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An operator in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) was drilling a development well consisting of oil-bearing reservoirs varying from volatile to heavy oil. The operator needed to obtain formation pressures and samples while drilling. Formation fluid samples with extremely high purity were also required, but stationary time needed to be minimal.

To meet these challenges, the operator evaluated numerous service providers and quickly decided upon Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), based on the past performance of the RCX™ Sentinel focused sampling and TesTrak™ formation pressure testing services, which exceeded their expectations.

The FASTrak™ fluid analysis sampling and testing service, the newest addition to the BHGE fluid characterization and testing portfolio, builds upon the accurate pressure testing functionality of the BHGE TesTrak formation pressure testing service while addressing the growing need to acquire representative fluid samples and provide real-time fluid identification in a LWD environment.

The FASTrak service was combined with the wireline RCX Sentinel service to form a complete sampling package to meet the operator’s requirements. The RCX Sentinel service is a focused fluid sampling tool that uses a formation testing probe with separate perimeter and sample inlets to allow formation fluid to be focused into the sample inlet while contaminants are scavenged by the perimeter inlet. It also uses independent pump control and multiple configurations to overcome wide ranges of well challenges, such as overbalance, bubble point, and mobility, while obtaining pristine samples in less than half the time of conventional single probe sampling.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Deepwater GoM development well
  • Operator needed complete LWD and wireline solution for testing and sampling
  • Low permeability
  • Laminated sand/shale sequences


  • Achieved significant rig time savings
  • Reduced fluid to wellbore
  • FASTrak service obtained three samples with less than 5% contamination
  • RCX Sentinel service cleanup was completed in 60 minutes
  • RCX Sentinel service obtained samples with contaminations of less than 2%