You are on page 1of 10

Reservoir Mapping While Drilling

ystein B Breakthroughs in lateral drilling technology have paved the way to economic success
Stavanger, Norway of several new plays and the revitalization of many old elds. However, success in
horizontal and extended-reach drilling is not dened in terms of the distance drilled
Jean-Michel Denichou
Uchechukwu Ezioba but rather by the extent to which the driller stays in zone. A new deep-reading electro-
Ettore Mirto
Sugar Land, Texas, USA magnetic logging-while-drilling service is helping well placement teams maximize
reservoir exposure by identifying uid contacts, faults and formation changes far from
James Donley
James Telford the wellbore.
Santos Ltd.
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Christophe Dupuis
Stavanger, Norway

Laura Pontarelli
Grant Skinner
Mauro Viandante
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Jean Seydoux
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Matthew Spotkaeff
Grabels, France

Petter Vikhamar
Houston, Texas

Oileld Review 27, no. 1 (May 2015).

Copyright 2015 Schlumberger.
For help in preparation of this article, thanks to Paul
Mitchell, Houston.
adnVISION, GeoSphere, PeriScope and TeleScope are
marks of Schlumberger.
1. Constable MV, Antonsen F, Olsen PA, Myhr GM,
Nygrd A, Krogh M, Spotkaeff M, Mirto E, Dupuis C and
Viandante M: Improving Well Placement and Reservoir
Characterization with Deep Directional Resistivity
Measurements, paper SPE 159621, presented at the
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
San Antonio, Texas, USA, October 810, 2012.
2. Dupuis C and Mendoza-Barrn V: Avoid Pilot Holes,
Land Wells, and Optimize Well Placement and Production
with Deep Directional Resistivity Logging While Drilling,
paper SPE 169206, presented at the SPE One Day
Seminar, Bergen, Norway, April 2, 2014.

38 Oileld Review
Advances in drillbit design, rotary steerable
systems, downhole sensors and logging-while-
drilling technology have helped drillers set new
distance records for lateral drilling while increas-
ing reservoir exposure. These achievements, in
turn, have led to substantial gains in oil and gas
production. However, the nature of the data used
to map a target can pose a signicant challenge
for operators seeking to maximize lateral footage
through a pay zone.
Limits to seismic resolution and logging tool
depth of investigation (DOI) can create uncer- E
tainty with regard to reservoir position, orienta- D

