The success of an asset development project is directly related to the ability to identify and implement the ideal strategy for well planning, positioning, and field development for hydrocarbon extraction. With an effective strategy, engineers can easily identify scenarios, layout drilling plans, and examine frac volume for assessing the most profitable approach to project development. However, even with a very effective strategy, the sum of uncertainty in well positioning remains high without the ability to visually understand reservoir characteristics.
With 3D visualization, interpreters can understand the lithological, petrophysical, and geological characteristics of the subsurface along with new and existing infrastructure at the surface. Enhanced visual understanding of wellbores at their accurate geospatial position provides the oil and gas industry with a better opportunity to make a strategy regarding field development.
Minimizing Uncertainty with Strategic Planning
The goal of wellbore positioning in the oil and gas industry has been to reduce uncertainty and drilling risks. This is supported by accuracy in interpreting the wide range of subsurface data. The data coming from well logs, seismic surveys, survey tools, and other data sources have allowed drilling and reservoir engineers to analyze the much-needed information to minimize risk in well planning and drilling for field organization and future development.
Technological advancement has allowed decision-makers to easily analyze large volumes of data for better decision-making. With advanced 3D visualization tools, the subsurface geological structure can be easily interpreted while visualizing faults, horizons, wellpaths, and boundaries. This helps to answer the questions regarding:
- Location and relative uncertainties of existing or planned wellpaths
- Location of faults, fractures, and horizons
- Angle of wellpath-fault intersections
- Margin of error to reach the target zone
- Optimal kick-off point
- Possible fluid migration paths within the reservoir
The availability of this information allows geologists and engineers to evaluate a range of alternative strategies to identify the most effective. An ideal well positioning strategy should significantly reduce future drilling risks, have maximum productivity, minimize effort and costs.
Visualizing Data for Effective Field Planning and Development
3D visualization tools such as WellArchitect help in optimal field development for laying out future well drilling and development plans. This ability provides geologists, reservoir engineers, and drilling engineers the information on current fracture network structure and its effect on hydrocarbon production. Other possibilities include:
- Analyze the collision risk before and during drilling for single or multi-well facilities.
- Analyze in-situ stresses to examine potential wellbore failure problems.
- Visualize fracture networks ahead of drilling. The possibility of exploiting natural frac will make the job easier.
- Identify proximity to faults, hazards, and horizons and its effect on the drilling process.
- Evaluate multiple well trajectory designs to identify the ideal option.
The combination of 3D visualization with well planning and field development capabilities facilitates the analysis of different well planning scenarios. This can be especially important in multiple well projects. Visualization not only enables accurate wellbore positioning but also provides trajectory design and navigation capabilities that can minimize potential risks during drilling.
WellArchitect: Analyzing Plan and Performance for Well Development
WellArchitect from Dynamic Graphics, Inc. is an ideal well planning and visualization tool for engineers and geoscientists. It presents the relevant reservoir and infrastructure data at its correct geospatial location. The ability to accurately and easily position the wellpath and develop an ideal strategy will allow asset teams to make an ideal field organization and development plan. The tools also facilitate the evaluation of drilling plans before the actual drilling starts. This allows the engineers to analyze the economic impact of the good development plan and allocate resources to do so. The ability to analyze the wellbore positioning and field development strategy beforehand increases the productivity and safety of the project.