You are on page 1of 8

*

m

Society

of Petroleum

Engineers

lADC/SPE

39328

Innovative

Rotary Closed Loop System —Engineering

Extensive

Field Application

.

.

in the Adriatic Sea

Franco

S. P.A.; and Detlef Ragnitz,”

Donati,

AGIP S.p.A.;

Joachim

Oppelt,*

Baker Hughes

GmbH

Baker Hughes

INTEQ

INTEQ GmbH;

Concept

Alessandro

Proven by

Trampini,

AGIP

*IADC

Members

 

Copyright

1998,

lADC/SPE

Drilling

Conference

 

This pa~r

was

prepared

for

presentation

at the

1968

lAMiSPE

Drilllng

Conference

held

in

Dallaa, Texas

M

March

1998.

This

pawr

waa

aelaoted

for

presentation

by

an

lA~iSPE

PrQram

Committee

following

review

of

information

containti

In

an

abstract

submitted

by

the

author(a).

&ntents

of

the

paper,

as

presentd,

 

have

not

hen

review~

by

the

International

~soclation

of

Drilfin9

Contractors

or

the

Society

 

of

Petroleum

Engineem

and

are

subject

to

correction

by

the

author(s).

The material,

as preaentd,

does

not nWsaarilY

feffect

anY Wsitfon

of the

IAN

or

SPE,

their

officers,

or members.

Papera

presentad

at the

lADCiSPE

meetings

are

aubjest

to

publication

review

by

Editorial

Committaea

of

the

IADO

and

SPE.

Electronic

reprtiuction,

distribution,

or storage

of any

part

of this

paper

for

commercial

pur~ses

 

without

the written

sonaenl

of the Society

of Petroleum

Engineers

Is prohibited.

Permission

to re~oduw

In print

ia restricted

to an abatract

of

not

more

than

~

words;

illustrations

may

not

b

wpiad.

The

abstract must mntaln conspicuous

 

acknowlmment

of where

and

by

whom

the

pa~r

was

presented. Write Librarian,

SPE,

P.O.

~x

833836,

Ffichatiaon,

 

TX

75083-W36,

U.6.A.,

fax

01-972-952-8435.

 

Abstract The Rotary Closed Loop Drilling System (RCLS) was developed as a joint venture project between a major oil company and a leading service company. A long term research and development program within the service company was supported by the Italian oil company over the past five years. The resulting drilling system is capable of steering a wellpath while the drill string continues to rotate, so penetration rates are not sacrificed while slide drilling, as is necessary when using conventional steerable technology. Furthermore, this unique system has several integral downhole sensors, enabling two-way communication between the downhole system and surface, while also providing FEMWD data. In addition, several automated drilling finctions enable the system to steer independently. During this operation, surface personnel are able to intervene at any time through direct control using a downlink signal. This paper will provide a detailed insight into the project’s engineering strategy during the development. The paper also presents a review of the first year of field application, mainly in the Adriatic Sea offshore Italy, which concluded the prototype period. The philosophy of the pilot field application program is briefly described and an overview is given of the ongoing engineering efforts, as well as the considerable fiture development potential.

Introduction Today’s drilling environment is characterized by the “triple constraints” concept. This means that any drilling program needs to be executed on time, within budget, and according to

specifications or requirements.

Regarding the time and budget constraints, the need to optimize economics under ongoing competition and cost pressure requires that today’s wells be drilled in considerably less time than previous wells. With respect to the technical requirements a growing number of wells need to be drilled with complex trajectories. For example, a relatively sophisticated well path can avoid drilling additional wells or even eliminate the need for a new platform in the offshore area. Complex and extended reach wells also can help minimize environmental impacts.

Current steerable motor systems have been providing state- of-the-art technology for directional drilling applications during the last decade. Only recently have individuals in the industry recognized certain limitations of this technology in chilling extended reach and complex well profiles. Within the framework of a research program between a major Italian oil company and an oilfield service company with leading directional drilling competence, the vision of a steering-while- rotating directional drilling system with certain automated control fi.mctionswas turned into a rapid development process.

This technology’s high potential demand led to tie decision to pursue this project in a highly-accelerated way. The time between initiating the RCLS program and running the first successful field operation in a test well was no more than 18 months. This rapid approach required that development continue while prototype tools underwent field testing. Therefore, the prototype testing period was organized into two separate application sequences. The first stage, in early 1996, used a special test well to verify the basic concept and identifi major items for improvement. After this hurdle was cleared, the remainder of the year was used to run the prototype tools in commercial wells. This was done exclusively in Italy, and most of the wells were located offshore in the Adriatic Sea.

The goal of this phase of the evaluation was to immediately improve the system after each run using the findings from the actual application. In some cases, changes were implemented

305

2

FRANCO

DONATI,

ET AL

lADC/SPE

39328

at the well site on stand-by tools while other systems were operating downhole. Engineering efforts were maintained at a very high level so the project team could react quickly and effectively to any problems.

automatically control tie wellpath independently of the drilling process. A basic RCLS without depth tracing will follow the wellpath programmed at surface and must be pulled to make any wellpath corrections. To allow for higher influence from surface a communication from surface to downhole--the so

Rotary

Closed

Loop

System

(RCLS)

Even on conventional wells the benefits of a tool capable of steering while rotating are immense, and in some cases wells with challenging profiles may only be possible with a rotary steerable system.

Sliding rates of penetration are generally 50% less than those achieved during rotary drilling, so a rotary steering system can deliver substantially higher overall ROP than steerable systems that slide during course corrections. By eliminating the necessity to steer by orienting and sliding, drag on the drillstring can be significantly reduced. This allows a constant application of WOB, reduces axial shock and vibration, and improves drilling dynamics.

Studies have shown that drillstring rotation helps keep cuttings suspended, positively affecting hole cleaning and minimizing drillpipe-to-borehole fiction. This results in fewer wiper trips and circulating operations, fewer stuck pipe incidents, fewer washout conditions and a lower, more constant ECD.

called downlink--is required. The AutoTrak RCLS acts on a flow rate variation process at surface where the binary code embedded in high and low flowrates is decoded by the downhole tool. For basic steering, the steering direction and

the build up rate (the magnitude of the steering force) will be transmitted downhole. As a further step, sections of the wellpath can be transmitted from surface.

Fiwre 2 shows these two main features of an RCLS implemented into a independently operating tool which also includes directional and formation evaluation capabilities, The steering action is formed by three-point geometry in which the bit, steerable blades on the nonrotating sleeve and top stabilizer define the path drilled by the assembly. The build up rate is defined by the eccentricity of the expandable blades and is directly proportional to the magnitude of the steering force. Following the nonrotating sleeve with integrated near bit inclination measurement, a sub houses a turbine-driven alternator with oil pump and a mud pulse valve for positive mud pulse telemetry from downhole to surface. The oil pump generates the oil pressure necessary to generate the steering

Above the top stabilizer a Multiple Propagation Resistivity

In conventional directional drilling, bit selection is often dictated by the need to slide, resulting in a choice of a less aggressive PDC bit, reducing ROP, or in the worst case, a roller cone bit, increasing the number of bit trips required.

A steering while rotating tool has two main features:

force, The oil hydraulics with hydraulic valve and electrical pressure control are located in the nonrotating sleeve.

(MPR) sub takes formation Resistivity and Gamma Ray measurements. Furthermore, the tool has an integrated directional sensor positioned 10 m above the bit and a vibration module transmitting the drill string vibration data for

.

A

steering unit that can control the wellpath during

optimization of the drilling process uphole. The tool takes a

drill string rotation.

 

survey only upon pumps off and transmits the measured data as soon as circulation is resumed.

.

