It was an amazing adventure. We had to invent everything, especially when it came to well logging
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). Order the book for free by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org