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APS Technology launches SureSteer™ 475-rss rotary steerable system

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Oilfield Technology,

APS Technology, Inc. has announced the forthcoming availability of the SureSteer 475-rss Rotary Steerable System. The announcement follows the completion of prototype flow loop testing, whereby the tool was put through its paces in the company’s Wallingford, CT drilling laboratory. Successful operation of the steering mechanism was confirmed over a wide range of drilling parameters and at rotary speeds up to 200 RPM.

The new rotary steerable tool was created to complement the existing SureSteer™ 675-rsm® and thereby to grow APS Technology’s rotary steerable family. While the RSM (Rotary Steerable Motor) incorporates an integrated power section, the RSS (Rotary Steerable System) is designed to be run either below a drilling motor or driven directly from the top drive, as required. All tools in the family share the same proven “Push-the-Bit" steering technology. “The RSM is designed to maximise horsepower at the bit, and the RSS to maximise build rate capability and drillstring speed. Together, they provide an unparalleled capability to match the major service companies’ advanced trajectory control,” said John Clegg, Vice President of Drilling Products at APS. “I am excited to see our latest addition pass a major test hurdle, which will allow us to add another tool to our customers’ toolbox later this year.”

Designed for directional drilling applications around the world, the SureSteer Rotary Steerable tools provide "major service company" rotary steerable system functionality with the straightforward directional control procedures commonly used with steerable motors. Utilising APS’s proprietary control systems, the tools can be programmed to use an automated closed-loop feedback system for vertical or tangent angle control, or to operate with downlinked instructions to efficiently drill any directional well plan. The mode of operation can be easily changed downhole: a series of timed pump speed changes allow switching between modes or turning the tool off for events such as wiper trips, drilling out or back-reaming. For steering, the desired tool face is set by surface orientation, similar to a steerable motor. This minimises the amount of time required for downlinking. A link to APS MWD enables higher-level directional control and feedback of valuable near-bit information to the surface.

The new SureSteer 475-rss steering head houses steering pads; directional measurement and control electronics; and the electrical and hydraulic power systems, which are driven by an integrated turbine alternator system. The control electronics provide timing signals to a hydraulic manifold to control the steering direction and force to achieve the desired directional objective. The RSS is designed to maximise build rate, and can operate at a high rotary speed.

The RSS builds on the technology in the RSM, sharing key principles of operation and component designs. The key difference between the tools is that the RSM combines the advanced technology Rotary Steerable steering unit with a mud motor power section, deriving its power from the mud motor drive shaft and providing rotary steerable control while continuously rotating the drill string with the optimum power and bit speed for the application.

SureSteer 475-rss for 5.875 in. to 6.75 in. (149 mm to 171 mm) holes is planned to be available in Q3, 2015. Larger sizes will follow. SureSteer 675-rsm is currently available for 8.5 in. or 8.75 in. (213 mm or 222 mm) holes. SureSteer 800-rsm for 12.25 in. (311 mm) holes is planned for Q4, 2015.

Complementary APS options for the SureSteer tools include a wide range of SureShot™ mud pulse or EM-based MWD and LWD tools; Drilling Dynamics Monitor (DDM™), Vibration Memory Sub (VMS™) and Vibration Memory Module (VMM™) for downhole measurement of drilling mechanics and dynamics; Active Vibration Damper Sub (AVD™) for real-time measurement and mitigation of drilling vibrations; and drilling optimisation products including SureDrill™ and WellDrill™.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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