Risk Management in the Oil and Gas Industry: Multidisciplinary, Vendor-neutral Visualization for Better Decisions and Reducing Risks while Drilling

Target analysis and wellpath ellipses of uncertainty along a proposed wellbore, viewed in conjunction with structural models.

Target analysis and wellpath ellipses of uncertainty along a proposed wellbore, viewed in conjunction with structural models, can greatly reduce the risk associated with many drilling hazards.

One sure way to minimize risk, regardless of the situation, is to obtain as complete and accurate information as possible regarding the activity you’re engaged in or the decisions you need to make. In many aspects of life, risk management can be relatively easy—lock your doors when you leave the house, wear a seatbelt in the car. In many other areas, risk management is far more complex because of the myriad factors that can impact the success of an activity. Risk management in the oil and gas industry falls into the latter category. Throughout all phases of the oil field development, whether it is bidding on an oil block, drilling a new well, or expanding a production facility, risk management plays a critical role.

Isolated Software Tools and Data Sources Hinder Risk Management

Technology advancements in nearly every aspect of the petroleum industry are providing decision-makers information to help make better quality decisions, thereby reducing risk. Greater detail and accuracy in seismic surveys, geologic studies, instrumented drill strings, and numerous other geophysical and production data sources can give drilling engineers the information needed to minimize risk in planning and drilling. But despite the wealth of data— seismic, geologic, geomechanical, geochemical, petrophysical, core, production—drilling engineers often have difficulty combining these data to create a comprehensive picture of the subsurface environment they’re navigating.
Each discipline—geologists, geophysicists, drilling engineers, reservoir engineers, project managers—in the oil and gas industry has its preferred software tools used to guide decisions. Petrel, GoCAD, SeisWorks and many other software tools in the hands of professionals provide discipline-specific insight, alerting individuals to potential risks as well as opportunities associated with their areas of responsibility. Unfortunately, the software tools used to manage surface and subsurface environments have data types and formats that most often cannot be shared between the tools, which then precludes easy sharing of information among the different disciplines.

Combine Data Sources to Visualize Opportunity and Risk

As valuable as those data are when viewed within their own silo, they attain even greater value when combined and visualized to allow each discipline to explore and analyze their data in the context of data provided by other disciplines. For well planners and drilling engineers  responsible for risk management in the oil and gas industry during drilling, the ability to visualize data in geospatial and temporal frames of reference can greatly aid in solidifying the understanding and management of drilling risk.

CoViz 4D has the ability to combine and visualize data sources from various disciplines and varying vendors to address this problem. The CoViz 4D software package easily integrates a wide range of data types from many different sources and disciplines within the oil and gas industry. In addition, its 3D and 4D (temporal) visualization and analytics capabilities enable the drilling team, including geologist and drilling engineers, to collaboratively:

  • obtain an immediate visual summary of the subsurface environment.
  • collectively evaluate risks and options in cooperation with other disciplines.
  • avoid other wells, problematic geological features, depleted zones, and waste disposal when planning a wellpath.
  • filter the various reservoir data to display established wellpaths and geologic features within a specified proximity to the proposed wellpath.
  • ensure the wellpath follows the wellpath design.
  • determine an appropriate build angle when passing through zones associated with fluid losses.
  • determine the sweet spot for wellpaths.
  • render wellpaths within the context of the simulation model to ensure the results match the reservoir engineers’ and geologists’ expectations based on their understanding of the environment.
Well planning and effective drilling is a discipline of dealing with many constraints. When these constraints are visualized in a total and complete 3D environment, along with ways to easily, immediately, and intuitively assess risk—e.g., green is good, amber is uncertain, red is risk—drilling engineers can easily evaluate and avoid potential risks.

CoViz 4D: Vital to Risk Management in the Oil And Gas Industry

Risk is often hard to assess even when operators are aware of uncertainties in subsurface analysis and operation. Visualization of data in geospatial and temporal frames of reference can greatly aid in solidifying the assessment of risk and guiding decision making.
CoViz 4D excels in integrating, visualizing, and analyzing diverse spatial and temporal datasets to produce a model that consolidates known risks into a single visual representation. Armed with this information, drilling engineers can avoid risk and optimize their drilling strategies with the goal of reducing operational costs and increasing safety factors. With its unique data integration, visualization, and analytic capabilities, CoViz 4D plays a vital role in risk management in the oil and gas industry.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives geologists, geophysicists, and reservoir engineers the ability to easily access and combine all relevant data associated with subsurface environments. Powerful analytic capabilities enable users to explore data relationships, analyze the accuracy of depth conversion of 3D seismic, and visualize seismic well ties and velocity models to facilitate decisions that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D, contact our team.

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