With the advent of rotary steerable systems, successful drilling of horizontal wells became a reality in the oilfield. Even though the costs are much higher than for a vertical well, the production factor can be enhanced multiple times, making it very attractive. However, the drilling of horizontal wells is extremely difficult, mainly due to lateral lithological discontinuities of the reservoirs and seismic uncertainties. To overcome such challenge, Well Placement technique is used to interactively position the well based on geological and seismic criteria together with LWD measurements. While covering drilling, geology and geophysics, most Well Placement approaches rarely consider reservoir engineering aspects.

Therefore the project objectives were to evaluate the impacts in the productivity generated by the geometrical changes in the trajectory through numerical reservoir simulation. The research work was then divided into two parts. The first one was the creation of a representative 3D synthetic reservoir model where numerical simulations were applied for each trajectory design. A detailed sensitivity analysis was made by comparing the results among the different trajectory cases in order to identify the relationship between well positioning and its productivity response.

The second part consisted of a real geosteering case study. Around both planned and executed wellbores, it was created a detailed reservoir model enhanced by LWD inputs. To increase prediction accuracy, a refined gridding with variable cell size technique was applied to enhance pressure and saturation sensitivity. The level of precision was improved by using LWD measurements, such as the most precise formation pressure, the permeability near wellbore and the remote boundary mapper technology that provided a detailed reservoir structure based on formation resistivity contrast. Afterwards, reservoir simulations were performed in order to evaluate the impacts caused by the trajectory variations, demonstrating the expected productivity results versus the actual ones.

The work delivers a novel ability to construct optimal horizontal wells not only by including conventional Well Placement technique, using geological and geophysical criteria, but also by adding into the workflow an advanced numerical simulation approach. Such integration allows the operator to predict the impacts on the productivity as the trajectory is being changed, and the actual reservoir geometry and its properties are determined by LWD measurements. It also reinforces that predictions related to reservoir productivity should not only be performed on planning stage, but most importantly during or right after well execution using relevant inputs, such as the actual well path, LWD logs, and formation pressure measurements, which all combined provides an enhanced reservoir model, and so a more accurate forecast analysis.

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