
(maximum). If the standpipe pressure decreases, the pre-charge pressure must be reduced also.
Dampener bladders need not fail to cause problems. Leaking bladders or those in poor condition will result in just as
much MWD signal-noise interference as a broken bladder.

Liner Condition
Mud pump liner condition can also have a significant effect on the ability of MWD tools to decode pressure signals. If
the mud-pulse signal is too noisy, the mud pump liner condition should be checked as a possible source of the problem.

MWD and BHA Configuration


Sensor Placement and Orientation (Directional Module)
Location of an MWD tool in the BHA is usually based upon attempting to get as many measurements as close to the bit
as possible (in order to obtain the earliest possible wellbore directional data and geological information), while not
interfering with the directional steering characteristics of the BHA.
When using a positive displacement motor, we use an orienting sub (UBHO) with the MWD tool to align the Bent
Housing with the Key from the Muleshoe. This allows the MWD Tool to be oriented to the High side of the hole when
sliding.
In standard configuration of BHA it placed two (2) Non Magentic Drill Collars (Monels), a good practice is locate the
Sensors (Directional Module - Probe) 1/3 of the total length of NMDCs available.

Drillstring Magnetic Interference


Drillstring magnetism can be a source of error in survey calculations made from magnetometer data. Non-magnetic
drillcollars (NMDCs) are used, both above and below an MWD tool, in order to minimize the magnetic influence of the
drillstring on the compass or directional package.
The effect of drillstring magnetism may increase as the hole angle builds from vertical or as the hole azimuth moves
away from a north/south axis. Changing BHA components between runs may alter the magnetic effect of the drillstring.
Techniques are available to determine the number of NMDCs that are required (see SPE/IADC # 11382 as an
example).
In some conditions, techniques are available that enable an operator to reduce, or even eliminate, the number of
NMDCs required above and below the magnetic directional sensor, as well as correct for drillstring magnetic
interference. At least one NMDC is required to house the survey sensor (it must be protected from cross-axial
interference) if correction algorithms are used.
In high angle wells, a trade-off between optimum BHA design and positional uncertainty may be required. This decision
can only be taken if the positional uncertainties resulting from the various options are calculated.

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External Magnetic Interference


Sources of external interference include:

Nearby casing;

Fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field (e.g. diurnal fluctuations in high latitudes or magnetic storms);

A fish left in a sidetrack hole or nearby well; and

Certain minerals (pyrite, hematite and magnetite) in high concentrations close to the borehole can distort the
earths magnetic field. 10 ppg hematite weighted drilling fluid has affected magnetic surveys by as much as two
degrees of azimuth.

In-field monitors of the earths magnetism can be used to establish more precise values of the local field strength and
dip, as well as identify fluctuations in the earths magnetic field. In this latter case it can be established that anomalous
survey measurements may have not resulted from a malfunctioning downhole instrument. A wasted trip for a new tool
may be avoided, and a more appropriate surveying procedure devised.
When magnetic interference from external sources is encountered, all three axes of the magnetic sensors are
influenced. The total field measured by the directional package will remain constant as the toolface is rotated but will
generally either change with depth as the sensors survey pass by the source of the interference or manifest itself as a
divergence between the measured magnetic dip and the magnetic dip anticipated in that geographic region.
Azimuthal corrections for external magnetic interference are not possible due to the difficulty in establishing the
magnitude of the interference on each of the individual axes. In the event that external magnetic interference is
suspected, gyro surveys should be considered.

Shock & Vibration


Good lateral vibrations do not exist! The energy expended into shock and vibration is often at the cost of reduced ROP,
greater drill string fatigue, and possible MWD failure. Minimizing lateral shocks and vibration will improve ROP, reduce
bit and drill string failures, and help drill a more gauge borehole.
Shocks are often worse in vertical wells because, in directional wells, high side-forces result in high axial drag which
dampens axial vibration. Also, gravitational forces make it difficult to lift collars in high-angle wells, reducing collar
whirling and thus dampening transverse impacts.
Torsional vibrations in deviated wells can be worse as higher frictional forces act like a slipping rotary clutch. Many of
the MWD systems today measure shocks using downhole accelerometers mounted on one or more axes of the tool.
There are some assemblies and BHA components that may cause excessive shock on not only the MWD tool but also
the other elements of the drill string. Modeling will assist in optimizing MWD placement in the BHA. Especially in Short
Radius Wells. High DogLegs Wells.
Generally, running MWD in a packed BHA or with a downhole motor results in very little vibration. However, rotation
with a bent sub or bent housing motor may cause excessive shocks, depending on the amount of bend.
Some building or dropping assemblies where MWD systems are placed in the middle of a non-stabilized section of
the BHA may cause excessive shock, if the unstabilized section is long and rotated at or close to a natural resonance
frequency.
A key to reducing shock and vibration is to ensure good stabilization in our Interconnects against the NMDCs
Wall. Drilling operations such as underreaming and hole opening are particularly prone to high levels of shocks.

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Drill Pipe Mud Screens


Screens are designed to prevent damage and obstruction of MWD pulsers, but when screens trap junk from the mud
system, circulation can be obstructed. Screens can be used in three possible places:
1) Mud pump suction screen;
2) Mud pump outlet screen;
3) Surface screen located just below the kelly or top drive
Care needs to be taken to ensure that the rig crew do not allow the surface screen to be sent downhole, although our
screens are designed to be retrieved through the drill pipe.

Downhole Considerations
Signal Strength
Flow Rate
It is important to have the correct size tool for the flow rate application because hydraulic erosion can take place if mud
velocities are too high. This can have a compounding effect if the mud has high sand content or solids content as
mentioned earlier. The 65 % to 75% of our Pulse Signal depend of the Flow Rate.

Pressure Drop
The GEs MWD systems use the mud flow to generate pressure pulses to communicate to the surface. Depending on
the Bottom Hole Configuration (Poppet / Orifice) and flow rate, pressure drops between 250 psi and 600 psi can be
expected across an MWD tool. Mud pumping systems must be able to accommodate this additional pressure
restriction.

Signal Attenuation
The MWD signal generated downhole by the Pulser must propagate up the mud column inside the drillpipe. While
traveling from downhole to the surface, the amplitude of a mud-pulse signal is reduced. It is normal that you lose of
Surface / Shallow Test Pulse Amplitude every 1000 m to 1200 m.
Gas-cut mud can have a detrimental effect on the ability of a mud-pulse MWD tool to transmit to the surface. In a more
general case, the strength of a mud-pulse signal decreases (is attenuated) as the well depth increases, as the viscosity
of the mud increases, and as the internal diameter of the drillpipe decreases. MWD signal attenuation is not as great
with heavier drilling muds as it is with lighter mud weights.
For example MWD mud-pulse signals are typically the poorest when drilling deep wells with a low density, oil base (high
viscosity) mud, using small diameter pipes.

Pulse Width (Transmission Frequency)


As the signal strength decreases due to the environmental considerations listed above, depending on the type of well,
we will discuss with the DD which PW we will select to be safe and according with the Directional requires. It may be
possible to reduce the Pulse Width in areas where we work before or if we Run Downlink Options and still maintain data
communication with the surface.

Positive Displacement Motors


When used in conjunction with MWD tools that use mud-pulse telemetry, positive displacement motors can generate
interference that, in some cases is greater than the MWD mud-pulse signal strength. In severe cases this interference
may cause the MWD mud-pulse signal to be undetectable at the surface. Especially in Power Extended DHM.

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Drilling Fluids
Compressible Drilling Fluids
Although most sensor measurements are unaffected by the drilling fluid, drilling with compressible fluids (air, gas, foam
or mist) poses unique challenges for all MWD systems. These challenges relate mainly to tool reliability and data
transmission - specifically mud-pulse data transmission.
MWD mud-pulse telemetry systems are designed to operate in water-based, oil-based and polymer-based drilling
muds. Compressible fluids have significantly different hydraulic characteristics compared to liquid muds, and MWD
signal generation, transmission and detection are all affected. Conventional MWD mud-pulsing systems are unlikely to
provide real-time data without significant modification.

Planned Mud Additives


Lost Circulation Material (LCM)
Any use of lost circulation material (LCM) should be discussed with the MWD operator prior to implementation.
Different MWD tool designs are tolerant of LCM to different degrees, and the various types of LCM affect MWD tools
differently.
LCM additions should be limited to levels recommended by the MWD manufacturer and should be well dispersed.
LCM additions through a hopper should be discouraged. Dumping LCM as a slug should be avoided for best results
with MWD since jamming of the pulser may result.
Granular LCMs tend to be better tolerated by MWD systems than the fibrous type. Mica can affect the Gamma Ray
(GR) measurement.

Lubricating Beads
Lubricating beads are used as a friction reducing agent and come in a variety of sizes. They have similar effects on
MWD as LCM. Any use of this additive should be discussed with the MWD Operator prior to implementation.

Barite
Barite is also erosive - heavier mud is more erosive.

Hematite
Hematite is a weighting material that is also very erosive. Use of this material should be discussed with the MWD
Operator in the planning stage. It is advisable to monitor the effect of hematite between MWD runs in order to
determine the optimum operating life and replacement interval for the MWD tool. The effect of hematite on MWD tools
is greatly affected by hematite concentration and flow rate.
Due to the excessive wear of downhole metal parts in the hematite mud stream, it is not uncommon for the operator to
asked the Oil company to have in mind a wireline unit to switch Tool after several hours.

Mud Mixing
When polymer muds are used, it is essential to ensure proper shearing of the polymers prior to pumping downhole;
improperly sheared additives can cause blockage and MWD tool failures if flow rates are high. Barite drop-out can also
be a problem if it is not well mixed. It is extremely recommended to Run without Sttoper in the Bottom End is we know
prior to the run.

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Mud Contaminants
Pipe Scale / Plastic / Cement
Dried cement (following a cementing operation) or rust from the inside of pipe that has not been used for some time can
come loose. Another problem common with new drill pipe is that the internal plastic coating can come off. In order to
reduce MWD pulser jamming problems, Rabbitting of the drill pipe is recommended after cementing operations and
with either rusty or new drill pipe. A good practice is Check after Kelly down what is coming in the Drill pipe Screen.

Gloves, Wrenches and Other Junk


Be aware that any junk in the mud system can not only jam or damage an MWD pulser, but can also interfere with the
drilling operation (e.g. preventing directional control or even mud circulation). Screens must be used to prevent, or at
least reduce, the possibility of allowing junk in the mud system:
Screens are designed to prevent damage and obstruction in downhole devices, but when screens trap junk from the
mud system, circulation can be obstructed. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the rig crew do not allow the surface
screen to be sent downhole, although some screens are designed to be retrieved through the drill pipe. The use of
some or all of these screens should be discussed with the MWD Operator.

Cuttings and Mud Solids


The wear on MWD components exposed to the mud stream is dependent upon the both the flow rate and the solids and
sand contents of the mud. Maximum cuttings-solids of 5% and a sand content of less than 1% by volume are
recommended in order to limit the erosion of metal components exposed to the mud stream. If solids and sand
contents exceed these concentrations, the driller should consider reducing the flow rate - in the context of cuttings
transport and hole cleaning.
U-tubing can push cuttings back into the MWD tool when tripping into the hole, causing jamming problems. The use of
a float sub can help, but its installation should be coordinated with the operating company. Ported floats are preferred
by some companies.

Heavy Cuttings in High Angle Holes


In highly deviated / horizontal wells heavy cuttings can build up on the low side of the hole affecting some
measurements.
In order to remove or try to realive the MWD Tool after this Contaminats, a sweep should be made with a highviscosity pill and or Sweet Water. At least we need 5 to 10 min the Sweep crossing the Muleshoe.

Drilling Conditions

Deep Drilling
Deeper wells have a number of factors that must be considered when using MWD tools: signal strength (as noted
earlier), temperature, pressure, hole size, vibrations, shocks, other drilling phenomena and borehole instability / stuck
pipe.

Hole Size Restrictions


The diameter of the borehole should be considered when selecting MWD configuration. At present, the sensors that
are readily available for most hole sizes are directional, resistivity and natural gamma ray.
The main restriction is we will be retrievable. It is very important to discuss hole size with your MWD Manager and ask
in what size hole the tool is designed to operate.

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In general, the Minimum size our MWD run is 3-1/2 OD, 4-3/4 holes. Any additional hole sizes may require special
tool modifications or borehole correction techniques.

