Case Study: Vital Trajectory Change Takes Less Than a Day

Vertical drilling system returned wellbore to vertical within 7 hours, avoided redrill, held vertically to TD on Gulf of Mexico shelf

Challenge: Return 6 1/2-in hole section of Gulf of Mexico shelf well from 5.3° inclination to planned vertical trajectory to avoid having to redrill well.

Solution: Use PowerV vertical drilling system to automatically restore and maintain verticality.


  • Reduced inclination to 0° in less than 7 h of drilling, then held inclination below 0.1° to TD.
  • Saved time and expense of cementing and redrilling well.
  • Achieved excellent hole quality.

Avoid redrilling well

An independent oil and gas company’s plan for a well on the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico called for drilling vertically from surface to TD with steerable motor assemblies. At 10,231 ft MD, in the well’s 6 1/2-in hole section, surveys showed that inclination had built to 5.3°. Attempts by the directional drilling company to correct the trajectory were unsuccessful and resulted in erratic dogleg severity (DLS). To avoid cementing and redrilling the well, the oil and gas company turned to Schlumberger to meet the challenge of returning the 6 1/2-in hole section to its planned vertical trajectory.

Automatically maintain verticality to TD

Meeting the challenge took less than 7 h of drilling time with a PowerV vertical drilling system. The PowerV system reduced inclination to 0° within the first 300 ft drilled. It then automatically maintained verticality to TD, holding inclination to less than 0.1°. The PowerV system drilled a total of 2,746 ft and completed the run in 56.5 drilling hours—with no shock or vibration issues.

Download: Vital Trajectory Change Takes Less Than a Day (0.70 MB PDF)

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