Well planning and well trajectory design in particular is a complex iterative process, which typically takes several months and significant effort from drilling engineers and other field professionals. When several wells are drilled from the same platform or subsea template, tubular program, cement program, and mud program are rather consistent from one well to another. The biggest challenge lies in wellbore design, which should allow fast, cost-efficient, and problem-free drilling and subsequent casing- and lower completion running.

This paper presents 3D wellbore trajectory design and visualization modules within an in-house well planning web software developed at the University of Stavanger. The design and optimization module allows users to construct 3D wellbore trajectories using Bezier curves and optimize them with respect to the geomechanical and hydraulic characteristics using a principle of hydraulic mechanical specific energy (HMSE) and minimum drilling time. Other optimization criteria have been already developed separately from the simulator and will be included in the later release.

The visualization module provides a 3D picture of the well under construction with respect to the offset wells, statistics visualization and data filtering of the drilled wellbore sections to determine, for instance, high ROP and low tortuosity areas. Volve data set, released by Equinor in 2018, was used for the development and testing of the modules.

It is evident that the current well design methodology has a real potential for improvement. The application of the newly developed well planning and visualization tool will reduce time the iterative process takes, from hours and days to just several minutes. The advanced visualization tool will aid wellbore construction by providing well planners and drilling engineers with information about possible problem areas and opportunities during drilling. The new approach to wellbore trajectory design will make the well planning more interactive, robust and time-effective.

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