The land drilling market in China has seen a significant increase in the use of gamma and propagation wave resistivity logging while drilling (LWD) tools in recent years, primarily through the offerings provided by major service companies. Although these technologies have been in use for many years, their availability to independent service companies has been restricted to either purchasing older generation tools from the majors or using their services at inflated prices, with limited resources to develop their own LWD technology. The authors describe the successful introduction of an LWD system within China by an independent service company working with an independent tool manufacturer―removing the reliance on technology developed by established international service companies.
The paper details the introduction of the formation evaluation technology and associated measurement while drilling (MWD) system by a local service company, established in wireline logging operations but new to the field of directional drilling, MWD and LWD. Focus will be placed on detailing a series of multilateral wells drilled within the Liaoning Province and the challenges faced with introducing new technology and interpreting data from high angle and horizontal wells.
The studies demonstrate the successful implementation of LWD technology in a field where previous attempts to log while drilling had failed. Through training provided by the tool manufacturer and use of field engineers with wireline logging backgrounds, the service company was able to log nearly 2200 m of lateral sections in the oil company’s most complicated multilateral project to date. The wells were drilled faster than previously with significantly improved system performance.
The availability to local service providers of a resistivity system with proven performance enables them to expand their service offerings without having to rely on technology provided by the majors―in turn allowing construction of more complex wells, designed to increase and optimize production.