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Experience With Rotary Steerable System For Reservoir Drilling In Iranian Offshore Oilfields

By: Akshit Patel

11BPE026 6th SEM (Upstream) SPT, PDPU

Directional Drilling- Application

Rotary Steerable System

Types Working

Bit Selection Field Case History Advantages and Limitations


Directional Drilling
Directional Drilling is the science of

Deviating a wellbore along a Planned Path to a target located a given lateral distance and direction from vertical.

Reasons for Drilling DIRECTIONAL WELLS

Source :

Rotary Steerable System

RSS is a new form of drilling technology used in

directional drilling.
A tool is designed to drill directionally with

continuous rotation from the surface.

Rotary steerable systems have Minimal Interaction

with the Borehole, thereby preserving borehole quality.

Steerable without sliding (100% rotation). Combined with logging tools in the drill string

close to the bit, allowing a continuous optimization of the well trajectory.

Two methods used in RSS:

Pads on the outside of the tool which press against the well bore causing the bit to press on the opposite side resulting in a direction change.

Cause the direction of the bit to change relative to the rest of the tool by bending the main shaft running through it. Require some kind of non-rotating housing or reference housing in order to create this deflection within the shaft.

Push-The-Bit Method



Comprises of TWO units.

Bias Unit
-Located directly behind the bit which applies force to

bit in a controlled direction during rotation of drill string.

Control Unit
-Resides behind the bias unit , contains self powered

electronics, sensors and a control mechanism to provide magnitude and direction to bit.

Working Principle

The BIAS UNIT consists of Three Pads that are

activated by controlled mud flow.

When the push point comes, the disk valve

actuates each pad by diverting the mud flow into the piston chamber of each pad.

When the push point passes the valve cuts off the

mud supply and the mud escapes through the bit.

If no change in the direction is required, each

pad extends so that pads push in all direction and effectively cancel each other.
Each pad cant extend more than 1 cm(3/8 in.).

Point-The-Bit Method

Fig: Point the bit system in bent mode

Divided into TWO Sub-Assemblies

The steering section Control section

o Electronics and Sensor Section
o Power Generation Section

Working Principle
The steering section contains a universal joint,

which transmits torque and weight on bit, but permits the axis of the bit to be at an angular offset from the axis of the tool.

offset allows for the directional drilling tendency of the system to be controlled through 3-point contact with the well bore.

The axis of the bit shaft is kept offset by a

mandrel, which is maintained during collar rotation.


Fig: Point the bit system in Straight mode

To drill straight, the bit-shaft offset rotates at a rate that differs from that of the tool. The result is a slightly over gauged hole.

In both the methods, the control unit is mounted

on the bearings that allow to rotate freely.

It maintains the proper angle of shaft relative to

formation as well as azimuth and inclination of the bit. A control unit near the bit ensures that the hole angle is not increased or decreased rapidly creating dog legs which will result in excessive torque and drag.

Bit Selection
No matter which method has been selected, the drill bit

selection must be done very carefully.

Ultimate goal


Bit Selection includes factors such as lateral and axial

drilling efficiency, gauge pad length and durability.



Requires laterally aggressive bit and also there is

less concern about bit induced torque and there is plenty of power available for more aggressive design.


Requires Long Gauge

Length and utilize bit tilting for changing direction

Field Case History

PEDCO is a branch of NIOC formed in 1999. PEDCO has

started to improve the Production from one of the biggest Persian golf offshore oilfields since 2002.
It includes drilling new wells or re-entering the well. Typically re-entry wells takes about 35 days from start of

re-entry till completion with conventional mud motor.

So they want to MINIMIZE the NO. of DAYS by

increasing ROP.

Sosolution isRSS PEDCO used PUSH The BIT Technology for drilling 1142 m.

Just simply achieving HIGH ROP is not useful, unless and until it is justified both ECONOMICALLY and TIME SAVING.

6 1/8" Hole Progress Chart

$1,600,000 $1,400,000 $1,200,000 $1,000,000




$800,000 $600,000 $400,000 $200,000 $0


Offset well

RSS well

Cost saved

Cutting the cost of staying vertical.

Reducing upper-hole collision risk.

Minimizing sticking and borehole stability


Significant time saving through ROP improvements

Continuous effective hole cleaning Drilling of a hole with lower Tortuosity. Drilling of much more ambitious well trajectories

(either complex 3D and/or ERD) with lower technical risk


Drilling industry is continuously evolving day by

Rotary Steerable System is the best deflection

tool available
This technology will help in planning the well

bore geometry even better.

Usage and availability of RSS must increase to

make drilling process more accurate and fast

Molayee, A., & Teymoori, A. (2006). Experience with Rotary Steerable System for Reservoir Drilling in Iranian Offshore Oilfields. SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition. Adelaide: SPE 100917. Geoff Downton, A. H. (2000). New Directions in Rotary Steerable Drilling. Oilfiled Review , 18-29. ordcorp/WFT111035.pdf


Thank You