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Grant Prideco Launches the IntelliServ Network

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Grant Prideco announced the commercial launch of the IntelliServ Network, the industry's first reliable, high-speed, real-time drill string telemetry system. This breakthrough technology transforms the drill string into an advanced information tool that enables instantaneous bi-directional communication between down-hole tools and surface.

"For decades, the oil and gas industry has sought to develop technology that allows highspeed, real-time transmission of formation evaluation, drilling dynamics and borehole navigation data," stated Mike McShane, Grant Prideco Chairman, CEO and President. "The IntelliServ Network helps achieve this industry objective by providing a step-change in telemetry bandwidth. We feel this technology, when coupled with compatible tools and software applications, can materially reduce drilling risks, improve well placement and ultimately reduce the cost-per-barrel for our customers. With this announcement, our IntelliServ operation is now open for commercial business and is already actively engaged in contract discussions with several major oil and gas operators."

The IntelliServ Network, which is wholly owned by Grant Prideco, has the potential to revolutionize the drilling industry by providing drilling engineers and geologists with access to critical information at speeds up to 57,000 bits per second, more than 10,000 times faster than current mud pulse telemetry technology. In addition, the network has the capability to support data acquisition from multiple locations distributed along the drill string.

Commands from surface or between downhole devices can be sent, received and acted upon instantaneously to significantly improve monitoring and measurement of all vital data during downhole operations. When run in parallel with a mud pulse device, full telemetry redundancy reduces the risk of data transmission loss, reducing unplanned trips and eliminating associated non-productive time and well costs.

"Commercialization represents a starting point for the IntelliServ Network," added McShane. "Grant Prideco has an aggressive commitment to technology development, and we are already working towards a major network upgrade that will deliver one million bits per second of customer data bandwidth later this year."

The IntelliServ Network has been field proven in extensive U.S. and Canadian trials: Since 2004, a 14,000-foot IntelliServ drill string deployed for BP in Oklahoma and a 10,000-foot IntelliServ drill string deployed for Anadarko Canada in Alberta have drilled 18 wells, accumulating more than 6,000 operating hours while drilling 180,000 feet. Operations in Canada are expected to continue as part of an ongoing demonstration and testing program.

A variety of down-hole tools, including the ReedHycalog DRT (Drilling Research Tool) and the Baker Hughes INTEQ CoPilot advanced drilling dynamics service and OnTrak integrated MWD/LWD service have been successfully deployed in field trials, demonstrating the network's ability to transmit high-volume data on a continuous basis. In addition, the IntelliServ Network has shown handling characteristics and mechanical reliability equal to Grant Prideco premium tubulars, making the system virtually transparent to drilling operations. No special handling, orientation or thread compound is required.

With commercialization, the industry at large now has the opportunity to take advantage of the IntelliServ Network's real-time, high-speed, high-volume data transmission capabilities. The complete array of applications and benefits offered by IntelliServ technology may take years to fully exploit. The possibilities are almost endless. Key value propositions include:

  • Enables reliable telemetry for underbalanced drilling
  • Permits longer step-outs for extended reach drilling
  • Optimizes rotary steerable tool control
  • Enables enhanced wellbore stability management
  • Allows active management of bit performance and life extension
  • Enables true 'look ahead' seismic while drilling

"The IntelliServ Network is an open architecture system, enabling connectivity to any supplier of down-hole tools and services," stated Maximo Hernandez, IntelliServ Business Development Manager. "IntelliServ has technical relationships with every major provider of MWD/LWD services and expects to see an increasingly wide array of network compatible tools made available as we progress through 2006."

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