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Shell has been active in the Haynesville shale-gas play and has drilled both vertical and horizontal natural gas wells in DeSoto, Sabine, and Red River Parishes. Estimated recoverable reserves are as much as 60 Tcf (Hammes 2009), but drilling horizontal lateral sections presents extreme challenges with 16,500–18,500-ft measured-depth wells and flowing temperatures that can exceed 375°F at section TD and pressures in excess of 9,000 psi. With low natural gas prices in the U.S., reducing drilling costs by improving tool reliability is an essential requirement. In 2009, the Shell-Halliburton team set out a challenge to eliminate mud motor and MWD failures in the production interval. The team used a collaborative approach and applied root-cause failure analysis, new condition-based maintenance systems, and field-operation processes to systematically push MWD, mud motor, and LWD performance in this hostile environment.
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