The potential operator cost efficiencies of acquiring valid formation pressure data while drilling are becoming more influential in deciding the value proposition of a wireline reservoir characterization program. Cost efficiencies may indeed be pivotal but importantly, the benefit of acquiring pressure data in real time needs equal consideration, as a number of novel applications now exist.
The paper will use case histories and lessons learned from experience with 300 logging while drilling (LWD) formation pressure runs in different operating areas including Asia Pacific to demonstrate the applicability to conventional formation pressure applications, traditionally acquired with wireline formation testers upon reaching section or well total depth (TD). These are the determination of formation pressure, fluid contacts, reservoir connectivity, and near-wellbore mobility. We discuss novel real-time applications and benefits for drilling and subsurface teams, such as mud weight management, safe selection of casing points, calibration of pore pressure predictions, selection of wireline sampling points, reservoir monitoring, geosteering, and obtaining data in high-risk wells.
Incorporating formation pressure testing into the drilling process presents challenges to perform measurements in a timely manner, as well as the need for continuous circulation while testing to ensure wellbore safety.
Providing this type of while-drilling formation evaluation data with an LWD tool allows a continuous approach to data evaluation and decision-making. The ability to measure accurate LWD formation pressure data in a variety of hole sizes represents a significant opportunity for safe and cost-efficient wellbore construction, especially in challenging environments.