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An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

Author: Adrian Kemp, Drilling Software Solutions Marketing Manager, Schlumberger Information Solutions
*Mark of Schlumberger Interactive Petrophysics is a trademark of Production Geoscience Ltd. Copyright 2007 Schlumberger. All rights reserved.

Oil and gas companies developing and maintaining brownfields need to constantly focus on cost reduction to maintain profitability and maximize the production life of their fields. The workflows that geoscientists and drilling and production engineers follow to plan wells and sidetracks in this setting are facilitated by advanced software solutions. By adding the drillers world to the Petrel* seismic-to-simulation application, a step change in the planning and execution of brownfield wells becomes possible for the first time in the industry. This paper discusses several radically new enhancements that will both enable a whole-process solution and extend it to realtime planning updates. Technical risks and probabilistic costs, which are a key part of the balance equation upon which management bases its go or no-go decisions, are now available in the solution. 3D visualization enhancement enables geoscientists to obtain cost estimates for proposals more quickly and allows drilling engineers to obtain feasible well designs faster, while providing a collaborative common view for confirming understanding and enhancing technical decision making.

Cost reduction is a driving force in the development of brownfield wells.1 It is well known that better planning leads to better execution in the drilling phase with less nonproductive time and reduced costs. This paper describes enhanced well planning workflows in light of recent software technological innovations. The technology, which enables this solution for the first time in the industry, involves the addition of modules to Petrel seismicto-simulation workflow software that are relevant to the drilling domain, combined with innovative drilling applications such as Osprey* Risk drilling risk prediction software and drilling industry standards such as Drilling Office* integrated engineering software. This workflow provides a means for closer collaboration between domains and rapid updating of plans and models, while mitigating risks and therefore reducing costs.

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

Figure 1. Concept of shared earth model extended from surface to below the base reservoir.

Shared earth model component

The shared earth model (Fig.1) is conventionally used to combine the models of reservoir engineers, geophysicists, and petroleum geologists to simulate a reservoir. Reservoir engineers, geophysicists, and petroleum geologists separately simulate properties of the reservoir, which vary depending on the technology used by each geoscientist or engineer.2 The concept of shared earth modeling for use in drilling can be extended into the overburden, so the subsurface zones are included where the bulk of the drilling work is done. The simulations for this purpose should include structural geology, formation markers, pressures, rock strength, earth stress information (where available), and records of trouble zones.

The enhanced model will allow geoscientists and drilling engineers to consolidate their results and create an integrated simulation from surface to bottom of the reservoir. This will provide a more realistic view of what the earth looks like physically and operationally, thereby saving unnecessary drilling costs, improving the quality of the wells delivered (and therefore enhancing production), andthrough collaborationreducing the time required to obtain an integrated subsurface model.

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

G&G = Geology and geophysics RE = Reservoir engineering PE = Production engineering OSC = Operation Support Center TD = Total depth


Scope risk

Detailed engineering

Drilling operations

Actual vs. plan


Final well report

Lessons learned

Offset wells

Replan Key historic information

Shared Earth Model


ExecutionReal-Time MonitoringReplanning


Petrel (shared earth model) Interactive Petrophysics (geomechanics)

Osprey Risk (screening and scoping)

Drilling Office, TDAS (engineering)

OSC (real-time collaboration) Petrel (model updating and risk management) Osprey Risk (updating while drilling)

Osprey Reports (operations tracking)

Osprey Operations Manager (operations surveillance)

Osprey Operations Manager (knowledge sharing)

Osprey Operations Manager (performance analysis)

Figure 2. Real-time well path planning, risk analysis, and update workflow (top) with technology map (bottom).

The shared earth model is the basis for the collaborative well planning workflow (Fig. 2). In this model, geoscientists use Petrel Well Path Design to provide target definitions for the subsurface locations from which the reservoir should be drained. Locations may require new wells or sidetracks from existing wells (capital workovers) to be drilled. The shared earth model provides profiles with depth of pore pressure and rock fracture strength, which may originate from well correlations or be simulated using reservoir analysis software such as Interactive Petrophysics.

In brownfields, good records generally exist in the database for drill bit performance. These can be easily transformed into a profile with the depth of a relevant strength parameter, which can be used to select drill bits in the new well or sidetrack. These inputs, together with the deviation profile from the Petrel application and a description of well objectives, are used by the drilling engineer for conceptual design or scoping in Osprey Risk. The outputs include rig selection, drilling engineering technical risk, and probabilistic time and cost estimates.