tion and overall structure. Initially, geoscientists

map formations on the basis of surface seismic B

data and by offset well data if available.1 Surface

seismic data are characterized by great DOIon C
the order of hundreds of metersand by rela-
tively coarse resolution. By contrast, well log data
are characterized by shallower DOItypically on
the order of several centimetersand by much > Geologic reality. Reservoir structure observed via pilot well (A) may not reect the structure
ner resolution. Given the relatively narrow encountered at the landing point (B). A distinct change in dip (yellow lines) occurs between the pilot
diameter of a wellbore compared to a seismic well and the landing zone. The pilot hole never intersects the fault (C) that separates one dip trend
wavelet, the imprecision of seismic resolution from the other. Two additional features in this section are a pinchout (D) against an unconformity (E),
neither of which affect the proposed well path but could impact a eld model and subsequent
leaves plenty of room for the wellbore to miss its
drilling plans.
mark. It is usually while a well is being drilled or
afterward that logs and other data become avail-
able for use in rening seismic prospect maps;
seismic data sketch the broad outline of a reser- with depth or distance; and fractures, subseismic measurements provide timely data that operators
voir, and log data must ll in the details. faults and changes in dip or other structural fea- need to guide real-time geosteering decisions. Well
The disparity in resolution and DOI between tures can invalidate a model before it is veried placement teams are using the GeoSphere service
seismic and well log data may spur an operator by the bit. to accurately land wells, avoid unplanned exits
to drill an initial vertical pilot hole for locating Despite these geologic uncertainties, the from the reservoir, map multiple formation layers,
formation tops and uid contacts and rening operator must proceed on the assumption that develop interpretations of reservoir structure and
seismic models prior to drilling a horizontal well the model based on pilot hole data also reects reduce drilling risk while decreasing the need for
through the reservoir section. In this process, the formation characteristics at the landing point pilot holes. GeoSphere mapping data are used to
operator drills a hole to penetrate the pay zone and beyond. In addition to their drilling costs, update and rene the operators reservoir models.
from top to base. Logging data from the pilot hole pilot holes carry the same risks as other drilling This article describes the architecture and
help the well placement team ascertain struc- projects: lost circulation, stuck pipe and stuck operation of the GeoSphere service, which has
tural dips and depths of key geologic markers, tools, among others. High spread rates for deep- been tested in more than 200 wells worldwide.
which they use to rene the existing formation water drilling and challenging economics in Case studies from the North Sea and Australia
model and adjust targets for the extended-reach shale plays also provide strong incentives to elim- demonstrate how data provided by this service
well. The hole is then plugged back to a shallower inate the cost of drilling pilot holes. guide operators in maximizing wellbore exposure
depth to establish a kickoff point that will permit After extensive eld testing, a new LWD ser- to the pay zone.
a smooth landing into the target formation.2 vice has been introduced to help map the subsur-
This approach, however, is not without uncer- face and aid in precise placement of the wellbore The Landing and Beyond
tainty or risk. Perhaps the greatest risk stems within a target formation. This service helps Successful placement of a horizontal well
from the fact that, at some scale, formations and bridge the gap between resolution and DOI that requires the driller to land the bottomhole
their subordinate horizons tend to vary laterally exists between the surface seismic data used to assembly (BHA) in a position that will then per-
(above right). Formation geometry, lithology or plan the reservoir development and the logging mit maximum wellbore exposure to the reservoir.
uid saturation characteristics logged in the pilot data used to steer and evaluate the wellbore. The After kicking off from vertical, the driller builds
hole may not extend for any appreciable distance GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while-drilling ser- angle to increase inclination until the well path
beyond the pilot well. A formation model may vice uses deep-reading, directional electromag- attains the trajectory needed to intercept the res-
differ dramatically from reality: Unconformities netic measurements to detect uid contacts and ervoir target. The driller then holds the inclina-
and pinchouts can change the thickness of a pay multiple formation boundaries more than 30 m tion constant while drilling the tangent section.
zone; grain size and water saturation often vary [100 ft] from the wellbore. These reservoir-scale

May 2015 39
Optimal landing Shallow landing Deep landing

Lost lateral exposure

Lost attic oil
Sweet spot

Water coning

> Consequences of suboptimal landings. An optimal landing places the wellbore in a position that requires little correction to remain in zone (left). If a well
is landed too shallow with respect to the top of the reservoir, a greater interval of the lateral section must be drilled in unproductive overburden (center).
Landing too deep leaves attic oil trapped above the lateral section (right ), where it remains unproduced. Changing trajectory to bring the wellbore back up
through the sweet spot can create a sump, which may lead to difculty in pumping and coning, or early water breakthrough.

