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Wired-Drillpipe Field Trials Reveal Potential Benefits Over Traditional Pipe

Field trials were conducted by BP on the commercial version of wired pipe with a comprehensive suite of logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools, measurement-while-drilling (MWD) functionality, and rotary-steerable- capability on two Wyoming wells in 2007. Since then, BP has deployed wired pipe commercially in more than 14 wells at four additional locations (Trinidad, North Sea, Colombia, and deepwater Gulf of Mexico), representing a good cross section of drilling conditions and challenges.

Basics of How Wired Pipe Works

Wired drillpipe incorporates a section of coaxial cable in each joint. The cable passes through a gun-drilled hole in the connection on each end of the joint. Between connections, the cable is encased in a strong stainless-steel sheath, which is held in tension within the inner diameter of the pipe adjacent to, but not bonded to, the inner wall. Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show schematics of the wired pipe.

Inductive coupling enables the signal to pass from one joint to the next, through ferrous coils that are embedded in the pin end of one joint of pipe and the opposing box end of the subsequent joint of pipe. These coils come very close to each other when the connection is made up, but, because the coupling is inductive, they do not need to touch, and insulating material such as pipe dope does not block the signal. However, over many joints of pipe, there is a loss of signal strength, and, for this reason, a battery-powered booster sub is deployed approximately every 1,500 ft. The booster assemblies also provide housing and a connection point for along-string measurements. On the bottomhole-assembly (BHA) end of the drillstring, wired pipe connects to the measurements providers and steering assembly through an interface sub, enabling two-way communication to the network, usually provided by the LWD provider. At the top of the drillstring, the network is connected to surface servers by a data swivel housed in the top drive.

This article, written by Editorial Manager Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 163560, “A Summary of Wired-Drillpipe Field Trials and Deployments in BP,” by Stephen T. Edwards, Chris J. Coley, Nick A. Whitley, Richard G. Keck, SPE, Vishwahnath Ramnath, Tommy Foster, Keith Coghill, and Mark Honey, SPE, BP, prepared for the 2013 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, 5–7 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Wired-Drillpipe Field Trials Reveal Potential Benefits Over Traditional Pipe

01 June 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 6

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