The ability to change the wellpath by either following

a wellpath programmed at surface on an internal

downhole closed loop or by following the wellpath as

directed by surface-to-downhole commands (in the surface-to-downhole closed loop),

Based on these two features, a steering while rotating tool is referred to as a Rotary Closed Loop System [RCLS].

The Baker Hughes INTEQ AutoTrak RCLS includes the steering unit with a rotationally uncoupled, nonrotating sleeve with integrated expandable blades. The expandable blades apply a steering force on the formation to force the bit in the desired direction. As shown in Figure 1, each steering blade is activated independently. This results in a force vector, adjusted to high side in direction as well as in magnitude.

The

second

main

feature

of

a

RCLS

is

the

ability

to

306

Engineering

Strategy

The development of a automated drilling system was started at Baker Hughes INTEQ in 1985. In the early 90’s the vertical drilling system -- the first tool able to steer along a preprogrammed wellpath -- was extensively used at the Continental Deep Drilling (KTB) Project of the Federal Republic of Germany. The tool controlled the wellpath on a vertical line. Because the system controlled the well within tight vertical tolerances, the KTB project could reach a target depth of 9000 m TVD in highly crystalline rock. In 1993, AGIP S.p,A. in Milan, Italy and Baker Hughes INTEQ in Houston, Texas, initiated a joint development project. The primary goal of the project was the development of a high temperature (up to 200”C) tool with the ability to steer in ultra deep horizontal wells. Soon after the program began, it became clear that the development of an RCLS would be beneficial to

lADC/SPE

393281 NNOVATIVE

THE ADRIATIC

SEA

ROTARY

CLOSED

LOOP

SYSTEM

- ENGINEERING

3

CONCEPT

PROVEN

BY EXTENSIVE

FIELD

APPLICATION

IN

achieving this drilling capability.

A three stage development included:

strategy was set. The stages

a) Intensive lab testing of components, especially the oil hydraulic system in the nonrotating sleeve

b) Evaluating the complete system in a test well to identify the system’s steering capabilities and the reliability of its components downhole

c) A series of field tests in commercial wells to verifi RCLS reliability and durability in oiltield applications and to improve the process while drilling.

During the fust development stage, the concept of the tool was designed. In lab tests, the principle operation of the oil hydraulic system with variable oil pressure regulation and the turbine driven oil pump were proven. Intensive work was focused on a rough design of a mud oil sealing system, as the bearing set of the nonrotating sleeve works on oil lubricated bearings.

After favorable results were achieved during laboratory testing in Germany and Italy, an extensive field test program for the RCLS technology was initiated. Field testing was initially carried out at a drilling test facility in Montrose, Scotland. Early testing focused on the newly designed steering unit and surface-to-downhole communications to confirm the laboratory tests. Results of these initial tests indicated that the tool could control the direction of the wellpath, and desired build rate capabilities could be achieved. The ability to control steering downhole via the downlink was confirmed. Given a desired directional objective from the surface, the tool was able to change its course and accomplish the new objective.

Furthermore, critical parts of the tool were identified and the direction for firther development work was determined. The mud oil sealing system was identified as the most critical part. During the field test phase in commercial wells, several improvement steps were achieved (especially on this component).

Field Testing

in the Adriatic

Sea

Afier conclusion of the Montrose drilling test, a series of field tests in the Adriatic sea with AGIP S.p.A. was scheduled. The major goals of the field test were to prove the system’s durability in the field and achieve constant improvement of a prototype tool, resulting in a commercial product.

Field Test at Regina

2 Dir

A

Regina 2 was a well in the Adriatic Seal offshore Italy. 9

307

5/8” casing was set down to a TMD of 992 at an inclination of 20.3° and an azimuth ot79.2°. The AutoTrak RCLS was planned to drill a target section to a TMD of 1,201 m, then build and turn to 46.7° inclination at 88.43 azimuth at 1567 TMD. This inclination had to be held at the same azimuth and inclination down to a TMD of 2,920 m. FiWre 3 shows the plan with two targets and the course drilled by the AutoTrak RCLS and tie following standard steerable tool.