As the bit nears the reservoir, the well placement tered. Regardless of their cause, necessary these problems, an operator needs the ability to
team evaluates real-time well data to determine deviations from the well plan to maintain reser- detect formation and structural variations in time
when to trigger the nal inclination change voir contact will force a driller to change azi- to provide effective course corrections.
needed to complete the landing. The team bases muth or build or drop angle to get back on track
this decision primarily on information from near- to the target. Missing a target or straying beyond Toolstring Design
bit gamma ray or at-bit laterolog LWD data, some- the pay zone may lead to course corrections that To determine formation resistivity, many LWD
times supplemented with mudlog data and increase wellbore tortuosity. and wireline services rely on multicomponent
biostratigraphic analysis. By reducing tortuosity, operators avoid prob- electromagnetic (EM) logging measurements.
However, most conventional LWD tools have a lems that compromise drilling, completion and The GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while-drilling
fairly shallow DOI, which limits acquisition of production operations. During drilling, tortuosity service exploits the directional sensitivity and
measurements to a few centimeters or meters can lead to poor hole cleaning and drillstring deep-reading capability of EM signals to model
into the formation. Shallow DOI may leave well buckling; in severe cases, it can keep a well from formation geometry and characterize related
placement teams with little time for geosteering reaching TD as increases in torque and drag pre- properties in three dimensions. This LWD
adjustments. Depth of investigation may thereby vent transfer of weight on bit required to drill tool is designed to obtain multispacing, multi-
impact the accuracy of a landing, which in turn ahead. Tortuosity also creates difculty in running frequency directional resistivity measurements.
can signicantly affect the productivity of a hori- casing and cementing it in place and can interfere Geoscientists and drillers use these data to
zontal or extended-reach well. A poor landing with the installation of downhole completion identify structural details and uid contacts
decreases the likelihood of optimal well place- equipment. Even after a well is put on production, for optimum well placement within a reservoir
ment within the reservoir section; by contrast, a tortuosity can impede ow at sumps, or low spots, and to rene the reservoir model. Although the
good landing reduces the amount of steering where uid and debris may collect. These sumps GeoSphere service is not the rst to provide this
required to keep the well in the sweet spot. can also cause slugging and holdup problems. 3D visualization, the toolstring is designed to look
Landing shallower or deeper than necessary Wellbore placement and quality are impacted much deeper into the formation than did earlier
reduces the amount of lateral reservoir exposed by an operators ability to ascertain the surround- LWD tools.
to the wellbore, which ultimately results in lost ing environment. Vertical wells are much simpler The toolstring comprises one transmitter sub
production (above). Once the LWD tools are in to drill in that regard: Once the bit enters a target and two identical receiver subsin some cases
the reservoir, their shallow DOI may not be ade- formation, the next event usually involves exiting three receiver subs may be used (next page, top
quate to warn of approaching bed boundaries or through the bottom of that formation. In con- right). The transmitter sub has a tilted antenna
changing uid contacts in time to prevent excur- trast, horizontal or extended-reach wells offer and can transmit EM signals into the formation
sions out of the pay zone. the operator the prospect of weaving in and out of at six frequencies below 100 kHz. These frequen-
While precise well placement is required to a changing reservoir section.
3. Tortuosity, a measure of deviation from a straight line,
maximize pay zone exposure, a high-quality One of the early challenges in drilling lateral may be used to describe wellbore trajectory. In a well,
borehole is also necessary for maximizing pro- wells was the distance from the wellbore at which tortuosity can be quantied by the ratio of the actual
distance drilled between two points, including any
duction. To this end, the directional driller must important geologic features could be detected. curves encountered, divided by the straight-line distance
not only hit the target and stay in zone, but also Reactions to changing scenarios detected at the between those two points. Thus, as a wellbore deviates
away from a straight trajectory, it becomes more tortuous.
must deliver a smooth hole with minimum tortu- last minute lead to insufcient trajectory correc- 4. Properties that vary with direction are said to be
osity.3 These objectives may not be entirely tions and less-than-optimal landings that adversely anisotropic. Resistivity anisotropy, differences in
horizontally measured resistivity versus vertically
achievable, given the structural and strati- affect wellbore exposure to the reservoir. To avoid measured resistivity, is a common phenomenon in rock.
graphic complexities of the formations encoun-