Temperature
Due to the inability of electronic components to operate in extremely high temperatures, MWD equipment has maximum
temperature ratings ranging from 250 to 350 F (125 to 175 C). It should be noted that circulating temperatures can
generally be maintained at about 10% less than the static temperatures.
In very hot holes, it is advisable to stop periodically while tripping into the hole in order to circulate and cool the mud
system. Exceeding MWD temperature limits may result in tool failure or erroneous data. Mud cooling systems have
been used with some limited success in high temperature wells in order to reduce mud temperature.
Lithium batteries are used in many MWD tools and generally have an upper rating of 329 F (165 C). This limit should
not be exceeded. Lithium melts at 360 F (182 C) and cells can explode, giving off toxic gas, at this temperature.
Reaming, in some cases, is done without circulating mud. This can potentially elevate the mud temperature well above
the MWD tool specification and should be avoided.
Minimum temperature ratings are also important in cold climates. Proper preparation may include facilities for warming
the MWD tools prior to installation in the drill string and for check out.

Pressure
Maximum MWD working-pressure ratings range from 15,000 to 20,000 psi. These ratings should not be exceeded
under any circumstances, in order to protect the internal components in the MWD collar.

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Stuck Pipe / Borehole Stability


To reduce the risk of losing an MWD tool string, an operator may wish to consider running all the question prior to RIH
the MWD Tool.
There are a variety of services available from the MWD service companies which provide "stuck pipe avoidance"
answers. Many of these programs are readily available, but they tend to be under-utilized by the industry. Review with
the MWD service companies what can provide at the well site that will facilitate obtaining the highest quality MWD data
with a minimized risk of sticking pipe, and lost-in-hole charges.

Trajectory and Geological Considerations


Wellbore Profile
Directional measurements are a critical part of most real-time MWD services. The objective of drilling a well is either to
position the borehole correctly in a producing reservoir or to drill through various geological objectives and evaluate
their potential. A smoother well profile may enable further drilling objectives to be reached with less torque and
wellbore friction.
Surveys are used to determine the path of the well and the orientation of the BHA so that a wellbore can be steered in
the right direction. This is achieved measuring relative direction (and size) of the earths gravitational and magnetic
fields.

MWD Surveying Procedures


Several steps can be taken to ensure the integrity of the directional data as follows:
1) It is recommended that a benchmark survey station be established in each hole section at a safe distance outside of
magnetic interference (>30 mts from any magnetic string), where dogleg severity is less than 0.5.
2)

MWD benchmark surveys are recommended to check that the MWD survey sensors are reading correctly.

Benchmarks are recommended in the following circumstances:


Running into the well - A benchmark survey is recommended every time the assembly is run into the well at the
established benchmark stations to ensure the MWD tool is recording well azimuth, inclination and tool face orientation
data correctly.
On bottom - Upon reaching bottom after every round trip a survey is recommended at the last MWD survey station of
the previous run. The new survey data, including the depth measurement, should agree with the previous survey within
the quality control criteria specified for that sensor.
All benchmarks should be taken with the MWD sensors within 1 mts measured depth of the benchmark stations
described above. Two or more successful benchmark surveys may be taken when necessary. The observed
inclination and azimuth readings should agree with the benchmark values to within the MWD survey sensor
specifications. It should be noted that changes in the BHA configuration may have an effect on uncorrected survey
measurements.
It is also recommended that at least the Follow Survey Sequence Definitions stay present in the Benchmark Survey:
INC AZM DipA MagF Grav.

Dogleg Severity
If a well profile changes direction too abruptly, then it may not be advisable (or even possible) to drill around the dogleg.
The bending limits (maximum permissible instantaneous dogleg severity) of MWD tools depend upon the diameter of
the borehole. It should be noted that the instantaneous dogleg severity calculation is dependent upon the interval

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between surveying stations - typically 90 ft (28m). Dogleg severity calculations based upon shorter surveying intervals
may permit larger build-up-rates. Our Max DogLeg allowed is 26 / 10 Mts.

Survey Accuracy / Uncertainty


The present tendency to drill longer, higher angle wells to smaller targets has increased the need for valid position
uncertainty calculations. Sensor inclination and azimuth accuracy specifications do not give a direct indication of overall
survey accuracy since position uncertainty is also heavily dependent on the location and profile of the wellbore. A
means of modeling the combined effect of all these variables is therefore required.
Uncertainty nearly always increases as distance from a known start point increases (i.e. typically, uncertainty increases
as measured depth increases). Azimuth errors tend to cause lateral uncertainty and have their biggest effect at high
inclination (worst case being horizontal). Depth errors and inclination errors cause uncertainty in the plane of the well
path. At very low inclination, depth errors cause TVD uncertainty, and inclination errors cause radial uncertainty. At
horizontal, depth errors cause radial uncertainty and inclination errors cause TVD uncertainty. These basic
characteristics mean that long, high angle sections can cause lateral and TVD uncertainty to increase dramatically
relative to lower inclination sections. This increase in uncertainty at high inclinations is aggravated by other factors;
gravity dependent inclination errors increase, the azimuth accuracy of many gyro systems degrades significantly, and
the effect of drillstring interference on magnetic systems increases. The latter two effects are worse at higher latitudes
and as azimuths tend toward east or west.
For well profiles that have long, high angle intervals the uncertainty at the target is highly influenced by the survey tools
run over the high angle section, typically MWD. The impact of the survey tool run in the low inclination section can be
minimal. There may be little advantage in running an accurate system in the intermediate casing if the overall
uncertainty is governed by the tool run in the subsequent high angle section.
Correct calculation of the uncertainty resulting from two or more surveys tied together is complex. Some errors are
random from one survey to the other, while others are systematic. Most well planning software does not model this.
Typically only one method of tie-in calculation is supported, or at best a choice of fully systematic or fully random.
Generally, depending on the survey tools used, fully systematic will tend to overestimate uncertainty while fully random
will tend to underestimate.
MWD directional specifications tend to take the form of inclination and azimuth accuracies. If these specifications have
a common basis, they are a useful means of comparing the accuracy of one tool to another. However, it is not always
clear how accuracy specifications are derived. They will probably include sensor specifications, but may or may not
include system level and environmental errors.
In addition to sensor accuracy, there are other factors that affect the accuracy of an MWD directional survey. These
include: depth error, magnetic dip and declination errors, magnetic field strength estimation error, washed-out borehole
sections (and BHA stabilization), misalignment of the directional sensor in the drillstring, flexure of BHA between
stabilizers (Sag) and magnetic interference.
There are various methods which attempt to correct for the environmental errors, but none are wholly effective, and
some have been known to increase rather than reduce errors. The following table lists the more important of these
error sources and gives illustrative figures for the magnitude of the errors they are likely to generate in a typical
directional well:

