Drilling in tight leases is challenging for operators, who now can look to Baker Hughes' AutoTrak Curve Rotary Steerable System — a revolutionary tool that can drill vertical, curve and horizontal sections in one fast run to maximize available pay zones and reduce the number of trips.
The AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable system, which will be commercially launched to customers at the International Association of Drilling Contractors' Conference and Exhibition in San Diego this March, has resulted in new drilling records across most of the important unconventional basins in the United States. It was named the "Best Drilling Technology" in 2011 by World Oil.
"This is a rotary steerable system that drills what used to take two to three trips in one smooth run," said Art Soucy, Baker Hughes' President of Global Products and Services. "The AutoTrak Curve system drills more precisely and at a much tighter angle than any other similar service. The tight angle is particularly critical as it enables our customers to intersect a much larger area of the reservoir than was previously possible with rotary steerable systems, resulting in 750 plus feet of additional pay zone."
The AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable is a closed-loop drilling system that takes commands from the surface to place the wellbore in the desired direction and inclination. The programmable system has been through more than 10,000 hours of rigorous field testing in some of the toughest unconventional environments in North America.
"The results have been nothing short of outstanding," said Scott Schmidt, Baker Hughes' President of Drilling & Evaluation. "We specifically engineered this system to meet the needs of those drilling in unconventional oil and gas plays. Given that AutoTrak Curve system uses fewer components than typical rotary steerable systems and was designed for reliability, we believe this system will drive new performance and reliability standards."
Combining an optimized bottomhole assembly (BHA) and drill bit to maximize drilling efficiency and reservoir exposure, the AutoTrak Curve system achieves high build rates of more than 15 degrees/100 feet. Tolerant to the presence of lost circulation material in the mud system, the AutoTrak Curve system does not require special pressure drop between the pipe inside diameter and the annulus to operate. Additionally, a gamma ray detector is integrated into the tool, close to the bit, to allow precise geosteering.
The advanced technology saves time, given there is no need to change the bend angle of a motor, resulting in faster well construction. Given the improved hole quality, completion time also is enhanced and casing can be run to total depth faster and easier.
For instance, an operator in the Eagle Ford had drilled the vertical, curve and horizontal sections in three different trips. The challenge: do it in one trip.
Using the AutoTrak Curve system, an optimized Baker Hughes PDC bit and Baker Hughes' Carbo-Drill™ oil-based fluids, the entire 8 3/4-in. section was drilled in one fast run, saving two unnecessary trips. A total of 9,735 feet in 83 drilling hours was achieved. Optimal placement of the well on plan delivered better production faster. The solution saved the operator two days.
"In some shale plays, the AutoTrak Curve system has reduced drilling time up to four days and saved operators 60 percent of the rig time per well," said Mathias Schlecht, Baker Hughes' Vice President of Drilling Services. "By making real-time adjustments to the steering target while drilling, the wellbore can be placed exactly in the right spot. Put simply, the AutoTrak Curve system is unrivaled in the marketplace and can really make the most of an operator's drilling time."
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