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# Chapter 2

S URVEY C ALCULATIONS

INTRODUCTION
Directional surveys are taken at specified intervals in order to determine the position of the
bottom of the hole relative to the surface location. The surveys are converted to a North-South
(N-S), East-West (E-W) and true vertical depth coordinates using one of several calculation
methods. The coordinates are then plotted in both the horizontal and vertical planes. By
plotting the survey data, the rig personnel can watch the progress of the well and make changes
when necessary to hit a specified target.
There are several methods that can be used to calculate survey data; however, some are more
accurate than others. Some of the most common methods that have been used in the industry
are:
1. Tangential,
2. Balanced Tangential,
3. Average Angle,
4. Radius of Curvature and
5. Minimum Curvature
Of these methods, the tangential method is the least accurate, and the radius of curvature and
the minimum curvature are the most accurate. The industry uses primarily minimum curvature.
The first three calculation methods are based on the trigonometry of a right triangle; therefore, a
review of these trigonometric functions would be in order.
By definition, a right triangle has one angle which is equal to 90. The sum of the other two
angles is 90. Therefore, the sum of all three angles is 180. Referring to the triangle in Figure
2-1, the angles are A, B, and C with C being the right angle (90).
C = 90
A + B = 90
A + B + C = 180
In Figure 2-1, the length of the triangle sides are designated a, b, and c. Therefore we can say
that for a right triangle: a 2 + b 2 = c 2 when c is the hypotenuse of the triangle. The hypotenuse
is always the side opposite the right angle (90). The length of the hypotenuse can be
determined by rearranging the equation to read:

c = a2 + b2

2-1

Chapter 2

## The following equations also apply to a right triangle.

Sine of angle A
Sin A =

opposite side a
=
hypotenuse
c

Cosine of angle A
Cos A =

=
hypotenuse
c

Tangent of angle A
Tan A =

2-2

opposite side a
=

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

Sine of angle B
opposite side b
=
hypotenuse
c

Sin B =

Cosine of angle B
Cos B =

=
hypotenuse
c

Tangent of angle B
Tan B =

opposite side b
=

The values of sine, cosine and tangent of angles from 0 to 90o are given in the Appendix.

Example 2-1
Given:

Well XYZ in Figure 2-2, assume the triangle represents the plan view of a
well. In this well, B is the surface location and A is the position of the
bottom of the hole. The length "b" would then be the East coordinate and
is equal to 450 feet. The length "a" would be the North coordinate and is
equal to 650 feet.

Determine:

1.

2.

## The closure direction (angle B).

Solution:

To aid in solving the problem, a plan view similar to Figure 2-2 should be
constructed and labeled. Then, use the trigonometric functions of a right
triangle to solve the problem.
1.

c 2 = a2 + b2

c = a2 + b2
c=

(450)2 + (650)2

c = 790.57ft
2.

## Calculate the closure direction. The direction of a borehole is

always given in azimuth from 0 to 360 or from the north or south
such as:

N 4813'W

2-3

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

N 10 43'E
S 420'E
S 2432'W

In this example, angle "B" would be the closure direction. Solving for
angle "B":
Sin B =

opposite side
450'
=
hypotenuse
790.57'

Sin B = 0.5692 .
B = 34.70 (See Appendix for Sine table and interpolate)

## Figure 2-2. Horizontal Plan View of Well XYZ

North: 650, East: 450,
o
Closure Distance: 790.57, Closure Direction: N34 42E (Azimuth 34.70)

2-4

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

## The closure direction can be expressed in azimuth as 34.70 or it can be

expressed in the coordinate system. Converting the decimal to minutes:
Minutes = (decimal)(60)
Minutes = (0.70) (60)
Minutes = 42'
Therefore, the closure distance and direction are: 790.57' and N3442' E.
Presented next is a brief explanation of the most commonly used survey calculation methods
and the appropriate calculations.

TANGENTIAL
At one time the tangential method was the most widely used because it was the easiest (Table
2-1). The equations are relatively simple, and the calculations can be performed easily in the
field. Unfortunately, the tangential method is the least accurate method and results in errors
greater than all the other methods. The tangential method should not be used to calculate
directional surveys. It is only presented here to prove a point.
The tangential method assumes the wellbore course is tangential to the lower survey station,
and the wellbore course is a straight line. Because of the straight line assumption, the
tangential method yields a larger value of horizontal departure and a smaller value of vertical
displacement when the inclination is increasing. This is graphically represented in Figure 2-3.

## Figure 2-3. Illustration of Tangential Calculation Method

In Figure 2-3, Line AI 2 is the assumed wellbore course. The dashed line AB is the change in
true vertical depth and the dashed line BI 2 is the departure in the horizontal direction. The
opposite is true when the inclination is decreasing. In Type I, III and IV holes, the error will be
significant. In a Type II hole, the error calculated while increasing angle will be offset by the
error calculated while decreasing angle but only when the build and drop rates are comparable.

2-5

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

With the tangential method, the greater the build or drop rate, the greater the error. Also, the
distance between surveys has an effect on the quantity of the error. If survey intervals were 10
feet or less, the error would be acceptable. The added expense of surveying every 10 feet
prohibits using the tangential method for calculating the wellbore course especially when more
accurate methods are available.
The North-South, East-West coordinates are determined by assuming the horizontal departure
of the course length is in the same direction as the azimuth recorded at the lower survey station,
but this assumption is wrong. The actual wellbore course will be a function of the upper and
lower survey stations. Therefore, the tangential method results in an additional error because
an error already exists due to the method used to calculate the horizontal departure. The error
is compounded when the North-South, East-West coordinates are calculated.
Table 2-1. Directional Survey Calculation Formula

Tangential
TVD = MD Cos I 2

Equation 2-1

Equation 2-2

## East = MD Sin I 2 Sin A2

Equation 2-3

Balanced Tangential

TVD =

MD
(Cos I1 + Cos I 2 )
2

North =

East =

Equation 2-4

MD
[(Sin I1 Cos A1 ) + (Sin I 2 Cos A2 )]
2
MD
[(Sin I1 Sin A1 ) + (Sin I 2 Sin A2 )]
2

Equation 2-5

Equation 2-6

Average Angle

I + I
TVD = MD Cos 1 2
2

Equation 2-7

A + A2
I + I
North = MD Sin 1 2 Cos 1

Equation 2-8

A + A2
I + I
East = MD Sin 1 2 Sin 1

Equation 2-9

2-6

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

TVD =

(180)(MD)(SinI 2 SinI1 )
(I 2 I1 )

North =

East =
DEP =

r =

## (180 )2 (MD )(Cos I1 Cos I 2 )(Sin A2 Sin A1 )

2 (I 2 I1 )(A2 A1 )

