Getting a Feel for the Rock

Topics: Directional/extended reach wells Drilling operations
Image courtesy of Drill2Frac.
Based on data gathered while drilling, Drill2Frac creates a wellbore map showing variations in hardness along a wellbore.

The force required to drill through a rock is a direct test of its strength and stiffness. Anyone who has ever used a power drill to drill through plaster and then hit a wooden beam can feel the difference.

Turning those feelings into a reliable measure of the properties of rock based on the force required to drill a long lateral is a large challenge.

Two startups, Drill2Frac and Fracture ID, are selling services that do that, though their methods vary based on the sources of the inputs and the outputs offered to customers. Both are offering an option that can become a routinely used diagnostic method by those designing fractures by providing information comparable to that from a sonic log, but at a significantly lower price.

Rock property information was also often a missing piece for those doing microseismic testing, which images the impact of fracturing based on the sound produced during certain types of fracturing. Users wanted better rock property information to improve the interpretation of the changes in microseismic data gathered around a well, said Chris Neale, president of Fracture ID, which uses downhole drilling data for imaging.

“When I was deep in the microseismic world I was very frustrated. I could not tell them what microseismic was telling them. There was no in-well data to correlate the microseismic,” said Neale, who was a cofounder of MicroSeismic Inc. “We needed an inexpensive data stream that could give us high-resolution rock properties for every well drilled.”

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Getting a Feel for the Rock

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 May 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 5