Remote geosteering can be used to drill horizontal wells in large resource plays tapping reservoirs with monotonous lithology (silt and shale) with good well control and existing in-depth knowledge of reservoir characteristic from previously drilled stratigraphic wells. Examples of such resource plays include the Duvernay, Montney and Horn River/Muskwa.

The goal of geosteering is placing the wellbore in optimal position within the reservoir. Optimal position can target ideal drilling targets within the reservoir (maximising drilling efficiency), best placement for completion (targeting beds that support best fracking efficiency) and ultimately improving production of individual wells and of the resource play as a whole.

 

Remote Supervision

Real-time data relay from the wellsite has become increasingly robust and extremely reliable over the last decade. Geosteering geologists acquire continuous drilling and MWD parameters to decide the optimal steering direction in real time, from any distance. Decisions are then instantly relayed to directional drillers.

Employing geologists with extensive wellsite experience is a key factor for an efficient remote procedure system, and one of Chinook’s specialties. The vast majority of our geosteering geologists are former wellsite geologists themselves, intimately familiar with all rig operations.

Chinook Geosteering Room
Chinook Geosteering Space

Cuttings Sample Collection

Cuttings samples are collected at the wellsite using semi-automated sample catching systems that require minimal supervision, and the samples can be prepared and described at a later time in a laboratory environment. For in-depth analyses, critical samples can be collected and preserved in geo-jars and gas samples can be harvested in iso-tubes and preserved for subsequent analyses. Petrographic studies can be subsequently performed on collected drill cuttings samples.

Directional Drilling Supervision

Assessing the trajectory of the well path is the single most important aspect of geosteering, whether onsite or remote. This is done by following established procedures and protocols including:

  • Plotting actual well path against designed well trajectory
  • Identification of well path relative to stratigraphic markers (well path with TVD gamma and formation tops)
  • Constant communication with directional drillers to ensure well path follows optimal trajectory
    • Best reservoir, or
    • Best wellbore placement, or
    • Optimal drill path
  • MWD/LWD supervision, data stream monitoring
Geosteering cross-section

Advanced Geosteering

In many respects, geosteering is equivalent to reverse geomodeling. By applying geosteering observations, a detailed model of the reservoir can be created while drilling. Such observations can be used to better understand the geological structure, pick optimal drilling windows or establish optimal placement of fracking stages.

Advanced geosteering allows for:

  • Utilizing multiple curves to pinpoint the structural position of the well path
  • Projecting curves measured in pilot wells along lateral sections of wells being drilled (in real time)
  • Identifying placement of frack stages based on well position in structure in order to maximize fracking efficiency
  • Correlating apparent dips, trends and interpreted faults across multiple wells on large drill pads
  • Exporting detailed structure data with accuracy and data steps far exceeding seismic interpretation or traditional geomodels

Reporting

Other aspects of the drilling process are observed and can be optimized using geosteering procedures. These include:

  • Assessing hole condition by monitoring drilling parameters and mud properties, paying particular attention to any indications of overpressure zones, sticky hole or lost circulation
  • Establishing estimated timelines for events such as encountering critical formation tops, casing points, entering reservoir, and reaching total depth
  • Estimating how long current bit is expected to drill and when the next trip is expected
  • Generating detailed daily reports (striplogs, operations reports, data files) to be distributed within the company and to partners as needed
  • Generating exhaustive final reports (striplogs, final geological report, data files, etc.)
  • Providing integration with geomodeling in real time

Continuous communication with multiple disciplines is paramount for a successful geosteering operation. Real-time data flow and rapid interpretation of field data can dramatically increase the efficiency of the drilling operation and ultimately increase production.