Don’t settle for MWD equipment when you can have MWD technology instead

July 20, 2023
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

MWD equipment is not the same as MWD technology

There are many service providers that offer Measurement While Drilling (MWD) tools and services. However, it’s important for operators to remember that not all service providers are the same. Some service providers purchase MWD technology from third-party suppliers while others simply rent from third-party providers who own, maintain and repair the MWD equipment. In both of those cases, there is a major potential for equipment issues to occur while drilling. Why? Because when third parties are involved, the equipment providers are one step removed from the drilling job and typically don’t fully understand the nature of the drilling operations.

At ProDirectional, we not only design and develop our own directional drilling technology and downhole drilling tools — we maintain and repair them to the highest standards as well. This allows us to clearly differentiate our technology from off-the-shelf MWD equipment.

What’s the difference between the two?

It all comes down to the expertise behind the tools. We’re a fully integrated organization, which means that we not only develop and design our own MWD technology, but we also utilize it in the field, and repair and maintain it after use. We are involved in every single touchpoint of our MWD technology — we know where it’s from, where it’s been, and where it’s going. This is what enables us to ensure our MWD systems are superior to others available on the market today.

We ensure drilling performance optimization by designing our own MWD tools

ProDirectional has a team of engineers in house who are tasked with designing and developing our MWD technology. They use the expertise gained from our field personnel — especially when it comes to the types of failures they see happening most often — and use this information in their work. All of our MWD technology is built to mitigate the types of failures that are responsible for unplanned trips. We understand how much non-productive time (NPT) costs our clients, which is why our MWD tools are built for reliability and drilling efficiency. 

Sprint MWD technology

Take our Sprint MWD technology for instance, which takes fast data transmission to a whole new level. It provides operators with real-time drilling data so that they can ensure wellbore placement accuracy. The speed of data transmission from the Sprint MWD means that operators can pump up surveys in under 28 seconds, significantly reducing flat time. Plus, we’ve significantly reduced the possibility for human error with a surface system that is easy to use and intuitive to learn. With the Spring MWD, we have even developed custom decoding filters in real-time while on a job to reduce decoding issues for our clients on the spot.

sprint mwd tech

Octane and OctaneXT

Another example of our MWD tools that result in drilling performance optimization is the Octane and OctaneXT series. Designed to withstand the most hostile environments, the Octane and OctaneXT technologies offer reliability in harsh temperatures, enabling our clients to get high performance results in their drilling operations without worrying about tripping or NPT.

Preventing failures 

When any of our MWD technologies experience issues in the field, we don’t just replace the equipment. Of course during the job we ensure our clients deal with the least amount of non-productive time possible. However, when those tools get back to our lab, our engineers spend time analyzing the failure in detail to learn its root causes. Then, they work on developing fixes so that the same failure doesn’t happen again. MWD companies that don’t design and develop their own technology do not have the ability to apply any innovation or expertise to the equipment. Instead, they are bound to experience the same types of MWD equipment failures in the field over and over again.

Maintaining and repairing MWD technology can’t be left up to a third party

Do you know what happens to MWD equipment after it is used in the field? It all depends on the service provider. Many service providers send their MWD equipment to a third party, or its manufacturer, to repair and maintain. In this case, the third party service provider has limited information on how the equipment was used, whether there were any failures or issues, or anything else about the application of the equipment. As a result, they cannot really offer exceptional MWD reliability and accuracy because they do not have the full picture. 

Man working with MWD tool for ProDirectional

In other cases, the MWD oilfield technology is maintained and repaired in-house by the service provider. However, often, there is poor record-keeping, so the organization isn’t always aware of the full history of the lifecycle of the equipment. They may not even know when it was last used or repaired and whether it is ready to retire. In many cases, repair and maintenance is an afterthought, so the equipment is not properly taken care of — resulting in issues and non-productive time during the job.

MWD equipment reliability 

We do things differently at ProDirectional. One of the ways we differentiate between MWD equipment and MWD technology is in the way we take care of the tools. For us, repair and maintenance are not an afterthought — they are an entire department. Our quality control standards are the most stringent in the industry. This is because we know our clients value reliability in the field, and we never want our MWD tools to be the reason for failures.

Our quality control process starts with inspecting every MWD part and component and understanding how it has been used in the field. Understanding the history of the equipment is essential to properly maintaining it. We repair the MWD oilfield tools to a like-new condition, while screening for potential concerns. If any issues arise, we re-work the components. After repairs are completed, we conduct pre-deployment testing to ensure all MWD components are field ready by putting them through rigorous proprietary evaluation procedures.

Not only that, but we also use a comprehensive lifecycle tracking software, ProTrax, to account for all of the assembly hours and usage, so we know when a component can be returned to the field or when it is ready to retire. This is a tracking process not used elsewhere in the industry.

Go above and beyond MWD equipment

ProDirectional offers MWD services in the Permian, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, the Rockies, Oklahoma, and the Northeast areas. No matter where our clients need to drill and regardless of the type of weather or geographic conditions, our MWD technology is highly reliable because we have a hand in it from the very beginning. From designing and developing it to utilizing it in the field to maintaining and repairing it, we are involved in every aspect of usage for our MWD technologies so we can ensure the best possible performance for our clients.

Get in touch with ProDirectional today to discuss your next project and find out how we can support you with highly reliable MWD technology.