## 180 2 (MD )(Cos I1 Cos I 2 )(Cos A1 Cos A2 )

2 (I 2 I1 )(A2 A1 )

## 180 (MD )(CosI 1 CosI 2 )

(I 2 I1 )

180
( )(DLS )

MD =

Equation 2-10

Equation 2-11

Equation 2-12

Equation 2-13
Equation 2-14

I 2 I1
Br

Equation 2-15
Minimum Curvature

MD
TVD =
(Cos I1 + Cos I 2 )(FC )
2

Equation 2-16

MD
North =
[(Sin I 2 Cos A2 ) + (Sin I1 Cos A1 )](FC )
2

Equation 2-17

MD
East =
[(Sin I 2 Sin A2 ) + (Sin I1 Sin A1 )](FC )
2

Equation 2-18

Equation 2-19

1
D 2 = Tan 1 2 1
D1

Equation 2-20

FC =

2
D2
Tan

D2
2

Equation 2-21

## Note: Use inclinations and azimuths in radians only

Calculations for Closure

East
Closure Direction = Tan 1

North

Closure Distance =

(North )2 + (East )2

Equation 2-22
Equation 2-23

2-7

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

Vertical Section
VS = Cos (Az vs Az cl ) (Closure Distance )

Equation 2-24

Dogleg Severity
100
1
DLS =
Cos {(Sin I1 Sin I 2 )[(Sin A1 Sin A2 ) + (Cos A1 Cos A2 )] + (Cos I1 Cos I 2 )} Equation 2-25
MD

or
2

A A1
I I
200
DLS =
Sin 1 (Sin I1 )(Sin I 2 )Sin 2
+ Sin 2 1
MD
2

Equation 2-26

BALANCED TANGENTIAL
The balanced tangential method is similar to the tangential method in that the wellbore course is
determined by the tangent to the angle. The difference between the two methods is the
balanced tangential uses both the upper and lower survey stations. The top half of the wellbore
course is approximated by the upper inclination line I1A in Figure 2-4 and the lower half of the
wellbore course is approximated by the lower inclination line AI 2 . The azimuth is approximated
in the same manner. Both the upper and lower portions of the assumed wellbore course are in
error, but the errors are opposite and will nearly cancel each other. Therefore, the balanced
tangential method is accurate enough for field applications. The balanced tangential equations
are more difficult to perform (Table 2-1) and are more likely to result in an error because of
mechanical mistakes while making the calculations.

2-8

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

AVERAGE ANGLE
When using the average angle method, the inclination and azimuth at the lower and upper
survey stations are mathematically averaged, and then the wellbore course is assumed to be
tangential to the average inclination and azimuth. The calculations are very similar to the
tangential method (Table 2-1), and the results are as accurate as the balanced tangential
method. Since the average angle method is both fairly accurate and easy to calculate, it is the
method that can be used in the field if a programmable calculator or computer is not available.
The error will be small and well within the accuracy needed in the field provided the distance
between surveys is not too great. The average angle method is graphically illustrated in Figure
2-5. The average angle method does have problems at low inclinations with large changes in
azimuth so it should not be used for vertical wells.

I1 + I 2
2

## Figure 2-5. Illustration of Average Angle Calculation Method

The radius of curvature method is currently considered to be one of the most accurate methods
available. The method assumes the wellbore course is a smooth curve between the upper and
lower survey stations. The curvature of the arc is determined by the survey inclinations and
azimuths at the upper and lower survey stations as shown in Figure 2-6. The length of the arc
between I1 and I 2 is the measured depth between surveys. In the previous methods, the
wellbore course was assumed to be one or two straight lines between the upper and lower
survey points. The curvature of the wellbore course assumed by the radius of curvature method
will more closely approximate the actual well; therefore, it is more accurate. Unfortunately, the
equations are complicated (Table 2-1) and are not easily calculated in the field without a
programmable calculator or computer.
A closer inspection of the radius of curvature equations show that if the inclination or azimuth
are equal for both survey points, a division by zero will result in an error. In Figure 2-6 the
radius, r, will become infinitely long. In that case, the minimum curvature or average angle

2-9

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

methods can be used to make the calculations. It is also possible to add a small number (such
as 1 x 10-4) to either survey point. The resulting error will be insignificant.
Generally, the radius of curvature calculations are used when planning a well. Using one of the
three previous methods to plan a well will result in substantial errors when calculating over long
intervals. This will be further explained in the section on planning a well.

## Figure 2-6. Illustration of Radius of Curvature Calculation Method

MINIMUM CURVATURE
The minimum curvature method is similar to the radius of curvature method in that it assumes
that the wellbore is a curved path between the two survey points. The minimum curvature
method uses the same equations as the balanced tangential multiplied by a ratio factor which is
defined by the curvature of the wellbore. Therefore, the minimum curvature provides a more
accurate method of determining the position of the wellbore. Like the radius of curvature, the
equations are more complicated and not easily calculated in the field without the aid of a
programmable calculator or computer. The equations can be found in Table 2-1.
Figure 2-7 is a graphic representation of the minimum curvature calculations. The balanced
tangential calculations assume the wellbore course is along the line I1A + AI 2 . The calculation
of the ratio factor changes the wellbore course to I1B + BI 2 which is the arc of the angle B .
This is mathematically equivalent to the radius of curvature for a change in inclination only.
So long as there are no changes in the wellbore azimuth, the radius of curvature and minimum
curvature equations will yield the same results. If there is a change in the azimuth, there can be
a difference in the calculations. The minimum curvature calculations assume a curvature that is
the shortest path for the wellbore to incorporate both surveys. At low inclinations with large
changes in azimuth, the shortest path may also involve dropping inclination as well as turning.
The minimum curvature equations do not treat the change in inclination and azimuth separately
as do the radius of curvature calculations.

