Technical Paper: Remote Automated Directional Drilling Through Rotary Steerable Systems

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 119761
Presentation Date: 2009
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Rotary Steerable Systems (RSS) are well known as drilling optimization steering tools. Better borehole quality and faster rates of penetration are achieved by RSS capability to steer the wells without sliding. The evolution of RSS has been very rapid in the past several years, with most improvements focused on tool reliability, variety of collar sizes, electronics robustness and mechanical efficiency.

This paper describes an innovative automated method for drilling directional wells remotely with RSS, which has been successfully deployed in south Mexico during 2008. The directional driller (DD) is located remotely in the operator�s office with the ability to remotely control the mud pumps. If a command is required for changing the RSS program, the system remotely controls the rig pumps to execute the downlink sequence and change the downhole settings of the RSS.

The automatic generation of the mud pulses to transmit the downlink sequences also eliminates missed commands due to human error. This system allows experienced DDs to control multiple operations, either directly through remotely drilling simultaneous wells or by providing direct supervision to less experienced DDs.

The ability to have the DD work remotely with the well engineering team improves collaborative workflows to optimize drilling performance.