Until recently, keeping a horizontal well in the sweet spot of a formation was a daunting task, involving an arduous process of cross-referencing basic data and outdated technologies.
When the executives of one top shale producer demanded real-time accuracy and enhanced collaboration from their on-site and off-site teams, their geologists and engineers turned to Drillinginfo’s Real Time Geosteering module powered by Transform.
The drilling team was able to remain within their target zone, minimize drilling risks, avoid geo-hazards and bypass sub-surface regions occupied by the competition.
Here’s how they used the DI platform to automate the geosteering process, stay on target, make drilling adjustments on the fly and use the geosteering results to ensure success for their other planned wells.
Visualize the Reservoir
The geoscientists and engineers had already analyzed the 3D seismic survey, completed fault interpretation and planned the initial well. However, they wanted to create a detailed visualization of the planned well before they began drilling.
The off-site members of the drilling team used DI’s Transform Essential and the Real Time Geosteering application to create a detailed 3D visualization of the study area complete with a 3D seismic volume, lease information and pilot wells with corresponding logs.
The technical staff was able to visualize the planned wellbore, the surfaces interpreted from seismic data and logs from multiple pilot wells to aid the geosteering process.
Previously, the technical team had to rely on outdated technology and limited visualization techniques to analyze their planned wells.
Instead of having access to a highly-detailed 3D visualization of the drilling horizon and subsurface features, the team manually cross-referenced spreadsheet data and 2D visualizations to prepare for the drilling process.
Sharing and Collaboration
The drilling team had created an intricate 3D visualization of the planned well from their data set, but they needed to determine the optimal method for monitoring and sharing the results of the drilling process with the on-site and off-site members of the technical staff.
The 3D visualization and corresponding data the team added to the Real Time Geosteering module was seamlessly exchanged with both the on-site and off-site members of the drilling team through DI’s secure WITSML cloud hub.
Using the drilling data exchange standard WITSML, the drilling team could use a single hub to easily transfer various data sets in real time within a reliable and centralized environment, allowing them to avoid common issues that stem from having disparate data sets from multiple operators.
Traditionally, the drilling team would typically spend several hours manually updating their geological model, and share drilling results by emailing all measured while drilling (MWD) logs, scanned 2D maps and disparate spreadsheets to their off-site members.
Stay on Target and in Zone
The rig crew began drilling the vertical portion of the wellbore. During the drilling process, they needed to share deviation surveys, gamma ray, resistivity, mud logs and ROP data with the technical staff who would help analyze the results so that the rig crew could make necessary drilling adjustments.
The Real Time Geosteering module within Transform automatically updated the drilling results within the WITSML cloud hub, allowing the entire team to simultaneously review the drilling process in real time.
The geologists, engineers and the company man onsite were able to closely and concurrently analyze the progress of the well, and easily compare the results using a highly-detailed 3D visualization to ensure the well stayed as close to the plan as possible.
During the drilling process, the technical staff provided feedback and instructions to the drilling crew in real time by drawing target lines, and delivering directional drilling information such as inclination and azimuth. They were able to more closely match the planned well by staying within the target zone and geological markers - avoiding unnecessary downtime and added drilling costs.
Without automated updates of their MWD and logging while drilling (LWD) data, the drilling team would have been constrained by an inherently flawed 2D geological model that would have been quickly out of date.
When the service hands emailed LAS files, the technical staff would have had to frequently interrupt their drilling operations to manually input MWD logs, arrange calls to discuss the results and rely on human calculations to make drilling adjustment to help support their operations. These delays could increase production time by several days, costing the company up to $150,000 per day.
Utilize Geosteering Results
After the drilling team finished the first wellbore, the technical staff needed to analyze the geosteering results and adjust their data model to improve the remaining wells that they were planning to drill. With the new model, the technical staff could now recalculate their time-depth conversion in order to more optimally plan and drill the additional wells on the same pad.
Using DI’s Geosteering module, the technical staff was able to add control points to the stratographic blocks that were referenced during the geosteering process.
They were able to easily compare the geological surfaces from the geosteered well with their seismic interpretation, determine a depth discrepancy with their initial data set and use the Real Time Geosteering results to create a more accurate velocity model.
The technical team could not have developed an up-to-date 3D subsurface visualization that allowed them to easily identify the time-depth conversion flaws in their velocity model.
By failing to discover and resolve the discrepancy, they would have reduced the productivity of their wells, increased their drilling risks and may have even drilled within a sub-surface region occupied by the competition.
The technical staff was ecstatic with the results. Drillinginfo’s Real Time Geosteering module gave the drilling team the unprecedented ability to minimize drilling risks, and avoid nearby sub-surface layers that were potentially being drained by offset operators.
With enhanced data, the drilling team effectively matched the drilling process with the geology of the target zone and stayed within their predetermined geological markers. The process helped the team drill a well that allowed for the highest level of reservoir contact, production and return on investment. The technical staff was able to repeat their success for additional wells on the same site.
Clients across the globe are already taking advantage of the improved insights, data sharing capabilities and enhanced drilling processes surrounding Drillinginfo’s Real Time Geosteering application.
DI is currently working with its clients to add a comprehensive library of mwd and lwd data into the application to help predict the likelihood of various drilling issues such as differential sticking, lost circulation and fishing operations.
Join Drillinginfo in redefining the new drilling standard by working with us to create this database. Contact Drillinginfo now to become part of the oil and gas data revolution, and to learn more about the powerful Real Time Geosteering application.