IriSphere – Real-Time Look-Ahead CapabilityThe IriSphere service multifrequency transmitters and multireceiver BHA provide continuous resistivity that detects formation features far ahead of the drill bit. Illustration: Schlumberger

IriSphere – Real-Time Look-Ahead Capability

Schlumberger introduced the IriSphere look-ahead-while-drilling service at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston last week.

IriSphere look-ahead-while-drilling service provides the industry’s first application of electromagnetic (EM) technology for detecting formation features ahead of the drill bit in oil and gas wells. It combines deep directional measurements with advanced automated inversion to accurately detect geological features.

Developed by Schlumberger, aimed to help oil&gas companies to reduce risks and costs, minimise uncertainties, make wiser decisions, improve drilling efficiency and enhance coring operations.

IriSphere service application for a field test in South China Sea. Illustration: Schlumberger

More than 20 field tests across the world delivered positive results, providing geological data more than 30 m ahead of the drill bit. The measured data is then compared with an existing model to identify if what was proposed corresponds with what is recorded by the tool.

In the field tests, IriSphere successfully identified reservoir tops and thickness, salt boundaries, thin layers, high-pressure formations – all contributing to a safe and efficient drilling process.

IriSphere service also provides drillers with real-time mud properties management and enables optimised casing design and contingencies planning.