How Data Visualization Aids Multi-Lateral Well Design/Planning

| |

multi-lateral well

Advances in drilling technology continue to reduce the cost and risk of multi-lateral well construction. Multi-lateral wells improve reservoir production by maximizing drainage and sweep efficiency with only incremental increases in drilling and completion costs. Multi-lateral wells also solve the problem of reaching structurally isolated zones in spite of limited slots in offshore platforms.

Working together, geologists, well planners, and reservoir and drilling engineers continue to evolve multi-lateral well geometries to reach isolated reserves. Relative depths and lateral extents of production targets determine the multi-lateral geometry. In the decades since multi-laterals were pioneered, the industry has developed a formal classification—Technology Advancement of Multilaterals (TAML). The six classes are based on the type of junction that joins the lateral to the main wellbore. Vertical, horizontal, or deviated laterals drilled from the main borehole can economically reach attic oil, layered, faulted, fractured, and compartment structures in complex geology.
Stacked laterals, opposed laterals, and herringbone are other variations of geometries developed to reach target zones.

Visualizing Subsurface Conditions

Effective multi-lateral well planning begins with a detailed understanding of subsurface conditions. Geological and petrophysical models, seismic surveys, well logs, production histories, and other relevant reservoir information each separately characterize a subset of subsurface conditions. When these data are combined and visualized in 3D, their value increases considerably.
With access to combined data, all disciplines involved in the well-planning process can collaboratively evaluate various options, identifying potential risks as well as opportunities more quickly and easily. Visualization enables well planners to more accurately determine the optimal multi-lateral well geometries for a particular reservoir.
Visualization enables well planners to more accurately determine the optimal multi-lateral well geometries for a particular reservoir.

Multi-lateral Well Planning: Visualizing the Options

WellArchitect from Dynamic Graphics, Inc. is an advanced well planning, directional drilling, survey management tool, designed for collaborative viewing and planning of multi-lateral wellpaths, sidetracks, and re-entry drilling. It easily combines relevant reservoir datasets and visualizes the data in 3D to evaluate subsurface conditions and develop multi-lateral well plans that optimize recovery while reducing risk. WellArchitect addresses those needs by:
  • visualizing and modeling potential wellpaths in context of geologic data, cellular models, earth models, offset wells, and targets
  • automatically monitoring the proximity of faults and horizons while planning
  • calculating the target size (i.e., the “driller’s target”) based on positional uncertainty, and visualizing it while planning
  • depicting minimum allowable separation distances in 3D between a reference wellpath and its offset wellpaths while planning and drilling
  • showing collision-avoidance symbols along a wellpath while planning to indicate available space (including length and direction) for steering away from nearby wells; symbols are based on industry-recommended and user-defined anti-collision rules
  • running automated clearance calculations ahead of the bit while drilling to give advance warning of collision risk with existing wells and avoid replanning proposed wells by not encroaching on their drainage area
  • identifying possible magnetic blind spots while planning and drilling to avoid magnetic tool interference on-the-fly

Quickly Identifying Risks and Opportunities

With access to combined data, all disciplines involved in the well-planning process can collaboratively evaluate various options, identifying potential risks as well as opportunities more quickly and easily. Visualization enables well planners to more accurately determine the optimal multi-lateral well geometries for a particular reservoir.
Visualization enables well planners to more accurately determine the optimal multi-lateral well geometries for a particular reservoir.

Multi-lateral Well Planning: Visualizing the Options

WellArchitect from Dynamic Graphics, Inc. is an advanced well planning, directional drilling, survey management tool, designed for collaborative viewing and planning of multi-lateral wellpaths, sidetracks, and re-entry drilling. It easily combines relevant reservoir datasets and visualizes the data in 3D to evaluate subsurface conditions and develop multi-lateral well plans that optimize recovery while reducing risk. WellArchitect addresses those needs by:
  • visualizing and modeling potential wellpaths in context of geologic data, cellular models, earth models, offset wells, and targets
  • automatically monitoring the proximity of faults and horizons while planning
  • calculating the target size (i.e., the “driller’s target”) based on positional uncertainty, and visualizing it while planning
  • depicting minimum allowable separation distances in 3D between a reference wellpath and its offset wellpaths while planning and drilling
  • showing collision-avoidance symbols along a wellpath while planning to indicate available space (including length and direction) for steering away from nearby wells; symbols are based on industry-recommended and user-defined anti-collision rules
  • running automated clearance calculations ahead of the bit while drilling to give advance warning of collision risk with existing wells and avoid replanning proposed wells by not encroaching on their drainage area
  • identifying possible magnetic blind spots while planning and drilling to avoid magnetic tool interference on-the-fly

