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The theoretical limit of the radial drilling equipment is 4000 meter. This year the system has been tested at almost 4000 meter. High temperatures (140 degrees), a deviated well and 15 % HCl in a dry well resulted in an interesting set lessons learned.

The major achievement is that the data acquisition system was able to hear acoustic signals generated at target 4000 meter further away in the control room. Via 4G network the signals were transmitted around the world real time.

Hearing and seeing the performance of individual tools allows us to identify different sub processes and check if a sub process is been successful performed. The data acquisition system is enlarged with more processing and storage power. A second system is in operation as well which allows the team to learn different successful and not successful patterns.

The result will be an automatic or semi-automatic control which will be able to control the load on bit very precise to guarantee maximum progress. This was never needed in sandstone reservoirs where progress was never an issue. However in deep, hot limestone reservoirs, run in hole and put out of hole time and costs are high. The reservoir is hard, so stimulation time will be longer than standard tool life. In those cases optimalisation of tool life will limit the number of run in hole and put out of hole runs.

The demonstration resulted in three full tests. The experience clearly indicated where tooling, data collection and methodology should be improved for more effective penetration control in very tight and low permeable formations.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 731117.