Using Geological Models and Reservoir Simulation for Better Well Planning

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Planning horizontal wells in conjunction with structure and reservoir simulation models.

Because of varying conditions in the subsurface, drilling engineers understand the importance of using the most accurate geological models and reservoir simulation in well planning. The best way to understand the drilling environment is through the use of geological and reservoir simulation models in a co-visualization environment. It promotes 3D and 4D visualization of a geomodel, including well data and time-lapse seismic volumes, among other analytical tools. Co-visualization of reservoir simulation results enables a better understanding of reservoir conditions and integrates various data streams into a central hub of easily-digestible information, helping analysts determine geologic conditions while enhancing well-planning endeavors.

Tackling Changes in Reservoir Geological Formations

Engineers recognize that geologic conditions can range from basic, isotropic lithology to single reservoirs with many facies making it even more important to understand formation pressures in order to conceive safe and efficient drilling activities. When dealing with sandstone reserves—which comprise most of the world’s petroleum deposits—well planners typically find that water forces the hydrocarbons through the porous rocks with ease. But the reservoir rocks are capped by impermeable impediments, such as shale or chalk, and it is here where matters can quickly become more complicated.
Sedimentary rocks are usually discovered in small fragments and are easier to drill. But drilling campaigns grow more arduous when shale is involved, as pores and clay particles make hydrocarbon extraction a harder task. To make matters more adverse, the impermeable seals of carbonate rocks can be stratigraphic or structural, or a combination of the two.
  • Stratigraphic: This seal stems from changing facies, such as reefs, pinchouts, or unconformities. The discrepancies during the sedimentation process situate the sealants on top of the reservoir and to the sides.
  • Structural: This trap stems from malformations from folds or faults. Structural traps have pores that contain water, oil, or gas.
Structural formations can be especially tricky due to the variations within the subsurface, which can stem from diapiric, tectonic, and compactional shifts. Structural traps comprise a majority of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves, which is why integrative co-visualization software is needed to understand the complex nature of these reserves.

The Solution

The solution to effectively dealing with changes in reservoir conditions is quality software that fosters a wider view of the subsurface in geological models and reservoir simulation. With the best data visualization software, analysts can integrate the following forms of analysis:
  • 3D or 4D seismic analysis
  • core analysis
  • petrologic studies
  • geochemical facies
  • structural geological models
Furthermore, team members benefit from the multidisciplinary subsurface data displays that include simulation tests, as well as repeat well log data and microseismic data. From a communicative standpoint, it also reduces back and forth exchanges between drilling teams and subsurface teams, as all parties have the data in full context. That same software can also reveal anomalies that could jeopardize operations and compromise the safety of crew members.
When dealing with reservoir simulation models, analysts can commence history matching and predictions, including the use of spatial and temporal data to further highlight well integrity. Analysts can also sense changing temporal conditions over time, as the software monitors shifting conditions of the reservoir.
With traditional solutions, the number of data streams can be overwhelming and difficult to incorporate. The proper software can merge temporal and spatial data in accurate geological models and reservoir simulation with ease, allowing for team members to make the right decisions that create sound well-planning campaigns.
Quality software fosters greater risk management for oil and gas companies, creating a solid team effort that maximizes asset exploitation. The 4D seismic models, combined with the intended well paths and other ancillary data, provide quantitative analysis that aids in successful well positioning. Failure to obtain all necessary data can result in higher-than-expected drilling costs or inaccurate pressure readings.

Pressure Determination

Well pressure is one of the most important functions of well planning because the pressure within the well affects well strategy. But a variety of deviations come into play, which can hamper well integrity. Since a high-pressure well, for example, can affect such attributes as cement planning and casing designs, analysts need visualization software that highlights defects before operations commence. If an analyst is dealing with circulation loss from high mud weights, proper geological and regional mud weight models are needed to ensure that mud weights are in the suitable range.

The Solution

Visualization software helps analysts combat circulation loss stemming from such deviations as excessive mud weights, blowouts, or kicks. The proper co-visualization software will be able to assess pressure within a well so analysts can make the necessary adjustments going forward. Once the definitions are gathered, the geological models and reservoir simulations are ready for construction. The software will also be able to assess the number of wells needed to augment asset extraction, while integrating new data into the system without interruption.
It is important to utilize all available information such as geologic and reservoir simulation models during well planning. Typically, geologists would send 3D renderings of target locations to a professional well planner, but the geologists can create paths themselves.
Analysts can create their own paths with the following benefits:
  • limited exposure of the well relative to problem horizons
  • maintained proximity to oil-water contact
  • the ability to ensure desired sidetracks are feasible (maximum dogleg severities are not exceeded
  • avoided fault intersections at steep angles along the well length
Co-visualization helps geologists and well planners maximize profit with the correct well planning strategies.
Co-visualization helps geologists and well planners maximize profit with the correct well planning strategies.

Obtaining Accurate Geological Models and Reservoir Simulation

To achieve temporal and spatial analysis in a single data stream, choose CoViz 4D—software that allows the co-visualization of different data channels. Interpreting separate data strands without gaining a full perspective of a reservoir map can be costly and ineffective. Instead, CoViz 4D helps engineers enhance well development and well planning.
The proper incorporation of geological models and reservoir simulation requires a 3D/4D visualization environment with well planning capabilities suitable for use by geologists. CoViz 4D is an integrated software solution that helps operators save costs while getting more data in the process. Best of all, this single piece of software helps engineers cut costs the smart way while obtaining high-value data that leads them in the right direction.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., provides some of the best data-driven analytics software that groups data into a central viewing system. Its co-visual capacity allows users to assess all information in a simultaneous and multifaceted manner that gives the full context of reservoir simulations. To learn more about CoViz 4D, contact our team.

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