M-I SWACO Enters Exclusive License Agreement for RFID Technology

M-I SWACO recently signed an exclusive license agreement with iiiTEC to allow for the use of patented radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for open and cased-hole drilling and pre-completion wellbore cleanup applications.

The use of RFID technology to actuate downhole equipment has the potential to save operators millions of dollars annually. Successful field trials have been conducted in the North Sea.

"We believe widespread use of this technology is on the horizon," said M-I SWACO Vice President Neale Browne. "We are pleased to enter into this exclusive technology license agreement as a means of helping operators to derive the most benefit from its use in the downhole well operations environment. The potential use of this technology to reduce costs and rig time is substantial."

The technology represents a significant improvement over the traditional mechanical/hydraulic/fluid systems currently in use to actuate downhole equipment. Developed and patented by Marathon Oil Company, RFID technology uses an intelligent chip to activate the tool. This ability brings a new dimension in control, such as allowing a critical circulation valve to be activated in more than just the open or closed position. The technology now being developed by M-I SWACO enables flow rate to one or more devices being run in a single tubing string to be opened, closed, or retracted as many times as needed.

"I see this step as an ideal platform to fast track the technology into both the cased and open hole arenas of wellbore cleanup and fluid manipulation," said Managing Director of iiiTec Tom Doig. "I believe the marriage of this unique communication system with the M-I SWACO extensive portfolio of wellbore cleanup tools will significantly advance the technology."