New system addresses challenges of bit balling

Varel Oil & Gas Drill Bits’ HYDRA hydraulics optimization system is designed to improve ROP and footage in softer clays and shales using a blend of curved nozzles and straight blades with webbed features. Compared to conventional bits with straight nozzles, and curved, open blade designs, the bits achieve better cooling and cleaning without placing new demands on rig hydraulics, according to the company. Bits based on the HYDRA system have turned in impressive results in a wide range of traditionally sticky formations, Varel reported. In interbedded clays in New Mexico, where polycrystalline-diamond-compact penetration rates typically suffer, HYDRA-optimized bits have increased ROP to 40 m/hr (133 ft/hr) versus a 32 m/hr (106 ft/hr) average for offsets, resulting in the operators’ fastest one-bottomhole assembly run to total depth. Drilling the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp, HYDRA optimization cut the number of bits in half with just two Varel bits required to drill a lateral section, resulting in 8% more footage at an 8.5% higher ROP. In another Wolfcamp well, a single bit drilled a total 2,354 m (7,724 ft) in 65.75 hours at 36 m/hr (117.5 ft/hr) for a 58% increase in ROP and a 96% increase in footage drilled.

Platform enables real-time drilling optimization in challenging applications

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has introduced the iSeries NXT platform to its portfolio of Tolteq MWD/LWD directional systems and tools. The NXT platform enhances the function of the iSeries platform with improved capabilities that support additional measurement types, enabling real-time drilling optimization in challenging applications, according to the company. Legacy compatible, the NXT platform is available with a directional module that provides inclination and azimuth information together with increased directional measurement accuracy, a topmounted pulser that increases data transmission speeds while increasing shock and vibration resistance, and a pressure-while-drilling sensor that complements the topmounted pulser to enable real-time annular and internal bore pressure measurements while drilling.

System captures EM signals rapidly in a range of pipe materials

TGT Oilfield Services successfully validated its electromagnetic (EM) EmPulse well inspection system in high chromium tubulars, a press release stated. In three Middle East deployments—one an operator-witnessed “yard test” and the other in two live wells—TGT engineers demonstrated that the EmPulse system can quantitatively determine the individual tubular thickness of up to four concentric barriers, even when there are high amounts of chrome in the tubulars. The increase in chrome and the resulting decrease in ferrous content causes EM signals to decay too quickly for ordinary EM inspection systems. Designed and manufactured completely in-house by TGT scientists and engineers, the EmPulse system combines ultrafast sensor technology with “time-domain” measurement techniques to capture EM signals rapidly and accurately in a wide range of pipe materials, including those with high chrome content. This enables operators to evaluate pipe thickness and metal loss in multiple casing strings simultaneously, ensuring long-term well performance even in the most challenging production environments.

New design improves cuttings evacuation from PDC bit

Drillbits designed with standard hydraulics can accumulate cuttings, balling up locally around the cutters and junk slot. When cuttings are trapped at the toolface, drilling energy is wasted. Ulterra Drilling Technologies’ SplitBlade bit design addresses the issue of cuttings clogging the bit and hampering cutter performance. By preventing cuttings from recirculating, SplitBlade can instead concentrate all available energy into making hole. The bit features rotated blade shoulders and primary blades that are separated after the cone, freeing up more area for the junk slot and effectively preventing cuttings from recirculating. With dedicated hydraulic flow to the separated portions of the cutting structure provided by the SplitBlade design, cuttings are directly swept down the junk slot for reliable evacuation. The bit’s premium-grade polycrystalline-diamond-compact (PDC) cutters provide greater radial freedom, and the cutter layouts are engineered by work and force profiles. This improved bit design evacuates cuttings at least 200% faster than with conventional PDC bit designs, according to the company. A drilling operation in Lavaca County, Texas, used the SplitBlade bit to drill a 3.5-m (11,652-ft) curve and lateral in only 67.8 hours, demonstrating the technology’s toolface control and speed.

Packer enables multizone production

Zonal isolation is a challenge in openhole completions, and swell packers can take days to set. Schlumberger’s OptiPac service mechanical packer (OSMP) overcomes this problem with a mechanically activated, hydrostaticset- on-demand feature, enabling users to achieve zonal isolation in openhole, conventional or extended-reach gravel-pack wells, a company announcement stated. A customer in Angola saved $160 million using the OSMP to access multiple reservoirs with a single well using zonal isolation instead of drilling a well for each reservoir.