40 Oileld Review
cies are selected to provide optimal signal-to-
noise ratio and measurement sensitivity. Each
receiver sub has three antennae, which are tilted
for azimuthal sensitivity.
The transmitter and receiver subs are avail-
able in two diameters6 3/4 in. and 8 1/4 in.
allowing operations in hole diameters from
8 1/2 in. to 14 3/4 in. Each sub is 4 m [19.7 ft] long. To
allay concerns regarding the effects of stabilizers sub
on BHA performance, the collars are slickthey Rece
r su
have no stabilizers. eive
Rec sub
The subs are congurable for placement at smit
various locations within the BHA and may be sep-
arated by other LWD or MWD tools; receiver subs
can be placed from 5 to 35 m [16 to 115 ft] away > GeoSphere modular subs. One transmitter sub and two identical receiver subs make up the
from the transmitter sub (below). Placement in toolstring. Grooves in the collar shielding make the collar transparent to the EM eld and support the
the BHA sets the transmitter-receiver spacing, directional capability of the underlying transmitter and receiver coils.
which is a critical factor affecting the EM signals
DOI. In a resistive formation, the DOI is typically
comparable to maximum antenna spacing; in a
conductive setting, DOI is approximately half downhole. A prejob model helps the LWD engi- algorithm to generate a multilayer formation
the antenna spacing. The DOI may be inuenced neer evaluate how spacing and frequency will resistivity model. The model is appended with
by factors such as distance from the tool to a affect DOI and the toolstrings capability to continuous updates while drilling progresses,
formation boundary, formation resistivity, thick- resolve expected formation characteristics. The thus enabling well placement experts to track
ness of formation layers and resistivity contrast placement of the transmitter and receiver subs drilling progress while identifying uid contacts
between layers. The EM frequency also affects depends on client objectives and the formation or other boundaries within the reservoir.
DOI; high-frequency measurements are typically characteristics that dene transmitter-receiver The GeoSphere technology is capable of
used for short transmitter-receiver spacing and spacing. In complex BHAs, power availability and obtaining directional EM measurements at
shallow DOI, whereas low-frequency measure- telemetry bandwidth might inuence BHA design. various frequencies and transmitter-receiver
ments are used for long transmitter-receiver All of these factors must be considered during spacings. For a given frequency and transmitter-
spacing and deeper DOI. prejob modeling. receiver spacing conguration, the toolstring
The deep-reading capability of the toolstring measures a nine-component tensor between
is enhanced by exibility to congure transmitter Real-Time Multilayer Inversion transmitter and receiver. These measurements
output power and receiver gains to accommodate For the wellbore to achieve maximum reservoir are inverted in real time to provide multilayer
variable transmitter-receiver spacings and forma- exposure, well placement team members must model results, in which the number of layers and
tion resistivity contrasts. Given the variability of closely monitor formation structure and respond the layer thicknesses and resistivities t the tool
formations to be drilled, prejob simulation is to changing lithology as they guide the wellbore measurements and are consistent with frequency,
important for evaluating performance of various laterally through a reservoir. GeoSphere EM spacing, sensitivity and DOI of each measure-
toolstring congurations. The transmitter-receiver measurements are directionally sensitive and ment. In addition, the resistivity anisotropy, dip
spacing and the expected resistivity environment thus provide valuable inputs for well placement and other structural aspects of the formations
will affect the optimum frequency range used and reservoir characterization. These data are surrounding the wellbore can be estimated from
processed using a real-time stochastic inversion the models.4

Receiver sub 2 Receiver sub 1 Transmitter sub Bit






LWD tool LWD tool Rotary steerable system

> Making up the toolstring. GeoSphere subs can be positioned throughout the BHA, and other LWD or MWD tools may be placed between the transmitter and
receivers. This spacing affects depth of investigation, which is proportional to the distance between the transmitter and receiver. A prejob model of sub
positions within the toolstring, in addition to a model of formation resistivity contrasts, will help determine the frequency required for accurate
characterization of the formation. (Adapted from Seydoux, et al, reference 5.)

