Visualization: What value does it bring today, and what can it potentially bring to well construction?

Many in the industry today regard it as a gimmick that looks nice and may be good in the Geoscience domain but has no real place in the well construction arena. However, that perspective is rapidly changing.

In varying environments outside the petroleum industry three-dimensional visualization has demonstrated many diverse benefits. This paper discusses the gains realised so far and future potentially rich areas to exploit, in the framework of well construction. Visualization allows complicated geometric and computational models to be simply represented; wells can more easily be linked to the larger picture of the field. No longer is there a need to use terms that confuse all but the individual discipline experts, a picture is now available. This speeds and facilitates the communication and mutual understanding of problems and potential solutions. Discipline experts can look for creative solutions to be suggested from their extra-discipline peers, small and subtle changes are much more easily dealt with, and the exercise becomes a shared-learning experience. Teams start to appreciate what is involved in the collaborators disciplines, thereby facilitating future work in the team. Visualization enables a common language to be established for future communication amongst a multi disciplinary team. Mutual understanding and appreciation of problems can greatly enhance team performance.

Once a model of a field is created, that includes offset well data from the drilling of the wells, we have, an intuitive repository of knowledge for future well construction projects that can be used by rig-site engineers for real-time decision-making, directional drillers for assessing anti-collision risks, and a simple and effective tool for current or future peer reviews to interrogate and more easily understand historical information in the form of knowledge.

Perhaps the most powerful benefit of all for the technique is the draw that it provides to bring people together.

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