Error

Azimuth

Inclination

Depth Error

0.5

0.5

Magnetic Interference

0.75

Sensor Misalignment

0.1

0.1

Magnetic Field Error

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Sag Corrections
Another source of error is that caused by misalignment of the BHA in the wellbore. This misalignment is caused by
deflection of the BHA due to gravity or weight-on-bit. Weight-on-bit deflection causes azimuth errors, but these are
relatively small. In any case, most surveys are acquired with the bit off bottom. BHA sag due to gravity causes
inclination errors. This error increases as inclination increases. Inclination errors at high inclination introduce TVD
uncertainty which is often critical in horizontal wells. It is especially important to make BHA sag corrections in long
horizontal well sections.
Decisions made during the planning stage should be adhered to during the drilling phase of a well, and the natural
tendency avoided of selecting the most accurate options while planning but then altering the surveying program.

Depth Error
Typically TVD uncertainty is calculated relative to surface. The absolute uncertainty tends to be large at target depth
since it has accumulated over the whole length of the well. Absolute TVD uncertainty has its uses in defining the
position of one well with relation to another, or in assessing the validity of prognosed horizons. However, in terms of
optimizing recovery, all that matters is the position of a well relative to its true target, not the prognosed target and
certainly not to the wellhead. If we can identify the point of entry into the producing zone, we can set relative TVD
uncertainty to zero at that point.

Gyro Limitations
Gyro surveys are often considered to be inherently more accurate than magnetics. This is not always the case. Well
planning should always involve the use of valid error models that quantify the relative accuracy of the survey programs
under consideration. The ability of rate gyro systems to define true north deteriorates as inclination, azimuth and
latitude increase. At 70 degrees of latitude gyros are virtually unusable above 70 degrees of inclination. Attitude
reference tools establish an accurate heading at the start of a survey and then carry it forward, making azimuth
accuracy theoretically inclination independent.

Collision Avoidance
Existing nearby well locations and trajectories should be correctly specified prior to drilling a well.
companies offer Proximity Analyses to help plan and steer a new wellbore.

MWD service

Target Shrinking
The location and boundaries of a geological target are subject to positional uncertainty in the same manner as the well
path. This uncertainty should be defined by the reservoir or geology department, and the drilling target size reduced
accordingly. In a horizontal well, excessive uncertainty on the surveying sensors high side axis can result in a well
being landed much further into the target than planned - thus significantly reducing the wellbore interval actually drilled
through the producing zone. If a target is deemed too small, the survey program must be revised, or the well replanned.

Physical Formation Parameters


Formation Measurements
Formation evaluation sensors that measure natural gamma-rays, resistivity (conductivity), neutron porosity, bulk
density, photoelectric effect, acoustic travel time (velocity) and borehole imagery are available from various service
companies. Sensors and environmental correction methodologies are quite different for each service company. Design
implications on both the drilling process and the quality of measurements will depend on specific drilling and geological
environments.

Hard or Cemented Formations


Vibration and shock to MWD tool electronics is a major cause of MWD failure. BHA modeling programs can be run to
simulate vibration harmonics with varying load conditions. However, modeling programs do not account for all
downhole variables and should not be used in isolation. In addition, in areas where shock is a concern, thrusters,
flexible bit subs and shock subs might be utilized to help alleviate vibration problems.

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Rugosity and Washouts


Washing out of the borehole wall will affect the quality of the log response for gamma tools.

MWD Applications / Techniques


Invasion / Time-Lapse Logging
The time difference between when a formation is penetrated by the bit and logged by a sensor can have a significant
effect on the response of MWD logging sensors. Because of the different distances between the bit and various
sensors, different formations have differing amounts of time that they are exposed to borehole fluids before they are
logged with an MWD tool. This is particularly significant when thin, hard formations that drill more slowly are
encountered, or at the end of a bit run when the drillpipe is tripped and one sensor has logged a formation when the
section is first drilled, and another sensor does not log the same interval until after the pipe trip. Formation intervals that
are exposed to drilling fluids for longer periods of time are more susceptible to the influences of invasion and washouts
on the logging measurements.
It should be noted that Time-Lapse log responses are affected by borehole instability (changes in borehole size) and
variations in fluid properties.

Real-Time / Recorded Data Densities


Real-time MWD transmission rates are typically limited to only a few bits of data per second. It is, therefore, imperative
that drillers and geologists discuss with the service company, before the MWD tool is tripped into the hole, which types
of information, with what resolution (precision), and how frequently each different measurement should be transmitted
to the surface in order to optimize real-time decision making. Some service companies have the ability to select from
different pre-established transmission formats while the MWD tool is downhole. In this way the various types of
information (navigation, drilling performance, formation evaluation and quality control data) can be transmitted to the
surface with different priorities during the same bit run, depending on the decisions required at any particular time.

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Economic and Regulatory Considerations


Critical MWD Information
In some wells, the MWD information is critical to either the drilling mechanics or the evaluation of the well.
Examples of these wells are:
- High-profile exploratory wells where MWD is used for correlation, to pick casing points, identify potential pay
intervals for early evaluation or for insurance logging in the event that a wellbore may be lost;
- Highly deviated and horizontal wells where obtaining pipe-conveyed or conventional wireline logs is extremely
difficult or risky.
- Production wells requiring a casing point above a severely drawn down reservoir with a high risk of lost circulation or
sticking pipe.
The ability to successfully drill and evaluate such wells virtually requires the use of MWD. In those situations where
alternatives to MWD are risky or do not exist, MWD costs should very easily be justified when weighed against the
potential risks of not using MWD.