May 2015 41
The stochastic inversion algorithm employs ters; instead of requiring the inversion to develop the most likely formation model solution.
few model constraintsoverall bounds for resis- only the most likely solution, a distribution of Although the number of formation model solu-
tivity, apparent dip and anisotropy valuesalong model solutions tting the data is computed for tions computed by the inversion is high, their
with a maximum parsimony criterion to calculate each inversion station (below). The distribution distribution is computed in less than a minute to
the simplest models that are consistent with the consists of tens of thousands of formation models provide current inversion resultseven at high
data.5 The algorithm iteratively adds or deletes and quanties the uncertainties for estimating drilling rates of penetration.
layers as necessary to honor the constraints of
tensor components, each of which has its own
DOI and sensitivity. This process uses a probabi-
listic approach to estimate formation parame- Resistivity Profile Distribution

28-m DOI
Formation dip

70 m 2-ohm.m Tool position
Inverted Resitivity, ohm.m

4,740 upper shale B





ity P


4,760 le




A P75

0.2 4,780 P50





True vertical depth, m











Resistivity Profile Distribution



lower shale
4,880 4,760

Tool position
20-m DOI

1,300 1,400 1,500 1,600 1,700 1,800 1,900 2,000 2,100 2,200 2,300 2,400 2,500 2,600
Horizontal length, m

P50 P75 P95

> GeoSphere inversion of simulated data. The simulated formation consists At Point A, a 20-m DOI can be inferred from the spread of quantiles. At
of a 2-ohm.m upper shale (brown) above a 30-ohm.m reservoir (tan) with Point B, the inverted resistivity prole distribution indicates that the tool is
resistivity decreasing to a 1-ohm.m lower shale. Two resistivity prole within the reservoir, and the DOI is extended to 28 m, owing to an increase
distribution histograms are presented here for inversion stations (Points A in resistivity of the volume investigated. At the same time, a declining
and B). At each measured depth, a distribution of resistivity proles is resistivity ramp prole is delineated below the tool position. In both plots,
generated from the statistical inversion, with the P50 median value the uncertainty in the position of the reservoir top, reservoir resistivity and
(inset, purple) shown as a color map over the entire length of the trajectory. reservoir thickness may be interpreted. This uncertainty decreases as
Four other quantiles (inset, P05 to P95) provide information regarding the quantiles converge when the toolstring gets closer to the reservoir.
uncertainty of the distribution and thus show sensitivity limits of the (Adapted from Seydoux et al, reference 5.)
measurements. The inversion also solves for relative dip of the formation.

42 Oileld Review
Copyright ConocoPhillips; used with permission.

> Ekosk complex. Platforms installed for accommodation, compression, drilling, processing and various other tasks make up a hub for production of this
North Sea eld.

This probabilistic inversion provides an Avoiding Water at Ekosk The eld has undergone water injection since
unbiased estimate of the formation resistivity The Ekosk eld, located on the Norwegian 1987. From its peak annual production rate of
surrounding the wellbore. The inversion is suit- Continental Shelf, was discovered by Phillips more than 20 million m3 [126 million bbl] oil
able for complex geologic settings because it Petroleum Company in 1969 and was put on equivalent in 1977, production from the eld
requires no user input, thereby reducing the production in 1971 (above). Operated by declined by more than half in eight years. Limited
risk of misinterpreting geologic structures, or ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, this North Sea gas injection, combined with extensive water
the uids contained therein, based on mistaken eld consists of fractured chalks stacked in an injection and several new installations at the
assumptions. By integrating results from the elongated dome. The eld produces from the eld, helped to restore production to near peak
unbiased inversion with previously developed Ekosk formation and the underlying Tor forma- levels during the late 1990s; but after 10 years,
exploration and production models, operators tion. These chalk formations are characterized production started to decline again.
can condently update their interpretations in by high porosities of between 25% and 45% and The chalks of Ekosk eld, despite their low
a timely manner. From these updated models, low permeability between 1 and 10 mD. A tight matrix permeability, proved to have high matrix
well placement teams can validate or modify zonethe EE unitseparates the lower Ekosk waterood displacement efciency. The frac-
drilling trajectories to account for changing from the Tor.6 tured sections of the reservoir experience more
conditions in the subsurface. rapid water ooding, while the remainder of

