Downhole Testing Site Delivers the Highest Quality Data
Keystone Test Facility offers exceptional fluid management and extreme security on 230 virgin acres in world’s best R&D region
Downhole R&D teams that want the straightest path to the highest quality data will find what they need at the Keystone Test Facility. Located in northeast Oklahoma — the world’s best oil industry R&D region — Keystone’s drilling technology testing facility is unique. “We decided to build a facility that would surpass what the competition is offering,” said Managing Partner Richard Saenz. Keystone is laser-focused on helping equipment testers develop accurate data.
One top priority is minimizing non-productive time (NPT). “This is a very efficient place to test,” Saenz added. “Our clients never have to wait around. If they want to move to a different hole with a different test, we can do that without any significant loss of time.” For example, a switchover from oil-based mud to water-based takes only 30 minutes at Keystone, compared to six to eight hours at other facilities. Testers also have 15 boreholes to work with, and the rig can be moved between the bore holes in just 45 minutes due to the track-mounted hydraulically controlled skid system.
Once the scope of work is identified, clients typically share their needs with staff prior to arrival so that everything will be set up correctly in advance. “If they come in here at 7 a.m., we want them to be able to start picking up their tools by 7:15 with zero wasted time,” said Rig Manager Derrick Brown.
The drilling fluid management system is the envy of the testing industry. Keystone can prepare two 500-barrel mud systems and then switch valves and clean the pit without any delay. Not only are changeovers fast, but the pits are engineered to control mud and prevent contamination. Cuttings are efficiently removed with two shale shakers dedicated to the flowline and another shale shaker for circulating out the ultra-fine cuttings.
“Drilling fluid is one of the most important parts because tools are very sensitive to fluid quality. We are configured to have complete control of the fluid handling system,” Brown said. “Drilling fluid control is an often-overlooked aspect in many drilling operations.
Keystone’s premium service is the fruit of intensive planning by Saenz, Brown, and the rest of the KTF team. “We set out to create an ideal test facility, and we wanted to give our customers the real-world experience of being in the field, while still maintaining a very controlled environment, so we set our rig up to replicate the experience of drilling oil wells, except better,” Brown said.
Security and privacy are also optimized at Keystone. “Tool development costs hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, and security is of the utmost importance,” said Saenz. Clients operate from a private suite with an observation and data area and conference room. They have complete control of a dedicated fiber-optic data network that is fully connected to the testing data feeds but isolated from Keystone’s corporate network. Scott Thomas, a financial consultant to Keystone, said tool designers feel confident testing at a facility that is truly independent.
Landline electricity is another amenity at Keystone. The power is reliable, and the site is quiet because there are no diesel engines powering generators or draw-works. The low noise level enhances safety because people can hear each other on the site. Should the utility power ever fail, backup power is provided by three backup generators on site.
Testers will appreciate Keystone’s unique 230-acre site that has been previously undrilled. There is an excellent variety of lithology within 4,000 feet of the surface with up to 3,000 lateral feet free of old casings and well bores.
Above all, Keystone maintains stringent health, safety, and environment (HSE) standards and keeps a safety engineer on duty around the clock. “We tried to model this so that we would comply with the requirements that the majors insist on,” Saenz said. “That would make us attractive to a broader market that is not yet comfortable testing at this kind of facility.”
To learn more, please contact General Manager Steven Hash at (918) 956-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.