Gyroscope measurement is an essential part of drilling, and the harshest use environment for gyroscopes is the oil and gas downhole drilling industry. In the construction of cluster well groups, due to the influence of magnetic interference between wells, the error of MWD inclination data is large, and the product is also easily affected by the impact and vibration of the drill string. This type of abuse will lead to excessive wear of the system. and premature failure, resulting in high maintenance or downtime costs. Compared to equivalent discrete sensors, MEMS are generally smaller and consume less power and cost. In addition, they can integrate signal conditioning circuits in the same size semiconductor package.
By applying micro-electromechanical (MEMS) technology, the internal vibration structure is used to determine the rotation rate, and then the parameters such as well inclination, azimuth, and tool face are determined, which overcomes the influence of the Coriolis effect and improves the system performance of the gyroscope while drilling. The technology can also be applied to robots, spacecraft, and mobile devices. The MEMS gyro inclinometer can obtain measurement data in real time after the pump is stopped, and it does not need to wait for 30 minutes like a mechanical gyroscope, thus greatly improving the construction efficiency. Compared with mechanical gyroscopes, MEMS gyroscopes are designed to use solid-state sensors, which can withstand extreme conditions such as downhole shock and vibration, do not require recalibration during use, and consume less energy. The same battery can be used for a longer time. The field application of the instrument shows that the MEMS gyro MWD can meet the accuracy requirements required by today’s complex drilling environment, and when used in conjunction with the MWD measurement tool, the uncertainty can be reduced by 45%, which is beneficial to the precise control of the trajectory and the target hit.
At the same time, the oil drilling industry also needs sensors that can operate at high temperatures, especially easy-to-use sensors provided by microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). In order to meet this demand, ERICCO has launched a high temperature north-seeking MEMS gyroscope ER-MG-022. It has an accuracy of up to 0.1 degrees/hour, strong resistance to high temperatures, and can work at 110 degrees Celsius. It is specially designed for borehole measurement.
With the oil and gas industry just recovering from a prolonged downturn, there is a strong need from operators to improve downhole well intelligence, improve technical reliability, speed up drilling and reduce the cost of networking downhole operations. Together, these factors ushered in a new era of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based directional drilling sensor technology.