5. Seydoux J, Legendre E, Mirto E, Dupuis C, Denichou J-M, Sun K, Omeragic D, Cao Minh C, Rasmus J, Yang J, 6. B , Vikhamar P, Spotkaeff M, Dolan J, Wang H,
Bennett N, Kutiev G, Kuchenbecker M, Morriss C and Davydychev A, Habashy T, Grifths R, Reaper G and Li Q: Dupuis C, Ceyhan A, Blackburn J and Perna F: Shine a
Yang L: Full 3D Deep Directional Resistivity Evaluation of Resistivity Anisotropy and Formation Dip Light in Dark Places: Using Deep Directional Resistivity to
Measurements Optimize Well Placement and Provide from Directional Electromagnetic Tools While Drilling, Locate Water Movement in Norways Oldest Field,
Reservoir-Scale Imaging While Drilling, Transactions of Transactions of the SPWLA 51st Annual Logging Transactions of the SPWLA 55th Annual Logging
the SPWLA 55th Annual Logging Symposium, Abu Dhabi, Symposium, Perth, Australia (June 1923, 2010), paper I. Symposium, Abu Dhabi, UAE (May 1822, 2014), paper EE.
UAE (May 1822, 2014), paper LLLL.

May 2015 43
Receiver sub 2


Receiver sub 1


Transmitter sub


Wellbore Inter
trajectory angle dista
Top of reservoir

> Using deep-reading measurements to land a well. The position of a formation may be detected in advance of
penetration by the bit. Signals (blue and tan spheres) from the GeoSphere tool are centered at the midpoint between
the transmitter and respective receiver antennae. Once the reservoir top is detected, the distance from the bit to the
reservoir intersection is estimated based on wellbore trajectory angle. This allows the directional driller to make timely
adjustments to optimize the landing. (Adapted from Dupuis and Mendoza-Barrn, reference 2.)

the reservoir oods later. Over time, this com- concerned that water breakthrough into the TA While the lateral section was being drilled,
plex distribution of reservoir water and pore zone might compel an early decision to TD the the well intercepted a 40-ft [12-m] fault, and
pressure has made it difcult to map remaining well, thus a constant evaluation of the lateral well planning geologists recommended increas-
pay accumulations. section was needed to continue drilling. The ing inclination to 94 to remain within the target
The well planning team at ConocoPhillips tools capability for deep imaging around the reservoir. The GeoSphere inversion indicated
opted to use the GeoSphere service for landing wellbore would also be useful in observing fault- that despite crossing the fault, the wellbore still
and drilling a horizontal well. The team rst ing at a distance and revealing aspects of the remained in good quality reservoir within the TA
sought to locate the tight EE horizon between the reservoir pertinent to completion design such as unit. It also detected a low-resistivity zone below
Ekosk and Tor formationsa key marker used determining the best intervals to perforate. the wellbore, which was the water-lled TB unit
for landing the well. After landing, drilling would The GeoSphere service was utilized while of the Tor formation. As drilling of the lateral
be conditional, based on formation water satura- drilling out of casing, allowing the operator to section proceeded, the GeoSphere toolstring
tion. The goal was to geosteer within the upper detect a resistive marker 50 ft [15 m] TVD below continued to track the position of the TB unit
Tor formation, but maintaining optimal position the wellbore. As the driller continued to build some 40 ft TVD beneath the wellbore. Later, it
would involve more than simply steering along angle to 60, the service located horizons within detected a steeply dipping conductive boundary,
formation structure. Reservoir models indicated the Ekosk formation some 60 ft [18 m] TVD interpreted as a fault, while the fault was still
that the lateral section might encounter injected (100 ft [30 m] MD) away from the wellbore. The 90 ft [27 m] TVD above the BHA. Resistivity
water within fractured intervals of the uppermost top of the EE unit, the thin layer above the Tor measurements indicated the zone beyond the
section of the upper Tor (TA) unitwhich the formation, was detected 79 ft [24 m] below the fault would be wet, which was subsequently con-
operator wanted to avoid. wellbore. The service was used to resolve the con- rmed by conventional LWD measurements
The well planning team targeted the oil-satu- tact between the EE unit and the upper Tors TA when the wellbore crossed the fault. Anticipating
rated part of the TA unit and needed the unit although it lay 50 ft MD ahead of the bit other conductive zones along with the potential
GeoSphere service to provide guidance in geo- (above). As the wellbore intersected the middle of for increasing pore pressure, the well planning
steering within the pay zone, identifying any the Tor TA unit, the well planning team instructed team elected to TD the well after drilling more
water zones above and below the proposed lat- the directional driller to increase inclination to than 1,800 ft [550 m] MD of a hydrocarbon-lled
eral and locating the tighter middle Tor (TB) 89.6 to land the well within the lower part of the lateral section (next page).
unit below the wellbore. The operator was also TA unit.

44 Oileld Review



Resitivity, ohm.m
X,300 ,60
X,400 ,80
W 0.2
True vertical depth, m





00 Fault 1 Fault 2
X,1 TA unit
X,600 X,3
X,4 00
EE unit X,5 00 0 0 0
X,6 00 0 0 00 0 ,9
X,7 X,80 900 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 ,500 ,60 Z,7 Z,8 Z
X,700 0
0 0 3 ,4 Z Z
X, Y,0 Y,10 Y,20 ,300 ,400 ,500 ,600 ,700 ,800 ,900 ,000 Z,10 Z,2 Z, Z

Fault 3
TB unit
4,800 5,000 5,200 5,400 5,600 5,800 6,000 6,200 6,400 6,600 6,800 7,000 7,200 7,400 7,600 7,800 8,000 8,200
Horizontal length, m


X,200 Gamma ray

X,300 Resistivity

Fault 2
True vertical depth, m

Fault 1
EE unit


TB unit, GeoSphere interpretation

TB unit

Fault 3

> A matter of scale. The reservoir-scale mapping displays much ner addition to mapping the structure and uid content of the TA unit, the
resolution for navigating the reservoir than would be possible using seismic GeoSphere inversion also mapped the TB unit, even though the wellbore
data alone. The deep-reading capabilities of the GeoSphere toolstring had not penetrated that interval. This information helped the operator
enabled early detection of the EE unit 79 ft below the wellbore, giving the extend the well horizontally through the TA reservoir while maintaining
operator advance notice to prepare for landing the well in the lower TA unit. optimal standoff from the water-lled TB unit. The TB unit, as detected by
Cold colorsblues and greensindicate conductive or low resistivity the GeoSphere inversion (bottom, red line) compares favorably to that
layers such as shale or water-bearing sands. Warm colorsoranges and picked on the surface seismic display (yellow line).
redsindicate high resistivity typical of oil- or gas-bearing sands (top). In

May 2015 45
0.2 ohm.m 1,000
Gamma Ray


Predrill model
Casing shoe top of reservoir Top of reservoir
True vertical depth, m

Entry point
X,100 Drilled trajectory

50 ohm.m

Oil/water contact
1 ohm.m

850 900 950 1,000 1,050 1,100 1,150 1,200 1,250 1,300 1,350 1,400 1,450 1,500 1,550 1,600
Horizontal length, m

Pilot well Offset well


d rill
tra Predrill model
jec top of reservoir

Actual top of reservoir

Actual oil/water contact

Predrill model oil/water contact

> Dening a reservoir. Even though data obtained from a pilot hole conrmed the presence of the reservoir and identied dip at the pilot hole entry point, the
overall geometry of the reservoir top could not be estimated using the data obtained from the pilot hole and other offset wells. To reduce depth uncertainty
inherent in seismic modeling of the reservoir, the Santos well placement team relied on directional, deep-reading measurements to dene the upper and
lower limits of the reservoir. As drilling continued, the operator was able to map the lateral extent of the reservoir. Gamma ray (top, green) and resistivity
(red, blue, orange and black curves) readings from other LWD tools indicating clean sand and pay, compare favorably with the GeoSphere color map
(middle). The lower panel highlights the discrepancy between the top of the reservoir and oil/water contact as determined by the seismic predrill model
and those determined by the GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while-drilling service.