Economically Beneficial MWD


Some wells fall into a category where obtaining MWD may be economically more attractive than other available
alternatives. In these wells, the MWD information is not critical to either the drilling or evaluation of the well.
MWD is generally run for two broad reasons: real-time directional/correlation data for well placement, and formation
evaluation data to replace wireline data. In either case, a number of diverse factors (cost, benefit, risk, etc.) must be
considered in order to realize any real economic benefits. If these factors are not considered, not only is there the
chance of not realizing any cost savings, but there is a very real possibility of incurring enormous costs. The lost-inhole charge for a modern MWD string used for reservoir evaluation is approximately $800,000.
Many factors must be considered when economically justifying the use of MWD. In general, the majority of cost savings
are due to reduction in rig time associated with wireline operations, conventional slick-line directional surveys and setup
charges - particularly on offshore wells.
Further cost saving can be derived from improved rates of penetration when by eliminating undesired drilling
phenomena, better survey accuracy and real-time toolface data that result in smoother wellbores, faster / more accurate
penetration of the target, with less risk of losing a well (or BHA) because of borehole instability, fishing and sidetracks.
If a single wireline logging service must be run, much of the potential cost savings may be lost. A well requiring
auxiliary wireline information (i.e. dipmeter, sidewall core, or formation tester data), therefore, is less likely to be a good
candidate for MWD wireline replacement based solely on economic reasons.
The better wireline replacement candidates are usually limited to wells where time-consuming, pipe-conveyed logging is
required or where good reservoir and geology databases exist. MWD may also be appropriate in areas of deep
invasion (e.g. depleted reservoir pressures) or when obtaining good quality wireline data is problematic due to
washouts, ledges or doglegs.

Logistics and Geographics


There are a number of logistical issues pertaining to the running of MWD services in remote geographic locations,
which, if not planned for, can have a significant impact on both the cost and success of the MWD operation. The more
remote that a drilling operation is, so the more expensive it is to provide and maintain MWD service equipment.

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Reliability and Statistics


Failure Analysis
The overall objectives of failure analysis are to improve the reliability of MWD tools by identifying systematic failures
that are related to either tool design or operating practices. Failure analysis can also provide more useful operating
statistics that can be used when planning wells and awarding contracts.
Many MWD failures are the result of undesirable operating environments such as harsh geological settings, poor BHA
designs or improper drilling parameters. Most MWD failures are due to:
Exceeding operational design limits
Mechanical wear
Human error
Inadequate tool design
Random defects
Except for random defects, causes of failures can be identified and processes improved through root-cause analysis,
with the aid of proper tracking of MWD operations.
The most common statistic used for tracking MWD tool performance is the mean time between failures (MTBF). MTBF
is dependent upon the inherent tool design, operating conditions, as well as the wear on an MWD tool. Operators and
service companies should work together to inspect the MWD tools during normal drilling operations (e.g. internal
erosion, and external abrasion) in order to assess the rate at which drilling fluids and rock formations are wear on the
MWD systems. In this manner optimal drilling fluid properties and MWD preventative maintenance schedules for
particular geographic regions can be determined.
Statistically, approximately 80% of the total MWD failures occur on 20% of the wells drilled using MWD tools. On some
wells, one service company will experience a series of failures, be replaced, and a second service company will
experience another series of tool failures. Industry reliability statistics of MTBF do not apply to these situations.
In order to obtain more appropriate reliability expectations for a driller planning a particular well, more detailed statistics
for each particular well profile and BHA type are required. In addition, when the first MWD failure occurs, a more indepth assessment should be made of whether the failure is due to random or systematic causes.
Ultimately, a driller is concerned not only with the overall average number of hours that an MWD system can operate
without failure, but also how MWD failures might impact the drilling operation for a specific well profile and a particular
BHA.
If the MWD tool is experiencing downhole problems, the first issue before tripping to change the tool may be for the
operator to evaluate the condition of the mud pumps and circulating system. The next question should then be to ask
whether the MWD data at the time of failure are critical to current operations. If the decision is made to trip, or upon
recovery of any failed component, electronic diagnoses and physical inspections should be performed. Only after
analysis of these statistics can improvements be made to operating procedures or tool designs and repeat failures
avoided.
As a minimum operators should track the number of failure-free MWD bit runs, and circulating hours by service. The
IMS recommends that after each MWD failure operators should collect the following additional failure-related statistics
and parameters:

Failure Type
External physical or chemical wear
Internal mechanical failure (erosion)
Sensor type
Mud solids or junk trapped by the MWD tool
Electronics failure
Poor data quality
Data transmission failure
Poor data rate
Failure to record data

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Environment
Depth
Temperature
Mode and level of downhole vibrations
Well inclination /dogleg severity
Formation type
Weight on bit
Surface RPM
Mud flow rate
LCM type and concentration
Mud characteristics: Type, weight, yield point,
chlorides, LCM type and LCM concentration
BHA configuration / stabilization
Mud motor type
Bit type
Effective real-time data transmission rate

plastic viscosity, % solids, sand content, gas content, ppm

Additional Questions
How might the cause of failure be eliminated?
What is different when tripping back in the hole?
Were the MWD data critical?
Was the MWD tool operating outside its design specification (e.g. above its temperature limit)?
Did other downhole components fail?
Was the failure intermittent?
What type of vibration monitoring was used?
Did BHA design contribute to the failure?
Does BHA modeling indicate a failure mode?
Was the failure related to formation type?
After the failure was data quality adequate?
How many hours of lost time?
Was an unplanned trip required for the MWD?
Did the mud pumps contribute to data problems?
How many hours was the MWD tool operating?
How many bit trips did the MWD tool make?
What charges were made for MWD repair?
Some failures cannot be diagnosed in the field, and tools will have to be sent back to a repair facility. The causes of
these failures should still be reported back to the operator. Collecting the statistics like those shown above will help
provide more reasonable performance expectations for the driller and thus reduce operating costs, as well as reduce
the number of failures experienced by the service company.
In summary, whenever an MWD tool fails, the cause of failure should be investigated, if possible, before another tool is
subjected to the same drilling environment. There are a number of real-time vibration and shock detection services that
can help avoid undesirable drilling characteristics, and extend not only MWD performance, but also bit life and mud
motor performance.

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MWD Operational Guidelines Check List


Economic Considerations

Have lost-in-hole charges been discussed?


Has the impact of wear high solid content for MWD tool repairs been considered?

Surface Equipment Considerations


Are the locations of MWD signal pressure sensors optimum?
Is a backup MWD signal pressure sensor working?
Has the type of depth recording equipment been discussed? (Chimo, Pason & Rigwatch)
Is suitable fishing equipment available on-site for the MWD collars?
Is a slickline or wireline unit available for retrievable MWD tools?
Are pulsation dampeners maintained and at the correct operating pressure?