Access live ship management, track data via web-based tool

ChartCo, a global supplier of maritime digital data and compliance services, has released its new easy-to-use FleetManager software, a press release stated. As a webbased tool, FleetManager enables shore-based customers to access live ship management and tracking data in one place at any time and on any popular browser as well as via smartphones and tablets. FleetManager offers a range of highly effective environmental, piracy and regulatory overlays that can highlight potential sources of delay or hazard. It also provides the ability to link with ChartCo’s e-navigation platform Passage- Manager. This enables shore-based staff to view an active passage plan so that any deviations from the expected track can be interrogated in real time. Fleet- Manager helps managers ensure fleet compliance with the ability to inspect any vessel remotely and to view and instantly audit its navigation and compliance status. Managers can check software versions installed, connection history and data download volumes. They also can authorize, approve or reject electronic and paper chart and publication orders placed through PassageManager.

Fall detection from offshore rigs

SecuraTrac has released the Mobile Defender-Model S (MDS), a mobile personal emergency response pendant equipped with location technologies and a built-in fall advisory capability, according to a product annoucement. The pendant can detect horizontal and vertical movement and can be used to detect trips or falls from equipment on offshore rigs with cellular signal. The MD-S can trigger a call for help automatically or an SOS button on the pendant can be used. Wake-on SOS gives the device the ability to last over 30 days on a single charge. SecuraTrac devices work in more than 120 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia, and are compatible with every major U.S. cellular service provider in addition to foreign carriers.

Technology eliminates requirement for heavy-lift installation vessels

Capitalizing on their strategic alliance agreement announced last year, Trelleborg’s offshore operation and Safe Marine Transfer LLC (SMT) are working to develop a technology for the offshore installation and subsea operation arena, a press release stated. With U.S. patents issued and additional ones pending, the new technology enables subsea deployment of equipment and chemical storage using SMT’s Subsea Shuttle powered via jointly developed Pumpable Buoyancy technology. To continue to move this project forward, SMT, under contract with a major international oil company, has completed Subsea Shuttle design testing and validation of performance at Seanic Ocean Systems’ onshore test tank facility in Katy, Texas. The scale model performed as predicted from computational fluid dynamics and dynamic simulation studies. Successful model tests of the Subsea Shuttle design performed with static buoyancy to lay the foundation for qualification of dynamically adjustable Pumpable Buoyancy.

New tools for 3-D fracture modeling

FracGeo has released StimPredictor, a desktop module of its FracPredictor software platform, and GMXFrac, a cloud-based web service for real-time optimization of perforation and fracture treatment design of unconventional and tight reservoir wells that adapts to the lithologic and stress variability using surface drilling data, a press release stated. StimPredictor represents the next generation in fracture design and analysis software, deploying novel complex physics able to account for current operational realities combined with advanced algorithms for real-time results. StimPredictor captures the actual geologic and geomechanical data along each studied well by leveraging commonly available surface drilling data instead of constant properties from pilot or nearby wells.

New 2-D flow visualization technology

NEL, a flow measurement R&D specialist, has the first laboratory in the world to invest in 2-D flow visualization technology, a press release stated. The new technology uses 2-D X-ray tomography to produce high-definition images of complex multiphase flows, which cannot be captured with conventional instruments. This more precise reproduction of flow patterns will optimize meter design against specific operating conditions, ensuring greater measurement accuracy, reducing uncertainty and minimizing operators’ financial exposure. Dr. Bruno Pinguet, multiphase domain senior adviser at NEL, said, “This new technology will allow us to look in unprecedented detail at meter performance versus flow dynamic structures. This will help us to advance our understanding of how complex multiphase fluids behave, so that the quality of factory acceptance testing for multiphase meters will improve significantly.” NEL’s system is designed primarily for measuring multiphase flows in horizontal and vertical pipes and will be capable of determining the 2-D phase fractions within a multiphase pipe flow in real time. It also offers extremely high-frequency data capture of over 150 frames per second, delivering detailed tomographic reproduction of the cross-sectional phase distribution (oil, gas, water) within the flow regime.

Please submit your company’s updates related to new technology products and services to Ariana Benavidez at