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Interaction with (surface) Soft-Torque with (downhole) Vibration Suppression Tools
21 January 2018
Dear colleagues

We would value your input on the following scenario, please.

As a result of experiencing severe downhole vibrations,  a (downhole) vibration-suppression tool was run, with good results.  Since then, a (surface) Soft Torque system has been installed on the rig.

With the next well, the team face a dilemna. This is because there are (unconfirmed) suggestions that the surface and downhole systems will intefere with each other and - at worst - counteract each other!

So we'd really value you actual field experience on this; no opinions, please, just facts.

Things like:
  • Did you run both at the same time?
  • If so what systems? (Franks HIT, Tomax, Neo-Torque)
  • What results did you see?
  • What recommendations might you have
Separately, it would be useful to have feedback on those three (3) tools and any others on the market.



5 answer(s)
Engineering Manager
Merlin ERD Limited
Total Posts: 3
Join Date: 03/11/14

Dave - We are aware of a recent complex ERD project where soft-torque was used with Tomax and the results were good (higher ROP than previous similar intervals). The conclusion was that Tomax, soft torque and DSTRs all combined to minimize torque and stick slip, allowing more energy to go into making hole.

I'm sure Tomax will be pleased to provide more details.

N.B. Merlin ERD don't have ties to any tool suppliers, we just like spreading the good word to ease pain and suffering in the world of drilling.   

Lead ERD Advisor / Engineer / Instructor
Merlin ERD Limited
Total Posts: 10
Join Date: 04/05/16

done a little bit of checking on a project that Merlin are currently 
involved in. Tomax & Soft-Torque have been utilised together in one hole section. Not really possible to say wether the systems were complimentary or a hindrance to each other as it was a first run in a specific well configuration that we hadn't done before. We may have a second run in about a month and may be in a better position to comment at that time.

Technical Mgr - Drilling Tools
Franks International
Total Posts: 6
Join Date: 10/11/16
The HI Tool is a passive tool that mainly mitigates lateral vibrations. It certainly does not interfere with downhole systems, nor with the Soft Torque System. Bit feed will be not be influenced by the tool.
The tools will solely dampening drillstring dynamics travelling into the crucial BHA (i.e. L/MWD & RSS or motor). This lowers directional assembly will therefore act more as designed, work on it's vector with better RSS tracking and better L/MWD protection 
Drilling Advisor Deepwater HPHT
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 12/03/12
Hello Dave, We have just completed a successful hard drilling campaign with excellent results using soft torque system and attention to bit design only. Extensive evaluation work was performed at engineering stage of vibration mitigation systems. The conclusion for the technical solution deployed was reached with the help of our partner, Shell, sharing their experience in Timor sea (including running Tomax and soft torque in combination). Can not share data that does not belong to me but at least you have a lead to ask Shell if there is a possibility to share their results. Best regards, Ludovic
Well Construction Lead
Total Posts: 21
Join Date: 27/02/16
Dear moderator,

Thanks for launching this topic.

I cannot bring field experience on use of both SoftTorq or similar technology and downhole vibration mitgation tools.

But it seems obvious, that both can manage / complement each-other.

The surface device will manage drill string torsional oscillations (drill pipe borehole friction induced whirl / stick & slip) while the downhole tool right above the drill-bit or down hole motor will manage Bit whirl &/or Bit stick-slip &/or Bit bouncing.

To summurize it simply, the surface device uses a friction model of the drill-string interaction with the borehole which outputs feed a logic driving the TDS amps/torq output. The bit - rock interaction is not accounted for.

Looking forward to this debate and field experience cases.




Posted by

Dave Taylor - SPREAD Moderator

Managing Director (

Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection Ltd.

Total Posts: 449
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