Case Study: PowerDrive Archer RSS Saves 3 Days and USD 1.5 Million Offshore Malaysia

Bit-rock interaction modeling helps eliminate NPT with engineered BHA

Challenge: Drill five wells—two of which are planned openhole sidetracks—in a shallow, unconsolidated formation with a dogleg severity (DLS) of 6°/30 m [6°/100 ft].

Solution: Model shock and vibration with i-DRILL engineered drilling system design, which indicated PowerDrive Archer high build rate RSS fitted with an MDi516 bit would increase ROP, BHA stability, and directional steering performance.


  • Drilled five wells a total of 2,539 m [8,330 ft] at average ROP of 35 m/h [115 ft/h].
  • Saved 3 days and approximately USD 1.5 million.
  • Eliminated NPT.

Drill five wells in shallow, unconsolidated formation 

An operator in Malaysia was drilling for oil in the Sarawak field in a shallow, unconsolidated formation offshore Malaysia. The drilling plan called for five wells—three producer wells and two openhole sidetracks—with a DLS of 6°/30 m. Previously, this challenging well profile was achieved using downhole mud motors and resulted in NPT due to multiple trips. 

Improve drilling efficiency with engineered BHA 

Through extensive modeling with the i-DRILL engineered drilling system design, Schlumberger experts simulated shock and vibration using offset well data to better understand the Sarawak field and manage these challenging drilling conditions. 

As a result, Schlumberger recommended drilling the high-DLS wells with the PowerDrive Archer high build rate RSS and an MDi516 bit from Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company. Together, the fully rotating RSS and PDC bit would increase average ROP, improve trajectory control for a smoother wellbore, and more effectively manage shock and vibration. 

Achieved higher ROP, which saved 3 days and USD 1.5 million 

Using the PowerDrive Archer RSS, the operator successfully drilled the 8½-in sections of five wells with an average on-bottom ROP of 35 m/h. The RSS drilled the wells—a total of 2,539 m—without incident and 3 days ahead of schedule, reducing operating cost by USD 1.5 million. The wells had a DLS of 6°/30 m and a 50–60% steering ratio in the unconsolidated shallow formation. The two planned openhole sidetracks were drilled successfully, minimizing the risk of stuck pipe and producing smooth borehole quality.

Download: PowerDrive Archer RSS Saves 3 Days and USD 1.5 Million Offshore Malaysia (0.08 MB PDF)

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