Schlumberger

Case History Summary: Horizontal Drilling Performance Improvement Due to Torque Rocking on 800 Horizontal Land Wells Drilled for Unconventional Gas Resources

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 123161
Presentation Date: 2009
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Abstract

The torque rocking technology1,2 that will be discussed here is a surface system (nothing ever goes down hole) that has shown to greatly increase the efficiency of steerable motors (by as much as 294%) as will be demonstrated in the case history summary.

This paper summarizes for the first time the lessons learnt from using a horizontal drilling technology introduced 6 years ago that has drilled over 800 horizontal wells in several different plays in the US related to unconventional gas resources, namely the Barnett Shale, the Haynesville Shale, the Marcellus Shale, the Fayetteville Shale.

The common thread here is that all these wells were drilled with a new torque rocking technology that greatly enhances slide drilling by breaking drag using a rocking motion imposed by the topdrive (oscillatory movements to the right and left while sliding) using torque as the basic feedback mechanism to control the rocking movement.

This paper focuses on the value added benefit of this technology and areas in which it has worked and hasn't worked. A matrix has been developed to help the selection of the technology and the physics of the process are further explained to justify the improvements and failures.

Improvements included: sliding ROP increases between 20% to 294%; downhole bottom tool face orientation (unique to this technology); stalling avoidance that greatly increased the life of the downhole equipment (motors, bits, MWD) that led to less trips.

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