DOE-Supported Round I Microhole Technology Projects

Stolar Research (Raton, N.M.) Researchers will develop technologies to guide the drill bit when drilling horizontal wells and transmit rock and fluid information to the surface as it is collected. Radar will be used to determine the location of the drill bit, and radio data transmission will be used to communicate the measurement data to the surface. (DOE share: $921,875; Duration: 18 months)

Baker Hughes Inteq (Houston, Texas) The project will design and fabricate a drill bit steering device and a tool that measures the electrical resistivity of the rock. Both of these instruments will be 2-3/8 inches in diameter and will be able to fit into coiled tubing. Development of these tools will provide a modular and effective coiled tubing drilling system that enables higher, more effective production from existing domestic oil fields. (DOE share: $986,084; Duration: 18 months)

Schlumberger IPC (Sugarland, Texas) Researchers will develop and build a microhole coiled tubing drilling rig that is designed specifically for the abundant shallow oil and gas reservoirs found in the lower 48 states. The rig will be designed to improve the environmental and economic performance of shallow well drilling by using small and purpose-built equipment that is easy to move and fast to mobilize, yet versatile in its application. (DOE share: $1,836,423; Duration: 18 months)

Western Well Tool (Anaheim, Calif.) The project will develop a downhole tractor tool that helps transport the drill bit and measurement tools into long (3,000+ ft) sections of horizontal wells. The tractor is expected to cost 25 percent to 50 percent less than conventional drilling methods and allow faster drilling of small-diameter horizontal sections of micro-boreholes. (DOE share: $645,420: Duration: 14 months)

Bandera Petroleum Exploration (Tulsa, Okla.) The overall objective of the project is to develop a mud system that is compatible with a coiled tubing drilling system to drill microholes for vertical, horizontal, and multilateral drilling and completion applications.  The system must be able to mix the required fluids, and perform these functions in an underbalanced condition with zero discharge. (DOE share: $473,600; Duration: 30 months)