A leap forward in rotary steerable system connectivity

March 21, 2024
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

ProDirectional engineers custom solution that enhances RSS connectivity with D-Tech

Rotary steerable systems (RSS) offer operators a number of benefits in some applications, such as a faster rate of penetration because of the ability to rotate the drill string continuously while eliminating slide drilling. However, operators who use rotary steerable systems know that one of the biggest pain points is the inconsistent connectivity between the measurement while drilling (MWD) system and the RSS to enable real-time communication.

When operators need to change the drilling mode, they often don’t know if the rotary steerable system has received the communication of the change. This connectivity issue can result in suboptimal drilling performance and increased operational costs.

As a leader in downhole and horizontal drilling, ProDirectional has extensive experience with mud motors, MWD tools, and rotary steerable systems. Our team of in-house engineers have developed two innovative ways to improve connectivity between MWD systems and RSS systems so that operators no longer need to be left in the dark.

Integrated BabelFish communications technology in MWD systems

BabelFish is an SLB/ Extreme technology that allows an EM short hop signal to be sent wirelessly from the top of the rotary steerable to an EM RealTime Receiver in the MWD system above.

In order to improve the connectivity between our MWD tools and SLB rotary steerable systems, ProDirectional has integrated BabelFish communications technology into our MWD platforms. This enables our customers to efficiently utilize and operate some of the industry-leading RSS systems on the market, Orbit and NeoSteer.

Rotary steerable system connectivity

We used the existing BabelFish RealTime Receiver, and custom engineered it to be integrated into our variety of MWD Systems. We have customized the connection and wiring crossovers, called BabelFish crossovers, that allow our MWD fleet to communicate with the BabelFish short hop receiver. 

The short hop receiver then translates the data that is generated by the rotary steerable system directly into our MWD telemetry sequences. This type of data includes:

  • System status
  • Downlink confirmations
  • Steering information
  • RSS survey information
  • And more

The data can then be transmitted to the surface systems and decoded through our MWD systems’ telemetry signal-to-surface technology. The data recovered helps ensure efficient and streamlined operation of the rotary steerable system downhole to drill the well according to plan.

We have used this technology to drill record wells in North America, especially the Permian basin, and continue to implement this for various customers in multiple basins.

D-Tech hard mount connectivity for increased reliability and accuracy while drilling

D-Tech is the number one independent provider of rotary steerable systems. The in-house engineering team at ProDirectional has recently developed the ability to hard-mount or directly connect to D-Tech’s rotary steerable systems, greatly improving the reliability of connectivity between MWD technology and their rotary steerable system. 

Historically, service providers have utilized BabelFish EM wireless technology to connect MWD tools to rotary steerable systems for real-time communication. However, this connectivity has not been fully reliable in certain formations. Real-time communication is necessary if operators want to receive diagnostics and updates from the RSS, such as downlink confirmation and near bit inclination.

Unparalleled innovation in rotary steerable system connectivity

ProDirectional has a downhole product for both 8″ and 6.75″ BHA sizes (12 1/4″ & /8 3/4″ hole sizes respectively), compatible with all our tool series, including Sprint, Octane, and Octane XT. Our technology translates the data generated by the D-Tech rotary steerable system to our MWD tools, enabling us to transmit those values to surface through our MWD platform.

With this custom engineered solution, operators can experience a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased performance
  • Reduced non-productive time
  • On-time drilling schedules
  • Minimized risk
  • Lowered operational costs

What you need to know about ProDirectional’s rotary steerable system connectivity advancements

At ProDirectional, innovation, service excellence, and reliability are the main focus of our business. Our goal is to provide directional drilling and coring services that meet a wide range of needs and application challenges for our customers. We have a large in-house engineering department, with mechanical, electrical, software, and application engineers, that is tasked with coming up with solutions that enhance performance and minimize non-productive time for our customers. 

Unlike other service providers that simply offer third-party technologies to their customers, we take things one step further and enhance the value of those technologies by custom engineering them for optimal performance. 

We currently have direct compatibility with Orbit, NeoSteer, and DTech rotary steerable systems. All three of these rotary steerable systems are leaders in the marketplace, and offer customers advantages in some applications. With our integrated connectivity solutions, operators can now experience highly reliable and accurate communication between our MWD tools and the RSS platform they want to use. 

We are always looking to enhance client success. Sometimes, that goal is achieved with conventional drilling technology. However, for some applications, rotary steerable systems are what will work best. For this specific need in the market, we have developed highly reliable connectivity solutions that enable operators to maximize the use of their investment and ensure they receive real-time communication for enhanced performance and reduced NPT.

See how our custom engineered rotary steerable system connectivity solutions can benefit you

Don’t settle for unreliable RSS connectivity. If you need to receive diagnostics and updates, downlink confirmation, and near bit inclination from your rotary steerable system in real-time, get in touch with ProDirectional to learn how we can help.

Contact ProDirectional