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Drilling in record time on Åsgard

August 21, 2001, 12:00 CEST

By using a rotary steerable drilling tool with mud motor, Transocean Winner recently drilled a well in record time on the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

This is the first time on the Norwegian continental shelf, and only the second time in the world, that the PowerDrive drilling tool from Schlumberger has been used in conjunction with a mud motor.

The Transocean Winner rig took just three and a half days to drill a 12¼ inch section to the top of the reservoir on the Åsgard field. Normally it would take seven and a half days to drill the 2,150-metre section. The day rate for drilling operations on the rig is around NOK 2 million.

A motor was included to achieve a higher rate of penetration (ROP). When directional changes are made with the motor during conventional drilling, ROP is a quarter of that achieved with the new system.

The production well was drilled on Smørbukk, which is a hard, deep, high temperature structure.

"Not only do drilling operations take less time with the new system, it can also be used for more technically challenging wells," reports Rune Skotvold, lead drilling engineer in Åsgard resource development.

He believes that rotary steerable drilling combined with mud motor may be the future on Åsgard, but adds that needs vary a great deal from one field to another. The system is best suited to the most demanding fields, says Mr Skotvold.