Drilling and completion operations are commonly the most expensive phases in developing hydrocarbon assets. Successful completion requires collaboration among geophysical, well planning, drilling, and completion teams. Using their respective software tools and data, each team contributes to the overall plan and execution to reach the target and maximize recovery.
With good reason, we can claim that planning, drilling, and completion present one of the most compelling reasons for collaboration in the oil and gas industry. However, collaborative efforts are frequently sub-optimized because of the inability of the teams to share their individual datasets and collaboratively develop and execute the optimum field development plan.
Understanding the Issue of Data Discontinuity in Well Planning
The operator develops the preliminary plan, identifies the sweet spots, based on geologic, geophysical, and reservoir models then delegates the detailed well planning task to the service company. Unfortunately, the tools and datasets used by the operator to develop the preliminary plan are often different from the software used by the service company for detailed planning. This data discontinuity—the inability to take geologic and geophysical data and easily integrate them into well planning software—hinders the development of the well plan and can lead to costly drilling errors.
The Importance of Obtaining Collaboration in Well Planning
Well planning in a mature field is a more demanding process than initial well planning. Changes in the geomodel interpretation brought about by newly acquired data from completed wells need to be factored in. With many development wells in close proximity to each other, accurate well planning and monitoring while drilling is critical in minimizing encroachment avoiding collisions with offset wells. With the subsurface complexity of established fields, there’s an even greater need for collaboration among oil and gas industry professionals to share data. Accurate, current models provide well planners with guidance to efficiently and cost-effectively navigate subsurface constraints and design the appropriate well path. With a finalized well plan, the drilling and completion teams have all the required data to execute the plan.
Collaboration in the Oil and Gas Industry Requires Shared Data
In a truly collaborative well planning process, all relevant data acquired or developed by geoscientists, reservoir engineers, and well planners is integrated into a visualization and analytic environment, giving all team members an accurate, detailed picture of subsurface conditions. With this information available to a drilling engineer, review and sign-off of the well plan can proceed quickly. If the drilling engineer has any questions regarding the plan, members of the team can collaboratively review the plan, either in the same room or remotely, and clarify any issues or rectify any problems before final sign off.
When well planning software incorporates geographic, geologic, geophysical, and reservoir datasets, presenting all the relevant data in a 3D environment for visualization and analysis, well planners can significantly increase their ability to design the optimum well trajectories. Whether connecting the designated surface hole location to the target or working backward from the reservoir target to determine the ideal surface hole location, collaboration among the teams sharing the various datasets leads to better understanding and interpretation.
Well planning software working in concert with earth models makes the drilling picture clearer. Surface hole locations are optimally located. Faults are easily identified and avoided. The ideal trajectory is determined based on wellbore length, inclination, and azimuth. Well plans have a better chance of achieving their objectives when all relevant factors are collaboratively evaluated.
Integrated Data is the Foundation for Collaboration in the Oil and Gas Industry
Drilling operations are complex, data-intensive operations. Successful completion of a high-density drilling program requires a full understanding of subsurface conditions. That level of understanding can only be facilitated by software that easily integrates relevant datasets generated by geoscientists, reservoir engineers, well planners, and drilling engineers and provides a collaborative visualization environment to explore, analyze, and develop and execute the optimum well plans.
CoViz 4D and WellArchitect together deliver the functionality that enables oil and gas professionals to easily share, evaluate, and analyze their data in support of optimum well planning. CoViz 4D easily integrates datasets from a wide range of software products used for geographic, geologic, geophysical and reservoir modeling such as Landmark DecisionSpace, Petrel, Roxar, EarthVision, Elfin, Eclipse, Nexus, CGM, OpenWorks, and SeisWorks, and well planning software like DGI’s WellArchitect and ESRI, enabling all members of an asset team to collaborate in real-time.
WellArchitect is an advanced well planning and survey management system for integrated planning and drilling of directional wellpaths with or without earth models. It enables well designers and drilling engineers to plan and execute the optimum well plan, using the data made available by CoViz 4D.
Continuity in the development and sharing of critical asset data leads to better quality planning and drilling decisions. In many ways, data integration is the foundation for collaboration in the oil and gas industry.