08/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/03/2021 09:20
The technical and commercial realities of today's broad energy landscape - and specifically the directional drilling market - demand that an alternative be added to the RSS roster. Let's explore why that need exists and what a new RSS alternative would look like.
Current directional drilling market landscape
The fundamental approach to RSS technology has remained unchanged over the quarter of a century.
In the US there are several engineering firms offering RSS tools to the market, with high quality engineering honed over many years. The country's backbone of independent service companies buy or lease RSS tools as necessary from these companies. However, there are no independent alternatives that offer greater reliability and cost-efficiency, which forced the market to become over-commoditised and under-competitive over the years.
New directional drilling market demands
Around the world, independent service companies are underserved by independent RSS directional drilling options - a new alternative could elevate many into a new league of contracts.
As lateral lengths increase across the industry, there is going to be demand for new directional drilling tools which can achieve smoother bores with lower tortuosity. And that imperative is extending globally.
To support a healthy ecosystem of independent service companies with genuine options to choose from, that must be rectified.
The answer to this new demand is to take a new direction for directional drilling, omitting pads and pistons in favour of a simple, stronger collar, and decoupling the steering mechanism from damaging torsional vibration.
This is achieved by using internal hydraulic pressure differentials to create side-force at the bit for geo-steering, rather than pushing against the borehole wall to change direction.
The advantage of this approach is that, by internalising the steering mechanism, a completely plain collar design is possible while achieving true at-bit steering, decoupling the mechanism from torsional vibration, and removing any pads or external profusions that might be subject to excessive wear. Most of all though, the design is mechanically simpler - elegant, even - compared to anything possible with traditional RSS design, which increases reliability and therefore reduces downtime.
In other words, there is ample room for an alternative to traditional RSS tools without having to rip up the rulebook and start again - the market functions best when it can choose from a range of technologies, from a range of suppliers, to best suit the job at hand. And that's the new direction for directional drilling that needs to be taken.