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Better Survey Management Makes Wells Safer and More Productive

Image courtesy of Angus Jamieson.
Good survey practice helps to ensure optimum reservoir drainage, left, while poor survey practice increases the likelihood that some reserves, shown by gray areas, will be stranded between wells.

Do you know where your wellbore is?

The question is not rhetorical, but one the SPE Wellbore Positioning Technical Section (WPTS) strives to ensure that well operators can answer with high accuracy. The ability to do so is central to safe drilling operations, optimum production, and maximum recovery of reserves. And knowing the answer depends on good wellbore survey management, a practice that frequently is deficient among drilling operations managers. It is a problem that the WPTS is trying to remedy.

Obtained by means of gyroscopic systems or magnetic systems such as measurement-while-drilling (MWD) and logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools, a wellbore survey provides essential depth and directional data as a well is drilled. The use of data from properly designed surveys enables operators to ensure that a well will have a safe pathway to its target and avoid a collision with another wellbore. Survey information is also crucial in preparing to drill a relief well, should it be necessary.

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Better Survey Management Makes Wells Safer and More Productive

Joel Parshall, JPT Features Editor

01 June 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 6

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