Exploring the Advantages of Logging While Drilling

Visualizing LWD data along with a cross section of the planned wellpath through the geologic model with a seismic backdrop.

Visualizing LWD data such as max torque, weight on bit, gamma ray and rate of penetration, along with a cross section of the planned wellpath through the geologic model with a seismic backdrop in a geolocated context can significantly improve success in drilling.

In the wake of the shale oil boom in the United States, drillers are encountering unconventional reservoirs that require sophisticated strategy. While 95% of U.S. drilling rigs can perform horizontal drilling that, together with hydraulic fracturing, is essential to liberate shale resources, drillers need impeccable drilling technology and precise software that utilizes comprehensive geological and seismic models.

One of the best ways to achieve accurate drilling is through logging while drilling (LWD). The advantages of logging while drilling include target zone detections, accurate gamma measurements, and proper drilling orientation. When it comes to long-reach horizontal wellbores in unconventional reservoirs, data from LWD tools aid drilling to guide the drill bit location, allowing clear-cut placement and targeting.

The Benefits of Logging While Drilling

Hydrocarbon asset teams understand why LWD is one of the most vital tools in the horizontal drilling industry, as its prime function is to guide drillers to and within oil-rich deposits. LWD data from nearby wells are used to establish a pre-planned drilling campaign that will steer the drill in the right direction. Additionally, during drilling, the LWD data helps determine if the drilling assembly’s location is in the desired place in the “sweet spot,” and can help the detection of unplanned deviations that could lead the campaign astray. For example, azimuthal gamma ray can be used to measure the radioactive levels of each formation while drilling. Changes in gamma ray can signify leaving or entering the target zone, so the driller can adjust accordingly.

Overall, LWD allows teams the ability to measures:

  • temperature
  • gamma ray
  • vibration shock
  • borehole pressure
  • toolface measurements

The measurement system helps analysts establish the correct placement of the Bottom Hole Assembly, avoiding costly mistakes in the process. However, these measurements must be able to be quickly and correctly analyzed. Most software relies strictly on 2D graphs to analyze LWD data, but many more benefits can be realized by incorporating LWD data in 3D in software that fosters live analysis, ensuring the wellpath is reaching its intended target.

3D Visualization and Analysis of MWD Data

LWD data and traditional geosteering tools are only part of the equation, as quality software acts as a second pair of eyes during the drilling process. To achieve success, drillers must understand the complex nature of the reservoir, in addition to knowing which portions of the reservoir are ripe for tapping. Viewing the LWD data in 3D within the context of all the asset team’s data helps analysts accomplish better well placement for more successful well completion, enhancing the hydrocarbon extraction process while maximizing profits.

The best software can aid users in more easily detecting hazards such as over-pressurized zones or anomalies that can lead to gas kicks. Further, excellent software provides a 3D/4D rendering of the data in visual form. CoViz 4D offers both by allowing drillers, well planners, geologists, etc., to combine all their datasets, thereby merging vital information that factors in the decision-making process. CoViz 4D merges surface information and subsurface drilling data to create a current depiction of drilling operations, helping team members understand the latest status of a project regardless of expertise.

As visualization and analysis software, CoViz 4D helps planners and engineers reach their overall goal of positioning the well appropriately to increase safety and hit the intended targets. Ideal positioning is possible through high-resolution simulations and mapping solutions that display accurate well positions and updated LWD data without delay.

Boost the Advantages of Logging While Drilling

CoViz 4D is particularly adept at integrating datasets and quickly producing a real-time display in which all data are included,  with the drill-bit location easily seen within the geomodel. It also allows the geoscientists to quickly evaluate unexpected LWD changes, which may represent unforeseen geological elements, such as faults, encountered by the drill bit and quickly make corrections to continue drilling to the well target interval. By visualizing all data with its 3D context, CoViz 4D enhances the advantages of logging while drilling as it provides a more efficient analysis of all data through its integrated visualization capabilities.

CoViz 4D, a co-visualization software created by Dynamic Graphics, Inc., merges data from a variety of disciplines into a cohesive visual dynamic. The software creates a system that monitors the progress of drilling feeds and provides a complete rendering of current LWD data as time progresses. For more information on CoViz 4D software, contact our team.


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