46 Oileld Review
After providing early warning of the approach- The Big Picture
ing landing zone, the service helped the well The spacing between a transmitter and receiver
planning team map the oil-rich zones within a affects a logging tools depth of investigation, and
waterooded reservoir and for up to 100 ft around the GeoSphere toolstring uses this relationship to
the well. GeoSphere measurements also assured attain greater DOI than that of conventional
the operator that the wellbore trajectory had not LWD tools. Its deep-reading directionally sensi-
bypassed the intended target. Furthermore, tive measurements drive a continuous real-time
water saturation changes indicated by the LWD automatic multilayer inversion that gives well
toolstring were used to assist in determining per- placement teams a broader perspective on the
foration intervals during the completion phase. geology surrounding a wellbore. This expanded
view of the subsurface helps geoscientists and
Mapping Reservoir Boundaries Offshore drillers bridge the gap between conventional LWD
Australia data and surface seismic data to identify uid con-
While drilling a prospect offshore northwest tacts, subseismic faults and other geologic details
Australia, geoscientists with Santos Ltd had to not dened through surface seismic data.
contend with some 10 m [33 ft] of uncertainty in By presenting mapping-while-drilling infor-
seismic depth control. The Santos well place- mation in real time, the GeoSphere service can
ment team sought to land the well as close as pos- have a signicant impact on well placement deci-
sible to the top of the reservoir, then steer the sions that ultimately inuence production. A well
trajectory to achieve optimal positioning with can be steered along a path dened by boundar-
respect to the oil/water contact (OWC). Logs ies observed above and below the wellbore
from a pilot hole helped conrm the presence of most commonly, the top of the reservoir and the
a thick sand, showed the depth of the OWC and water contact at its base. This broader view of the
determined formation dip at the pilot hole. reservoir helps the driller to drill a longer pro-
However, the orientation of the reservoir and ductive interval with a smooth well path, result-
geometry of its crest could not be inferred with ing in increased recovery through the pay zone.
accuracy. Despite suboptimal structural control, At the ofce, mapping-while-drilling data can
the Santos well placement team had to drill a subsequently serve as a basis for developing strat-
landing that would position the well for maxi- egies to optimize production in complex or mar-
mum reservoir exposure. ginal elds. These data are also used to identify
Santos selected GeoSphere technology to re- new targets in neighboring sands. GeoSphere
duce geologic uncertainties and map structure, reservoir scale measurements provide higher
dip, uid contacts and reservoir boundaries. resolution than do surface seismic data, leading
The BHA included a rotary steerable system, to a tighter integration with other reservoir infor-
GeoSphere transmitter and receivers, PeriScope mation. Complementary information from sur-
LWD tool, TeleScope high-speed telemetry ser- face seismic data, along with conventional LWD
vice and adnVISION azimuthal density neutron or wireline logging data, can be integrated with
tool. Upon exiting the casing shoe, the toolstring GeoSphere inversion results to create or rene
detected the top of the reservoir 6 m [20 ft] TVD structural models for increased understanding of
below the proposed well path and identied the the reservoirs and the uids they contain. MV
OWC 19-m [62-ft] TVD beneath the reservoir top.
As a consequence, the well placement team was
able to ascertain the structural geometry and
assess the drilling trajectory prior to landing the
well (previous page).
Real-time mapping of the reservoir and OWC
proved crucial in optimizing and maintaining
structural positioning within the reservoir. Inter-
pretations of the reservoir structure and uid
contacts from the GeoSphere service were later
integrated into the operators 3D geologic model
to update drilling and eld development plans.

May 2015 47