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Drilling the Distance: Baker Hughes’ AutoTrak Curve Rotary Steerable Systems Drill Two Million Feet, Saves Time


HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 8, 2012) – The Baker Hughes AutoTrak™ Curve rotary steerable system has drilled more than two million feet in unconventional shale plays in only 18 months since the first test wells and six months since the system’s official commercial launch.

The convincing pick-up in footage drilled per month indicates the value this system delivers to operators, who have cited the AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable system for saving time, improving well placement and incremental production. The AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable system offers a viable, cost-effective alternative to conventional technology in unconventional reservoirs as a revolution in drilling appears to be taking hold.

The AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable system is a revolutionary tool that can drill vertical, curve (15°/100 feet) and horizontal sections in one fast run to maximize available pay zones and reduce the number of trips. The system drills what used to take two to three trips in one smooth run. It drills more precisely and at a much tighter angle than any other similar service. This allows operators to intersect a much larger area of the reservoir than previously possible, resulting in valuable additional pay zone.

The AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable is a closed-loop drilling system that takes commands from the surface to place the wellbore in the desired location. The programmable system has been successfully used by operators in some of the toughest unconventional environments in North America. Making real-time adjustments to the steering target while drilling, the wellbore can be placed in the right spot.

The system was specifically engineered for ease of use and is targeted at unconventional oil and gas plays. It uses fewer components than typical rotary steerable systems and is designed to be fit-for-purpose with excellent reliability.

Tolerant to the presence of lost circulation material in the mud system, the AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable system does not require special pressure drop between the pipe inside diameter and the annulus to operate. Additionally, a gamma ray detector is integrated into the tool, close to the bit, to allow precise geosteering.

The advanced technology saves time given there is no need to change the bend angle of a motor. This results in faster well construction. Given the improved hole quality, completion time also is enhanced and casing can be run to total depth faster and easier.

In some shale plays, the AutoTrak Curve rotary steerable system has reduced drilling time up to four days and saved operators 60 percent of the rig time per well.

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