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Weatherford Launches SeaLance and RipTide Technologies for Offshore Drilling

24 September 2010

Weatherford has released two technologies that aim to improve offshore drilling efficiency and safety.

SeaLance is the world’s first subsea drilling-with-casing (DwC ) system, says Weatherford. The technology was developed explicitly to optimize drilling in deepwater environments and makes it possible for a 20-inch casing string and its high-pressure wellhead housing to be drilled to depth, cemented and released in a single run.

The SeaLance system effectively mitigates multiple hazards, enables operators to reach total depth, minimizes the effect of vortex induced vibrations and reduces the time, risk and associated costs of operations, claims the company. Weatherford and ENI jointly worked to develop the technology.

"The SeaLance was developed to improve the choices available to the industry when drilling top hole sections while improving safety and the overall integrity of subsea wells," commented Scott Beattie, global business unit leader. "For example, in certain applications the system will mitigate the loss in casing size by dynamically dealing with shallow hazards while drilling-with-casing to the desired setting depth. This will also save on flat time, mud costs and improve cement quality, hence well integrity."

RipTide is a drilling reamer that enables operators to enlarge holes up to 25 percent beyond bit diameter during hole-enlargement-while-drilling operations. The RipTide RFID model is the industry’s first electronically controlled drilling reamer that allows operators to activate and deactivate the tool at anytime while drilling or tripping, says Weatherford. Weatherford and Marathon worked in collaboration on the technology.