Two RCLS assemblies drilled an 859m section building inclination horn 20° to 48° with an average ROP of 35 rn/hr. AutoTrak’s ability to correct the trajecto~ in real time kept the well within a maximum deviation of 5 m from the planned wellpath, However, both tools failed due to a plugged mud pulse valve. In both cases the pulser was blocked by a rubber stabilizer from the tool. Afier the failures, the well was &llled using conventional systems with great difficulty in maintaining the planned wellpath.

During the fwst commercial field test, the AutoTrak RCLS proved its ability to maintain a planned wellpath, Needed improvements were identified on the decodability of the downlink communication by the downhole tool. Prior to the next field test the filter algorithm for detection of the preamble was modified for improved decodability downhole. The mud oil sealing system was still operating after being pulled out of tie hole. However, the seals showed wear so that a longer operating time could not be assured. The sealing system was redesigned to account for the observed wear pattern.

Field

Test at Clothilde

1

Clothilde 1 is an AGIP well in the Adriatic Sea offshore Italy. Fi&re 4 shows the planned wellpath for Clothilde 1 Dir. The 12 W’ section was drilled to a depth of 612 m and 9 5/8” casing was set. The last survey was at survey depth 596 m with 23.2° inclination at 319° azimuth. TVD was 589.01 m, 38.7 m north and -36.06 m east.

The well plan called for the 8 W section to continue with a straight build section down to a measured depth of 931 m, followed by a straight tangent section with 50.95° inclination. The target was located in the tangent section at TVD 1,256 m, 553 m north and -506 m east.

The complete 8 W’ section was drilled by one AutoTrak RCLS. Over 1,230 m were drilled within 25 hours, building

m followed by a 900 m hold section of 50° inclination as programmed. The final average ROP of 47 m/hr demonstrated the tool had good steering capability while achieving high ROP.

inclination from 25° to 50° with a build rate of 3.5°/30

Improvements based on the experience gained at Regina 2 led to a higher decodability of the downlinks with80% of all

4

FRANCO

downlinks being recognized and decoded by the downhole tool. The redesigned sealing system showed proper function with no significant seal wear.

Once again, the field test showed the tools’s capability of the tool to keep the well on a planned path, but maintained it only within a maximum deviation of 13 m from plan. Project engineers determined that a major improvement in accuracy

could be achieved by a change in the downhole control algorithm. Especially in a section with constant inclination, the previous hold mode did not adequately maintain the well along the planned path. A correction using programmed steering values for direction and magnitude led the tool back to the planned course but also created a relatively sharp turn, resulting in a tortuous wellpath. Unfortunately, the needed modifications were not ready for field testing at the next

commercial field test on the Antonella

11 well.

Antonella Field Tests

The field test performed with the AutoTrak in the 8 X’ phase of AGIP Antonella field (located in the Adriatic Sea offshore) was one of the most significant, due to the depth of the wells (TVD 4,200 m), and the severe operational conditions, including:

DONATI,

ET AL

lADC/SPE

39328

ROP of 28 m/hr with peak values up to 130 m/hr. At a depth of 3,735 m, the measured inclination of the tool started to drop 0.7°/30 m. Several attempts were made to bring the tool back to the planned wellpath. As a tool failure was suspected, the tool was POOH at a TMD of 3,881 m. During disassembly a plugged oil filter in the oil hydraulic system was identified as the cause of the failure.

A second tool was RIH programmed to build and return to

the planned wellpath. The tool built inclination as expected and was corrected for azimuth via downlink to return to the path. Aiming for the target at 4,188 m TMD, the tool failed to decode any downlink. Finally, the tool had to be pulled as it could not be reprogrammed from surface.

In two runs, 962 m were Willed in41.7 hours. During these

nms steering capability of the tool was tested with regards to

correcting the inclination at the start of a section with a preprogrammed “hold” command that contains a target inclination and to avoid and correct walk tendencies with the “steer” command. With the downlink structure change already identified at Clothilde, the downhole decoding software was changed for improved decodability. This new downlink software was tested at the Antonella 12 well.

