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GE to sell electromagnetic MWD technology

Thursday, January 31, 2013

GE Oil and Gas has signed an agreement with Sharewell Energy Services of Houston, giving GE exclusive rights to sell Sharewell's electromagnetic telemetry technology for drilling.

Electomagnetics can be used to transfer data from the drill bit to the surface, at rates six times greater than mud based system rates (described on Wikipedia as "up to 40 bits per second).

The system has been used on 700 commercial wells to depths of more than 15,300 feet.

There is an electrical insulator placed in the drillstring, and the tool creates a voltage difference above the insulator (the main drillstring) and below the insulator (around the drill bit and tools). There is a wire attached to the wellhead, connected to the drillpipe at the service, and a second wire attached to a rod in the ground. The voltage difference between these two electrodes is the receive signal. In other words, the electromagnetic signal goes through the ground around the well, not through the well itself.

The Sharewell system includes an antenna package, electronic assembly and battery package. The surface system includes a power amplifiers.

The technology is particularly suited for drilling applications where mud-pulse technology is problematic, such as underbalanced drilling, when there is not enough pressure in the mud to carry the pulse.

Sharewell received funding from the US Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory, as part of its 'Deep Trek' initiative which aims to develop technologies that lower the cost and improve the efficiency of drilling and completing deep wells.

'The new partnership moves Sharewell's advanced EM MWD telemetry technology to the next level by combining GE's global support network and best-in-class downhole sensing technology to offer customers a more complete solution in key global markets,' said James Junker, general manager of GE's Downhole Technology business.

'The agreement allows GE to offer an industry-leading compatible product to the large installed GE customer base and to attract new customers to GE MWD systems.'

Associated Companies
» GE Oil and Gas
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