2-10

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

## Figure 2-7. Illustration of Minimum Curvature Calculation Method

Table 2-2. Surveys for a Near Vertical Well

MEASURED DEPTH

DRIFT ANGLE

DRIFT AZIMUTH

(feet)

(degrees)

(degrees)

0.00

0.00

0.00

100.00

1.00

94.80

200.00

1.50

140.00

300.00

1.75

186.00

400.00

1.50

120.00

500.00

2.00

240.00

600.00

2.00

350.00

700.00

1.50

260.00

800.00

1.25

200.00

900.00

1.75

180.00

1,000.00

1.50

340.00

The tangential and average angle methods treat the inclination and azimuth separately.
Therefore, larger horizontal displacements will be calculated. The radius of curvature method
assumes the well must stay within the survey inclinations and will also yield a larger horizontal
displacement though not as large as the tangential and average angle. The minimum curvature
equations are more complex than the radius of curvature equations but are more tolerant.
Minimum curvature has no problem with the change in azimuth or inclination being equal to
zero. When the wellbore changes from the northeast quadrant to the northwest quadrant, no
adjustments have to be made. The radius of curvature method requires adjustments. If the
previous survey azimuth is 10 and the next survey is 355, the well walked left 15. The radius
of curvature equations assume the well walked right 345 which is not true. One of the two

2-11

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

survey azimuths must be changed. The lower survey can be changed from 355 to -5, and
then the radius of curvature will calculate the correct coordinates.
Table 2-2 shows survey data for a near vertical well to 1,000 feet. The survey data exhibits
large changes in azimuth which is common in near vertical wells. Figure 2-8 shows a plot of
that survey data. Note that the minimum curvature calculations always yield the least amount of
departure. There will also be a slight difference in TVD. The minimum curvature calculations
are recommended for near vertical wells and for the vertical portions of a directional well.
The minimum curvature equations are more complex than the radius of curvature equations but
are more tolerant. Minimum curvature has no problem with the change in azimuth or inclination
being equal to zero. When the wellbore changes from the northeast quadrant to the northwest
adjustments. If the previous survey azimuth is 10 and the next survey is 355, the well walked
left 15. The radius of curvature equations assume the well walked right 345 which is not true.
One of the two survey azimuths must be changed. The lower survey can be changed from 355
to -5, and then the radius of curvature will calculate the correct coordinates.

2-12

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

Example 2-2
Given:

The survey data for Directional Well No. 1 are shown in Table 2-3.

Determine:

The wellbore position at each survey point using the tangential, balanced
tangential, average angle, radius of curvature, and minimum curvature
method.
Table 2-3. Survey for Example 2-2

MEASURED DEPTH

DRIFT ANGLE

DRIFT AZIMUTH

(feet)
0.00
1,000.00
1,100.00
1,200.00
1,300.00
1,400.00
1,500.00
1,600.00
1,700.00
1,800.00
1,900.00
2,000.00
2,100.00
2,200.00
2,300.00
2,400.00
2,500.00
2,600.00
2,700.00
2,800.00
2,900.00
3,000.00
3,100.00
3,200.00
3,300.00
3,400.00
3,500.00
3,600.00
3,700.00
3,800.00

(degrees)
0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
9.00
12.00
15.00
18.00
21.00
24.00
27.00
30.00
30.20
30.40
30.30
30.60
31.00
31.20
30.70
31.40
30.60
30.50
30.40
30.00
30.20
31.00
31.10
32.00
30.80
30.60

(degrees)
N 0.00E
N 0.00E
N21.70E
N26.50E
N23.30E
N20.30E
N23.30E
N23.90E
N24.40E
N23.40E
N23.70E
N23.30E
N22.80E
N22.50E
N22.10E
N22.40E
N22.50E
N21.60E
N20.80E
N20.90E
N22.00E
N22.50E
N23.90E
N24.50E
N24.90E
N25.70E
N25.50E
N24.40E
N24.00E
N22.30E

2-13

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

Solution:

N21.70E
N20.80E
N20.80E
N19.80E
N20.80E
N21.10E
N20.80E
N20.60E
N21.40E
N21.20E

31.20
30.80
30.00
29.70
29.80
29.50
29.20
29.00
28.70
28.50

3,900.00
4,000.00
4,100.00
4,200.00
4,300.00
4,400.00
4,500.00
4,600.00
4,700.00
4,800.00

Tangential Method

## At 0 and 1,000 feet the inclination is 0, therefore, the wellbore position is

0 North and 0 East.
A survey at 1,100 feet shows the inclination to be 3o in the N21.7E
direction (Azimuth = 21.7). Calculate the position of the wellbore at 1,100
feet. (The nomenclature is defined at the end of the chapter.)
MD = MD2 MD1

MD = 1,100 1,000
MD = 100'

## The direction of the wellbore is given as N21.7E; however, in the

equations, A must equal a value between 0 and 360 where:
N = 360 or 0
E = 90
S = 180
W = 270
When referring to the hole direction as being N21.7E, it is 21.7 East of
North. Therefore, the azimuth is equal to 0+21.7 or 21.7.
Using the tangential method, calculate TVD
TVD = (MD )(Cos I 2 )
TVD = (100 )(Cos 3)

TVD = 99.86ft

2-14

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

## Calculate the true vertical depth.

TVD 2 = TVD + TVD1
TVD 2 = 99.86 + 1,000
TVD 2 = 1,099 .86ft

Calculate North
North = (MD )(Sin I 2 )(Cos A2 )
North = (100 )(Sin 3 )(Cos 21 .7)
North = 4.86'

## Calculate the North coordinate.

North 2 = North + North1
North 2 = 4.86'+0'
North 2 = 4.86ft

Calculate East
East = (MD )(Sin I 2 )(Sin A2 )
East = (100 )(Sin 3)(Sin 21 .7 )
East = 1.94'

## Calculate the East coordinate.

East 2 = East + East 1
East 2 = 1.94'+0'
East 2 = 1.94'

Calculate the position of the wellbore at the next survey point of 1,200.
MD = MD2 MD1

MD = 1,200'1,100'
MD = 100'

2-15

Chapter 2

## The direction is N26.5E at 1,200 feet; therefore, the azimuth is 26.5.

TVD = (MD )(Cos I 2 )
TVD = (100 )(Cos 6 )
TVD = 99 .45'
TVD 2 = TVD + TVD1
TVD 2 = 99 .45'+1,099 .86'
TVD2 = 1,199 .31'
North = (MD )(Sin I 2 )(Cos A2 )
North = (100 )(Sin 6)(Cos 26 .5 )
North = 9.35'

## North 2 = North + North1

North 2 = 9.35'+4.86'
North2 = 14.21'
East = (MD )(Sin I 2 )(Sin A2 )
East = (100 )(Sin 6 )(Sin 26.5 )

East = 4.66ft
East 2 = East + East 1
East 2 = 4.66'+1.94'
East 2 = 6.60ft

The same calculations are made at each survey depth, and the results
are shown in Table 2-4.

## Balanced Tangential Method

Calculate the position of the wellbore at 1,300 feet using the balanced
tangential method given the values at 1,200 feet from Table 2-5.

