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IADC/SPE 81626

Does Underbalanced Drilling Really Add Reserves?
Randall Cade, SPE,Weatherford International, Inc.; Ringys Kirvelis, SPE, Minijos Nafta; and Jeffrey Jennings, GeoResources Inc.

Copyright 2003, IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology Conference and Exhibition
This paper was prepared for presentation at the IADC/SPE Underbalanced Technology
Conference and Exhibition held in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., 25–26 March 2003.
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Abstract
Underbalanced drilling in its various forms has been used in
the oil and gas industry for more than 20 years. A growing
body of technical publications documents the mechanics and
advantages of underbalanced drilling (UBD) technology,
including details related to casing sizes, circulation rates,
depths, rate of penetration, etc. There are also many mentions
in the literature of resultant well productivity improvements.
In contrast, there is little written in the literature about what
contribution UBD makes to reserves and ultimate recovery.
This paper provides a basis for considering the
reserve contributions of UBD technology. The six reservoir
case histories presented here document tangible reserves
attributable to the three key reservoir-related benefits of UBD:
improved reservoir access, reduced skin damage, and better
ability to evaluate the reservoir while drilling.
Assessment of UBD-related incremental reserves
In this paper we attempt to put a value on UBD by assessing
reserves added using this technology.
Our procedure for estimating reserves attributable to
UBD operations is simple. If a conventional development
scheme will recover economic reserves of X bbls, and a UBD
scheme will recover economic reserves of 1.5X, then the
portion of the reserves attributable to UBD is 0.5X reserves.
To calculate the reserves attributable to UBD
rigorously, one should look at all reasonable development
schemes, the associated well and field recoveries, the costs
and associated reserves, and the resulting economics. In the
cases below, we have insufficient information to attribute
reserves rigorously, but we do have enough information to
make reasonable inferences about incremental economic
reserves attributable to UBD techniques.
This practical method of considering reserve
contribution does not address recovery factor. However, we

discuss recovery factor where information is available.
In most of the case histories discussed below, UBD is
used in partially depleted fields to revive production. UBD
also is often a crucial element of a larger system, as shown by
four of the case histories in which UBD is used in conjunction
with horizontal drilling. Neither horizontal nor UBD by itself
could produce the reserves that the two can when combined.
A more complex example of the use of UBD is seen
in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects, which are most often
undertaken in mature fields with semi-depleted reservoirs.
The total system to achieve incremental recovery comprises
infill wells and surface facilities to inject a fluid or gas. If
wells cannot be drilled successfully in a depleted field without
UBD, then UBD becomes an enabling technology crucial to
the success of the entire EOR project. As such, it is
reasonable to assign UBD a value equal to a portion of the
entire project value or project reserves.
Types of reserves additions
The incremental reserves cited in this paper are rooted in three
fundamental benefits of UBD:
a)

Reduced formation damage. Reduction in skin may
manifest itself in several ways, most of which are
difficult to predict accurately with the tools currently
available. In a qualitative sense, reduced skin
increases recovery by:
- allowing more intervals within a
producing zone to contribute;
- lowering abandonment pressure; and
- lowering the net pay cutoff.

b)

Improved access. UBD techniques make it possible
to drill wells in circumstances where conventional
drilling techniques do not work.
This was found to be the single biggest contributor to
reserves in the case histories considered here. In
many cases, UBD was used in underpressured or
partially depleted reservoirs only after conventional
wells proved expensive and unsuccessful.

c)

Reservoir evaluation while drilling. Many wellsite
geologists can cite cases where productive zones
have been missed completely because they were
drilled overbalanced. They looked “good” on a log,
but were not tested because of lack of shows, or
because they produced little or nothing when tested.

