Meciria knows the drill

The development of an innovative oil well drilling tool could change the way in which oil and gas exploration and production takes place.



Directional drilling, or targeting a particular area to avoid difficult drilling conditions, can be undertaken by one of two methods, positive displacement motor (PDM) and rotary steerable tool (RST).



Although PDM is the cheaper and more reliable of the two options, RST is twice as fast. Bristol-based Meciria is developing the design of the RST for increased reliability and decreased operating costs. The Integrated Drilling Tool (IDT) will provide a quicker and more cost-effective solution for the oil industry.



IDT will allow drilling companies to drill faster and more accurately over the full range of hole sizes. The tool has all the benefits of existing rotary steerable tools, such as extended reach and faster drilling, while improving reliability by utilising a simple and robust steering mechanism.



Richard Hutton, Meciria’s founder and CEO, is now developing a working prototype for a rigorous down-hole testing regime, which will be starting in the next four months. Following extremely positive industry feedback, he said he is convinced that the time is right for a new generation of drilling tools.



“Many oil well drilling companies are searching for ways to drill further, more accurately and with minimal downtime or changeovers, whilst utilising the high drilling speeds of rotary steerables. We started this project with these objectives in mind, and it is exciting to now have a tool ready for testing,” said Hutton.



Meciria have received a £300,000 investment from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and Oxford Technology venture capital trust to further develop the technology.