Scientific Drilling International is an independent directional drilling and wellbore navigation, surveying, and logging service company serving customers worldwide.


Scientific Drilling International was founded in Houston, TX, in 1969. Since then, our company has become a leading global wellbore navigation and US directional services market provider.
Our presence reaches over 26 countries and nearly 40 locations. We are the only company to offer a complete navigation solution for the energy services sector. For example, our navigation solutions include High Accuracy Gyro Survey, MWD, LWD, MagTraC MWD Ranging™, and Cased Hole Solutions.

Scientific Drilling International serves a diverse group of customers in all energy sectors. Therefore, participating in some of the world’s most complex conventional and unconventional oil and gas projects. We have extensive experience working on geothermal wells and drilling horizontal laterals in coalbed methane reservoirs.



The phrase “Scientific Drilling” was coined sometime after World War II. It conjured up the notion that independent scientists could probe the earth’s depths to learn more about the nature of this planet and how its resources developed.

In 1969, James Murray, an engineer living in Houston, TX, launched a technology company. Therefore, he wanted to use the latest scientific drilling practices and navigation solutions to help oil and gas producers, miners, and geothermal companies. Further, to plumb this planet’s depths to new reserves. Appropriately, he named the company Scientific Drilling Controls (SDC).

Murray soon introduced the world’s first downhole electronic steering tool called “the Eye.” For instance, eye-enabled directional drillers adjust downhole motors to turn wellbores accurately. However, building upon its earliest triumphs. As a result, in 1977, SDC introduced the world’s first surface readout gyro (SRG) tool. Then, in the 1980s, they launched directional drilling and specialized north-seeking gyros.

In 1986, Don van Steenwyk, electronics engineer and owner of the California-based Applied Technologies Associates (ATA), acquired SDC. Most importantly, developing SDC, he utilized it to be the execution of his engineering designs and concepts. Most importantly, in wellbore navigation and real-time communications while drilling. Thus, Scientific Drilling International (SDI) was formed! With his guidance, the company would grow immensely and continues to deliver cutting-edge technology to the industry.

Fast forward to 2017, and under strong leadership. As a result, SDI has a vision “to become the ultimate partner in wellbore placement and productivity around the world.” Moreover, as a company, we continue to produce innovative technologies that deliver the ultimate value in accuracy. Therefore, living up to the founder’s dream. SDI is dedicated to its employees, without which none would have been achieved.


Company History

  • Introduction of Vulcan MFT-40
  • Introduction of 6.75″ and 4.75″ Bitsub
  • Introduction of 5.15″ TiTAN22
  • Introduction of HALO 6.75″ Rotary steerable system
  • Scientific Drilling launches Remote Operations Center
  • Introduction of the Duraset technology
  • Introduction of the Downhole EM receiver
  • Introduction of High build rate 8″ Sci-Driver
  • Introduction of 7.15″ TiTAN22″
  • Introduction of MagTracer
  • Introduction of BlackShark
  • Introduction of SynTrac
  • Introduction of Lodestone
  • Introduction of SurfaceTrac
  • Introduction of Deep EM Receiver
  • Introduction of the Geothermal Broaching tooling
  • Scientific Drilling acquires Marksman Ranging Technologies
  • Introduction of the Geothermal Downhole Sampling tooling
  • Introduction of the Vulcan MFT 24 technology
  • Introduction of the gyroMWD module technology, enabling integrated service companies
  • Introduction of the Falcon High Speed Mud-PulseMWD technology
  • Introduction of gyroMWD Module technology
  • First 6.5″ SRX rotary steerable deployment
  • Introduction of Cased Hole Services & Technology
  • Launched Titan range of motors
  • Commercial field trials of 7.4 SRX Rotary Steerable System
  • Introduction of EM gyroMWD
  • First Memory Pulsed Neutron/Memory Resistivity Log
  • World's first gyro MWD
  • Introduction of Mud Pulse MWD system
  • Introduction of electromagnetic MWD E-Field tool
  • Introduction of drop "Memory Keeper"
  • Introduction of all attitude continuous north seeking gyro "Keeper"
  • Introduction of MPLT Memory Logging Systems
  • SDI Inertial Devices Division begins production of proprietary rate integrating gyro
  • Don Van Steenwyk acquired Scientific Drilling Controls (SDC)
  • Introduction of continuous north seeking gyro "Finder"
  • Introduction of "Production Services"
  • First directional jobs in US
  • Scientific Drilling International purchased by AMF in 1981
  • Introduction of north seeking gyro "Seeker"
  • Name changed from "Scientific Drilling Controls" to "Scientific Drilling International"
  • Introduction of Surface Readout Gyro
  • Survey Division formed
  • Scientific Drilling Controls founded by James Murray
  • Introduction of "EYE" steering tool
  • Applied Technologies Associates founded by Don Van Steenwyk