Antonella

12

High torque with consequent problems of motor stalling and with high difficulties in correcting the direction using the conventional steerable system

The tangent section of Antonella 12 is shown in Fimre 6. Drilling the 8 %“ section from 3,337 m to TD at 4,247 m was

.

Risk of differential sticking due to the crossing of depleted zones.

planned to test the tools reliability and especially the effectiveness of the upgraded downlink.

Antonella

11

On the Antonella 11 well, project engineers intended to drill a straight section with 34.0 inclination from 3,247 m to TD at 5.058 m while maintaining a direction of 241.5°. The inclination of the existing borehole had to be corrected by dropping from 35,9°, The well plan is shown in Fiwre 5.

The AutoTrak RCLS was programmed to hold an inclination of 34.9° with no walk. The top of the shoe equipment was found at 3,211 m. Float collar, cement and shoe were drilled with reduced flow to avoid creating a side force on the bit. Afier passing the rat hole and placing the RCLS stabilizer in new hole, the well was drilled with 150 rpm, 1,900 I/rein and 4-7 t WOB. The tool started immediately to drop as expected since the inclination of the last survey was 35.9°. On the first complete stand, the tool produced a DLS of 1.67°/30 m and afterwards kept an inclination of 34.2°, slightly turning to the left with a walk rate of 0.3 to 0.6°/30 m. This unintended turn was considered acceptable since it decreased the existing east/west deviation from the planned wellpath. At a depth of 3,482 m to 3,881 m, the well was drilled with 8 t WOB, 150 rpm and 1,900 l/rein, This produced an average

The 12 %“ section was finished above and to the right of the planned wellpath. The last survey at 3,300 m gave an inclination of 8.3° and a direction of 84.8°. To intersect the target at 4,158m MD, it was necessary to keep an inclination of 8.4° and perform a slight turn to the left.

The RCLS was .RIH progra~ed to “Pulse Rate 3x”, “Build Force O kN” and “Hold 8.8°, 0 kN”. An inclination offset of 0.4° was used because typically in wells with low inclination a difference of that magnitude between near bit inclination and survey inclination had been observed. The forces were set to “O kN” to avoid creating a side force at the bit that might affect programmed inclination.

The top of the shoe equipment was found at 3,278 m. Afier drilling the cement and shoe and once clear of the 12 W rat hole, the well was drilled with 1,900 l/rein, 5 t WOB and 140 rpm. Two downlinks “Build Force 6 kN” and “Walk Force -1 kN” were sent to hold and induce Iefi hand walk. When it became evident at 3,443 m that the BHI matched the survey, the programmed inclination was reduced via downlink to 8.2°. The rest of the hole section was &llled by maintaining this inclination and build force and using low walk forces to

lADC/SPE 393281 NNOVATIVE ROTARY CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM THE ADRIATIC SEA

ENGINEERING

5

CONCEPT

PROVEN

BY EXTENSIVE

FIELD

APPLICATION

IN

correct walk tendencies.

TD was reached at a TMD of 4,274 m and the RCLS was POOH without tool failure.

Antonella 12 proved the new downlink structure to be very efficient in hhting the target. It was possible to correct the deviation of the wellpath with ease by using the hold mode with a transmitted inclination and variation of the walk force. The target at 4,158 TMD was intersected 0.28 m from the center. The newly implemented downlink pulse length variation enabled the operator to overcome the problems seen at Antonella 11. In both the Antonella 11 dir and Antonella 12 dir wells, the RCLS needed to correct the trajecto~ (inclination and azimuth) to hit the targets. The difficulties encountered during the previous wells in correcting the trajectory with conventional steerable systems were overcome by using the AutoTrak system.