Case History 2 – Carthage Field The Carthage field. The production curves from the last two phases are shown in Figure 1. moderate thickness (34 ft. or about 170 thousand standard cubic feet per day (MCFD) per well. Oxy recognized the potential for reducing reservoir abandonment pressure by drilling an undamaged horizontal well. There are fewer cases where the reserve increment comes from a single aspect. A target area in the “Frost A” interval of the Lower Pettit was chosen for its favorable characteristics: good homogeneity. In the absence of a firm method for attributing reserves. but clearly the contribution of UBD is large. and (4) underbalanced horizontal drilling (1989 to 1991). even more so. lost circulation). Drilling a horizontal well in this environment would obviously be a challenge. etc. In this case. producing more than 150 million barrels of oil (MMBO). The inseparability of the two technologies makes it difficult to attribute reserves independently to either. In the mid 90’s. reduction in formation damage (case history 3) and reservoir evaluation (case history 5). One technology without the other would not have worked in this reservoir setting. and good porosity and permeability (18%. keeping skin damage to a minimum. As of January 1996. its drawdown was estimated at about 10 psi. Case History 1 – Pearsall Field. The unit chosen for drilling was the 640-acre Pirkle production unit. which had been reduced to 210 pounds per sqare inch (psi). which had an existing vertical producer with estimated remaining reserves of 1031 MMCF in the Lower Pettit. Clearly. It is striking to note that the 4th phase (UBD + horizontal) has contributed more reserves (80 MMBO) than the other three phases combined (70 MMBO). contained an estimated 4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) gas in place. - Every operator clearly recognized a learning curve for UBD cost and time. UBD in this case refers to flow drilling: drilling with water and a rotating head. The state regulatory authority granted a spacing exception to allow a horizontal well to be drilled on the unit. The operator justified the well by estimating that it would produce an incremental 372 MMCF from the Pirkle unit by lowering the abandonment pressure from 111 psi to 58 psi. Prior to UBD. 199 wells were producing about 34 million standard cubic feet per day (MMCFD). we counted the reserves of the new zone as attributable to UBD. discovered in 1936. depth. multiple wells are needed to rise to the level of efficient and optimized operation.). The resulting flow characteristics would achieve a reservoir abandonment . was the enabling technology that allowed the horizontal wells to be drilled. Some plugging of fractures with mud and cuttings probably also reduced productivity. Caldwell and Heather documented four stages of development in this field from 1936 to present. - Operators often used UBD only after trying a myriad of conventional and often costly drilling techniques such as light weight fluid. The authors attribute the most recent production boost (1989-1991) to UBD and horizontal wells. Each of these development phases were characterized by additional drilling and increased production.2 IADC/SPE 81626 Drilling through the same zone underbalanced may reveal a completely different story. occasional production kicks. Case Histories The case histories below have several common features: . Most commonly. covering about 267. the other contributor. produces from several zones. (3) cased hole completions with fracturing.000 acres and developed with 470 wells. including the Lower Pettit limestone at about 6000 ft. in which an entirely new producing zone was discovered while drilling underbalanced. we propose to attribute reserves equally: 40 MMBO for horizontal technology and 40 MMBO for UBD. and essentially eliminated lost time due to kicks. or skin damage and productivity loss. typically less than 60 MCFD. One may argue that the proportions are skewed in favor of one or the other. or both. for example. lost circulation material. The challenging aspect of drilling here was the low reservoir pressure.) Underbalanced technology. and an abandonment pressure of 111 psi. West Texas The Pearsall field of West Texas has been produced for 70 years. Drilling horizontal wells reduced the risk of dry holes by intersecting multiple fracture sets to increase productivity. The Lower Pettit. of which about 2. This multilayered chalk reservoir at 5000 to 8000 ft depth produces primarily from fractures.g. More than two thousand wells have been drilled. the reserve improvement derives from a combination of the three benefits listed above.UBD was used in an existing producing field. attempts to drill horizontally met with poor success due to lost circulation. related to technology and oil price: (1) use of open hole completions and nitroglycerine (1936-1941). UBD minimized mud losses. reduced the risk of stuck pipe. and allowing the well to flow oil and gas during drilling. 35 millidarcies). (2) open hole completions with acid and fracturing (1948 to 1956).8 TCF had been produced up to 1996. Table 1 quantifies the reserve addition associated with each phase. (Vertical wells also could be large producers but the intersection of high productivity fractures was almost solely by chance. If a horizontal well could be drilled with no skin. with drilling stimulated by higher oil prices (1975 to 1980). Let’s examine the contribution of the two technologies associated with the fourth phase: horizontal and underbalanced technology. and stuck pipe. lack of faulting. The rationale was as follows: Offset vertical wells were calculated to have a 30 to 50 psi drawdown at an assumed economic limit of 75 MCFD. The other wells had been abandoned due to subeconomic production rates. - Conventional well practices resulted in well construction problems (e. the last Pearsall production boom was attributable to the inseparable combination of horizontal wells and UBD (flow drilling). as shown in case history 5 below (Lithuania).

