Downhole RFID tag tests success

Merrick’s ruggedized downhole tags survive first round of laboratory testing.

Merrick Systems has completed lab testing of its ‘down-hole survivable’ Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for drilling and workover operations. The tags were first announced last year (OITJ Vol. 10 N° 5). RFID tagging is used to track inventory in the retail and manufacturing sectors. But developing tags that survive the environmental conditions and harsh treatment of oil and gas drilling operations has proved problematical.

20,000 psi

RFID tags have been embedded into drill pipe, drill collars and other down-hole components. Different tag designs were tested at pressures up to 20,000 psi and 272°F. Testing at ‘substantially higher’ temperatures is planned.

On track

Test results show that Merrick’s tag mounting and electronics insertion technologies are on track to provide the drilling industry with RFID tag technology that can withstand the extreme rigors of the downhole environment. The latest tag designs combine ruggedness and ease of installation with economical volume production potential to meet anticipated demand.


Tags can be installed on components during manufacturing or retrofitted to existing components in the field. Once mounted, ruggedized scanning tools can be used to capture inventory data to software such as Merrick’s Rig-Hand. Rig-Hand tracks information such as manufacturer, inspections and usage, reducing operational risk and maximizing a component’s use and life.

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