2-16

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

MD = MD2 MD1

MD = 1,300'1,200'
MD = 100ft
The azimuth at 1,300 feet is 23.30.
MD
TVD =
(Cos I 2 + Cos I1 )
2

100
TVD =
(Cos 9 + Cos 6)
2
TVD = 99 .11'

## TVD 2 = TVD + TVD1

TVD 2 = 99 .11'+1,199 .59'
TVD 2 = 1,298 .70ft
MD
North =
(Sin I1 Cos A1 + Sin I 2 Cos A2 )
2

100
North =
(Sin 6 Cos 26 .5 + Sin 9 Cos 23 .30 )
2
North = 11 .86'

## North 2 = North + North1

North 2 = 11.86'+9.54'
North 2 = 21 .40'
MD
East =
(Sin I1 Sin A1 + Sin I 2 Sin A2 )
2

100
East =
(Sin 6 Sin 26.5 + Sin 9 Sin 23.30)
2
East = 5.43'
East 2 = East + East 1

2-17

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2
Table 2-4. Survey Calculations for Directional Well No. 1 using the Tangential Method

MEASURE
DDEPTH

INCLINATION

(feet)

(degrees)

AZIMUTH

COURSE
LENGTH

TRUE
VERTICAL
DEPTH

(degrees)

(feet)

(feet)

RECTANGULAR
COORDINATES
NORTH

EAST

VERTICAL
SECTION
10 DEG

DOGLEG
SEVERITY

(feet)

(deg/100)

0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
9.00

0.00
0.00
21.70
26.50
23.30

0.00
1000.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

0.00
1,000.00
1,099.86
1,199.32
1,298.08

0.00
0.00
4.86
14.22
28.58

0.00
0.00
1.94
6.60
12.79

0.00
0.00
5.12
15.15
30.37

0.00
0.00
3.05
3.02
3.03

1,400.00
1,500.00
1,600.00
1,700.00
1,800.00

12.00
15.00
18.00
21.00
24.00

20.30
23.30
23.90
24.40
23.40

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,395.90
1,492.49
1,587.60
1,680.96
1,772.31

48.08
71.86
100.11
132.74
170.07

20.00
30.24
42.76
57.56
73.71

50.83
76.01
106.01
140.72
180.29

3.05
3.08
3.00
3.00
3.02

1,900.00
2,000.00
2,100.00
2,200.00
2,300.00

27.00
30.00
30.20
30.40
30.30

23.70
23.30
22.80
22.50
22.10

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,861.41
1,948.01
2,034.44
2,120.69
2,207.03

211.64
257.56
303.94
350.69
397.43

91.96
111.74
131.23
150.60
169.58

224.40
273.06
322.11
371.51
420.84

3.00
3.01
0.32
0.25
0.23

2,400.00
2,500.00
2,600.00
2,700.00
2,800.00

30.60
31.00
31.20
30.70
31.40

22.40
22.50
21.60
20.80
20.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,293.11
2,378.82
2,464.36
2,550.34
2,635.70

444.50
492.08
540.25
587.97
636.65

188.98
208.69
227.76
245.89
264.47

470.56
520.84
571.59
621.74
672.90

0.34
0.40
0.51
0.65
0.70

2,900.00
3,000.00
3,100.00
3,200.00
3,300.00

30.60
30.50
30.40
30.00
30.20

22.00
22.50
23.90
24.50
24.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,721.77
2,807.94
2,894.19
2,980.79
3,067.22

683.84
730.73
777.00
822.50
868.12

283.54
302.96
323.47
344.20
365.38

722.69
772.24
821.36
869.77
918.38

0.98
0.27
0.72
0.50
0.28

3,400.00
3,500.00
3,600.00
3,700.00
3,800.00

31.00
31.10
32.00
30.80
30.60

25.70
25.50
24.40
24.00
22.30

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,152.93
3,238.56
3,323.37
3,409.26
3,495.34

914.53
961.15
1,009.41
1,056.19
1,103.29

387.72
409.95
431.84
452.67
471.99

967.96
1,017.74
1,069.06
1,118.75
1,168.48

0.90
0.14
1.07
1.22
0.89

3,900.00
4,000.00
4,100.00
4,200.00
4,300.00

31.20
30.80
30.00
29.70
29.80

21.70
20.80
20.80
19.80
20.80

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,580.87
3,666.77
3,753.37
3,840.23
3,927.01

1,151.42
1,199.28
1,246.03
1,292.64
1,339.10

491.14
509.32
527.08
543.86
561.51

1,219.21
1,269.51
1,318.62
1,367.44
1,416.26

0.67
0.61
0.80
0.58
0.51

4,400.00
4,500.00
4,600.00
4,700.00
4,800.00

29.50
29.20
29.00
28.70
28.50

21.10
20.80
20.60
21.40
21.20

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

4,014.05
4,101.05
4,188.80
4,276.51
4,364.40

1,385.04
1,430.65
1,476.03
1,520.74
1,565.23

579.24
596.56
613.62
631.14
648.40

1,464.58
1,512.50
1,560.16
1,607.23
1,654.04

0.33
0.33
0.22
0.49
0.22

0.00
1,000.00
1,100.00
1,200.00
1,300.00

2-18

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations
Table 2-5. Survey Calculations for Directional Well No. 1 using the Balanced Tangential Method

MEASURED
DEPTH

INCLINATION

(feet)

(degrees)

AZIMUTH

COURSE
LENGTH

TRUE
VERTICAL
DEPTH

(degrees)

(feet)

(feet)

RECTANGULAR
COORDINATES

NORTH

EAST

VERTICAL
SECTION
10 DEG

DOGLEG
SEVERITY

(feet)

(deg/100)

0.00
1,000.00
1,100.00
1,200.00
1,300.00

0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
9.00

0.00
0.00
21.70
26.50
23.30

0.00
1000.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

0.00
1,000.00
1,099.93
1,199.59
1,298.70

0.00
0.00
2.43
9.54
21.40

0.00
0.00
0.97
4.27
9.69

0.00
0.00
2.56
10.14
22.76

0.00
0.00
3.05
3.02
3.03

1,400.00
1,500.00
1,600.00
1,700.00
1,800.00

12.00
15.00
18.00
21.00
24.00

20.30
23.30
23.90
24.40
23.40

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,396.99
1,494.20
1,590.04
1,684.28
1,776.63

38.33
59.97
85.98
116.43
151.41

16.39
25.12
36.50
50.16
65.64

40.60
63.42
91.01
123.37
160.51

3.05
3.08
3.00
3.00
3.02

1,900.00
2,000.00
2,100.00
2,200.00
2,300.00

27.00
30.00
30.20
30.40
30.30

23.70
23.30
22.80
22.50
22.10

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,866.86
1,954.71
2,041.23
2,127.57
2,213.86

