Halliburton & Shell Perform First Deepwater Test of GeoTap

Halliburton Energy Services' Sperry-Sun product service line recently completed its first real-time deepwater field test of the GeoTap formation tester tool for Shell Exploration & Production Company in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The new formation tester service provides the measurement of in-situ subsurface formation pressure on demand during drilling and can replace similar wireline or pipe-conveyed logging services that are typically costly and time consuming. These measurements are traditionally performed only after a well reaches total depth. Savings to operators will be tremendous in both time and money through increased well control, safety and drilling efficiency.

"We are extremely pleased with the success of this game-changing technology. The GeoTap formation tester tool, in its first deepwater field test for Shell, exceeded expectations. This demonstrates our commitment to bringing our customers and the industry technologies that reduce risk, cost and non-productive time associated with traditional well construction and formation evaluation processes," said Phil Longorio, vice president, Halliburton, Sperry-Sun.

In its first deepwater field test, the formation tester service successfully captured formation pressures at depths greater than 15,000 feet while in a "pumps-on" circulating mode. The average time per test measurement was approximately seven minutes. Pressures recorded were consistent, ±3 psi, with wireline measurements and well within the specifications of the quartz gauges.

"For years I have been waiting for the development of formation pressure testing while drilling. This type of tool should have a major impact on both the cost of and the way we drill wells. The results from these initial tests are encouraging," said Abner Guillory, chief petrophysicist, Shell Exploration & Production Company.

Sperry-Sun's GeoTap tool measures the pressure of the formation while drilling via a small probe and packer assembly connected to a quartz pressure gauge. In addition to formation pressure, estimates of permeability and fluid mobility can be made by measuring drawdown and build-up pressures. With this new capability, estimates of these formation pressures can be made near the bit, which provides drilling engineers, reservoir engineers and petrophysicists critical information during the drilling process. This information, when combined with the tool's continuous pressure-while-drilling (PWD) sensor, will provide these professionals with the ability to see potential hazards earlier than previously possible, thus minimizing risk.