energycioinsights

Scout Downhole: Digital Solutions for Unconventional Shale Drilling

CIO VendorSteve Jones, President & CEO
In today’s competitive unconventional shale landscape, controlling expenditures and effectively managing drilling operations are some of the ubiquitous challenges encompassing the land drilling industry. Regardless of the company size, or the markets they cater to, oil and gas service companies often work in harsh drilling environments where downhole drilling equipment is pushed to the limit and beyond. And today with digitalization persuading every industry to become smarter, the traditional tools of the oil and gas industry are slowly becoming obsolete or require upgrades to meet demand. Steve Jones of Sanvean Technologies, the electronics and measurement/control system arm of Scout Downhole, underscores the same message and mentions that with legacy drilling tools and systems, operators must understand the limitations of the equipment. Additionally, when oil field personnel dive into harsh and fast paced drilling operations, the legacy directional drilling and measurement/logging tools often fail to render the desired reliability, repeatability and cost-effectiveness that is required to remain profitable.

To mitigate these problems, and take the industry to the next level, Scout Downhole, together with Sanvean Technologies, provides mechanical and digital solutions that are at the cutting-edge of downhole tool technology. Through adhering to the company’s philosophy, which focuses on continuous improvement and product development, Scout Downhole and Sanvean Technologies bring unparalleled mechanical and electronic systems and tools to optimize downhole drilling.

The President of the Sanvean Technologies, Steve Jones says, “Of late, the proliferation of electronic technologies has made drilling measurement devices very compact and has enabled drillers to work more efficiently in multi-well pad drilling. While the market saw a lot of companies working with the latest generation electronic devices, Jones noticed that many of them stopped development at the start of the downturn. “Digitization transforms the way we conduct business. We make informed decisions based on collected data. In the modern business world, one who owns data and utilizes the data properly wins the competition,” says Jones. “We saw the downturn as an opportunity to develop industry-leading digital solutions for the upturn through leveraging some of the potent cutting-edge mechanical downhole tool technologies from Scout Downhole,” adds the industry veteran.

Digitization transforms the way we conduct business. We make informed decisions based on collected data. In the modern business world, one who owns data and utilizes the data properly wins the competition


Today, Scout Downhole and Sanvean Technologies offer a myriad of mechanical drilling tools embedded with digital technologies to assist oil and gas companies in gleaning rich data during drilling operations and subsequently allowing effective data-driven decisions. The firm enables operators to bolster drilling performance and extend bit life with its proprietary offering—CuBIC. The sensor, compact enough to be embedded into drilling tools and drill bits, measures and records high-frequency shock, rotation speed/direction and temperature. These measurements are used in combination with rig surface data to understand drilling dynamics at the next level. Compilation of the data, well by well, and county by county, maps the dynamic response of the bit interaction with the formation and generates roadmaps utilizing the GameChanger family of software. The GameChanger Advisor allows the driller to follow a pre-programmed roadmap that has been generated through deep analysis of the downhole high-frequency data.Next, for vertical, nudge, tangent, and lateral drilling, the Conroe- and Katy-based company offers a reliable, cost-effective, digital rotary steerable solution called Rotary Steerable Scout (RSS). The product is based on the platform of the mechanically sound Vertical Scout, our mechanical vertical-seeking rotary steerable system. By removing the mechanical control system and transplanting a digital control unit and mud valve, the system now has full directional capability with continuous drill string rotation. “One of our biggest differentiators with Rotary Steerable Scout is that it was designed specifically for North America shale drilling applications and boasts high reliability with cost-effective operating and Lost-in- Hole (LIH) rates” says Jones.

Further, the firm continues to enhance and improve its standard product offering of downhole drilling motors (Turbo Scout and DATAM), friction reduction tools (Vibe Scout) and stick-slip reduction tools (Steady Scout). New technologies currently under development, and in field trial, include a downhole drilling motor (CAM) designed with an internal tilt and low external bend for high string RPM lateral applications. The new motor is wired to provide real-time near-bit inclination, RPM and vibration measurements.

Forging ahead, the firm intends to continue serving the directional drilling industry with its suite of cost-effective mechanical and digital products. “As with the market, we are embarking into a digital world with an aim to automate every facet of the drilling operation, and we are on a technology journey to provide the tools that enable this trend” concludes Jones.