190.86
234.60
280.75
327.31
374.06

82.84
101.85
121.49
140.92
160.09

202.34
248.73
297.58
346.81
396.18

3.00
3.01
0.32
0.25
0.23

2,400.00
2,500.00
2,600.00
2,700.00
2,800.00

30.60
31.00
31.20
30.70
31.40

22.40
22.50
21.60
20.80
20.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,300.07
2,385.96
2,471.59
2,557.35
2,643.02

420.97
468.29
516.16
564.11
612.31

179.28
198.83
218.22
236.82
255.18

445.70
495.70
546.22
596.66
647.32

0.34
0.40
0.51
0.65
0.70

2,900.00
3,000.00
3,100.00
3,200.00
3,300.00

30.60
30.50
30.40
30.00
30.20

22.00
22.50
23.90
24.50
24.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,728.74
2,814.85
2,901.06
2,987.49
3,074.00

660.24
707.29
753.87
799.75
845.31

274.01
293.25
313.22
333.83
354.79

697.79
747.47
796.80
845.57
894.08

0.98
0.27
0.72
0.50
0.28

3,400.00
3,500.00
3,600.00
3,700.00
3,800.00

31.00
31.10
32.00
30.80
30.60

25.70
25.50
24.40
24.00
22.30

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,160.08
3,245.75
3,330.96
3,416.31
3,502.30

891.33
937.84
985.28
1,032.80
1,079.74

376.55
398.83
420.90
442.26
462.33

943.17
992.85
1,043.40
1,093.91
1,143.62

0.90
0.14
1.07
1.22
0.89

3,900.00
4,000.00
4,100.00
4,200.00
4,300.00

31.20
30.80
30.00
29.70
29.80

21.70
20.80
20.80
19.80
20.80

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,588.10
3,673.82
3,760.07
3,846.80
3,933.62

1,127.35
1,175.35
1,222.65
1,269.33
1,315.87

481.56
500.23
518.20
535.47
552.69

1,193.85
1,244.36
1,294.06
1,343.03
1,391.85

0.67
0.61
0.80
0.58
0.51

4,400.00
4,500.00
4,600.00
4,700.00
4,800.00

29.50
29.20
29.00
28.70
28.50

21.10
20.80
20.60
21.40
21.20

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

4,020.53
4,107.69
4,195.07
4,282.66
4,370.46

1,362.07
1,407.84
1,453.34
1,498.38
1,542.98

570.37
587.90
605.09
622.38
639.77

1,440.42
1,488.54
1,536.33
1,583.70
1,630.64

0.33
0.33
0.22
0.49
0.22

2-19

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

East 2 = 5.43'+4.27'
East 2 = 9.70ft

The same calculations are made at each survey depth, and the results
are shown in Table 2-5.
Average Angle Method

Calculate the position of the wellbore at 1,400 feet using the averaging
angle method and the survey data at 1,300 feet in Table 2-6.
MD = MD2 MD1

MD = 1,400'1,300'
MD = 100ft
The azimuth at 1,400 feet is 20.30.
I +
TVD = MD Cos 1 2
2

9 + 12
TVD = 100 Cos

TVD = 98.33ft
TVD 2 = TVD + TVD1
TVD 2 = 98 .33'+1,298 .80'
TVD2 = 1,397.13ft

A + A2
I + I
North = MD Sin 1 2 Cos 1

9 + 12
23.3 + 20.3
North = 100 Sin
Cos

2
2

North = 16.92ft
North 2 = North + North 1
North 2 = 16 .92 '+ 21 .57 '
North 2 = 38.49ft

2-20

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

I + I
A + A2
East = MD Sin 1 2 Sin 1

2
2

9 + 12
23.3 + 20.3
East = 100 Sin
Sin

2
2

East = 6.77ft
East 2 = East + East 1
East 2 = 6.77'+9.19'
East 2 = 15.96ft

The same calculations are made at each survey depth, and the results
are shown in Table 2-6.

## Radius of Curvature Method

Calculate the position of the wellbore at 1,500 feet using the radius of
curvature method and the survey data at 1,400 feet in Table 2-7.
MD = MD2 MD1

MD = 1,500'1,400'
MD = 100ft
The azimuth at 1,500 feet is 23.30.

TVD =

(180)(MD)(SinI 2 SinI1 )
(I 2 I1 )

TVD =

## (180 )(100 )(Sin15 Sin12)

(15 12)

TVD = 97.23ft
TVD 2 = TVD + TVD1
TVD 2 = 97 .23'+1,397 .08'
TVD 2 = 1,494 .31ft

2-21

Chapter 2

North =

## (180 )2 (MD )(Cos I1 Cos I 2 )(Sin A2 Sin A1 )

2 (I 2 I1 )(A2 A1 )

North =

## (180 )2 (100 )(Cos12 Cos15)(Sin 23.3 Sin 20.3)

2 (15 12)(23.3 20.3 )

North = 21.67ft
North 2 = North + North1
North 2 = 21 .67'+38 .47'
North 2 = 60 .14ft

East =

## (180 )2 (MD )(Cos I1 Cos I 2 )(Cos A1 Cos A2 )

2 (I 2 I1 )(A2 A1 )

East =

## (180 )2 (100 )(Cos12 Cos15)(Cos 20.3 Cos 23.3)

2 (15 12 )(23.3 20.3 )

East = 8.67ft
East 2 = East + East 1
East 2 = 8.67'+15 .95'
East 2 = 24.62ft

The same calculations are made at each survey depth, and the results
are shown in Table 2-7.

## Minimum Curvature Method

Calculate the position of the wellbore at 1,600 feet using the minimum
curvature method and the survey data at 1,500 feet in Table 2-8.
MD = MD2 MD1

MD = 1,600'1,500'
MD = 100ft
The azimuth at 1,600 feet is 23.90.

2-22

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

For the minimum curvature method, all the data must be changed to
I1 = 15

or

(15)( ) = 0.2618radians

I 2 = 18

or

(18)( ) = 0.3142radians

A1 = 23 .30

or

## (23.30)( ) = 0.4067 radians

A2 = 23 .90

or

(23.90)( ) = 0.4171radians

180

180

180

180

## Calculate the ratio factor.

D1 = Cos (I 2 I1 ) {Sin I 2 Sin I1 [1 Cos (A2 A1 )]}
D1 = Cos (0.3142 0.2618 ) {Sin 0.1342 Sin 0.2618 [1 Cos (0.4171 0.4067 )]}
D1 = 0.9986

1
D 2 = Tan 1 2 1
D1
1

D 2 = Tan 1
1
2
0.9986
D 2 = 0.0538

FC =

2
D2
Tan

D2
2

FC =

2
0.0538
Tan

0.0538
2

FC = 1.0002408
MD
TVD =
(CosI1 + CosI 2 )(FC )
2
100
TVD =
(Cos 0.2618 + Cos 0.3142)(1.0002408 )
2