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

Options exist to map the outputs of gains or losses, stuck pipe, or mechanical failure risks back into the Petrel solution. These risks can be upscaled and added to the shared earth model for use in future well planning. A pilot study was conducted on a major oil companys deviated land well in the Deep Foothills to apply the workflow, assess the value of early prediction of the risks involved, and estimate the risk exposure and probabilistic time and cost. The model for the subject well was constructed from six offset wells. These results were then compared with the actual well data to determine the potential value of the integrated solution. Simulated costs were CAD 2 million less than actual, and simulated rig-move to rig-move time was 15 days less than actual. In parallel, the Petrel deviation profile can be loaded into the Drilling Office application, which is capable of calculating the details of well-to-well proximity within the population of offset wells to the highest levels of technical integrity using industrystandard modeling. The offset wells and a planned well can be viewed with their cones of uncertainty, derived from survey tool measurement errors and environmental factors, so that true well-to-well distances can be assessed in a probabilistic way. Key technical indicators such as the separation factor are reportable for anti-collision design and form part of a more comprehensive technical proposal document assembled within the system. This system also delivers detailed analysis of engineering issues that may have been highlighted by the technical risk profile obtained from Osprey Risk. The Drilling Office application is capable of designing BHA and analyzing drillstring hydraulics and string-to-borehole frictional interactions such as torque, drag, and BHA vibration, which may not all be covered in Osprey Risk to the same level of detail. If required by the technical risk profile or for technical integrity reasons, other engineering tools are available to provide a more advanced deviation profile; this makes it possible to design or analyze tubular strings such as casing, liners, and completions (TDAS* Tubular Design and Analysis System software). Results of the tubular string design can be summarized and viewed in the shared earth model using the Petrel application. Petrel technology is also capable of automating repetitive tasks in a coherent workflow. An experienced drilling engineer creates the record of the Petrel workflow steps and shares it with the team. Other authorized staff members can follow these guidelines

using the input of their specific data to produce a standardized output. Supervisors checking the results are assured that the correct process has been followed. Well plans are used frequently as input into the economic evaluation of projects. The production forecast from Petrel reservoir engineering for the proposed well, combined with the probabilistic well cost, can provide quick answers regarding the added value of the well. In addition, well plan options can be compared in less time by orders of magnitude.

Real-time component
This solution enables users and managers to follow the execution of drilling operations within the geoscience model used for planning the work. The latest implementation of Petrel software provides a real-time data link that allows Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language (WITSML) data from any source to be displayed for deviation surveys and risks. This allows more geoscientists and drilling engineers to witness the rig operations from their petrotechnical desktops. The Drilling Visualization module in the Petrel application provides a means of capturing risks and correlating them from well-to-well markers for better consistency, by enabling them to be visualized in the 3D canvas as a zone so that they can be used to avoid trouble spots in future planning (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Screenshot of several typical drilling risks in Petrel.

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

An immediate cost- and time-saving implementation is provided by the Operation Support Center (OSC). During the execution phase of the workflow, it is advantageous in brownfield development to minimize the number of personnel on the rig to both save costs and reduce unnecessary exposure to safety hazards. This is feasible if technical expertise is available centrally and a telecommunications infrastructure is provided to link the data from the rig to the center using the OSC.3 The OSC is a collaboration space both physically and in terms of information sharing. It can be provided with key technical models, both for hydraulics and for torque and drag, which are shared with a real-time monitoring service solution; and it is able to detect rig operating states such as drilling or tripping and calculate them in context so that alarms can be set for deviations from norms. The real-time deviation measurements from the borehole drilled and LWD outputs can be displayed simultaneously in the OSC software and in the shared earth model in the Petrel application. This allows the team to confirm plan compliance and make decisions at technical milestones such as casing points.4 By viewing execution information in the plan, a register of incidents such as losses or stuck pipe can be made and future plans can take into account these trouble zones in the offset wells. This both improves future planning and permits replanning at short notice in the case of unexpected issues, such as a mechanical or geological sidetrack. Here again the Osprey Risk time, cost, and risk simulation application is excellent with its ease of use and fast, repeatable conceptual design capability. If desired, the basis for design can be updated with actual parameters and the Drilling Office suite can generate a technical analysis for the end-of-well report. Finally, the OSC software can be used to play back the drilling history (drilling parameters, BHAs, and subsurface LWD) so that lessons can be learned from drilling issues in the well or sidetrack.

Advantages of the collaborative planning workflow

The collaborative planning workflow has the following advantages. Geologists and drillers work more closely, avoiding interpretation and planning silos. Wellsite geologists can remain in the office to supervise critical operations. 3D graphics for drilling operations provide a better understanding of spatial relationships between wells and geobodies, enhancing collaborative decision making. Geosteering within thin beds is easier with real-time deep imaging.5 Drilling planning is more tightly integrated with execution. Interpreting the shared earth model from 3D seismic provides a solution for overburden modeling. Individual experts can interpret real-time data from their petrotechnical desktops, as well as from OSCs. Key features The interactive geological model is key for geosteering. The technical risk evaluation is key for feasibility assessment. A facies model in the geoscientists system allows synthesis of the pore pressure and fracture gradient from 3D seismic.6 Rapid geomechanics risk prediction reduces drilling risk and allows rapid evaluation of multiple possible well plans.7 Adding the drillers world to Petrel technology shows the simulated technical risks in the shared earth model, while adding the records of actual incidents or trouble zones and making them available for correlation and visualization in a system used to pick targets or plan trajectories. In addition, at the time of execution the Petrel Real-Time Data Link provides the ability to replan while drilling, as well as to witness operations or update correlations within the shared earth model.

