About MWD Engineers
What is a MWD engineer?
A MWD engineer (Measurement While Drilling) or MWD consultant is a contract professional working on location on behalf of a service company or measurement while drilling company on a drilling operation. The MWD engineer manages, guides, and interprets the MWD tools to collect and analyze real-time data during directional drilling operations to allow the drilling team to drill efficiently within the target zone.
What are the responsibilities of MWD engineers?
MWD engineers work with the directional drilling consultants to keep the wellbore in the producing zone of the rock that the E&P company has chosen to target, recommending steering directions that the directional driller (DD) then implements. MWD consultants provide detailed data using gamma ray readings and other tools to measure where the drill bit is along the planned trajectory of the well. MWD equipment can also measure drill bit conditions, fluid pressures and geological features such as density and porosity of the reservoir.
MWD engineering services include the equipment and services that allow a company to monitor and guide their directional drilling. The MWD engineer is responsible for making sure the MWD equipment is on location when needed, ensuring the equipment is working correctly, overseeing and helping the rig crew attach the tools to their drill pipe, and managing the proper operation of the MWD tools during the job. This equipment includes downhole tools, mud motors, rotary steerable systems, gamma ray and other navigational tools.
What is the required experience or career path for an MWD Engineer?
Experience working on drilling operations is preferred, but MWD engineers can be trained if they have no experience. This position is often—especially if hired with no experience—held by someone with an engineering undergraduate degree.
Where does an MWD engineer work?
An MWD engineer spends about 99% of their time on location, only leaving for necessary groceries or errands during lulls in drilling operation.
What is an MWD engineer’s schedule?
An MWD engineer’s schedule varies depending on the schedule run by the service or MWD company, but common schedules for this position are (days on site/days off):
MWD engineers typically work 12 hours per day. Most often, there is one day shift consultant and one night shift consultant. Some companies, though, only run one consultant who is responsible for 24-hour operations. Short term jobs of around 45 days or less may operate without ever making a MWD consultant change. A typical horizontal land well takes 20-40 days depending on the depth and region.
Who does an MWD engineer report to?
The MWD engineer reports to the drilling consultant. They advise the directional drilling consultant.
Who reports to an MWD engineer?
There is no direct report to an MWD engineer, though the directional drilling consultant relies significantly on the MWD data and engineer’s recommendations.
How much do MWD engineers make?
MWD engineers average $650 per day but may make between $400 and $1,000 per day depending on experience, specialties, location, and category of well.