Digital oilfield

Study Reviews Downhole Wireless Technologies and Improvements

The authors provide a comparison of wireless telemetry methods and discuss potential improvements to existing systems.

Young engineer working in electrical room in power substation
Getty Images

Downhole wireless communication through mud-pulse telemetry has enabled directional drilling for decades and has been highly successful. But on the production end of the industry, applications for downhole wireless communication have been less clear, especially where long distances and long-term monitoring are concerned. In the complete paper, a history and comparison of wireless telemetry methods is provided and potential improvements to existing systems are discussed.


Downhole wireless gauges for production monitoring can be likened to permanent downhole gauges (PDGs). PDGs are the standard for production monitoring in the industry, but they have the drawback of increased capital expense and a system failure rate of approximately 10% after 10 years, depending on downhole and surface conditions. The failure rate of the gauges themselves is generally 2–3% at 5 years, so downhole umbilicals, connectors, and surface infrastructure problems generally comprise the remainder.

Restricted Content
We're sorry, but this content is reserved for SPE Members. If you are a member, please sign in at the top of the page for access. If you are not a member and you find JPT content valuable, we encourage you to become a part of the SPE member community.