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Edward J. Stockhausen1, John A. Peters1, W.G. Lesso2, D.L. Aklestad2
(1) Chevron Petroleum Technology Company, Houston, TX
(2) Schlumberger

Abstract: Maximizing the Potential of your Horizontal or Extended-Reach Well through Flexible Well Path Designs

Maximizing the Potential of Your Horizontal or Extended-Reach Well Through Flexible Well Path Designs

To maximize the potential of horizontal or extended-reach wells, operators need a systematic and site-specific method for planning and executing each well to address real-time complexities and uncertainties. Three main uncertainty factors that significantly impact the project’s success are 1) geologic uncertainty, 2) borehole-position uncertainty related to directional-survey accuracy, and 3) unanticipated buildup rates and doglegs while drilling. This poster reviews the impact these factors have on the success of drilling projects and describes a "flexible well-path" approach to well planning and drilling. This new approach integrates local geological information with a flexible (adjustable) well-path design in order to provide the flexibility to react to the given situation without alarm.

The flexible well-path planning design method anticipates making path adjustments while drilling. This method includes:

- defining ranges of the project's major uncertainty issues

- designing a flexible well-path plan using adjustable tangents to address these uncertainties while drilling

- designing a "key marker bed tangent" to locate, using real-time geologic and directional data, one or more key marker beds above the objective target

- designing a "soft landing tangent" to land the well at the desired well orientation in the objective

- using advanced steering techniques in the lateral section of a horizontal well to maintain the desired position and orientation within the target.

By deploying these techniques, operators should realize up to a 20% increase in NPV in horizontal or extended-reach wells.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana