Simultaneous Combination of Real-Time MWD and Existing Data Through 3D Visualization

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petroleum professionals

Integrating real-time drilling data with legacy data sources in CoViz 4D can assist in more accurate and safer well placement. Data courtesy Rocky Mountain Oil Technology Center and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Continuous improvements in the ability to obtain subsurface data as well as drilling data enable drilling engineers to more accurately place wells and give completion engineers a better understanding of downhole conditions. The greatest challenge, however, for many drilling teams is the combination of real-time MWD and existing data. Seismic and petrophysical data that guide the initial development of an unconventional reservoir are generated by different software applications. Data obtained while drilling present yet another data source. Adding further to the challenge are the different data types and formats of the individual data sets.

Operators are overcoming these challenges with software solutions that easily integrate subsurface data such as seismic surveys, contour maps, 3D structural models, velocity grids, simulations, property cellular grids, well trajectories, well logs, completion data, and production data that are important to petroleum professionals. Whether it’s a simple combination of geological and drilling data or the integration of all relevant data acquired or generated during the lifetime of an unconventional reservoir, the ability to easily access and visualize data facilitates more efficient and confident decisions regarding development and operations. To better illustrate the concept, let’s briefly look at the benefits achieved with the combination of real-time MWD and existing data.

Reviewing Existing Data to Better Understand Reservoir Conditions

In this example, existing data includes geologic models, petrophysical interpretations, well plans, and trajectories of producing horizontal wells within a reservoir. Software tools take these individual data sources and present them as a single, integrated 3D model of the reservoir. By integrating and visualizing these data (regardless of source or format) drilling engineers can more efficiently:

  • Review how previous wellbores were planned and drilled (rock properties, BHA configuration, kick-off-point, dogleg severity) to determine what methods were most/least beneficial
  • Learn how geology and rock properties influenced drilling performance, e.g., number and type of bits, weight on bit, deviations from plan, mud properties, etc.

The ability to easily access these data and gain an understanding of previous reservoir development allows drilling engineers to be better prepared in planning and managing drilling activities with the goals of mitigating risk and minimizing costs.

Combine Real-Time MWD With Existing Data to Guide Drilling

Drilling engineers further improve their chances of success by incorporating real-time MWD data and visualizing it in the context of the subsurface environment to monitor drilling progress. The 3D reservoir model already created via the integration of the data sources mentioned above provides the visual foundation for monitoring the drilling process. These 3D models depict horizons, faults, the existing wells and the proposed/planned trajectory, and any other data relevant to the well preparing to be drilled.

As the drilling process begins, real-time data obtained from instrumentation in the BHA are relayed via mud pulse telemetry for translation into a digital format at the surface then captured and managed by a WITSML server. The data typically relayed includes:

  • Inclination and azimuth measured by magnetometer and accelerometers (or gyroscopic instruments in certain cases)
  • Gamma-ray measurements to determine the type of rock being drilled

Once captured by the WITSML server, these data can then be incorporated into the 3D model in near-real-time to clearly show the progress and location of the wellbore and the current location of the drill head. As drilling progresses, the wellbore can be compared against the planned trajectory. The ability to monitor drilling progress using real-time-data enables drilling engineers to more readily:

  • Confirm that the wellbore trajectory is on course to reach the target zone. In the event of deviations caused by unexpected geological conditions (heterogeneity, dip angle), weight on bit, or other factors, proactively redirect the drill head
  • Track the wellbore trajectory and drilling progress to avoid encroaching any offset wells or their drainage areas
Combine Real-Time MWD With Existing Data to Guide Drilling
Monitor the drilling process in near-real-time by combining MWD with existing subsurface data. Data courtesy Rocky Mountain Oil Technology Center and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Additional instrumentation, depending on the BHA configuration specifications made by the drilling engineer, may measure rock density, porosity, or fluid pressure. As these data are incorporated into the 3D reservoir models, they provide a more accurate understanding of the conditions immediately surrounding the horizontal wellbore. With this information, completion engineers can more accurately tailor completion plans to maximize drainage.

CoViz 4D Combines Real-Time MWD Data With Existing Data

Reservoir teams will forever be challenged to become more efficient and accurate in their understanding of subsurface conditions and planning cost-effective development. Access to all relevant reservoir data is a critical factor in meeting that challenge.

Reservoir development teams worldwide use CoViz 4D software because of its unique ability to easily combine the widest range of data sources used by petroleum professionals and present these data as a detailed 3D reservoir model. With powerful visualization capabilities, including the ability to animate time-step data to show evolving reservoir conditions, all members of a reservoir team can simultaneously collaborate to evaluate reservoir potential and determine the strategies and methods that minimize risk and maximize recovery.

Reservoir development teams worldwide use CoViz 4D software because of its unique ability to easily combine the widest range of data sources used by petroleum professionals and present these data as a detailed 3D reservoir model.

Whether it’s the combination of real-time MWD and existing data or a comprehensive review of the planning, development, and production history of an unconventional reservoir, CoViz 4D is an indispensable tool in helping operators more efficiently manage all phases of a reservoir’s lifecycle.

CoViz 4D, a data integration and visualization software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives oil and gas professionals the ability to easily combine and access all relevant reservoir data sources. Powerful visualization capabilities enable teams to explore data relationships, calculate and show inferred data, and analyze how development and operational decisions impact recovery and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D contact our team.


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