Customized Technology Improves Directional Drilling Performance in the Permian Basin

June 22, 2023
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Tailoring Equipment and Expertise for Unmatched Performance in the Permian’s Diverse Terrain

It’s common in the oil and gas industry to forcefit technology regardless of the application, especially when it comes to directional drilling. However, that’s not how we do things at ProDirectional. Having over a decade of experience drilling in the Permian Basin, we understand the importance of customizing equipment in order to meet specific application requirements. This not only results in better performance for our clients, but also keeps our equipment in better condition and running more reliably. 

From the Midland Basin to the Delaware Basin, there are a variety of drilling targets and reservoirs which need to be drilled differently because they behave differently. Each application creates unique challenges in terms of vibration, build tendencies, drillability, and formation stability. If we were to use the exact same equipment in the Permian that we do in other basins in the US, we wouldn’t be able to get the kind of results our clients expect from us.

At ProDirectional, we use our leading-edge technology and fine tune our equipment based on the drilling challenges of the Permian, creating unmatched performance. This means minimized non-productive time (NPT), fewer trips, and optimized on-bottom results.

Here are just a few examples of how we tailor drilling equipment for the Permian Basin.

Sprint MWD brings data to your fingertips

The goal of our Sprint MWD ecosystem is to minimize NPT. When working in the Permian Basin, it’s critical to get data updates at extremely high rates. If there is any delay in the speed of data transfer or the reliability of transfer, it can cause issues in the drilling process. Our custom data compression capabilities allow for calculated surveys, 6-axis raw surveys, continuous measurements, azimuthal gamma ray, and total gamma ray to be transmitted at industry-leading data density rates.

sprint mwd tech

We have also implemented technology that minimizes decoding errors, increasing reliability without reducing speed. Plus, our ProShock Stop tool, which is used in all our Permian projects, minimizes the shock and vibe that is so prevalent in this application, further improving reliability.   

Motors offer unprecedented reliability 

With over 100 million feet of drilling experience under our belts, we have developed motor technology that provides tremendous downhole power to deliver top-tier performance. Our clients are looking for both speed and reliability, which is why we offer a best-in-class ProFlex Transmission for the Permian Basin. This technology is for long Vertical-Curve-Lateral (VCL) applications and routinely drills 17,000 feet intervals, resulting in big time savings for the operator. Our transmission eliminates the need for extra trips, minimizing NPT. This technology is especially important for Permian applications, both Midland and Delaware Basins. 

Operators use different hole sizes to meet their wellbore construction requirements, and our technology can accommodate all of their demands. For example, a recent development which has been widely adopted in the Permian is the need to drill the 7 ⅞ hole size. This was a fast-paced industry change that ProDirectional adapted to quickly once we went through our research and development process. We designed and developed a 6 ⅝ motor for the 7 ⅞ hole market — a fully dedicated motorline for that hole size.       

Application engineering ensures we choose the right equipment 

It’s not enough to have the right tools for the job available — you have to know how to use them to maximize performance. This is why we have a dedicated applications engineering team based in the Permian Basin, whose role is to identify performance improvement opportunities and ensure we are utilizing our tools to their full potential.

When drilling, there are many different benchmarks operators are aiming for. Our applications engineering team ensures that our equipment is tailored to help operators meet their goals in the most effective way possible. 

Remote operations increase service quality

The Permian Basin is a large operational area — and many parts of the field present unique challenges for operators. Our Remote Operations Center offers our clients a wealth of knowledge and support when they need it most. Our remote specialist team is consolidated in one location and collaborates together to resolve issues our clients experience in the field in real time. 

Remote Command Center

For locations where there is poor cell service, we utilize StarLink technology to ensure our remote team can always connect with those on site. With multiple lines of backup communication, there are no situations where the Remote Operations Center cannot keep in touch. There is a real time dashboard to monitor rig operations so that we can be proactive instead of reactive when faced with any drilling or coring challenges. 

The Permian Basin presents unique challenges. We handle them all.

With over a decade of experience drilling in the Delaware Basin and the Midland Basin, we know the importance of making sure the equipment is right for the job. No matter what geological or well geometry specific challenges our clients face, we know how best to tailor technical solutions to meet their needs. For example, just recently we designed and developed a new float valve to run managed pressure drilling (MPD) applications to ensure they have a better seal — reducing washouts and increasing reliability. 

At ProDirectional, we believe there is an engineering solution for any application challenge. When it comes to the Permian Basin, we’ve experienced many of them first hand and know how to deal with them.

Have an upcoming or ongoing drilling program in the Permian? Get in touch with us today and learn how we recommend tailoring coring and drilling technology to meet your objectives.