SDI is developing a motor that uses a deflected drive shaft, providing a short bit-to-bend. The motor is designed to be a one-trip solution. The body of this motor is straight, which requires sliding and rotating to build the medium radius of the curve but can continue drilling the lateral in one trip.

In addition to the short bit-to-bend one trip solution motor, SDI is commercializing a Rotary Steerable System (RSS) to drill 7-7/8″ to 8-3/4″ hole sections. This system is the solution for extended lateral drilling when shale horizontals require steering exceeding 7,000 feet in length.

These are two examples of technologies in development by SDI for drilling shale horizontals.

Tight Gas

There are four types of wells that are drilled in tight gas reservoirs; verticals, slants, s-shaped and horizontal wells. SDI has experience in all four types of tight gas wells and have drilled thousands across North America. The majority of the tight gas wells have been drilled in the Rockies using the S-Shaped Well Technique.

Heavy Oil

Heavy Oil is a unique application for our drilling, measurements and logging technologies. In the case of SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) our MWD System combined with the MagTraC MWD Ranging™ can provide accurate twin-well placement services, often called twinning. In addition, our near-bit instrumented Smart Motor (Sci-Driver™) can help the lateral trajectory adjustments based on geosteering and inclination measurements.

Another application of heavy oil recovery is the use of many vertical wellbores drilled in a boundary around the heavy oil zone to be surface recovered. These vertical wells are used to create a freeze-wall boundary around the zone being recovered either by surface mining or by steam injection. The freeze wall helps to keep the zone inside the boundary isolated.

In addition to directional, MWD and ranging technologies, our innovative memory-based production logging services can also be used in a variety of heavy oil applications.


SDI has pioneered many new technologies which have greatly assisted in the development of coal seam gas (CSG), commonly called coalbed methane (CBM).

Drilling horizontal laterals in CBM/CSG reservoirs can be quite challenging, particularly when the goal is placing the lateral in a specific part of the coal seam with minimal undulations.

SDI has been drilling successful CBM/CSG projects for over a decade; with five thousand successful laterals and counting.

CBM / CSG Drilling Technologies

While drilling a lateral in coal, the wellbore is typically steered using focused gamma ray measurements on the high side and low side of the wellbore. The near bit instrumented Smart Motor (Sci-Driver™), collects real-time gamma ray logs for both the upper and lower half of the wellbore, while rotating. This proves to be especially beneficial to the horizontal drilling operations, considering most of the footage in a lateral is drilled in the rotary mode.