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

Challenges and organizational barriers to collaboration

Organizationally, E&P operator divisions may not be optimized for collaboration across disciplines. Barriers may be present that limit the effectiveness and reduce the potential of the new workflow. These must be overcome to realize the full potential. One challenge in an E&P organization is to overcome resistance to change; 3D graphics are not used universally in brownfield drilling engineering. Todays drilling engineering is report- and 2D graph-based. Innovative use of inserts and color-coded technical parameters (such as dogleg severity) in 3D models can overcome much initial resistance, particularly when the system is coupled with advanced drilling engineering tools and does not replace but rather enhances those reports and 2D graphics.

This well planning solution combines technical risk profiles and real-time connectivity with 3D visualization in a collaborative geoscience interpretation and modeling environment. Previous solutions were incapable of providing this level of technical capability with repeatability and knowledge sharing, having either too little geoscience capability or no technical risk profiles. The technology is capable of evolving further as it gains acceptance. The work experience of both geoscientists and drilling engineers will make it attractive to work collaboratively, with the shared earth model as an integral part of the workflow for both disciplines.

The solution has the following primary benefits: Future directions

As the system evolves, it will be possible to save results generated in the 3D interface back into the engineering tools. More results will be shared and visualized, and automation and recording of the process will become easier for the drilling engineering community. Overburden models will become more common and be of better quality. Automated structural interpretation or ant tracking will promote productivity in structural modeling, and picking faults and other advances will help geoscientists adapt their work priorities to spend sufficient time on this key aspect of the shared earth model. Extensions will include operations data reporting so that risks from the operations report can be visualized and correlated in the shared earth model. Smarter platform placement will become available by defining antitargets (no-go areas), and platforms will be placed by least cost, least time, or least risk. Geosteering workflow tools such as forward log prediction systems will become more readily available, and it will be possible to incorporate multiple realizations of the geological model so that geosteering in uncertainty areas is easier. Shared earth models will be updated while drilling, and will include simulation while drilling8 for optimum reservoir drainage. Geologists and drilling engineers can work more closely together, with wellsite geologists able to supervise from the office if necessary. The movement of expertise from the wellsite to the office or to an OSC has other benefits, such as increased safety, a reduced logistics burden, and more efficient use of human resources. Experts can connect from their own petrotechnical desktops to witness drilling operations. The evolution of 3D graphics used in geoscience workflows for drilling operations, provides clarity about the spatial relationships between wells, and between wells and geobodies. The Petrel application is easy to use; the tighter integration of drilling planning with execution allows rapid planning and replanning. The use of the Osprey Risk drilling risk assessment software provides a fast, accurate assessment of drilling cost and risk. In a nutshell, the addition of the drillers world to the Petrel application provides a game-changing solution for todays oilfieldwith the ability to evolve to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

Technology enablers
Schlumberger software at http://www.slb.com/content/services/software/index.asp? Schlumberger drilling software at http://www.slb.com/content/services/drilling/rtd/index.asp? Drilling Office integrated drilling software Interactive Petrophysics log analysis software Operation Support Center (OSC) real-time drilling collaboration solution Osprey Operations Manager operations surveillance and performance analysis system Osprey Reports well operations reporting software Osprey Risk drilling risk assessment software Petrel Drilling Visualization risk management module Petrel Real-Time Data Link module (included in Petrel 2007 core) for streaming and static real-time data Petrel Well Path Design trajectory planning module TDAS Tubular Design and Analysis System software

1. Spath, J.: Optimization revitalizes brownfields, Harts E&P (December 2004). 2. Fanchi, J.R.: Shared Earth Modeling, Butterworth-Heinemann (2002). 3. Case study: Operation Support Center drilling optimization saves Helis more than USD 1.7 million on Gulf of Mexico well, http://www.slb.com/content/services/resources/casestudies/ drilling/osc_gom_helis.asp. 4. Enhance precision geosteering and decision making with real-time 3D modeling using Petrel workflow tools, http://www.slb.com/media/services/software/geo/petrel/petrel _realtime_geosteering.pdf? 5. Case study: Production enhanced by placing more than 1,300 m [4,265 ft] of Middle East well in thin reservoir with uncertain dip, http://www.slb.com/content/services/resources/casestudies/dr illing/periscope_middle_east.asp. 6. Sayers, C., den Boer L., Nagy Z., Hooyman P., Ward V., Pore pressure in the Gulf of Mexico: Seeing ahead of the bit, World Oil (October 2005). 7. Nagy Z., Elisabeth F. and Sayers C., Schlumberger; Valleau D., and Berkovski L., Burlington Resources, Understanding the geomechanics risk, Harts E&P (October 2005). 8. Bourgeois D., Tribe I., Christensen R., Durbin P., Kumar S., Skinner G., and Wharton D., Improving Well Placement with Modeling While Drilling, Oilfield Review, Volume 18, Number 4 (Winter 2006/2007).

An Innovative and Collaborative Real-Time Well Path Planning, Risk Analysis, and Update Workflow in Petrel

06-IS-494 January 2007