MWD and BHA Configuration


Have thread and ID issues (gauge, crossovers) been reviewed?
Are the MWD tool retrievable or replaceable from the surface?
Is MWD sensor placement in the BHA prioritized with respect to distance from the bit and formation
evaluation?
Are there sufficient non-magnetic collars in the BHA to minimize magnetic interference on directional
measurements?
Is the offset angle between Bent Housing line and the UBHO line measured correctly? If DAO applied.
Is the pressure drop across the bit and through the MWD tool appropriate (especially in Power Extended
Motor)?
Has the MWD tool been configured for the appropriate flow rates?
Are surface screens retrievable through the drillpipe?
Has the BHA been modeled for critical resonance RPM and weight-on-bit combinations to reduce
vibration?
Has MWD battery life been discussed with the Directional Driller and CoMan?
Are the downhole data recording set appropriately?

Downhole Considerations
Has the impact of the mud system (especially compressible fluids) on the MWD signal been considered?
Are mud screens used to prevent junk from interfering with the MWD tool?
Have the use of LCM, lubricating beads, hematite, barite and salt- or oil-based muds been discussed?
Are the cuttings mud solids less than 5% and sand content less than 1%?
Has a review of MWD tool selection been made with depth, temperature, pressure and hole size
considered?
Is mud periodically circulated when tripping into and out of high temperature wellbores?
Are shallow hole tests performed when running in the hole to verify correct MWD operation?

Geological / Trajectory Considerations


Is the planned wellbore curvature within the dogleg severity limits for both sliding and rotation of the MWD
tool?
Have the surveying accuracy and correction algorithms (magnetic interference, sag and depth errors) been
discussed?
Is external magnetic interference (nearby wells, lost BHAs, hematite mud and magnetic formations)
insignificant?
Have the appropriate ROPs been determined for drilling through zones of interest? (For Logging matters)

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GLOSSARY
ACCURACY (of a measurement)
The closeness of the agreement between the result of the measurement and the (conventional) true value (of
the measurand).
API UNIT
A unit of measurement in GR logs (previously neutron logs also). For GR tools, one API unit is equivalent to
1/200th of the total deflection observed between zones of high and low radiation in the test pit. MWD GR tools
measure gamma radiation in API units, Counts Per Second (cps) and AAPI (see APPARENT API UNITS).
Because MWD GR sensors are housed in thick steel drill collars, the measurements usually are reduced compared
to the same measurement by a wireline GR tool. GR measurements may vary from one service company to
another
AZIMUTH
Direction, as in a compass direction. The clockwise angle of departure from a reference direction (typically
geographic) north, measured in a horizontal plane. In dipmeter and directional surveys, it is the clockwise
angle from magnetic north to the tool reference point or electrode. This measurement must be corrected for
magnetic declination to compute true azimuth. The azimuth is generally expressed in degrees.
AZIMUTHAL
The characteristic of a logging tool to perform separate measurements in different directions (azimuths) around
the axis of the tool. Currently, MWD sensors making azimuthal measurements are limited to density and tend
to give measurements in quadrants around the borehole. Some MWD GR sensors are shielded on one side
so that measurements are taken from only (primarily) the unshielded side. These are oriented measurements
rather than true azimuthal measurements.
BENDING STIFFNESS
The resistance to axial bending of a drill collar (expressed in Nm/Rad or ft-lb/degree of deflection). It is equal
to the bending moment required to produce a unit deflection of a collar when one end is fixed. This value is
supplied to drilling engineers for the comparison of the angle building characteristic of an MWD drill collar to
that of a standard API drill collar.
BOTTOM HOLE ASSEMBLY (BHA)
The portion of the drilling assembly below the drill pipe. The Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) will typically consist
of drill collars, stabilizers and drilling tools (e.g. motor and MWD) and the bit.
BUILD ANGLE
The rate of increase in inclination of a wellbore. This is sometimes expressed as Rate-of-Build (ROB) and
expressed in degrees/unit length, often degree/100 ft or similar length. BHAs are designed to either build,
hold, or drop angle as the well is drilled. Some BHAs, when combined with down-hole motors, are designed to
turn in a desired direction.
CASING SHOE
A short length of heavy steel pipe which has a tapered profile. The casing shoe is screwed onto the first joint
of casing lowered into the hole. In many cases, sensor measurements made near the casing shoe are of
doubtful accuracy due to poor hole conditions near the casing shoe. Conversely, in many wells, but not all, the
best cement job (integrity) is closest to the bottom of the well.
DENSITY
The mass of some material divided by its volume. In petrophysics, formations and drilling fluid densities are
measured, primarily as input to equations to derive the porosity of the rock. Most logging tools actually
measure bulk density (b), and express the density in g/cm3. The equation used for determining porosity ()
from bulk density is:
= (ma - b)/(ma - mf)

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where ma is the assumed density of the matrix (formation) and mf is the assumed density of the fluid in the
pore spaces.
DEPTH ENCODER
A device that is generally affixed to the rig drawworks and that generates electric pulses as the drum rotates.
After calibration the output of the encoder is converted to depth.
DEPTH OF INVESTIGATION
The radial distance from the measure point on a sensor to a circle, usually within the formation, where the
predominant tool-measured response may be considered to be centered. It varies from one type of device to
another because of different designs, and techniques of compensation and focusing. It also varies from
formation to formation due to changes in formation properties. For a better understanding of the volume of
investigation of a logging tool, it is recommended to know the depths of investigation corresponding to 10%,
50% and 90% of the cumulative GEOMETRIC FACTOR. See also RADIUS OF INVESTIGATION.
DIP DIRECTION
The direction of dip (maximum slope in a plane) perpendicular to the DIP STRIKE, expressed relative to
compass directions.
DIP STRIKE
The direction or bearing of a horizontal line drawn on the plane of a structural surface. The strike is
perpendicular to the DIP DIRECTION.
DIRECTIONAL DRILLING
Intentional drilling of an off-vertical well at a closely controlled, predetermined angle and direction through the
use of special equipment.
DIRECTIONAL SURVEY
A well survey that measures the degree of departure of a borehole from vertical and the direction of departure.
Measurements are made of azimuth and inclination of the borehole.
DOGLEG SEVERITY
The rate of change of hole angle and/or direction evaluated between the current survey point and the next
shallowest survey point. It is expressed in degrees per course length, and is significantly influenced by the
course length over which it is calculated.
DOWNLINK
The capability to retrieve data from, and send instructions to the tool when it is located downhole. Four
principles are currently used for downlink communications: mechanical (wireline), electrical (inductive
coupling), hydraulic (mud pulse) and electromagnetic propagation.
DRIFT ANGLE
The deviation of a section of the borehole from vertical.
DRILL COLLAR
Heavy, thick-walled tube, usually steel, employed between the drill pipe and the bit in the drill string to provide
weight on the bit in order to improve its performance.
ELECTROMAGNETIC PROPAGATION
The passing of electromagnetic energy through a medium. Most MWD resistivity logs are based on
electromagnetic propagation and typically operate at high frequencies (typically between hundreds of kHz and
a couple of Mhz). They are used for correlation and to determine formation electrical properties or invasion
characteristics. MWD tools record the phase shift and attenuation of electromagnetic energy through the
formation near the borehole, which are then converted into resistivities and dielectric properties.

