Autonomous Downhole Control System Builds Three Curves with Significantly Fewer Downlinks | Schlumberger
Case Study
Location
North Sea, Europe, Offshore
Background
A North Sea operator used a PowerDrive Orbit RSS with autonomous downhole control technology on three wells in three different fields and three different hole sizes. Downlinks to the RSS reduced 33% on average as compared with offsets using manual mode.
Autonomous Directional Drilling
Illustration of the PowerDrive Orbit G2 guided by the autonomous system
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Products Used

Autonomous Downhole Control System Builds Three Curves with Significantly Fewer Downlinks

PowerDrive Orbit RSS with auto-curve capability increases performance on curves for three wells in different fields

Replace manual-mode directional drilling

Drilling curves using rotary steerable systems means the operator conducts the build in what is referred to as “manual mode,” involving a sequence applied repeatedly to control the curve trajectory. This comprises multiple interventions and downlinks from the directional driller at the surface for steering force, toolface orientation, and measurements. The sequence alone can involve up to 20 min to cycle—all leading to lost time, tortuous curves, and slow ROP.

Drill autonomously using auto-curve for downhole steering

The operator agreed to deploy an advanced RSS with autonomous downhole control technology—in this specific instance, the auto-curve component. Auto-curve bundles all the steps of manual mode into a single downhole autonomous control process. The BHA tracks its continuous inclination and azimuth using sensors close to the bit (3-axis inclinometers and triple 3-axis magnetometers), frequently adjusting its steering parameters to meet the designated trajectory. Consequently, the RSS can function without the need for surface control, which means fewer downlinks and less time lost to the cycle.

Autonomously built three curves with significantly fewer downlinks

Guided by the auto-curve component, the PowerDrive Orbit RSS built a curve on each of three wells of different hole sizes. Results observed were compared with nearby respective offsets with curves drilled in manual mode. Downlinks to the RSS were reduced 33% in the each of the three wells.

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The autonomous downhole control system reduced downlinks to the RSS 33% on average.
Products Used

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