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  • RSS technology has improved, but can it be made cheaper?


    R. Schulte and M. Cepeda

    Rotary Steerable Systems (RSS) have exploded onto the drilling scene over the last 10 years. The Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC), operated by the Department of Energy at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 (NPR-3), is playing an important role in RSS technology development with its real-world testing environment. Over the past several years, RMOTC has seen an upsurge in RSS testing. This increase appears to be a direct reflection of trends in worldwide drilling activity and technology development. RMOTC’s facilities allow partners the opportunity to operate constantly during testing, allowing for continuous periods of time to be placed on seals, bearings, motor housings, etc. on an actual drilling rig. The field test site, located on Teapot Dome oil field, also offers a range of rock compositions for RSS testing to take place. There are currently four producing zones at Teapot Dome: Shannon, 500 ft; Niobrara Shale, 2,000 ft...

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