A variety of magnetic ranging methods are used to determine distance and direction between a magnetic field sensor and a magnetic field source. If the sensor is in a near vertical hole, it may be difficult to orient the sensor's axes relative to known world coordinates, since no gravity high side is available. This can create difficulties calculating and applying ranging results. A magnetic azimuthal toolface may also be impaired due to magnetic interference.

To address this problem, we combine and align ranging and gyro systems in one tool-string and use simultaneous gyro attitude measurements to define the orientation of a ranging system with respect to True North. We apply this technique to two distinct magnetic ranging methods. The first method consists of a solenoid based ranging system. The example shows how this method was used to drill a precisely parallel wellbore in a close proximity to a previously drilled vertical well. The second described method consists of an at-bit-while-drilling ranging system that was used to safely pass by a vertical well while drilling a horizontal well in a close proximity.

The paper compares the results of alternative north orientation techniques for magnetic ranging versus the simultaneous gyro attitude referencing. The alternative techniques include a magnetic north orientation and the north orientation derived from a prior downhole survey and gravity high side tool face. The results show that the described technique can improve magnetic ranging accuracy by up to 10-fold over the previous methods. The paper provides 2D and 3D visualization and numerical analysis of the listed north orientation techniques applied to the magnetic ranging methods.

Simultaneous gyro measurements can significantly improve magnetic ranging accuracy. The applications for the described technique include relief well drilling, plug and abandonment, collision avoidance/risk mitigation, civil and mining projects.

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