--> Improved Wellbore Placement Through Data Integration and Real-Time Geosteering

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Improved Wellbore Placement Through Data Integration and Real-Time Geosteering


Performance improvement and cost reduction are the key drivers of technology and innovation in the industry today. This applies to the entire cycle of hydrocarbon exploration and development. Geosteering has always been a technology-intensive discipline that combines geology, geophysics and well drilling. This paper discusses modern geosteering technologies and approaches that the industry has adopted in recent years. These new technologies became game changers in some conventional and unconventional plays, enabling operators to drill more cost-effective wells while increasing EUR. In the past, highly deviated well drilling was very limited due to the general lack of expertise outside the big service companies, the high cost of equipment, and the absence of experience within operators. This resulted in deviated wells being drilled only where they were absolutely essential – offshore, heavy oil, and oil rim development. The North American oil shale boom, followed by the industry downturn, created a demand for low-cost but highly efficient horizontal wells. This was achieved by making improvements throughout the entire well-drilling cycle, as a result of which more than 80% of the wells drilled in the US today are now deviated. Increased use of these improvements could lead to similar efficiency and recovery improvements in California. Due to the unique geology found in California modern geosteering techniques were eschewed here until recently. However, as both the operational and legal framework for hydrocarbon recovery in California evolve new approaches, utilizing new technologies, are needed. Our study indicates that integrating drilling parameters, logs and positional uncertainty data along with back-steers of previously drilled wells, lead to increased efficiencies on current and future wells.