2-23

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

TVD = 95.87ft
TVD 2 = TVD + TVD1
TVD 2 = 95 .87'+1,494 .31'
TVD 2 = 1,590 .18ft

MD
North =
[(Sin I 2 Cos A2 ) + (Sin I1 Cos A1 )](FC )
2

100
North =
[(Sin0.3142 Cos 0.4171) + (Sin0.2618 Cos 0.4067)](1.0002408)
2

North = 26.02ft
North 2 = North + North1
North2 = 26.02'+59.98'
North 2 = 86 .00ft
MD
East =
[(Sin I 2 Sin A2 ) + (Sin I1 Sin A1 )](FC )
2
100
East =
[(Sin 0.3142 Sin 0.4171) + (Sin 0.2618 Sin 0.4067 )](1.0002408 )
2
East = 11.38ft

## East 2 = East + East 1

East 2 = 11 .38'+25 .12'
East 2 = 36.50ft

The same calculations are made at each survey depths, and the results
are shown in Table 2-8.

2-24

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations
Table 2-6. Survey Calculations for Directional Well No. 1 using the Average Angle Method

AZIMUTH

COURSE
LENGTH

TRUE
VERTICAL
DEPTH

(degrees)

(degrees)

(feet)

(feet)

0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
9.00

0.00
0.00
21.70
26.50
23.30

0.00
1000.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

0.00
1,000.00
1,099.97
1,199.66
1,298.80

0.00
0.00
2.57
9.73
21.57

0.00
0.00
0.49
3.70
9.19

0.00
0.00
2.62
10.23
22.84

0.00
0.00
3.05
3.02
3.03

1,400.00
1,500.00
1,600.00
1,700.00
1,800.00

12.00
15.00
18.00
21.00
24.00

20.30
23.30
23.90
24.40
23.40

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,397.13
1,494.36
1,590.25
1,684.51
1,776.90

38.49
60.17
86.19
116.65
151.64

15.96
24.63
36.00
49.66
65.16

40.68
63.53
91.14
123.50
160.65

3.05
3.08
3.00
3.00
3.02

1,900.00
2,000.00
2,100.00
2,200.00
2,300.00

27.00
30.00
30.20
30.40
30.30

23.70
23.30
22.80
22.50
22.10

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,867.16
1,955.04
2,041.55
2,127.89
2,214.19

191.11
234.86
281.01
327.57
374.32

82.36
101.39
121.02
140.45
159.63

202.50
248.90
297.76
346.99
396.35

3.00
3.01
0.32
0.25
0.23

2,400.00
2,500.00
2,600.00
2,700.00
2,800.00

30.60
31.00
31.20
30.70
31.40

22.40
22.50
21.60
20.80
20.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,300.40
2,386.29
2,471.92
2,557.68
2,643.35

421.23
468.55
516.43
564.37
612.57

178.82
198.37
217.76
236.36
254.72

445.88
495.88
546.39
596.84
647.50

0.34
0.40
0.51
0.65
0.70

2,900.00
3,000.00
3,100.00
3,200.00
3,300.00

30.60
30.50
30.40
30.00
30.20

22.00
22.50
23.90
24.50
24.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,729.07
2,815.19
2,901.39
2,987.82
3,074.34

660.51
707.56
754.14
800.02
845.58

273.55
292.80
312.76
333.38
354.34

697.98
747.65
796.99
845.75
894.26

0.98
0.27
0.72
0.50
0.28

3,400.00
3,500.00
3,600.00
3,700.00
3,800.00

31.00
31.10
32.00
30.80
30.60

25.70
25.50
24.40
24.00
22.30

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,160.41
3,246.08
3,331.30
3,416.66
3,502.64

891.60
938.12
985.56
1,033.08
1,080.02

376.09
398.38
420.45
441.81
461.88

943.36
993.04
1,043.60
1,094.11
1,143.82

0.90
0.14
1.07
1.22
0.89

3,900.00
4,000.00
4,100.00
4,200.00
4,300.00

31.20
30.80
30.00
29.70
29.80

21.70
20.80
20.80
19.80
20.80

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,588.45
3,674.17
3,760.42
3,847.15
3,933.97

1,127.64
1,175.64
1,222.95
1,269.63
1,316.17

481.12
499.78
517.75
535.02
552.24

1,194.05
1,244.57
1,294.27
1,343.24
1,392.07

0.67
0.61
0.80
.0.58
0.51

4,400.00
4,500.00
4,600.00
4,700.00
4,800.00

29.50
29.20
29.00
28.70
28.50

21.10
20.80
20.60
21.40
21.20

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

4,020.88
4,108.04
4,195.42
4,283.01
4,370.80

1,362.37
1,408.14
1,453.64
1,498.68
1,543.28

569.93
587.45
604.64
621.93
639.32

1,440.64
1,488.76
1,536.55
1,583.91
1,630.85

0.33
0.33
0.22
0.49
0.22

MEASURED
DEPTH

INCLINATION

(feet)

0.00
1,000.00
1,100.00
1,200.00
1,300.00

RECTANGULAR
COORDINATES
NORTH

EAST

VERTICAL
SECTION
10 DEGREES

DOGLEG
SEVERITY

(feet)

(deg/100)

2-25

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2
Table 2-7. Survey Calculations for Directional Well No. 1 using the Radius of Curvature Method

MEASURED
DEPTH

DRIFT
ANGLE

DRIFT
AZIMUTH

COURSE
LENGTH

TRUE
VERTICAL
DEPTH

(feet)

(degrees)

(degrees)

(feet)

(feet)

RECTANGULAR
COORDINATES
NORTH

EAST

VERTICAL
SECTION
10 DEG

DOGLEG
SEVERITY

(feet)

(deg/100)

0.00
1,000.00
1,100.00
1,200.00
1,300.00

0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
9.00

0.00
0.00
21.70
26.50
23.30

0.00
1000.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

0.00
1,000.00
1,099.63
1,199.63
1,298.77

0.00
0.00
2.56
9.71
21.55

0.00
0.00
0.49
3.69
9.19

0.00
0.00
2.60
10.21
22.82

0.00
0.00
3.00
3.02
3.03

1,400.00
1,500.00
1,600.00
1,700.00
1,800.00

12.00
15.00
18.00
21.00
24.00

20.30
23.30
23.90
24.40
23.40

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,397.08
1,494.31
1,590.18
1,684.43
1,776.81

38.47
60.14
86.16
116.62
151.60

15.95
24.62
35.99
49.64
65.15

40.65
63.50
91.10
123.47
160.61

3.05
3.08
3.00
3.00
3.02

1,900.00
2,000.00
2,100.00
2,200.00
2,300.00

27.00
30.00
30.20
30.40
30.30

23.70
23.30
22.80
22.50
22.10

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,867.06
1,954.93
2,041.44
2,127.78
2,214.08

191.06
234.81
280.96
327.52
374.27

82.35
101.37
121.01
140.44
159.61

202.46
248.85
297.70
346.93
396.30

3.00
3.01
0.32
0.25
0.23

2,400.00
2,500.00
2,600.00
2,700.00
2,800.00

30.60
31.00
31.20
30.70
31.40

22.40
22.50
21.60
20.80
20.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,300.29
2,386.18
2,471.81
2,557.57
2,643.24

421.18
468.50
516.37
564.32
612.52

178.80
198.35
217.74
236.34
254.70

445.82
495.83
546.34
596.79
647.45

0.34
0.40
0.51
0.65
0.70

2,900.00
3,000.00
3,100.00
3,200.00
3,300.00

30.60
30.50
30.40
30.00
30.20

22.00
22.50
23.90
24.50
24.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,728.96
2,815.08
2,901.28
2,987.71
3,074.23

660.46
707.50
754.08
799.96
845.53

273.53
292.78
312.74
333.36
354.32

697.92
747.59
796.93
845.70
894.21

0.98
0.27
0.72
0.50
0.28

3,400.00
3,500.00
3,600.00
3,700.00
3,800.00

31.00
31.10
32.00
30.80
30.60

25.70
25.50
24.40
24.00
22.30

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,160.30
3,245.97
3,331.19
3,416.54
3,502.53

891.55
938.06
985.50
1,033.02
1,079.96

376.07
398.36
420.43
441.79
461.86

943.31
992.98
1,043.54
1,094.04
1,143.76

0.90
0.14
1.07
1.22
0.89

3,900.00
4,000.00
4,100.00
4,200.00
4,300.00

31.20
30.80
30.00
29.70
29.80

21.70
20.80
20.80
19.80
20.80

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,588.33
3,674.05
3,760.30
3,847.03
3,933.85

1,127.58
1,175.58
1,222.89
1,269.57
1,316.11

481.10
499.76
517.73
535.00
552.22

1,193.99
1,244.50
1,294.21
1,343.18
1,392.00

0.67
0.61
0.80
0.58
0.51

4,400.00
4,500.00
4,600.00
4,700.00
4,800.00

29.50
29.20
29.00
28.70
28.50

21.10
20.80
20.60
21.40
21.20

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

4,020.76
4,107.92
4,195.30
4,282.89
4,370.69

1,362.31
1,408.08
1,453.57
1,498.62
1,543.22

569.90
587.43
604.62
621.91
639.30

1,440.57
1,488.69
1,536.48
1,583.85
1,630.79

0.33
0.33
0.22
0.49
0.22

2-26

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations
Table 2-8. Survey Calculations for Directional Well No. 1 using the Minimum Curvature Method

AZIMUTH

COURSE
LENGTH

TRUE
VERTICAL
DEPTH

(degrees)

(degrees)

(feet)

(feet)

0.00
1,000.00
1,100.00
1,200.00
1,300.00

0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
9.00

0.00
0.00
21.70
26.50
23.30

0.00
1000.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

0.00
1,000.00
1,099.95
1,199.63
1,298.77

0.00
0.00
2.43
9.54
21.40

0.00
0.00
0.97
4.27
9.70

0.00
0.00
2.56
10.14
22.76

0.00
0.00
3.05
3.02
3.03

1,400.00
1,500.00
1,600.00
1,700.00
1,800.00

12.00
15.00
18.00
21.00
24.00

2030
23.30
23.90
24.40
23.40

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,397.08
1,494.31
1,590.18
1,684.44
1,776.81

38.34
59.98
86.00
116.45
151.44

16.40
25.12
36.51
50.17
65.65

40.61
63.44
91.03
123.40
160.54

3.05
3.08
3.00
3.00
3.02

1,900.00
2,000.00
2,100.00
2,200.00
2,300.00

27.00
30.00
30.20
30.40
30.30

23.70
23.30
22.80
22.50
22.10

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

1,867.06
1,954.93
2,041.45
2,127.79
2,214.08

190.90
234.66
280.81
327.37
374.12

82.86
101.88
121.51
140.94
160.11

202.39
248.78
297.64
346.87
396.23

3.00
3.01
0.32
0.25
0.23

2,400.00
2,500.00
2,600.00
2,700.00
2,800.00

30.60
31.00
31.20
30.70
31.40

22.40
22.50
21.60
20.80
20.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,300.29
2,386.19
2,471.81
2,557.58
2,643.25

421.02
468.34
516.22
564.16
612.36

179.30
198.86
218.25
236.85
255.20

445.76
495.76
546.27
596.72
647.38

0.34
0.40
0.51
0.65
0.70

2,900.00
3,000.00
3,100.00
3,200.00
3,300.00

30.60
30.50
30.40
30.00
30.20

22.00
22.50
23.90
24.50
24.90

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

2,728.96
2,815.08
2,901.29
2,987.72
3,074.23

660.30
707.35
753.92
799.80
845.37

274.03
293.28
313.24
333.86
354.82

697.86
747.53
796.86
845.63
894.14

0.98
0.27
0.72
0.50
0.28

3,400.00
3,500.00
3,600.00
3,700.00
3,800.00

31.00
31.10
32.00
30.80
30.60

25.70
25.50
24.40
24.00
22.30

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,160.31
3,245.98
3,331.20
3,416.55
3,502.54

891.39
937.90
985.34
1,032.86
1,079.80

376.57
398.86
420.92
442.28
462.36

943.23
992.91
1,043.47
1,093.97
1,143.68

0.90
0.14
1.07
1.22
0.89

3,900.00
4,000.00
4,100.00
4,200.00
4,300.00

31.20
30.80
30.00
29.70
29.80

21.70
20.80
20.80
19.80
20.80

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

3,588.34
3,674.06
3,760.31
3,847.04
3,933.87

1,127.42
1,175.42
1,222.72
1,269.40
1,315.94

481.59
500.26
518.23
535.50
552.71

1,193.91
1,244.43
1,294.13
1,343.10
1,391.92

0.67
0.61
0.80
0.58
0.51

4,400.00
4,500.00
4,600.00
4,700.00
4,800.00

29.50
29.20
29.00
28.70
28.50

21.10
20.80
20.60
21.40
21.20

100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

4,020.77
4,107.94
4,195.31
4,282.90
4,370.70

1,362.14
1,407.91
1,453.40
1,498.45
1,543.05

570.40
587.93
605.12
322.41
639.80

1,440.49
1,488.61
1,536.40
1,583.77
1,630.71

0.33
0.33
0.22
0.49
0.22

MEASURED
DEPTH

INCLINATION

(feet)