Drilling was continued with a stiff foam. Additional wells on approximately 160-acre spacing were required to create the 11 nine-spot injection patterns to implement the project.) All the wells are crestal wells in the same or adjacent sections.Rhourde El Baguel Rhourde El Baguel. suggesting low or zero skin damage.8 BCF. the operator chose the air system. For purposes of crediting reserves to UBD. was was discovered in 1962 and produced 430 million barrels of oil (15% of oil in place) up to 1995. Both were necessary to drill this well into a very lowpressured reservoir and achieve a high recovery. that difference is equivalent to 500 MBOE. it had produced over 11 BCF and 550 thousand barrels oil (MBO). the fluid invasion damaged the formation and reduced production rates. including foam.2 BCF attributable to horizontal technology). After setting 7 5/8 inch casing above the Norphlet. progress slowed and air returns were lost. but by 1999 it had reached an average pressure of 2700 psi. The original reservoir pressure was 9200 psi. After 150 days of production. Peak production occurred in 1968 with 94. Given the reservoir temperature of 350 F. a “blowdown” phase. The operator considered several drilling fluid alternatives. planned to implement an (EOR) project using lean gas injection. producing from the Norphlet dolomite and Smackover sandstone. the well has overachieved its expected recovery by nearly a factor of 10. Even so.37 BCF of planned incremental recovery. (Oil and condensate production from the wells are combined into a single value of thousands of barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE). and was still producing at an daily rate of 1500 MCFD. the well was producing at a rate of 1260 MCFD with 19 barrels condensate per day. After 750 ft of lateral drilling. a calcium carbonate system. Figure 2 shows production of the UBD well compared to production for five offset wells. and the well began flowed at 1. In addition. After drilling conventionally to just above the reservoir and setting 7 inch casing. and minimal overbalance. faster drilling rates. If one assumes 3. and was producing 16 MMCFD and 800 barrels condensate per day after completion.9 ppg). SONARCO.5 to 2.000 barrels oil per day (BOPD) being produced from 17 wells. One may surmise that the drainage area of the well is considerably greater than that of a comparable vertical well. By February 2002. The well achieved 25 MMCFD while drilling. Gas injection had been used in previous years to maximize condensate recovery by maintaining reservoir pressure. The 18 producing wells averaged 100 to 400 barrels condensate per day and 3 to 6 MMCFD in 1999. the 10-11 #4 well had produced roughly 1000 MBOE more than the more typical wells 3-14 #2 and 15-5 #1. As of Feb 2002. of which 1200 ft. recent wells drilled with conventional mud systems had experienced losses to the formation. A flow and buildup test conducted after 97 days indicated that the desired drawdown of less than 10 psi was achieved. With this low reservoir pressure (equivalent to 2. the reservoir was drilled horizontally using air and a 6 ¼ inch hole.. and decided to drill the well with natural gas misted with diesel. Case History 4. Production in 1995 was 25. also in MBOE)) clearly show the outstanding performance of the 1011 #4 UBD well. with a bubble point of 2390 psi. and all wells except the 10-11 #4 were drilled conventionally. or 10 more years of field life with wells maintaining their current trend. the horizontal well had produced 3 billion cubic feet (BCF). the technologies that allowed this success to be achieved were horizontal and UBD. we propose that half of the incremental reserves should be allocated to each technology.000 ft. and consequently that the well is draining gas from outside its production unit.5 MMCFD at a surface pressure of 160 psi.2 BCF of incremental recovery attributable to UBD (with the other 1. Using UBD technology. the 10-11 #4 well pay section was drilled out with a 6 ½ inch bit using 2600 standard cubic feet per minute gas and 25 gallons per minute diesel. Cumulative production plots (Figures 3 and 4. and subtracting the 0. and the presence of 100 to 700 ppm H2S. Upon pulling the drill string. Figures 2 and 4 suggests that the 10-11 #4 UBD well performed as well as the 10-3 #1 well drilled 10 years before. The . we assume that the incremental reserves recovered by the 1011 #4 well was half of the difference between its cumulative recovery to date and that of more typical wells 3-14 #2 and 15-5 #1. The operator. and air. were considered to be through high porosity rock. Case History 3 – Hatter’s Pond Hatter’s Pond in Alabama is a gas condensate field at a depth of 18. Because of the perceived difficulty of drilling substantially overbalanced through this 210 psi reservoir and repairing resulting skin damage. By February 2002. As with the previous case history. Using recovery to date of 2. foam. The decline curves indicate at that the 10-11 # 4 well achieved several times the initial rate of the other wells drilled in the 90’s. It could be argued given the low reservoir pressure at which this well was drilled that 75% or more of the incremental reserves could be attributable to UBD. This field was discovered in 1974 and has produced 210 BCF and 50 million barrels condensate up to 1999. The operator considered four methods of drilling through the reservoir: a traditional mud system. cuttings were found to be caked around the drill pipe. this equates to 1. In the absence of a better method for allocation. the incremental benefit will be several times greater.000 BOPD from 21 wells. Reservoir pressure had declined to approximately 2000 psi by the mid 1990’s. The average rate for the nearly seven years of production was 1250 MCFD. the operator hoped to exceed those rates in a new well. The advantages of this system were cited as no fluid invasion. This highly undersaturated reservoir had an original pressure of 5750 psi. one of the largest fields in Algeria. 5. ultimately achieving a horizontal length of 1432 ft. This is all the more impressive when one considers that the reservoir pressure when 10-11 #4 was drilled was lower than for wells drilled in previous years.IADC/SPE 81626 3 pressure of 58 psi. all well operations had to be planned with great care.

