Nowadays, many wells required complex well trajectory plans in order to reach reservoir sections and some of complicated well paths (Figure 1) cannot be drilled with either rotary drilling assemblies or mud motors. In order to achieve the drilling goal, rotary steerable tools are usually selected.
While the precise mechanics might vary, each rotary steerable tool uses much the same approach. Running the rotary steerable immediately above the bit serves as a sort of replacement for a near bit stab (NB stab). Most tools use three blades close to the drill bit, which act as stablizers and move in and out. While the tool turns, the blade which is turning in the opposite direction pushes against the side of the hole, giving the necessary side force to create a curved hole while drilling.
When using a steerable motor, the adjustment of the well path a series of slide drilling and rotary drilling doesn’t give a clean smooth edge, but rather creates a hole with multiple sharp edges, and straight sections between them. A rotary steerable tool, on the other hand, does give a smooth curved hole. This makes the wellbore more stable, and less resistant when tripping in and out of the hole. With higher inclinations, a smooth curve makes for an easier job of running casing or logging tools. Continue reading