R.G. (Bob) Knoll1
(1) Maurer Engineering Inc, Calgary, AB
ABSTRACT: The Challenge of Horizontal Well Technology for Well-Site Geologists
In October 2000, a JCPT (Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology) editorial indicated that over 14,700 horizontal wells have been drilled or licensed in Canada. In the U.S., a recent DOE study (SPE Paper #59360) predicted an incremental one billion barrels of light oil reserves are available by a more focused application of horizontal well technology in only 4 light oil reservoir types in the Lower 48 states. These and countless other reports and statistics clearly indicate that horizontal technology has ever increasing application potential globally. Yet, the most common failure mode quoted in almost every article or field study of horizontal well applications relates to the accurate placement of the well in the lateral varying geology. The new role of the well-site geologist within the asset team is the most critical in respect to overall success or failure.
Geo-steering is a very popular buzzword in the industry, but there remains many misconception over the various methods, capability, and limitations in respect to this critical new role. It is also vital to appreciate that the geo-steering function is constrained by all other design attributes of the well. This function cannot be considered independently, but must be performed in synergy with all other well construction objectives.
This informal presentation will highlight and summarize these issues, provide an outline of the standard and new tools in the geo-steering toolbox, and offer a basic methodology to help the geo-steering team customize a strategy for site-specific application.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90906©2001 AAPG Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado