Ream-while-drilling (RWD) an established solution that has proven itself to be of high value in many drilling operations. It is a technical process to simultaneously drill a wellbore and open it up to the target diameter while smoothing it out at the same time. The RWD technology has advanced, but the objective for such an application has stayed the same—to improve wellbore quality and eliminate the need for dedicated clean out runs, short trips, and back-reaming to save costly non-productive time, and can also help create an over-gauge hole which can improve drilling hydraulics and subsequent cementing operations. The industry adoption and demand, however, has increased significantly over the years, and Expro is well positioned to serve this market with the AEROTM Reamer Series, consisting of highly engineered and specially designed concentric and dual eccentric reamers.
In October, our AERO Reamer product line reached a key milestone—1,000,000 feet of reamed wellbore in the U.S. land market alone, with majority of the jobs logged in the West Texas region. The sheer number of zeros in this milestone should say it all, but to put it into some perspective, that’s like climbing the full height of Mount Everest almost 34 times!
The product line was officially formed just a mere 10 months ago, and this fact adds to the importance of this achievement. We made a strategic and purposeful business decision to enter the RWD market because it aligned with our commitment to provide performance drilling optimization for our customers. We do this through the application of our highly technical solutions to help their drilling systems perform more efficiently and reduce energy waste in the drilling process. The patented line of AERO Reamers was a natural complement to our technology portfolio because of its unique design and use of specialized materials to create a clean and smooth wellbore, ensuring casing and liner strings reach total depth efficiently.
With AERO, operators can complete two separate operations in one run, and therefore, potentially save up to one full day of rig time. A reamer is typically used when there are concerns in the wellbore with severe dog-legs in curve/lateral sections, micro ledges in transitions from sliding to rotating, extended reach, and tight tolerances between casing and drilled hole-section. Eccentric reamers allow for the hole to be effectively enlarged beyond the diameter of the bit without significantly increasing drilling torque or drag. The bi-center design means the eccentric tools have a dynamic, rotating diameter that is greater than the static, non-rotating diameter. This allows tools that would generally be undersized in comparison to the bit to contact and open the diameter of the wellbore while in rotation without maintaining this contact while not rotating, which can increase drag and cause key-seating while tripping in or out of hole. To date, our AERO Eccentric Reamers have been used in both dedicated clean out runs in lateral sections and in RWD scenarios. We have seen an increase in RWD utilization compared to dedicated runs and expect this utilization rate to increase further.
Since the initial product line formation, we have expanded the fleet to include eccentric reamers for 6-1/8”, 6-3/4”, 7-7/8”, 8-1/2”, and 8-3/4” holes as well as several other sizes for the concentric reaming line, along with some ancillary tools. We also provide highly customized RWD solutions for customers based on their application need and wellbore dynamics.
In addition to the U.S., we have deployed AERO Reamers in Canada, Columbia, Gabon, and Saudi Arabia, and plan to expand this technical solution offering to additional countries—bringing performance drilling optimization to customers globally.