RECTANGULAR
COORDINATES
NORTH

EAST

VERTICAL
SECTION
10 DEG

DOGLEG
SEVERITY

(feet)

(deg/100)

2-27

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

The results of the survey calculations for Directional Well No. 1 in Example 2-2 are compared in
Table 2-9 and Table 2-10. The comparison shows a significant difference when using the
tangential method. The difference is much less pronounced with the other four methods. Table
2-10 shows the difference in the calculated TVD, North and East assuming the minimum
curvature method is the most accurate. The average angle, balanced tangential and radius of
curvature methods are all within one foot of each other at total depth. It must be remembered
that as the distance between surveys increases, the average angle and balanced tangential
errors will increase significantly.
Table 2-9. Comparison of the Survey Calculation Methods for Example 2-2 Results

METHOD

TVD
Feet
4,364.40
4,370.46
4,370.80
4,370.69
4,370.70

Tangential
Balanced Tangential
Average Angle
Minimum Curvature

NORTH
Feet
1,565.23
1,542.98
1,543.28
1,543.22
1,543.05

EAST
Feet
648.40
639.77
639.32
639.30
639.80

Table 2-10. Relative Difference between the Survey Calculation Methods for Example 2-2 Results

METHOD

Tangential
Balanced Tangential
Average Angle
Minimum Curvature

DIFFERENCE
IN TVD
Feet
-6.30
-0.24
+0.10
-0.01
+0.00

DIFFERENCE
IN NORTH
Feet
22.18
-0.07
+0.23
+0.17
+0.00

DIFFERENCE
IN EAST
Feet
+8.60
-0.03
-0.48
-0.50
+0.00

## CLOSURE AND DIRECTION

The line of closure is defined as "a straight line, in a horizontal plane containing the last station
of the survey, drawn from the projected surface location to the last station of the survey." The
line of closure is identified in Figure 2-9. Simply stated, the closure is the shortest distance
between the surface location and the horizontal projection of the last survey point. The closure
is always a straight line because a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. The
closure is the polar coordinates at a given survey point as opposed to north and east being
rectangular coordinates.
When defining closure, the direction must also be given. Without indicating direction, the
bottomhole location projected in a horizontal plane could be anywhere along the circumference
of a circle with the radius of the circle being equal to the closure distance. The direction and
closure exactly specifies where the bottom of the hole is located in relation to the surface
location.

2-28

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

Figure 2-9. Graphic Representation of the Difference between Closure Distance and Vertical Section in the
Horizontal Plane

The closure distance and direction are calculated using the following equations:
Closure direction = Tan 1

Closure distance =

East
North

Equation 2-27

(North)2 + (East )2

Equation 2-28

These are the same equations used for calculating an angle and hypotenuse of a right triangle.

Example 2-3
Given:

To illustrate the use of these equations, the closure and direction of the
Directional Well No. 1 in Example 2-2 for the results of the minimum
curvature method are calculated below
From Table 2-7, the coordinates of the last survey point in the example
well are:
North = 1,543.05 ft
East = 639.80 ft

2

2-29

Chapter 2

## Closure distance= (1,543.05 )2 + (639.80 )2

Closure distance =1,670 .43 ft

East
Closure direction =Tan 1

North
639.80
Closure direction =Tan 1

1,543.05
Closure direction = 22.52 or 22 31'
Since the bottomhole location is in the northeast quadrant, the closure
distance and direction are:
1,670.43 ft

N22.52E

Then, the horizontal projection of the bottom of the hole is 1,670.43 feet
away from the surface location in the N22.52E direction.

VERTICAL SECTION
The vertical section is the horizontal length of a projection of the borehole into a specific vertical
plane and scaled with vertical depth. When the path of a wellbore is plotted, the vertical section
is plotted versus TVD. The closure distance cannot be plotted accurately because the plane of
closure (closure direction) can change between surveys. The vertical plot of a wellbore is in
one specific plane. Figure 2-9 graphically shows the difference between the closure distance
and vertical section. The closure distance and vertical section are equal only when the closure
direction is the same as the plane of the vertical section.
The vertical section azimuth is usually chosen as the azimuth from the surface location to the
center of the target. If multiple targets are present and changes in azimuth are required to hit
each target, the vertical section azimuth is usually chosen as the azimuth from the surface
location to the end of the wellbore.
The vertical section is calculated from the closure distance and direction. The equations for
calculating the vertical section can be seen in Table 2-1 and are as follows:
VS = Cos (Azvs Azcl ) (Closure distance )

Equation 2-29

Example 2-4
Given:

## The data of Directional Well No. 1 from the previous examples.

The plane of the vertical section is 10.

Calculate:

2-30

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

## From the previous example:

Closure distance = 1,670.43 feet
Closure direction = 22.52
Calculate the vertical section:
VS = Cos (Azvs Azcl ) (Closure distance )
VS = Cos (10 22 .52 ) (1,670 .43 )
VS = 1,630.71ft

## Therefore, the distance of 1,630.71 feet would be plotted on the vertical

section. Figure 2-10 and Figure 2-11 are respectively the plan view and
vertical section for Example 2-2.

2-31

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

Plan View
1800

1600

1400

North, feet

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0
0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

1400

1600

East, feet
Figure 2-10. Plan View for Directional Well No. 1 of Example 2-2

2-32

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

Vertical Section
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

4000

4500

5000
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

## Vertical Section, feet

Figure 2-11. Vertical Section for Directional Well no. 1 in Example 2-2

2-33

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Chapter 2

PROBLEMS
1.
Given the following survey data, calculate the TVD, North and East using the
average angle and radius of curvature methods.
MD1 = 1000 feet
I1 = 0
A1 = S42W

## MD2 = 2000 feet

I2 = 40
A2 = S42W

2.
Given the following rectangular coordinates, calculate the vertical section of the survey
point if the vertical section azimuth is 215.
North = -1643.82 feet and East = -822.16 feet
3
Given the following survey data, calculate the TVD, North and East using the
average angle, radius of curvature and minimum curvature methods.
MD2 = 200 feet
I2 = 1
A2 = 180

I1 = 1
A1 = 0

NOMENCLATURE

2-34

A1

A2

Azcl

Azvs

Br

Build rate.

D1

D2

DLS

FC

I1

I2

MD

Measured depth.

VS

## Vertical Section length

Change in parameter

## Horizontal and Directional Drilling

Survey Calculations

DEP

East

MD

survey points.

North

North

TVD

East