Oil industry collaborates to pilot new drill string camera with jet blasting function which could slash rig time by 50%

Dr Patrick O'Brien, Chief Executive, Industry Technology Facilitator
Dr Patrick O’Brien, Chief Executive, Industry Technology Facilitator

A new oil industry joint project has been launched to progress camera technology that could deliver significant savings during drilling operations.

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) has launched the project with Clearview Well Services of Perth, Australia with the support of two global oil and gas operator members.

Clearview will build a prototype to live test its new multi-function camera that for the first time will carry out jet blasting during visual inspections. The technology requires approximately 50% less rig time than traditional methods.

With a membership of international oil and gas operator and service companies, the ITF has launched over 200 innovative joint industry projects in the kind of collaborative working which the Oil and Gas UK has only recently attempted to facilitate.

Dale Parker, inventor and director of Clearview Well Services said: “Currently during inspections existing drill string mounted cameras flush the area with clean fluid, but carry out a separate time-consuming operation if the area requires cleaning.

“Our system includes a flushing function and also a high pressure jet cleaning action for the internals of the blow out preventer, wellhead, tree, hydraulic couplings and riser surfaces.

“It will then repeat the flushing, so that in one operation the area can be viewed, cleaned and checked. It means that operators don’t have to carry out the work ‘blind’ or in two additional trips.”

The CDFC can be rapidly deployed by helicopter to carry out the operations in one trip of the drill string. The camera and functions are operated via fibre optics from the surface. It is estimated it could save around £280,000 ($600,000) per 1,000 meters in rig time, which would increase the deeper the well.

Dr Patrick O’Brien, ITF Chief Executive, said: “Two of our global operator members took a great interest in the proposal from Clearview Well Services. It is a costly global challenge which will be of great interest to the wider industry.

“Despite the current downturn, there is still an appetite to find innovations that can deliver crucial efficiency savings and reduce bed spaces and the CDFC fits that brief perfectly.”

The designs have been reviewed by the operators and the joint industry funding will be used to create a prototype for a live test within six months and it is hoped the technology will be qualified and moving to manufacture before summer 2016.


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