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Title: Development of Radar Navigation and Radio Data Transmission for Microhole Coiled Tubing Bottom Hole Assemblies

Abstract

This Final Technical Report summarizes the research and development (R&D) work performed by Stolar Research Corporation (Stolar) under U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Contract Number DE-FC26-04NT15477. This work involved the development of radar navigation and radio data transmission systems for integration with microhole coiled tubing bottom hole assemblies. Under this contract, Stolar designed, fabricated, and laboratory and field tested two advanced technologies of importance to the future growth of the U.S. oil and gas industry: (1) real-time measurement-while-drilling (MWD) for guidance and navigation of coiled tubing drilling in hydrocarbon reservoirs and (2) two-way inductive radio data transmission on coiled tubing for real-time, subsurface-to-surface data transmission. The operating specifications for these technologies are compatible with 3.5-inch boreholes drilled to a true vertical depth (TVD) of 5,000 feet, which is typical of coiled tubing drilling applications. These two technologies (i.e., the Stolar Data Transmission System and Drill String Radar) were developed into pre-commercial prototypes and tested successfully in simulated coiled tubing drilling conditions. Integration of these two technologies provides a real-time geosteering capability with extremely quick response times. Stolar is conducting additional work required to transition the Drill String Radar into a true commercial product. The results of this advanced development workmore » should be an important step in the expanded commercialization of advanced coiled tubing microhole drilling equipment for use in U.S. hydrocarbon reservoirs.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stolar Research Corporation
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
935201
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-04NT15477
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; BOREHOLES; COMMERCIALIZATION; DATA TRANSMISSION; DATA TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS; DRILLING; DRILLING EQUIPMENT; HYDROCARBONS; MWD SYSTEMS; NAVIGATION; RADAR; SPECIFICATIONS

Citation Formats

Larry G. Stolarczyk, Gerald L. Stolarczyk, Larry Icerman, John Howard, and Hooman Tehrani. Development of Radar Navigation and Radio Data Transmission for Microhole Coiled Tubing Bottom Hole Assemblies. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/935201.
Larry G. Stolarczyk, Gerald L. Stolarczyk, Larry Icerman, John Howard, & Hooman Tehrani. Development of Radar Navigation and Radio Data Transmission for Microhole Coiled Tubing Bottom Hole Assemblies. United States. doi:10.2172/935201.
Larry G. Stolarczyk, Gerald L. Stolarczyk, Larry Icerman, John Howard, and Hooman Tehrani. Sun . "Development of Radar Navigation and Radio Data Transmission for Microhole Coiled Tubing Bottom Hole Assemblies". United States. doi:10.2172/935201. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/935201.
@article{osti_935201,
title = {Development of Radar Navigation and Radio Data Transmission for Microhole Coiled Tubing Bottom Hole Assemblies},
author = {Larry G. Stolarczyk and Gerald L. Stolarczyk and Larry Icerman and John Howard and Hooman Tehrani},
abstractNote = {This Final Technical Report summarizes the research and development (R&D) work performed by Stolar Research Corporation (Stolar) under U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Contract Number DE-FC26-04NT15477. This work involved the development of radar navigation and radio data transmission systems for integration with microhole coiled tubing bottom hole assemblies. Under this contract, Stolar designed, fabricated, and laboratory and field tested two advanced technologies of importance to the future growth of the U.S. oil and gas industry: (1) real-time measurement-while-drilling (MWD) for guidance and navigation of coiled tubing drilling in hydrocarbon reservoirs and (2) two-way inductive radio data transmission on coiled tubing for real-time, subsurface-to-surface data transmission. The operating specifications for these technologies are compatible with 3.5-inch boreholes drilled to a true vertical depth (TVD) of 5,000 feet, which is typical of coiled tubing drilling applications. These two technologies (i.e., the Stolar Data Transmission System and Drill String Radar) were developed into pre-commercial prototypes and tested successfully in simulated coiled tubing drilling conditions. Integration of these two technologies provides a real-time geosteering capability with extremely quick response times. Stolar is conducting additional work required to transition the Drill String Radar into a true commercial product. The results of this advanced development work should be an important step in the expanded commercialization of advanced coiled tubing microhole drilling equipment for use in U.S. hydrocarbon reservoirs.},
doi = {10.2172/935201},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Mar 25 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Mar 25 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The original objective of the project, to deliver an integrated 3 1/8-inch diameter Measurement While Drilling (MWD) and Logging While Drilling (LWD) system for drilling small boreholes using coiled tubing drilling, has been achieved. Two prototype systems have been assembled and tested in the lab. One of the systems has been successfully tested downhole in a conventional rotary drilling environment. Development of the 3 1/8-inch system has also lead to development and commercialization of a slightly larger 3.5-inch diameter system. We are presently filling customer orders for the 3.5-inch system while continuing with commercialization of the 3 1/8-inch system. Themore » equipment developed by this project will be offered for sale to multiple service providers around the world, enabling the more rapid expansion of both coiled tubing drilling and conventional small diameter drilling. The project was based on the reuse of existing technology whenever possible in order to minimize development costs, time, and risks. The project was begun initially by Ultima Labs, at the time a small company ({approx}12 employees) which had successfully developed a number of products for larger oil well service companies. In September, 2006, approximately 20 months after inception of the project, Ultima Labs was acquired by Sondex plc, a worldwide manufacturer of downhole instrumentation for cased hole and drilling applications. The acquisition provided access to proven technology for mud pulse telemetry, downhole directional and natural gamma ray measurements, and surface data acquisition and processing, as well as a global sales and support network. The acquisition accelerated commercialization through existing Sondex customers. Customer demand resulted in changes to the product specification to support hotter (150 C) and deeper drilling (20,000 psi pressure) than originally proposed. The Sondex acquisition resulted in some project delays as the resistivity collar was interfaced to a different MWD system and also as the mechanical design was revised for the new pressure requirements. However, the Sondex acquisition has resulted in a more robust system, secure funding for completion of the project, and more rapid commercialization.« less
  • The performance of an advanced Microhole Coiled Tubing Rig (MCTR) has been measured in the field during the drilling of 25 test wells in the Niobrara formation of Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado. The coiled tubing (CT) rig designed, built and operated by Advanced Drilling Technologies (ADT), was documented in its performance by GTI staff in the course of drilling wells ranging in depth from 500 to nearly 3,000 feet. Access to well sites in the Niobrara for documenting CT rig performance was provided by Rosewood Resources of Arlington, VA. The ADT CT rig was selected for field performance evaluationmore » because it is one of the most advanced commercial CT rig designs that demonstrate a high degree of process integration and ease of set-up and operation. Employing an information collection protocol, data was collected from the ADT CT rig during 25 drilling events that encompassed a wide range of depths and drilling conditions in the Niobrara. Information collected included time-function data, selected parametric information indicating CT rig operational conditions, staffing levels, and field observations of the CT rig in each phase of operation, from rig up to rig down. The data obtained in this field evaluation indicates that the ADT CT rig exhibited excellent performance in the drilling and completion of more than 25 wells in the Niobrara under varied drilling depths and formation conditions. In the majority of the 25 project well drilling events, ROP values ranged between 300 and 620 feet per hour. For all but the lowest 2 wells, ROP values averaged approximately 400 feet per hour, representing an excellent drilling capability. Most wells of depths between 500 and 2,000 feet were drilled at a total functional rig time of less than 16 hours; for wells as deep at 2,500 to 3,000 feet, the total rig time for the CT unit is usually well under one day. About 40-55 percent of the functional rig time is divided evenly between drilling and casing/cementing. The balance of time is divided among the remaining four functions of rig up/rig down, logging, lay down bottomhole assembly, and pick up bottomhole assembly. Observations made during all phases of CT rig operation at each of the project well installations have verified a number of characteristics of the technology that represent advantages that can produce significant savings of 25-35 percent per well. Attributes of the CT rig performance include: (1) Excellent hole quality with hole deviation amounting to 1-2 degrees; (2) Reduced need for auxiliary equipment; (3) Efficient rig mobilization requiring only four trailers; (4) Capability of ''Zero Discharge'' operation; (5) Improved safety; and, (6) Measurement while drilling capability. In addition, commercial cost data indicates that the CT rig reduces drilling costs by 25 to 35% compared to conventional drilling technology. Widespread commercial use of the Microhole Coiled Tubing technology in the United States for onshore Lower-48 drilling has the potential of achieving substantially positive impacts in terms of savings to the industry and resource expansion. Successfully commercialized Microhole CT Rig Technology is projected to achieve cumulative savings in Lower-48 onshore drilling expenditures of approximately 6.8 billion dollars by 2025. The reduced cost of CT microhole drilling is projected to enable the development of gas resources that would not have been economic with conventional methods. Because of the reduced cost of drilling achieved with CT rig technology, it is estimated that an additional 22 Tcf of gas resource will become economic to develop. In the future, the Microhole Coiled Tubing Rig represents an important platform for the continued improvement of drilling that draws on a new generation of various technologies to achieve goals of improved drilling cost and reduced impact to the environment.« less
  • Tempress Small Mechanically-Assisted High-Pressure Waterjet Drilling Tool project centered on the development of a downhole intensifier (DHI) to boost the hydraulic pressure available from conventional coiled tubing to the level required for high-pressure jet erosion of rock. We reviewed two techniques for implementing this technology (1) pure high-pressure jet drilling and (2) mechanically-assisted jet drilling. Due to the difficulties associated with modifying a downhole motor for mechanically-assisted jet drilling, it was determined that the pure high-pressure jet drilling tool was the best candidate for development and commercialization. It was also determined that this tool needs to run on commingled nitrogenmore » and water to provide adequate downhole differential pressure and to facilitate controlled pressure drilling and descaling applications in low pressure wells. The resulting Microhole jet drilling bottomhole assembly (BHA) drills a 3.625-inch diameter hole with 2-inch coil tubing. The BHA consists of a self-rotating multi-nozzle drilling head, a high-pressure rotary seal/bearing section, an intensifier and a gas separator. Commingled nitrogen and water are separated into two streams in the gas separator. The water stream is pressurized to 3 times the inlet pressure by the downhole intensifier and discharged through nozzles in the drilling head. The energy in the gas-rich stream is used to power the intensifier. Gas-rich exhaust from the intensifier is conducted to the nozzle head where it is used to shroud the jets, increasing their effective range. The prototype BHA was tested at operational pressures and flows in a test chamber and on the end of conventional coiled tubing in a test well. During instrumented runs at downhole conditions, the BHA developed downhole differential pressures of 74 MPa (11,000 psi, median) and 90 MPa (13,000 psi, peaks). The median output differential pressure was nearly 3 times the input differential pressure available from the coiled tubing. In a chamber test, the BHA delivered up to 50 kW (67 hhp) hydraulic power. The tool drilled uncertified class-G cement samples cast into casing at a rate of 0.04 to 0.17 m/min (8 to 33 ft/hr), within the range projected for this tool but slower than a conventional PDM. While the tool met most of the performance goals, reliability requires further improvement. It will be difficult for this tool, as currently configured, to compete with conventional positive displacement downhole motors for most coil tubing drill applications. Mechanical cutters on the rotating nozzle head would improve cutting. This tool can be easily adapted for well descaling operations. A variant of the Microhole jet drilling gas separator was further developed for use with positive displacement downhole motors (PDM) operating on commingled nitrogen and water. A fit-for-purpose motor gas separator was designed and yard tested within the Microhole program. Four commercial units of that design are currently involved in a 10-well field demonstration with Baker Oil Tools in Wyoming. Initial results indicate that the motor gas separators provide significant benefit.« less
  • An advanced mud system was designed and key components were built that augment a coiled tubing drilling (CTD) rig that is designed specifically to drill microholes (less than 4-inch diameter) with advanced drilling techniques. The mud system was tailored to the hydraulics of the hole geometries and rig characteristics required for microholes and is capable of mixing and circulating mud and removing solids while being self contained and having zero discharge capability. Key components of this system are two modified triplex mud pumps (High Pressure Slurry Pumps) for advanced Abrasive Slurry Jetting (ASJ) and a modified Gas-Liquid-Solid (GLS) Separator formore » well control, flow return and initial processing. The system developed also includes an additional component of an advanced version of ASJ which allows cutting through most all materials encountered in oil and gas wells including steel, cement, and all rock types. It includes new fluids and new ASJ nozzles. The jetting mechanism does not require rotation of the bottom hole assembly or drill string, which is essential for use with Coiled Tubing (CT). It also has low reactive forces acting on the CT and generates cuttings small enough to be easily cleaned from the well bore, which is important in horizontal drilling. These cutting and mud processing components and capabilities compliment the concepts put forth by DOE for microhole coiled tubing drilling (MHTCTD) and should help insure the reality of drilling small diameter holes quickly and inexpensively with a minimal environmental footprint and that is efficient, compact and portable. Other components (site liners, sump and transfer pumps, stacked shakers, filter membranes, etc.. ) of the overall mud system were identified as readily available in industry and will not be purchased until we are ready to drill a specific well.« less
  • The goal of this project was to develop a small diameter pump system capable of being deployed through existing production tubing strings in oil/gas wells. The pump system would then pump water up an inner tubing string (likely coil tubing) and allow gas to flow in the annulus between the coil tubing and production tubing. Accomplishing this would allow wells that are currently loaded up (unable to flow at high enough rates to lift the fluid out of the wellbore) to continue to produce additional gas/oil reserves. The project was unable to complete a working test system due to unforeseen complexities in coupling the system components together in part due to the small diameter. Although several of the individual components were sourced and secured, coupling them together and getting electricity to the motor proved technically more difficult than expected. Thus, the project is no longer active due primarily to the complications realized in coupling the components and the difficulties in getting electricity to the submersible motor in a slimhole system. The other problem in finishing this project was the lack of financial resources. When the grant was first applied for it was expected that it would be awarded in early 2004. Since the grant was not actually awarded until the end of August 2004, GPS had basically run out ofmore » $$ and the principle developer (Steve Bodden) had to find a full time job which began in late July 2004. When the grant was finally awarded in late August, it was still hoped that the project could proceed as a part time development but with less financial exposure to the partners in GPS. This became very problematic as it still had many technical obstacles to overcome to get it to the stage of prototype testing.« less