DEA-157 – Step Change in Directional Drilling Control and Efficiency when using Motor Steerable Systems

Eric Maidla  / E-Mail: / Phone: +1 281 770-3009

DEA Project Number: 157

Title: Step Change in Directional Drilling Control and Efficiency when using Motor Steerable Systems

Date Submitted: 01/13/2005

Technical Area: Exploration and Production

Sponsor: DAVID DOWELL, ChevronTexaco, Tel: (713) 954-6107, e-mail:, 3901 Briarpark Rm BP516, Houston , TX 77042

Submitted by: Slider, LLC, 3318 Spring Trail Drive , Sugar Land , TX 77479 +1 281 770-3009 e-mail: TUeric.maidla@maidla.comUT

Startup Date:  04/15/2005 (15/April/2005)

Project Duration: Approximately 4 months

Project Cost: US$ 116,000

Cost per Participant: US$ 29,000

Minimum Number of Participants Required: 4


Slider, a new technology, is a surface system that significantly increases the efficiency of a downhole motor/MWD directional system. Field tests in the Austin Chalk showed that the surface system increased sliding rates of penetration from 60% to 200%, for estimated savings of 11% to 23% of total well costs.

Hardware and software components in the new system integrate surface and MWD data to provide the following benefits in the sliding mode:

  • Improved ROP and horizontal reach capability through automatic rocking, using torque as an input
  • Improved tool-face correction through a torque pulse method, using the drillstring
  • Improved well trajectory through a step-change in tool-face correction while on bottom
  • Improved motor life, because stalling is practically eliminated
  • Elimination of orientation time losses through a semi-automatic transition from rotating to sliding

This development evolved over the course of one year of laboratory experimentation and has undergone alpha and beta testing in the field. Laboratory experiments were performed with a scaled model of the drilling system. Dimensional analysis was used to scale the drawworks action, topdrive action, wellbore torque and drag, drillstring and bit behavior (including stick slip), downhole motor, rock bit interaction, and formation strength.

This technology provides any downhole motor/MWD system today with competitive cost advantages, compared to more expensive rotary steerable systems.

Technical Objectives

  1. To substitute part of the directional driller’s interaction to rock the pipe (using the rig console’s devices) by small “robots” that manipulate the same devices (buttons, levers, switches, wheels, etc). These automatic “rocking” interfaces have been successfully developed for hydraulic power swivel controls and there is the need to extend this development for electric top drives. The first task will be to interface with the Ross Hill SCR control panel model 425 or similar equipment that is quite commonly used in the market that has one button and one wheel that need to be controlled in a special sequential order by individual robots to be able to achieve the full rocking benefits.
  2. To build a two robot system and necessary software to rock the pipe as needed to achieve all the benefits that this technology can provide.
  3. To build a prototype unit and test it in the field.
  4. To test this on at least 3 field tests (about 5 to 10 days each).
  5. To develop a new Computer Torque and Drag Program that incorporates the rocking effect.


Slider has built and has access to a complete physical simulator that is capable of reproducing many different field scenarios (from directional to horizontal, including particular cases of vertical holes). We would develop all the software necessary to test the commands of the robotic solution on this simulator before building the prototype to be taken to the field. This has proven to be of great value as proven by the results demonstrated on the first field test that used a hydraulic power swivel in which everything worked as planned on the first attempt (only minor adjustments were needed and resolved)


  1. Development of the Slider Robotics interface solution for someelectric top drives depending on the participants interests.
  2. Conduct at least 3 field tests to prove the technology on electric top drives. This would normally be costed out at US$ 30,000 per job (this would include rental, personnel and training).
  3. Documentation on the  cost effectiveness of this technology.
  4. New Computer Torque and Drag Program that incorporates the rocking effect. Each participant will have the right to have one executable software program for their internal use.

Field Tests

Each participant will have the right to have one directional/horizontal job, which will not exceed 10 days, using this technology at no extra cost (cost already included in the project), provided they are willing to share the data with the other project participants. These jobs should be scheduled within 4 weeks from the project start to allow time to have it completed within the first 3 months of starting the project (since the report and data analysis must be concluded within 4 months from the start of the project).


Is to save the sponsors some money by accelerating the uptake of this technology by the industry seen that many directional and horizontal wells are drilled today using a motor steerable/MWD system (many using electric top drive systems) and this would greatly increase their performance without adding any equipment downhole.

Confidential Information

The information Generated by this project will be confidential so companies must join to have access to this information

Intellectual Property

Will be owned by Slider LLC. No IP rights will be granted to the project participants. The participants benefits will derive from the reduced drilling costs of drilling directional, horizontal and vertical well (to maintain verticality).

Participants Rights

Participants will have the first call on the use of the technology to be provided by Slider LLC for a period of two years after the end of this project

Technology Transfer

  • Technical Meetings
  • Detail technical reports will be written after each directional job, analyzing problems encountered, alternative procedures used to overcome these problems, success of these alternative procedures, and recommendation on how to improve the process.

Key Personnel

Qualifications of key personnel are summarized below with full resumes found in the appendices.

Eric E. Maidla, Ph.D., – Slider LLC

Dr. Eric Maidla is a partner in Slider LLC that was founded early in 2004. Has published over 50 technical articles (including patents)

Prior to this engagement he was Vice President of Business Development for Noble. He joined Noble in July 2001 coming from Australia after leading for 7 years the Drilling group CSIRO an Australian Government Organization.

Among his major accomplishments are:

  • Founded and chaired the Petroleum Engineering Department at the State University of Campinas in Brazil in 1988 and worked there for 7 years.
  • Partially Conceive, Managed and Developed a new an Heuristic Drilling Analysis Process called Genesis 2000 for CSIRO in Drilling Data Management
  • Co-managed and Developed a new directional drilling technology for Noble – today known as the Slider

Marc Haci, Ph.D., – Slider LLC

Dr. Marc Haci is a partner in Slider LLC that was founded early in 2004. Has published technical articles, patents and conducted industry workshops.

Prior to this engagement he was.

Among his major accomplishments are:

  • Supervised operations over 200 directional and horizontal wells in the US . Involved in planning & engineering of re-entries and multi-laterals
  • Introduced Tractor technology to high angle well logging and completions operations in Gulf of Mexico
  • Co-managed and Developed a new directional drilling technology for Noble – today known as the Slider