Quickly Identifying Risks and Opportunities

With the visualization and automated calculation capabilities, well planners can easily explore and evaluate multi-lateral options to quickly recognize and accommodate potential risks such as collisions, as well as take advantage of opportunities that maximizing drainage and sweep efficiency.

Avoiding Risks

Such as:

  • drainage of nearby laterals
  • areas of potential borehole instability
  • problematic drill bit angles when intersecting faults
  • dogleg severity that increases the probability of stuck pipe

Identifying Opportunities

Including:

  • optimal number of laterals determined by reservoir characteristics
  • lateral trajectory from the target back to the main borehole, based on rock stress, permeability, and stress anisotropy
  • optimized location and length of lateral in the pay zone to maximize recovery
  • junction designs (TAML) that balance cost against long-term recovery potential
With 3D visualization, subsurface structures can be sliced, shaded, colored, queried, made transparent, and annotated to provide a more detailed understanding of spatial relationships. Slicing 3D models along a wellpath provides a cross-sectional view of the stratigraphic or property model, further enhancing the spatial understanding.

WellArchitect Enables Multi-lateral Planning in Complex Subsurface Environments

Well planning becomes increasingly challenging as more infill wells are drilled. WellArchitect gives geoscientists and well planners enhanced ability to understand and quickly evaluate the complexity by combining and visualizing a wide range of relevant subsurface data to plan the design and location of multi-lateral wells that maximize recovery while minimizing risk.

WellArchitect from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., is designed to handle a range of applications from single wellpath survey calculations to multi-wellsite and multi-lateral planning. By combining relevant datasets to create detailed 3D visualizations of complex subsurface environments, it gives well planners the ability to easily explore data relationships, evaluate, and plan the optimum multi-lateral placements. To learn more about WellArchitect contact our team.

FURTHER READING

Visualizing 3D Geothermal Exploration Data

The exploration of geothermal resources in the subsurface is challenging yet vital in the energy industry. There is huge potential in this largely untapped yet highly sustainable energy source. But there is also a great economic risk attached to it, starting at the...

Enhancing Reservoir Connectivity Analysis Through 3D Visualization

A 3D model with well locations and streamlines imported from a reservoir simulation package is co-visualized to determine which wells are seeing the most fluid and get an idea of if their completions are ideally located along the well. Data used by permission of the...

3 Oil and Gas Technology Trends That Are Improving the Industry

Integrating multiple data sources such as 4D seismic, reservoir simulation, directional wellbores, stratigraphic top picks and monthly production data from 'best-of-breed' software supports collaborative analysis for improved decision-making.In our close collaboration...

Integrated Reservoir Management: The Role of Data Visualization & Analysis

Monitor the development of a fracture network over time by using microseismic data integrated with geological or petrophysical data.Integrating various sources and formats of reservoir data seamlessly is often a big hurdle in efficient and effective reservoir...

Monitoring Induced Seismicity in Geologic Carbon Storage

The interest in geologic carbon storage is on the rise. It’s proving to be an effective method to reduce CO2 emissions in an effort to mitigate climate change. Geologic carbon storage can serve several purposes—straightforward CO2 storage, injection into wells for...

Identifying High Water Cut Through Comprehensive Visualization

Easily compare oil-gas-water ratios among several wells. Data used with permission of owner.The water/oil ratio (WOR) is one of the more important metrics in calculating the economic value of a producing well. Reservoir engineers calculate water cut to update reserve...

Seismic Reservoir Monitoring Through Visualization

An ideal design, development, and management plan for hydrocarbon asset development comes from having a better understanding of  all known geological and petrophysical aspects of the subsurface. But given the dynamic nature of the reservoir and its attributes, petroleum professionals can encounter some complexities in the process of in-depth analysis.

Accessibility Tools
hide

Share on Social Media