Innovative interpretation methods based on efficient measurements to map structure and fluids around high angle and horizontal wells while drilling are critical for future success in a marginal, but increasingly strategical, business on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). A high number of infill wells are expected to prolong the operational life of assets for the coming decades. Success of horizontal infill wells targeting bypassed zones are challenged by uncertainties in the subsurface description and by fluid content variation generated by differences in sweep efficiency over time. Optimizing well placement of such producer wells has a direct impact on cost and recovery. This could also potentially unlock targets not accessible today with currently used methods and technologies.
Driven by the advanced integration of subsurface information, the capacity of 3D mapping and characterization of the reservoir features has reached an unprecedented understanding level. Through the incorporation of data from real time LWD measurements, 1D and 2D ultra-deep azimuthal resistivity inversions, all the way to 3D and 4D surface seismic, it is now possible to describe in detail not just the structural and stratigraphic components but also the reservoir properties and fluid distribution along horizontal wells.
The key challenge is to establish more efficient workflows for advanced integration of subsurface information through new digital solutions transforming future geosteering and well placement solutions with 3D mapping and characterization real-time. Key elements of the integrated workflows and potential benefits in all phases of a well placement job will be discussed in this paper with examples from real cases from NCS.