DI-77 – Field Testing of HydroPulse Tool for Suction Pulse Drilling and Seismic-while-Drilling

“Field Testing of HydroPulse Tool for Suction Pulse Drilling and Seismic-while-Drilling”
Date Submitted: 01-21-00, update of DI-77
Title: Field Testing of HydroPulse Tool for Suction Pulse Drilling and Seismic-while-Drilling
Submitted by: Tempress Technologies Inc 19308 – 68th Avenue South Kent, WA 98032 (253) 872-1982
Principal Investigator(s): Jack Kolle jkolle@tempresstech.com
Business Impact: Drilling costs increase exponentially with depth because rig costs increase while drilling rates slow. The HydroPulse™ tool developed by Tempress Technologies Inc. applies 700 psi suction pressure pulses to the hole bottom at a rate of 20 times per second. There are three major impacts of this tool: 1. Suction pulses increase drilling rates by 3x to 5x with the highest increased drilling rate in hard ductile shales. The tool is compact and can be used with tricone or fixed-cutter bits. The increased drilling rate will have a significant impact on the cost of deep and offshore wells without affecting drilling operations. 2. The suction pulses extend the reach of horizontal wells by pulling the bit into the formation at low thrust. 3. The tool generates an intense, broadband seismic signal that can be used for high-resolution seismic imaging of formations ahead of the bit while drilling. Applications include real time detection of shallow-water flows and over-pressurized formations. The ability to detect hazardous formations will have a significant impact on the viability of offshore oil and gas projects. The HydroPulse™ development project has been structured into three Phases at a total cost of $2.5M. The project is highly leveraged with $1.5M support from the U.S. Department of Energy including 100% of the Phase I feasibility study (complete), and 75% of the Phase II prototype tool development (50% complete). We are currently seeking $750K co-funding and in-kind support for Phase III field testing, scheduled to commence in 2001.
Technical Objectives: We are currently halfway into Phase II and are testing a full scale experimental prototype tool. The 8-3/4″prototype tool is designed for operation at 400 gpm on drilling mud. Testing is currently underway in a 100 foot pressurized flow loop designed to simulate downhole conditions. Testing to date has verified tool operation on drilling mud and pulse generation. Our Phase II objective is 100 hours continuous operation on drilling mud in the test stand. Pressure drilling tests will be completed by October, 2000 with the objective of doubling drilling rates in hard shales and limestones. The Phase III project and DEA co-funding proposed here will be contingent on meeting the Phase II objectives. The Phase III objectives are threefold: 1. Demonstrate 100 hours continuous operation downhole on drilling mud 2. Observe drilling rates and compare with offset wells 3. Observe the seismic signal transmitted from the tool to the surface
Methodology: The Phase III program will involve a series of field tests with increases in depth and complexity. Initial field tests will be carried out in a shallow test well such as the Catoosa Test site operated by GRI. These tests will be designed to demonstrate tool operation under downhole drilling conditions. It is anticipated that these tests will require design changes and multiple shallow tests are planned. A second series of tests would be carried out as part of an ongoing drilling program in a well depth of 5000 ft or greater. Wells with high-quality offset drilling data would be chosen to allow rate-of-penetration comparisons. Multiple field tests are planned with intervals for design modifications. It is anticipated that three complete tools would be build as part of the Phase III effort. We plan to obtain high resolution seismic records from all these tests for post processing. The objective is only to demonstrate seismic signal transmission from the HydroPulse™ tool to the surface and to characterize the source amplitude and frequency content. Multi-channel data-acquisition and image processing are outside the scope of the Phase III project, however these could be added later as an independent project if desired by participants. Rig costs, operating costs, engineering support and seismic processing provided by participants will be included as part of the cost-sharing for the project.
Deliverables: Participants will receive detailed reports describing the results of operating tests and comparisons of drilling rate with offset wells. The reports will detail tool operation procedures and applications. Participants will also receive raw and processed seismic data from all of the test wells. Operator participants will receive free use of the tool during testing.
Comments: This is an update of DI-77. I plan to make an update presentation at the February 17th meeting.