Tonner, David (Diversified Well Logging) | Swanson, Aaron (Diversified Well Logging) | Hollingshead, Ron (Diversified Well Logging) | Hughes, Simon (Diversified Well Logging) | Seacrest, Stephen (PetroLegacy Energy) | McDaniel, Bret (PetroLegacy Energy) | Leeper, Jay (Solid Automation)
From the very early days of oil and gas exploration, appraisal and development drilling, samples have been collected at the rig by mud logging personnel to conduct a preliminary geological analysis of the rock being drilled. This collection typically involves a sample collection recipient, board or bucket to collect a sample of rock over the desired interval. The sample is then sieved and cleaned in the appropriate way depending on the type of drilling fluid being used. As penetration rates have increased in some instances to more than 400 ft. / hr. the sample resolution has deteriorated exponentially. From an ergonomics perspective, the highest frequency to which a person onsite can collect a sample is once every 20 minutes. At 300 ft. / hr. this translates to 100 ft. of drilled rock. A new device has been developed and deployed which automates this manual process and thus ensures faster and more accurate collection of geological samples of the drilled rock interval. Sample resolutions of 5ft rock intervals have been attained at 400 ft./ hr. This technology has provided an important technological breakthrough and enables reduction of personnel at the rig site with a subsequent reduction in cost and HSE risk, particularly in areas of H2S. It further has provided for the potential integration with Measurement while drilling personnel. For both conventional and unconventional play development, this has provided oil and gas operators with an important and cost and risk reducing modus operandi compared to conventional drilling and evaluation techniques. The tool was deployed for an operator in West Texas where both manually collected traditional mudlog samples and automatically collected samples were taken. The samples were analyzed and compared for rock content. In addition, comparisons were made between point sampling with the automated system versus samples collected over a defined interval manually. Results of these comparisons will be presented.
A new method of automated drill cuttings sample collection has been successfully deployed. The new method provides a step change improvement in accuracy and resolution for sampling the rock record during drilling.
Additional data of the rock record provides potential insights to optimize wellbore placement and provide increased geo-mechanical data to optimize completions.
North American unconventional well completion design has evolved dramatically since 2013 in an effort to keep pace with the productivity gains realized in horizontal drilling. Several trends have emerged during the current industry downturn. Among these trends are a focus on core acreage with higher yield potential, the use of longer laterals, a movement towards higher proppant loading (pounds per linear foot), an increased reliance on plug and perf techniques, and decreased stage length and perforation cluster spacing (increased perf density). As a result associated improvements in well initial production (IP) rates and estimated ultimate recoveries (EUR's) have been highlighted in oil & gas operator's quarterly shareholder's reports during 2015 and early 2016.
Unconventional multi-stage completion designs have also quickly evolved along a path paralleling these trends. Horizontal well IP rates and EUR's have also been enhanced through the adoption of integrated completion designs. Recently introduced geo-engineered completions rely on cross-functional expertise and software to integrate petrophysical, geomechanical, drilling, and production data into a completion design. In cases where geo-engineered designs were used, wells showed improvements in EUR's over those associated with increased lateral lengths, proppant loading and stage counts. In one recent case using a geo-engineered design it was demonstrated that fewer stages and clusters achieved higher production than offset wells while injecting less proppant and fluid; thus achieving lower completion cost.
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