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FORMATION
(1) Stratigraphic: A body of rock strata, of intermediate rank, in the hierarchy of lithostratigraphic units, which
is unified with respect to adjacent strata by consisting dominantly of a certain lithologic type or combination of
types or by possessing other unifying lithologic features. The formation is the fundamental unit of
lithostratigraphic classification.
(2) Drilling: A general term applied by drillers without stratigraphic connotation to a sedimentary rock that can
be described by certain drilling or reservoir characteristics.
FRACTURE GRADIENT
The mechanical strength of a formation that represents the maximum borehole fluid pressure that can be
sustained without fracturing the formation, and losing borehole fluid. This gradient is largely dependent upon
lithology, the formation pore pressure, and the weight of overlaying sediments (see also LEAK-OFF TEST).
FUNNEL VISCOSITY
Viscosity, equal to the time(in integer seconds) it takes one U.S. quart of mud to flow through a Marsh funnel.
The measuring unit is seconds.
GAMMA-RAY LOG
A log of the formation natural radioactivity level. It is typically used as an indicator of formation shaliness. It is
also used extensively for well-to-well correlation and to correlate cased-hole logs with open-hole logs.
GEOLOGRAPH
A brand name commonly used to refer to a drilling recorder that records particular drilling events as a function
of time. Depth and rate of penetration are two drilling parameters derived from its recording.
GEOSTEERING
A technique in which one or more geologically sensitive parameters, measured downhole and transmitted to
the surface, are used to guide the well path and keep it in the desired location. In GEOMETRICAL
STEERING, the measurements are limited to azimuth and inclination, and the well is steered toward a predetermined geometrical target. In GEO (logical) STEERING, formation sensitive measurements are used to
steer the wellbore in relation to adjacent geological features.
GRAVITY TOOL FACE
The angle between a tool reference axis and a line perpendicular to the hole axis and lying in the vertical
plane. Also commonly referred to as HIGHSIDE TOOL FACE.
KELLY
The heavy square or hexagonal hollow steel member, which is suspended from the swivel, that connects to
the drillpipe. It is engaged in the rotary table, via the kelly bushing, to rotate the drillstring. Drilling fluid is
pumped through the kelly into the drillstring.
KELLY BUSHING
Device, through which the kelly slides, that fits into the rotary table. It transmits the torque of the rotary table to
the kelly and consequently to the drillstring. It is sometimes also called the drive bushing or rotary kelly
bushing (RKB).
KICKOFF DEPTH
The depth in the vertical part of a well at which the deviated (inclined) portion of the well is started.
LEAK-OFF TEST
A pressure test (usually performed after setting a casing string) that determines the maximum pressure (mud
weight) that can be contained by the open hole formations without fracturing and losing circulation.

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LOG
(1) A detailed record, usually correlated with depth, of certain parameters of the formations penetrated during
drilling. Data recorded may include electrical and radioactive surveys, description of cuttings, core analyses,
etc.
(2) A history of operations where drilling time, intervals cored, drillstem test results, etc. are recorded.
LOGGING SPEED
The speed at which the measuring instrument is moving when the log is recorded. In wireline operations, the
cable speed typically controls the speed of a particular logging tool. In MWD operations, the rate of bit
penetration controls the speed of the logging operation.
LOGGING TOOL
A tool for performing downhole well log data gathering services for determining properties of the formation, or
characteristics of the wellbore and its environment.
LOGGING-WHILE-DRILLING (LWD)
Sets of methods used to record formation characteristics while drilling - commonly called LWD. Also called
FORMATION EVALUATION WHILE DRILLING.
LOST CIRCULATION MATERIAL (LCM)
Material added to the mud to aid in preventing the downhole loss of mud - also called LCM. Downhole mud
pulse telemetry devices and turbine generators may be affected by the presence of this material in large
quantities.
MAGNETIC DECLINATION
The angle between geographic north and magnetic north. It can be either a negative or positive number. It is
used to transform data referenced to magnetic north to data referenced to geographic north.
MAGNETIC INCLINATION
Vertical angle between the direction of the magnetic field and the horizontal plane. Commonly called magnetic
dip angle.
MAGNETIC INTERFERENCE
That condition which occurs when extraneous (not due to the earth) magnetic forces affect a magnetically
sensitive instrument. Proximity to magnetized casing, magnetized drillstring components, and certain
magnetic minerals are potential sources of interference.
MAGNETIC PERMEABILITY
The property of a substance that determines to what degree it modifies the magnetic flux in a magnetic field assumed to equal unity in most oilfield geological formations. Magnetic permeability is frequency dependent.
See also DIELECTRIC PERMITTIVITY.
MAGNETIC TOOLFACE
The angle between magnetic north and the projection of the tools reference axis onto a horizontal plane. See
RELATIVE BEARING.
MAGNETOMETER
A geophysical instrument used to measure the intensity, in both the horizontal and vertical directions, of the
earth magnetic field.
MEAN TIME BETWEEN FAILURE (MTBF)
Average elapsed time between failures. It is calculated by dividing the number of MWD operating hours by the
number of failures. Industry standard practice (see SPE paper #19862) has established two measures of
MTBF, one for circulating hours (real-time transmission), and the second for total hours of operation below
rotary (while the tool operating and recording data). MTBF statistics are recorded for individual components,
for whole MWD systems, and by geographical area. Operators are also interested in the number of times

