Precision Drilling Sets World Record in North Sea

Precision Drilling Corporation announced that its Precision EMpulse(TM) Electromagnetic Measurement-While-Drilling (EM-MWD) system effectively transmitted downhole measured data at more than 14,500 feet measured depth and 6,400 feet vertical depth offshore in the southern North Sea for Shell UK Exploration and Production. The success sets a new world record for depth range of downhole data transmission using electromagnetic (EM) technology.

Under the direction of Computalog Drilling Services, a part of Precision's Technology Services Group, the Precision EMpulse decoded quality survey, toolface (TF), gamma ray and annulus pressure data while on the bottom and during pipe connections while drilling a 6" horizontal hole section below the Zechstein formation in Leman field.

"The ability for electromagnetic telemetry to transmit downhole data at this depth on offshore projects is a phenomenal advancement for the industry," said Neil Brown, vice president of Precision's Technology Services Group. "We have already witnessed significant time-savings and potentially broader data transmission capabilities that can be realized with the EM tool onshore. Offshore, the technology's impact could be far reaching in both conventional and underbalanced drilling applications. We're continuing to understand and improve the technology and service to achieve production goals. We anticipate our EM-MWD system to create new areas of application as its depth range increases."

EM-MWD uses low-frequency electromagnetic waves to transmit downhole measured data in real time to the surface during conventional and underbalanced horizontal and directional drilling operations. EM telemetry transmits information through the formation to a surface antenna, where it is received and sent to a data acquisition system to be decoded and processed.

Operators using EM-MWD are able to drill and survey wells independent of rig hydraulics. Bit pressure drop, flow rates, drilling fluid and losses to the formation are transparent to the technology. These capabilities equate to substantial savings in drilling time and total project cost.