The “At-the-Bit® Mud Loss Control” is a new approach for while-drilling treatment of severe mud loss during drilling operations. The innovative solution is based on converting the circulating mud to a swellable pill downhole that reacts with the mud.
The drilling tool comprises the use of a special designed highly swellable sealant pre-stored in a concentric drill pipe inserted as a part of the bottom hole assembly (BHA).The semi-automatic and on-demand release of the sealant to the fractured well will be activated by the driller from the surface and can be regarded as a “drillers’airbag”.
The history of the At-the-Bit technology development goes back to a study performed for Statoil in 2016 on the challenge of drilling through depleted reservoirs. The challenge for an “out-of-the-box” solution was given and the idea for the “At-the-Bit®” technology was born. A joint industry (JIP) was formed in2018 and is being supported by Equinor, ConocoPhillips, Lundin and ARAPetroleum in Oman.
The main cooperating technology partners are SNF in France and EnergyX in Norway. Special studies are performed by Sintef together with discussions with other prospective cooperating technology and service partners. The project was granted a two-year support by the Norwegian Research Council in 2020 through the Demo2000 program. A prototype is under fabrication for rig and well testing throughout 2021. Field piloting projects will then follow.