The planned wellpath shows ellipsoids of uncertainty and the geologic (blue) (left image), along with the ″eroded″ driller′s (yellow rectangles) targets in context of the geologic model (right image) and nearby wellpaths.
Well trajectory design is noticeably more efficient when well planners incorporate all relevant subsurface data into their planning process. Integrating data such as geologic and petrophysical models, survey logs, shallow hazards, surface equipment, reservoir grids, and existing wells into a common visualization environment gives well planners the best possible understanding of the subsurface environment and all its complexities. The ability to visualize and evaluate factors that influence well trajectories helps well planners minimize drilling risks and costs, and facilitates maximizing the recovery of oil and gas resources.
Integrated Data Provides a Detailed Understanding of Subsurface Conditions
The wealth of data generated and analyzed by the various disciplines involved in reservoir development and management—geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, and reservoir, completion, production, and drilling engineers—provides insight into specific aspects of reservoir conditions. When these data are combined to create a more integrated understanding of subsurface conditions, well planners can explore data relationships that help determine:
- How stratigraphy will impact drilling strategy and BHA components along the wellbore
- Completion methods—casings, cementing, stimulation, and stages based on seismic and petrophysical data
- Property distributions, such as porosity in a lithology layer originating in a sedimentary environment
- Hazards from nearby wells or hardline and easement constraints
Integration and Visualization Maximize the Value of Reservoir Data
Integrated reservoir data achieves its greatest value when visualized in a 3D environment to depict geologic formations, reservoir properties, and existing infrastructure. The ability to explore a reservoir in 3D, from any perspective, allows well planners to assess potential plans with the context of the overall geologic structure as well as focus on a specific area to assess properties that influence subsurface well trajectory design. At the macro and micro levels, data integration and visualization enables drilling engineers to:
- Plan the well trajectory from pad to target by interactively selecting intermediate and target locations in the 3D model and allowing well-planning software to determine (solve) the curve to connect the points.
- Selectively intersect or associate targets when designing the well trajectory.
- Visualize traveling cylinder diagrams in context of existing wells to aid in assessing collision risk.
- Identify fault or horizon intersection angles that could present potential drilling hazards.
- View a cross-section of a stratigraphic or property model to determine drilling requirements and aid in geosteering while drilling.
- Include annotation along the planned trajectory to provide detailed guidance or explanation of conditions.
- Develop and save multiple trajectory designs to evaluate the pros and cons of each plan with respect to drilling cost and long-term wellbore safety.
Unique Tools for Well Trajectory Design
WellArchitect goes beyond traditional tools by incorporating geologic and reservoir models, as well as 2D surfaces into the display while planning and drilling, including evaluating hazard-potential related to identifying intersection angles between the plan and faults or horizons.