A significant contribution that some oilfield services companies provide for drilling operators today is directional well planning. A major task in the process is to identify and analyze the risk of wellbore collisions. If there is a risk of collision beyond acceptable limits, risk management must be applied. The first part of this process is to collect data. The second step is to analyze the potential risk. The risk not only involves a financial aspect but also HSE (Health Safety and Environmental), so it is imperative that we make the right decision using the most effective tools. Failure to take the right precautions may result in potentially catastrophic human and environmental implications.

Generally this is already a complicated task. It gets particularly complicated when this is done at high latitudes and in certain wellbore orientations. Much of the industry today still believes that wellbores are represented accurately by surveys. While in the majority of cases this is somewhat true, the uncertainty and probabilistic nature of the measurement is often overlooked or misunderstood. Few people in the industry today actually understand how this translates to anti-collision also known as collision avoidance. Even fewer understand how much effect your latitude can have on this type of calculation.

This paper will address these complications. After a short overview on wellbore placement, the paper will first discuss some theory on what makes high latitude wellbore placement challenging and when is it a relevant consideration. How it relates to collision avoidance will be explained. The current gaps in the industry today will be revealed and options to close those gaps are discussed. Upcoming technologies for reducing risk are reviewed. The second part of the paper will focus on risk management; namely mitigation and prevention. Case studies will be reviewed. Common misconceptions will be eliminated. The paper will attempt to set a foundation of understanding of the fundamental important considerations for anyone involved in collision avoidance in high latitude locations such as the Arctic.

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