It was an amazing adventure. We had to invent everything, especially when it came to well logging
By Christian Wittrisch, published on January 11th, 2018, modified on February 27th, 2018
The FORHOR R&D program began in 1979, the year I joined the IFP after three years at Schlumberger working on well logging. That experience allowed me to come up with a game-changing innovation, SIMPHOR, an instrumentation and measurement system for horizontal wells. We had to figure out a way to trip the logging tool within a horizontal well. Lowering it by cable, as was typically done in a vertical well, became impossible at an angle greater than 55° or 60°, when the force of gravity was cancelled out by the friction of the tool against the wellbore. So I figured we should lower the logging tools using the drillpipe, by attaching them to a support including a male connector with seven wires. A female connector linked to a wireline carried the electric current. We then ran into a second problem: the wireline prevented us from adding new drillpipes. So I designed a specific connector with a sideways slot that it could pass through. And it worked. The first tests took place in March 1981 on Lacq 91. FORHOR was extraordinarily fertile ground for innovation and risk-taking.
Extract from the book Horizontal Drilling, the story of an industrial revolution (2016).
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