Drilling underbalanced through this zone. Even with this low-density fluid. three in Pietu Siupariai. and through 1994 the field produced 2. UBD technology in combination with horizontal wells truly unlocked the potential of these fields. The dramatic and quick increase in water cut in these wells was evidence of water coning.000 feet. show an increase of reserves of 2. which had cost $1865/m. Cost for the underbalanced wells averaged $3974/meter. in offset wells and fields this zone was drilled through without detecting any hydrocarbons because of the high mud weights used. the operator drilled one vertical well and five horizontal/high angle wells underbalanced. a considerable portion of this should be attributed to UBD techniques. prior to drilling UBD.6% of the original oil in place. As with the cases above. the uppermost zone in this well was not thought to be productive. and significant skin damage. respectively. a 30-fold increase compared to offset well G-7. Prior to drilling. Since the wells were drilled on 40-acre spacing. however. and low skin factor. Drilling was suspended and the well was completed after 5 meters of penetration due to the prolific oil influx.4 operator estimated that EOR could recover an additional 500 MMBO. The logistics involved in mobilizing UBD equipment to a remote location in the Sahara was a significant challenge. For purposes of this discussion. produced 4000 BOPD during the drilling. including lost circulation.6 MMBO for Pietu Siupariai and Degliai. Although the wells were completed as producers.5 MMBO (106 MBO EUR per well). The EUR estimates. 8 does an excellent job of documenting this for cost and rate of penetration. having a thickness of 200 to 250 ft. Lost circulation material and sized calcium carbonate were tried without success. one in Degliai. and swelling clays. but the oil cut declined rapidly over the first year and stabilized at 10 BOPD (90% water cut). stuck pipe. Costs for the overbalanced (OB) wells ranged from roughly $US 1865 to 6000 per meter drilled. It is clear that there is a learning curve in applying UBD techniques. typically less than 130 BOPD. Case history 5. Subsequent analysis suggested that conventional drilling caused water blocking. More than 27 wells were drilled with foam. including two of the wells that had been suspended during the overbalanced drilling program. The well reportedly produced at rates of up to 5601 bbl/day and a cumulative volume of 43. This 15 to 20 ft. The producing reservoir was the Middle Cambrian Sandstone at a depth of 6300 to 6600 ft. The UBD wells were much more successful in meeting the objectives of the project. and declines were rapid due to lack of aquifer pressure support. it is clear that the EOR project would have been marginal at best using conventional drilling techniques. By mid 2001. and one well. became the most prolific well in Lithuanian history. Considering that the remaining recoverable reserves were 500 MMBO. a common fact of life in such thin. During the period 1966 to 1994. Case history 6 – Wayne field. Problems ensued. including reaching the desired total depth. The original vertical wells showed an initial production of 70 BOPD.197 bbl during drilling. equating to about 35% of the oil in place. diesel as a drilling fluid.3 MMBO and 1. pore-throat plugging. the operator sought a more costeffective method of drilling and decided upon underbalanced drilling using foam after considering several options. thick reservoir averages 24% porosity and 100 millidarcies permeability. after UBD. Costs for the last several UBD wells averaged $1253/m. this left more than 50% of the . The original reservoir pressure. as well as compiling a list of lessons learned. In this discussion we will consider three fields: Peitu Siupariai. and UBD. the PS-2. Table 2 presents oil reserves in Pietu Siupariai and Degliai fields before and after the UBD horizontal wells were drilled in 2000 and 2001. With eight conventional- IADC/SPE 81626 ly drilled producers as a starting point. an overbalance of roughly 1900 psi resulted. but the last nine UBD wells cost less than the lowest cost overbalanced well. equating to a recovery factor of only 10. and began trying different methods to improve productivity. Only after adopting UBD techniques were wells created that could allow the project to move forward economically. Field production had peaked at about 2000 BOPD in 1997. all of which contributed to the low productivity. including fracturing. D-8. inability to achieve the planned total depth of the well. North Dakota The Wayne Field in Williston Basin produces 28º API oil from the Mission Canyon formation. averaging $3520 per meter over the nine-well program. it’s easy to argue that the portion attributable to UBD is larger or smaller.4%. horizontal wells. demonstrates the reservoir evaluation aspect to UBD. logging. initial rates were low. abandoned coring attempts. or only about 14. In terms of allocating a value to UBD techniques. As a result. Decline curve analysis indicated that the EUR would be about 3. 8 to 10 vertical wells were drilled conventionally in six fields.Lithuania UBD has found recent success in the Gargdzai region of Western Lithuania. using a light weight oil-based mud. the average drainage radius of the wells was only 240 feet. coring. Ref. but limited the amount of drawdown pressure that could be applied to the reservoir.5 MMBO and 24 million barrels of water. The operator started the infill program with conventional wells. That’s an improvement of five to ten fold! Similar improvements in EUR are estimated in Pociai field also. a total of 33 of these vertical wells were on production. The coning led to high oil recovery from a small well-flushed zone around the wellbore. bottom-water-drive reservoirs. The reservoir’s active bottom-water drive mechanism quickly became evident in the pattern of production. a fractured carbonate reservoir at a depth of 4. By the end of 1985. but it’s clear that the UBD contribution is nevertheless significant. 1900 psi in 1957. At this point. had dropped to about 900 psi by 1994 when the operator’s development effort commenced. field production exceeded 8400 BOPD and was rising. we shall conservatively suggest 20% or 100 MMBO attributable to UBD. and Pociai. One well. derived from decline curve analysis. Diegliai. Minos Nafta became operator of the fields in 1996. Several of the wells produced 2000 to 4000 BOPD while drilling.

Steering proceeded with no problems in the first half of the lateral. Colorado. EOR processes. 2. and both of these factors were considered to be indications of possible reservoir damage. that adds up to 450 MBO incremental EUR due to UBD. SPE 36751. Overbalanced horizontal drilling GeoResources drilled the first well. These case histories quantify incremental reserves from the three key reservoir-related benefits of underbalanced technology: improved reservoir access. one can argue that most of the recovery greater than 150 MBO is attributable to the additional well length and reduced skin damage achieved with underbalanced drilling. Underbalanced horizontal drilling The next four horizontal wells were drilled either nearbalanced or underbalanced. compared to an EUR for vertical wells of 80 MBO (Table 4). This underperformance cannot be attributed to geology. While rotation was still possible. Although the well was TD’d near the planned horizontal length of 1808 ft.. Using 2000 ft.g. and adding in the additional legs of the H-3. Texas” Paper. The most immediate benefit of UBD in Wayne Field was access. as shown in Table 3. but after that point the overbalanced situation led to increasingly severe steering and differential sticking problems. Carthage (Lower Pettit) Field. where the geology is believed to be inferior. Figure 5 shows the cumulative recovery to February 2002.4 pounds per gallon. Rhodes. . or both. Underbalanced technology can be critical component in adding incremental reserves. Texas. October 6-9. Underbalanced technology is commonly used in mature producing fields. The H-2 well (drilled with native crude) was nearer to being balanced. Conclusions 1. The H-1 well horizontal section was drilled with steerable assembly as a 6 1/8 inch hole out of 7 inch production casing. presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Denver. 4. and better ability to evaluate the reservoir while drilling. the Oscar Fossum H-1. but it is included because UBD techniques were used (a rotating head and fluids with a circulating density lower than that of conventional drilling fluids). of lateral length in the remaining four wells. as the technical limit for OB drilling in this formation. In today’s oil price and well cost environment. The EUR numbers estimated in Figure 6 compare well to initial predictions for EUR. Horizontal wells appeared to be a logical solution. If one assumes that the H1 EUR represents a typical OB well. Singh.IADC/SPE 81626 reservoir area unproduced. as a conventional lateral drilled with an overbalanced polymer mud system having a density of approximately 8. These difficulties can be mitigated by judicious use of underbalanced technology. S. 3. it was clear that future wells would require a different drilling technique if longer laterals were to be accomplished. 5 a zone geologically as good as. Depletion Drive Gas Reservoirs – Pirkle #2 Well.. J. and Ballantyne State wells. Steering the tools in the last 300 feet of the hole became extremely difficult. with its longer reservoir exposure. but may also be indicative of reduced formation damage. A. decline curve analysis suggested that the conventional horizontal well should recover about 175 MBO and the underbalanced wells should recover 275 MBO. The UBD wells averaged 156 BOPD and 422 barrels fluid per day during the first year. D. compared to 117 BOPD and 248 barrels fluid per day for the H1 well. Although the four underbalanced wells cost more to drill. sliding and steering were necessary to keep the hole in the target zone. operators often attempt development with conventional well practices that result in well construction problems (e. Thereafter the well’s production profile began a moderate decline. S. especially when used in conjunction with other technologies such as horizontal wells. Bibliography 1. March 20-23. The high initial oil and total fluid rates in the four UBD wells are attributable primarily to the longer horizontal well lengths. Artificial lift has also been similar for each well. The H3 well. than the H2. R. but not as high as had been expected for its well length. 5. UBD techniques added an incremental 8009 ft.. Davis. The incremental reserves attributable to the use of underbalanced technology can be large. a similar project could achieve even better economic results. 1999 McCoy. Long-term benefits of underbalanced drilling Roughly six months after the completion of the drilling program. 2. or skin damage and productivity loss. presented at the 1999 SPE Hydrocarbon Economics and Evaluation Symposium held in Dallas.. When redeveloping mature fields. Heather. etc. reduced skin damage. and are expected to deliver approximately twice the reserves and NPV. they paid out nearly twice as fast than the conventional horizontal well. H3. Panola County.: “Evaluation Issues Created by Technology Advances” Paper. lost circulation). or possibly better.. may exceed 300 MBO EUR. SPE 52965. Elrod. Underbalanced techniques were primarily responsible for doubling well lengths compared to the first overbalanced well (Fossum #1) where the operator reached the practical limit of OB drilling. since the H1 is in Caldwell.: “Using Horizontal Well Technology for Enhanced Recovery in Very Mature. One can also argue that construction of multilaterals would have been difficult or impossible with conventional OB techniques. F. with the exception of the H4 well. Initial production of the H-1 well was satisfactory. A Case History. Using the above figures. 1996. The overbalanced Fossum H1 well has continued to underperform compared to the other wells.

A Case History of Remote. 2000.. Pia. July 1999. 9. M. North Dakota. P.. J. 7. Texas.. Yielding Record Well Productivity in Lithuanian Fields”. August 28-29. J. Kirvelis. October 22-24. Pia. May 2002. Thomas.. M.C. R... Varcoe. T. Haselton. Haselton. May.. Kirvelis. 2000 . Vinopal. C.. presented at the 1996 SPE European Petroleum Conference held in Milan. 5. G.: “Underbalanced Drilling at its Limits Brings Life to Old Field” Paper SPE 62896..: “Reservoir Simulation of the Planned Miscible Gas Injection Project at Rhourde El Baguel. in Houston.. T. T. Vickers and J. D. Alabama” Paper. Tx.: “Wells Drilled Overbalanced and Underbalanced Prove UBD Value” Article. S. Italy. Correspondence with J. T. Jennings of GeoResources. presented at the SPE 67th Annual Technical Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers held in Washington. presented at the IADC Underbalanced Drilling Conf.. . Leary. Pia. G. Ginger. Algeria” Paper SPE 36935.. 6. Fuller. World Oil.. 1996. SPE 24713.. World Oil Magazine. C. B. Vining... Fuller. presented at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Dallas.. T. G.. Benoit. Williston. Pia. M. R. 4. T. Hazzard.. Mobile County.. A. Stoudt. Robinson. Fuller. Touami.: “Redeveloping The Rhourde El Baguel Field with Underbalanced Drilling Operations.: “Geologic Reservoir Characterization for Engineering Simulation. Carmack. T. 1992. Labat. Clonts. 2002. Kirvelis.: “Underbalanced-Undervalued? Direct Qualitative Comparison Proves the Technique!” Paper. October 4-7.. E. M. SPE 74446. Kirvelis. Haselton. E. American Oil and Gas Reporter.: “Underbalanced and Overbalanced Well Legs Afford Direct Comparison in the Same Reservoir Section Yielding Record Well Productivity in Lithuania” 8. October 1-4. R. Haselton. G.: “UBD Proves Merit in Horizontal Proect” Article. T. Vickers. UBD Implementation and Optimization”. Fuller.. V. R. 12... R. Hatter’s Pond Field.: “Underbalanced and Overbalanced Boreholes in the Same Well Give Direct Comparison in Same Reservoir Section.. 11. Mazighi.6 IADC/SPE 81626 3. 10.

IADC/SPE 81626 7 ’36 – ‘41 ’48 – ‘56 ’75 – ‘80 ‘89 –’91 OH completion + OH completion. Cased. leg 1R was a reservoir extension of leg #1 Table 3 .Horizontal wells drilled in Wayne Field .5 12.8 Degliai 158 1722 10. frac UB + horizontal nitro acid + frac + Oil price wells Driver MMBO 2. Field EUR Before UB MBO EUR after UB and horizontal wells MBO Ratio: EUR After / EUR before Pietu Siupariai 478 2766 5. perf.817 Total length attributable to UBD 8009 *legs 1 and 2 formed a dual lateral.9 Table 2 .Reserves for two fields in Lithuania Well Mud System Lateral Length (ft) Oscar Fossum H1 Starpac polymer (OB) 1808 Oscar Fossum H2 Native crude near balanced) 2500 Oscar Fossum H3* Nitrified Native Crude with parasite string.Reserves and wells for four phases of development in the Pearsall Field. of wells 30 256 1694 853 Table 1 .5 55 80 MBO/well 85 49 23 94 No. Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 1R (sidetrack to Leg 1) 3886 1629 678 Oscar Fossum H4 Nitrified Native Crude 3608 Ballantyne-State/ Steinhaus H1 Nitrified Native Crude 3708 Total length 17.

5 2.5 *based on $14/Bbl oil price Table 4 – Estimated economics for Wayne field 10000 1000 MBO/mo MMCF/mo 100 Oil 10 Gas 1 1960 1970 1980 1990 Figure 1 – Oil and gas production for Pearsall development phases 3 and 4 2000 .0 1.8 IADC/SPE 81626 Vertical Conventional Horizontal UBD Horizontal Cost $200 K $500 K $750 K Estimated ultimate recovery 85 MBO 175 MBO 275 MBO Net present value* $185 K $460 K $950 K Return on investment 38% 42% 56% Payout in years 2.

IADC/SPE 81626 9 100 MBOE/Mo 10-11 #4 10-3 #1 3-14 #2 15-5 #1 10-10 #1 D 3-6 #1 10-11 #4 10 1 Dec-88 May-90 Sep-91 Jan-93 Jun-94 Oct-95 Mar-97 Jul-98 Dec-99 Apr-01 Sep-02 Figure 2 – Production from selected wells in Hatter’s Pond field 6000 Cumulative MBOE 5000 4000 10-3 #1 3-14 #2 10-10 #1 15-5 #1 D 3-6 #1 10-11 #4 3000 2000 10-11 #4 1000 0 Dec-88 May-90 Sep-91 Jan-93 Jun-94 Oct-95 Mar-97 Jul-98 Dec-99 Apr-01 Figure 3.Cumulative production from selected wells in Hatter’s Pond field Sep-02 .

MBO 140 1H 2H 3H 4H Ballantyne 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Jun-94 Oct-95 Mar-97 Jul-98 Dec-99 Apr-01 Sep-02 Figure 5: Cumulative production through February 2002 of five horizontal wells.Cumulative production from selected wells in Hatter’s Pond field 200 180 160 Cum oil. Wayne Field.10 IADC/SPE 81626 6000 5000 Cumulative MBOE 4000 10-3 #1 3-14 #2 10-10 #1 15-5 #1 D 3-6 #1 10-11 #4 3000 2000 10-11 #4 1000 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Producing months Figure 4. .

IADC/SPE 81626 11 100 WOR = 30 150 MBO 275 175 300 Water oil ratio 10 1H 2H 3H 4H Ballantyne 1 0.1 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Cumulative oil production. . MBO Figure 6: Wayne field horizontal well EUR’s estimated by projecting the WOR (water-oil ratio) to the economic limit.