Testing included downhole qualification in a live drilling environment, as well as system testing exposing the tool to a range of scenarios to assess the efficacy of its control system and mechanics.
Launched in February 2021, the SABER tool is an evolution of the proof of concept, tested by Shell and licensed to Enteq.
Enteq has re-engineered the concept to a mechanically simple, plain collar and compact design that is said to offer control and reliability. Rather than using pads or plates for steering, the system uses an internally directed pressure differential system across the bit face. By removing these external contact points, the company said, the tool reduces wear and improves reliability, while also achieving true at-bit steering for the first time. The sleek, plain collar design also allows for a smoother borehole, further improving reliability, uptime, and cost efficiency.
The tool has undergone downhole and system testing to verify its ability to hold its directional tool face stationary under varying, dynamic downhole conditions. According to the company, results demonstrate that its simplified control system works to successfully hold the geostationary platform.
Neil Bird, VP Advanced Drilling Systems, Enteq Technologies, said: “There are many ways that RSS tools work to hold geo-stationary platforms – what sets SABER apart is its simplification and elegance. Furthermore, the way this is implemented means that the electronics are isolated from the industry challenge of torsional vibration resulting in reduced failures.
“Whereas other tools have components that rotate with the collar, be that mechanical or electrical, the only thing rotating within the SABER tool are the bearings – everything else is stationary. This principle of the tool means the downhole electronics are decoupled from damaging torsional vibration. In addition, we have increased the magnitude of braking force to 10 times greater than the initial proof of concept.”
Other findings from testing reveal that it also comfortably exceeds the initial requirements tool face control benchmark, alongside confirmation of sufficient sideforce at-bit, operating in-line with performance specifications.
The company said it expects the SABER tool to be commercial during 2022.