Weatherford Performs First EM-LWD Operation in Saudi Arabia

Weatherford International has successfully installed the first ever Electromagnetic Logging While Drilling (EM-LWD) triple combo operation with extended range set-up for Saudi Aramco in the Hawiyah field in Saudi Arabia.

This project represents the successful proof of concept of EM-LWD with annulus pressure technology and extends the scope of development of future underbalanced drilling (UBD) campaigns, which will require two-phase fluid with drillpipe gas injection.

The objective was to evaluate the feasibility of EM transmission in conjunction with LWD triple combo and annulus pressure sensors in a 6-1/8 in. horizontal section. This horizontal section of Hawiyah-473 well (HWYH-473) was underbalanced drilled from 8,100 ft to 11,189 ft in one run. Gas injection on future wells will preclude the use of mud pulse telemetry. As an alternative, EM telemetry will allow a continuation in the underbalanced drilling planning process to include real-time LWD technology.

"The evaluation objective was met. Real-time data allowed 3,089 ft of 6- 1/8-in. horizontal section to be successfully geosteered in one bit run while maintaining underbalanced conditions," commented Scott Campbell, strategic business manager for Weatherford. Campbell continued, "In addition, the well was flow and pressure tested with real-time annulus pressure data acquired during pumps off operations. One advantage of EM versus conventional mud pulse telemetry is that real-time updates are possible, independent of wellbore hydraulics."