LWD Resistivity Anomalies in Overburden Sections Provide Critical Information on Drilling Safety and Borehole Stability: Gulf of Mexico Case Studies

Rabinovich, Michael (BP) | Bergeron, John (BP) | Cedillo, Gerardo (BP) | Mousavi, Maryam (BP) | Pineda, Wilson (BP) | Soza, Eric (BP) | Le, Fei (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Maurer, Hans-Martin (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Mirto, Ettore (Schlumberger) | Sun, Keli (Schlumberger)


Copyright 2019 held jointly by the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA) and the submitting authors. Annual Logging Symposium held in The Woodlands, TX, USA June 17-19, 2019. ABSTRACT Typically, only conventional logging while drilling (LWD) resistivity and gamma ray logs are acquired in overburden sections of deep-water wells. Very important decisions impacting drilling safety and borehole stability must be made based on correct and timely interpretation of these logs. Drilling-induced fractures, faults, and eccentricity effects in large holes drilled with oil-based mud are common reasons for anomalous responses of LWD resistivity tools in overburden sections. These anomalies are often associated with fluid losses and other drilling hazards such as borehole assembly sticking. With the limited number of real-time (RT) measurements even if the optimal minimal set of RT curves is selected, the interpretation of these anomalies is challenging. Drilling-induced fractures can be misinterpreted as eccentricity or even as a permeable zone with resistive invasion in water sands or with a hydrocarbon-bearing layer, which is especially important for proper casing and cementing decisions. Resistivity modelling is an irreplaceable tool that enables us to uniquely identify the cause of each anomaly. Time-lapse measurements also help to recognize and identify the causes of anomalies as borehole conditions change with time. Fractures can become deeper with continued overbalance or healed with lost-circulation material or a reduction of equivalent circulating density. Washouts typically enlarge with time and after reaming. We present several case studies from deep-water wells in the Gulf of Mexico illustrating typical LWD resistivity anomalies in overburden sections. The examples include fault identification and borehole events such as fluid losses, borehole enlargement, and gas-bearing intervals. The challenges of interpreting each anomaly and the necessity of the appropriate LWD resistivity modeling kit are clearly demonstrated. Many of the examples illustrate the advantages of measuring after drilling (MAD pass) logs. INTRODUCTION When drilling overburden sections in deep water wells, the hole diameters are big, open hole sections are long and, typically, the LWD suite is limited to conventional resistivity and gamma ray (GR) logs. Additionally, the limited number of real-time (RT) resistivity curves makes the unique interpretation of resistivity data difficult.