Real-time drillstring telemetry passes final tests

Ultra-fast data transmission passes milestones in field tests. Commerciality is declared. The oil and gas industry has been looking for ways to transmit downhole data to the surface for three decades. The limitation of mud pulse telemetry, even if pushed to 12 – 16 bits per sec., means that data must be decimated, summed downhole, and transmitted during pauses in drilling. Thus, the industry has spent the last 20 years trying to move more data through decimation and packaging. After more than five years in development and testing, a new type of wired drill pipe, with bi-directional data transmission rates up to 57,000 bits per second,1 has now come to market. This is our third report on the technology (see World Oil, Oct 2003 and July 2005). BACKGROUND Wired drill pipe has been tried before, but reliability seemed unachievable by using hard-wired connections.

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