Advanced Drilling Technology: Mapping-While-Drilling

New Wave Media

May 30, 2014

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Oil and Gas drilling teams usually contend with tight schedules for project developments and this may eventually lead to low quality plans and limited risk assessment, which may cause expensive and potentially dangerous drilling problems, such as, stuck pipes, violent kicks, unproductive time and cost overruns. The introduction of Schlumberger’s reservoir mapping-while-drilling service is enabling drillers to make better decisions in short timeframes and avoid costly mistakes.

For the operators, the main benefits from the effective well placement may be maximized production, minimized construction and intervention costs. The process of well placements brings together many different disciplines, such as, geophysics, geology, drilling, reservoir management, rock physics, micro-seismic and others. Reservoir mapping-while-drilling enables operators to create geological and earth models that can be easily updated.

Geologists and reservoir engineers can change data and test different scenarios while drilling. The system allows advanced volumetric reporting and uncertainty assessment to be conducted in real time while drilling. SLB’s GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while-drilling service which extends more than 100 ft from the wellbore, reveals features in subsurface beddings and fluid contacts at the reservoir scale to optimize well landing operations, steering capabilities and mapping of multiple boundaries, potentially reducing drilling risk and accurately landing wells, resulting in the elimination of pilot holes, which in itself is a significant saving of time and funds.

The new technology also enables the positioning of wells within target reservoirs, away from fluid boundaries, which greatly facilitates drilling operations and once again has the potential to reduce drilling time resulting in lower drilling costs. It is probable that this technology is being used in the deepwater pre-salt offshore Brazil to accurately map multiple deepwater reservoir sections. Correctly identifying reservoir boundaries in the pre-salt has always been a challenge and some drilling specialists that I have spoken to contend that SLB’s reservoir mapping-while-drilling may be a real game-changer.

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Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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