In a total of three runs in the Antonella field, the AutoTrak RCLS drilled 1,887 m in 121,5 hours with an average ROP of

15.5 m/hr. This compares favorably with the conventional

steerable motor system which drilled as a total 546 m in 83.6 hours with an ROP average of 6.5 *, the turbine assembly

which drilled

1196 m in 114 hours with an ROP average of

15.5 m/br; and the stiff BHA which drilled 3,744 m in 303.5

hours with an ROP average of 12.3 ti.

In the Antonella 10 dir and 10 dir A wells, trajectory correction required three runs each, with different conventional BHA. In Antonella 11 dir, the trips to pull the AutoTrak assembly were not due to trajectory changes but to tool failure. In fact, the ability of the AutoTrak system to correct the trajectory based on downlinks communicated by negative mud pulsing avoided tripping operations and resulted in significant savings of rig-time on the Antonella 12 dir. Table 1 is a summary of all BHA used on offset wells at Antonella. As also seen in Fi~ure 7. the AutoTrak system drilled faster than standard BHA in all cases,

Conclusions The Rotary Closed Loop Drilling System was developed according to a demanding project plan designed to deliver a commercial tool quickly, but without sacrificing any fictional requirements. Field testing the prototype tools on a condensed schedule was an important step in the process. The basic concept of the AutoTrak RCLS was initially verified in a special test well, with all the tool’s capabilities fictional at that time, Afterwards, and more importantly, the system was run on an extensive basis in a real world environment through the cooperation of a major oil company. Shortcomings were identified on the spot and corrected as soon as possible, often at the well site, During this evaluation phase, the technical and economic advantages of AutoTrak RCLS technology became

clearly evident.

Furthermore, through the extensive prototype experience, confidence in the validity of the system was built quite rapidly. Therefore, the decision to launch a pilot series with a larger number of tools could be made at an early point in time. Pilot series tools would be developed based on the assumption, that changes to the prototype series would be made only in terms of improving the reliability. No major additional tictionality would be incorporated at this time.

The currently ongoing pilot series application period is accompanied by engineering work to allow running the tool with formation evaluation sensors in addition to gamma ray and resistivity, Another goal is to design and manufacture a system for the 12 lA”hole size.

Acknowledgments We thank the management of AGIP and Baker Hughes INTEQ for permission to publish the paper. Special thanks to the rig persomel and AGIP operations representatives of the Ravenna district for providing the field testing opportunities. Numerous individuals in INTEQ’s Drilling & Evaluation Technology Center and AGIP’s Drilling Research (RIAP) made the success of the Rotary Closed Loop System possible.

309

6

Basic Tool

Configuration

—Top

Alternatw

Reeewolr

Stebilleer

I Puleer Sub

W

Rotating

Sleeve WI Steering

Rlbe

Drive Sub I Bit

FRANCO

DONATI,

Mm/

flOX Sub

Nevigatien

ET AL

Application of Bit Side Force

High

St&

81t Dtive Shari

&

High

<1

Sl&

D*

.

Magnitude

Blt Side

Force

o

m

Regina

2 Dir

41nlmwlmim

astmst[ml

vorttil~dbn[m]

lADC/SPE

14CQ

Iw

39328

tw

I

Clotilde

ANTONELLA

Ii

DIR

 

.Im

.U4

.W

.m

a

.m

0

1

1

1

t

I

I

~m

 

~

 

c-vu

[.1

V.nw

-

[.1

 

OXO-aow

IuOlm

ANTONELLA

,

12 DIR

I

I -.

-,-

I

.

.

8

Corivent. Steerable BHA

Fiw

k AvmEc

ROP ,,8

Ill” mlkn,

reentry

Anlowlh

WCII,

g

Rotaty BHA

FRANCO

AutoTrek

ANTONELLA

DONATI,

ET AL

Fiwre

7

PLATFORM

8“1/2 PHASE

llDir

A

Vertical

STIFF

4493

4649

156

20

8

 

reentry

llDir

A

Vertical

STIFF

4676

4736

59

7.5

8

12

Table 1

312

IADCISPE

POOH forcore

TD

39328