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Due to tool failures and slow rates of penetration, an operator was having to make two to four runs to drill the 8 ½-in. section in a shale gas reservoir in China’s Sichuan province.

Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) recommended using the Autotrak™ Curve rotary steerable system. The AutoTrak Curve system can drill curves at a buildup rate of up to 15°/100 ft (30 m) with continuous drillstring rotation, delivering greater precision than a traditional steerable motor system.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • 3D build-and-turn shale gas well
  • Unpredictable, sudden changes in azimuth due to formation
  • Multiple BHAs to drill the 8 1/2-in. section


  • First completion by a service company of entire 8 1/2-in. section in one run
  • Record longest footage in shale gas of 2,367 m in a single run
  • Fastest time from buildup to TD (15 days) in 8 1/2-in. section in a China shale gas reservoir
  • Drilled 3D build-and-turn curve section, achieving 7.6°/30 m