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MWD failures interfere with drilling operations and require tripping for the MWD tool. MTBF is significantly
affected by the drilling environment (e.g. SHOCK, VIBRATION, mud solids and flow rate) and by MWD
maintenance schedules.
MEASUREMENT WHILE DRILLING (MWD)
A technique of making downhole measurements of azimuth, inclination, tool orientation, natural radioactivity,
resistivity, porosity, temperature, vibration, weight, torque, etc. These measurements are made while drilling
by sensors located in the bottomhole assembly close to the drill bit, and can be recorded downhole and/or
telemetered to the surface.
MUD
A liquid circulated through the wellbore during drilling and workover operations. One purpose of the mud is to
remove rock cuttings produced by drilling. The mud also helps cool the bit, it prevents the borehole walls from
caving in, constrains high-pressure formation fluids, and provides a medium for MWD mud-pulse transmission
signals. See DRILLING FLUID.
MUD CAKE
The sheath of mud solids which forms on the borehole wall opposite permeable formations when the mud
filtrate seeps into the formation.
MUD FILTRATE
The liquid portion of the mud that is able to flow into permeable formations. PRECISION
The closeness of agreement between the results obtained by applying a measurement procedure several
times on identical materials and under prescribed measurement conditions. The smaller the random part of
experimental error, the more precise the measurement procedure.
PRESSURE
Force per unit area applied to a body (e.g. hydrostatic, flow and pump pressures). It may be gauge or
absolute. The kPa (kiloPascal) unit is used in physics. The more common related oilfield unit is the pound per
square inch (psi).
RESOLUTION
(1) Intrinsic Sensor Resolution is the length associated with a sensor that relates to its ability to see thin detail
(see also Impulse Response Function). It is quantitatively defined as the full width at half maximum of the
response of a sensor to an infinitesimally short event of infinite magnitude, and is approximately equal to the
minimum distance between two bed boundaries that the sensor can resolve.
(2) Spatial Resolution is defined as the minimum formation thickness that can be resolved from a data set,
and is a function of the intrinsic sensor resolution, data sampling interval and data filtering.
(3) Digital Resolution is the precision with which data are digitized when either transmitted to the surface, or
stored in memory. It is related to the number of digital bits used to represent a quantity.
RETRIEVABILITY
The ability to retrieve a portion of an MWD system from downhole while the MWD tool is in the bottom hole
assembly. Retrievability is used on various MWD systems to recover electronics or radioactive sources from
stuck bottom hole assemblies. See also REPLACEABILITY.
SHOCKS
Large and sudden, instantaneous forces applied to the BHA, and characterized by a relatively wide
frequency band. Shocks are often associated with either resonant vibrations (accumulating large amounts of
energy) or chaotic motion of the BHA. Accelerometer sensors are often used to monitor the severity and
frequency of axial, lateral and tangential shock loading on an MWD tool in order to help the driller adjust
surface drilling control parameters (e.g. rpm and hookload) to reduce the magnitude and frequency of
destructive shocks. See also VIBRATION.
SIDETRACK
The drilling of a new and different hole from an existing wellbore.

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STABILIZER
A bladed device that is used to eliminate vibration, centralize and prevent differential sticking of the bottom
hole assembly, and to control the directional tendencies of the drilling process. The diameter of some
stabilizers can be controlled by adjusting surface drilling parameters.
STANDPIPE
A pipe used for drilling fluid circulation that extends part the way up the derrick to a height suitable for
attaching to the rotary hose.
TALLY
A record of the drillpipe, drillcollars, tubing or casing installed in a well containing the length of each joint, the
number of joints, and the overall length of the string.
TELEMETRY TYPE
MWD signals are transmitted in real time either through the fluid in the borehole and casing (mud pulses), or
through the earth formations (electromagnetically). MWD signals are either amplitude or frequency modulated.
The type of drilling fluid (compressible or incompressible) and the conductivity of geological formations may
dictate the appropriateness of one telemetry type or another. The type of telemetry affects data rate, the depth
at which an MWD system can transmit in real time back to the surface, and various operational procedures.
UTM COORDINATE SYSTEM
The UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system is a convention for transforming a portion of the curved
surface of the earth onto a flat plane surface of grid rectangular (x-y) coordinates. The grid system is designed
for the identification of locations between the latitudes of 80 degrees south and 84 degrees north.
VIBRATION
Repeatable (quasi-harmonic) motion of the drillstring, MWD tool or other drillstring components, characterized
by relatively narrow frequency bands. Vibration is often caused by resonant phenomena or driven energy
sources (e.g. mud motors). See also SHOCKS.
VISCOSITY
The property of a substance offering internal resistance to flow; a measure of the degree of fluidity. Viscosity
is defined as the ratio of the shear stress applied to a fluid divided by the shear rate resulting from the shear
2
stress application. If the shear stress is expressed in dynes/cm and the shear rate is expressed in reciprocal
seconds, the viscosity would be calculated in poise.
WHIRL
An excentered rotation of the center axis of the drillstring in the borehole, induced most usually by either the
compressive bending or the rotational mass imbalance of drill collars. Depending upon the frictional forces
acting at the borehole wall, and upon the severity of the bending forces, whirl may manifest itself in the same
direction as (forward whirl), or in the opposite direction as the rotation of the drillstring (backward whirl). Whirl
can also be instable, transitioning between forward whirl and backward whirl states in a chaotic manner.
YIELD POINT
An additional thixotropic measurement of the mud, which is the resistance to internal fluid flow measured as
stress.

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Conversion table

API unit

x Factor

ft

x 3.048

E-01

=m

ft/hr

x 3.048

E-01

= m/hr

psi

x 6.894757

E+00 = kPa

ppg

x 1.198264

E-01

= Metric

= g/cm3

(F-32) / 1.8 E+00 = C

Ton

x 9.071847

E-01

= Mg

in.

x 2.54

E+00 = cm

cycles/sec

x 1.0

E+00 = Hz

lbs (force)

x 0.444822

E+00 = daN

lbs (mass)

x 0.453592

E+00 = kg

ftlbs

x 0.135582

E+00 = daNm

US gal

x 3.78533

E+00 = liters

US bbl

x 0.158984

E+00 = m3 or kL

psi/ft

x 22.62

E+00 = kPa/m

Table 1 - SI Metric Conversion Factors

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APPENDIX 1

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