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Well-Collision Avoidance: Mitigating Risk in Mature Field Development

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well collision avoidance

In the image above, the green cones indicate the distance from a planned well to existing offset wells in the context of a 3D reservoir model. A major concern is planning the new well to stay in-zone while maximizing collision avoidance. WellArchitect and CoViz 4D provide the integrated tools and context to help accomplish these goals.

When developing well-collision avoidance strategies, petroleum professionals should rely on data integration and visualization to aid in well planning. Enhanced visualization gives engineers the ability to see more of the subsurface and provides them with additional opportunities to prevent drilling into danger zones or colliding with established wells. There are two software tools that asset teams can use to reduce mistakes and ensure comprehensive subsurface analysis.

This article will explain why data integration and visualization software and well-planning software packages can improve well-placement endeavors and mitigate risk in mature field development.

3D Collision Avoidance

An important aspect of well planning entails a 3D visualization of geologic, petrophysical, and geophysical data—allowing users to plan well trajectories during the pre-drilling process and continue on the same course during the drilling campaign. WellArchitect, an advanced well planning and survey management system for integrated planning and drilling of directional wellpaths, can aid in such tasks as multilateral wellpaths, sidetracking, and re-entry drilling.

Overall, advanced well-planning campaigns utilizing WellArchitect can save time and resources in the following ways:

  • visualizing the path in full context (i.e. geology, targets, and offset wells)
  • drilling and planning relative to faults and horizons
  • planning and survey calculations via collision-risk analysis and data management

With the help of 3D interactive tools, users can use ahead-of-the-bit drilling functions combined with visual models and anti-collision parameters that secure, safe, and efficient well placement.

Mitigating Positional Uncertainty

Each planned well trajectory is designed to provide a drillable solution to hit a drilling target while safely avoiding existing wells. One thing is certain, the actual wellpath will start diverging from the plan. When the divergence is discovered, the drillers must gently nudge the well back on course. Now, a new set of problems arise—the well, with its positional uncertainty, needs to still avoid collisions with existing wells, which have their own positional uncertainty. The new well path needs to be aware of the geological setting for the well (for example, to avoid awkward intersection angles with faults).

Often, near-real-time drilling information is available from a WITSML server. This information can be used to automatically update a comprehensive viewing environment provided by CoViz 4D. The current position of the well can be updated and any log information can also be automatically fetched and displayed next to the well. The driller, or company drilling department, can see the well progress in near-real-time.

A geological model can also be sliced along the wellpath, revealing potential geological issues that must be resolved. Likewise, a depth converted seismic model can help resolve ambiguities. The combined positional uncertainties of the well being drilled and the positional uncertainty of the nearby wells can be displayed on the nearby wells. This helps to avoid potential well collisions.

Well Collision Avoidance with WellArchitect and CoViz 4D

WellArchitect, when used in conjunction with CoViz 4D can be beneficial for offshore drilling projects as drillers contend with higher chances of well collisions and additional drilling setbacks. For unconventional reservoirs, both systems can ensure that a well stays within a targeted zone and maintains appropriate spacing within a reservoir that undergoes fracking. And, both types of software can help drillers maintain a proper course during drilling excursions.

WellArchitect, when used in conjunction with CoViz 4D can be beneficial for offshore drilling projects as drillers contend with higher chances of well collisions and additional drilling setbacks.

With WellArchitect and CoViz 4D, users can keep wellpaths away from problematic areas; keep the wells within ideal zones; and assess vital attributes along the length of the well. When it comes to well-collision avoidance, both tools increase the likelihood of better decisions before and during the drilling process, reducing the chance of human error and avoiding roadblocks that could stall operations.

CoViz 4D and WellArchitect, software created by Dynamic Graphics, Inc., give users the power to visualize subsurface conditions within a reservoir to avoid well collision. Contact our team today to learn how you can mitigate your risk profile and achieve cohesive data that paints a fuller picture of a mature field.


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