Integrating Mud Pulse Telemetry Data for Monitoring Drilling Operations

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Drilling operations platform.

Because of the inherent uncertainty and risk in the process, drilling operations account for a significant share of expenses in the development of oil and gas reservoirs. However, the wealth of geological and petrophysical data available to reservoir engineers can significantly reduce drilling risks. Improvements in drilling technologies, specifically the instrumentation of bottom hole assemblies that provide real-time data (logging while drilling—LWD), are giving engineers greater control over drilling operations. These data enable greater accuracy, improved safety, and lower drilling costs, and positively impact reservoir development economics. One of the keys to obtaining these drilling data in near real-time is mud pulse telemetry.

Mud Pulse Telemetry Provides Insight Into Drilling Operations

Mud pulse telemetry (MPT) is widely used in real-time drilling and logging data. Data obtained from instrumented bottom hole assemblies (BHA) are translated into pulses transmitted via mud in the drill pipe to surface pressure transducers that translate the pulses into meaningful information that can be stored in a WITSML server.

But in an age of ubiquitous, high-bandwidth, wireless communications, mud pulse telemetry may seem archaic. Mud pulse telemetry uses modulated mud pressure pulses initiated at the BHA to communicate data to the surface. Pulses propagate through the drill string to the surface detectors. Depending on wellbore length, data speeds can vary between a few bits per second to 140 bits per second.

The bottom hole assembly instrumentation specified by the drilling engineer determines the types of data acquired and sent to the surface. The data conveyed by MPT can provide valuable information regarding the downhole conditions and drilling operations.

MPT Measurement
Azimuth, inclination
Tool face orientation
Annular pressure
Downhole temperature
Shock and vibration
Gamma-ray and resistivity
Value/Benefit of the Measurement
Determine current BHA location, Compare wellbore trajectory against the planned trajectory, Avoid collisions with nearby wells
Confirm directional control when drilling with rotary assemblies, Proactively correct drill trajectory
Monitor pressure associated with wellbore temperature at measured depth
Guide casing and completion strategy based on geothermal properties, Monitor the operating limits of BHA
Alert to unexpected hazardous drilling conditions, Modify drilling equipment and techniques to accommodate changing geologic conditions
Confirm formation tops, Verify kick-off points

Geological and operational data obtained from the BHA and transmitted via mud pulse telemetry is vital in helping drilling engineers maximize rate of penetration (ROP), proactively identify and avoid potential risks while drilling, and locate the wellbore in the pay zone to maximize recovery.

Drilling data incorporated into a geological model to monitor the process and identify and avoid potential problems.

Incorporate drilling data into a geological model to monitor the process and identify and avoid potential problems before they add to reservoir development expenses. Data used by permission of owner.

CoViz 4D Brings Near-Real-Time Insight Into Drilling Operations

Operators worldwide rely on CoViz 4D to provide near-real-time insight into drilling operations. CoViz 4D is a powerful software tool designed for petroleum professionals. It easily integrates a wide range of reservoir data generated throughout the lifecycle of reservoir development and operations. This integrated data is then presented in a detailed 3D visualization environment that enables development teams to more accurately understand reservoir conditions. Data can be filtered to show specific geological and petrophysical characteristics of the reservoir for closer analysis.

CoViz 4D can integrate relevant reservoir data with detailed well plans to help drilling engineers monitor drilling operations. By obtaining drilling data from a WITSML server, CoViz 4D provides near-real-time updates on drilling operations and enables drilling engineers to:

  • Determine the current BHA location and drill face direction
  • Compare actual well trajectory against the planned well trajectory to reveal any significant deviations
  • Visualize wellbore progress in the context of nearby wells to avoid encroaching on offset wells or drainage areas
  • Determine if the geological model agrees with the logs; correct the model if markers are coming in at different-than-expected depths
  • Monitor drilling conditions to ensure that BHA and LWD tools are operating within their technical design limits
  • Identify unexpected conditions or anomalies that require modifications to the trajectory, BHA, or drilling techniques

By integrating mud pulse telemetry data into a detailed visualization of reservoir geology, CoViz 4D gives drilling engineers a far more detailed understanding of drilling progress. This level of near-real-time insight improves drilling accuracy, reduces inherent drilling risks, and helps achieve greater drilling efficiency to lower the cost of reservoir development.

CoViz 4D from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives reservoir teams the ability to easily integrate, visualize, and analyze all relevant data associated with hydrocarbon assets. Its powerful visualization and analytic capabilities enhance the understanding of subsurface conditions, allowing petroleum professionals to confidently make development and production that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D contact our team.

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