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Introduction of MicroScope HD in the Permian Basin: Revealing the Hidden Fracture Complexity in the Wolfcamp


The Wolfcamp shale is an oil-rich source rock in the Delaware Basin being targeted for horizontal drilling. The play exhibits a fairly high degree of heterogeneity in rock characteristics, lithology and natural fractures. Particularly, presence of these natural fractures can indicate potentially better reservoir quality (RQ) as well as provide information for better completion quality (CQ). After drilling several horizontal wells in the Delaware Basin that were not producing uniformly, Endeavor Energy recognized that LWD technology would be required to overcome the geological challenges that were impeding production. Schlumberger implemented MicroScope (Imaging-While-Drilling tool) in some of the exploration wells which provided full borehole coverage electrical images and laterolog resistivity measurements. The recorded mode borehole images were then used to accurately identify different fracture types and orientations for an effective completion strategy. Instead of setting equally spaced fracture stages along the lateral, a better completion design with fewer and more strategically placed stages was achieved. This helped in delivering a successful well by increasing the reservoir contact through stimulating the existing natural fracture network. Since Endeavor started using the MicroScope LWD imaging tool for geosteering and then for fracture detection, they were able to achieve successful drilling operations and completion, while improving recovery. Schlumberger then provided MicroScope HD high-definition imaging-while-drilling service in one of the wells which has identified far more number of fractures, leading to better RQ and CQ analysis. MicroScope HD high-definition imaging-while-drilling service provides borehole images for reservoir description, from structural modeling to sedimentology analysis. This service enables detailed fracture characterization and completion optimization in conductive drilling fluids. The interpretation included full structural feature identification and detailed fracture characterization to identify types of fractures as well as morphology and geometry of each fracture, the fracture density, fracture aperture and fracture distribution along the logged interval. The geological interpretation of the MicroScope HD images revealed the presence of few major open fractures that were likely enhanced during drilling, and a large number of partial discontinuous conductive and resistive fractures.