Intelligent Drill Pipe Creates A Downhole Drilling Network
Drill pipe capable of transmitting high-bandwidth downhole data and surface control signals has been developed and successfully tested. The system incorporates a high-speed data cable protected in a high-pressure conduit that runs the length of the joint. The cable terminates at induction coils that are installed in protecting grooves machined in the secondary torque shoulders of double-shoulder tool joints at each end of the pipe. The system is virtually transparent to standard rig procedures and offers robust, reliable operation.
The new system has successfully demonstrated error-free, data transmission rates of up to 2,000,000 bits/sec. Current mud pulse telemetry is limited to 8-10 bits/sec. Electromagnetic technology provides data rates of up to 100 bits/sec, but suffers from depth and formation related limitations. The bi-directional system can transmit real time MWD/LWD data, as well as, send commands or signals from the surface to operate downhole tools and sensors. Full-length prototype joints have been used extensively to drill and transmit data in test wells. Results of these tests along with plans for field-testing in actual drilling environments are presented.
Potential drilling enhancements include improved bit life, optimized casing point selection, enhanced kick detection and control, and elimination of wireline log runs and survey time to retrieve MWD/LWD data. Overviews of new concepts and tools that can take advantage of the high-bandwidth, two-way communication capabilities of the system are presented. Seismic-While-Drilling with the ability to look ahead of the bit, enhanced well control systems with sensors distributed along the drill string and drill string dynamics monitoring systems represent areas for innovation with the telemetry drill pipe.
Telemetry drill pipe can improve well and field productivity by providing more complete, real-time logging information and reduce drilling time and costs and enhance well control by providing real-time downhole drilling data and early kick detection.