Reservoir navigation, often referred to as geosteering, is commonly used to optimize the placement of highly deviated wells. This technology has contributed significantly to the prolongation and economic well-being of mature hydrocarbon provinces around the world and been a major enabler for the commercial success of unconventional reservoirs.
The reservoir information and analysis obtained during reservoir navigation is extensive and very valuable, yet is known to sometimes remain unused. Part of the reason is the complexity of reservoir navigation data and the limitations that many geosteering software applications cannot integrate the information provided from this data to update seismic-based 3D models.
This paper demonstrates a fast and effective method of utilizing spatial reservoir navigation information to improve the three-dimensional understanding of producing reservoirs. Reservoir navigation interpretations from one or more wells can be used as inputs. The results include updated structure maps, refined gross rock volume (eg shale volume in unconventional reservoirs), updated values for porosity and water saturation and ultimately a revised volumetrics calculation. The results can be compared with calculations from other methods such as material balance and decline curves. Analyzing conflicting field data and reconciling them creates opportunities for improved drilling opportunities and better reservoir development. Datasets used in the paper show some specific examples of how the 3D workflows lead to better field developments with enhanced drilling operations and improving recovery factors.
In the future, significant technical developments are expected in the type and complexity of reservoir navigation data originating from logging while drilling (LWD) tools. These data types will easily be included in the new 3D workflows without introducing undue complexity.
Integrating reservoir navigation interpretations into sub-surface 3D models can be of benefit for real time drilling operations and also for field studies. The method uses a 3D workflow that can be completed easily and is fast enough to update models in real time. It is therefore useful for the purposes of improving architectural and geomorphological understanding of an area larger in scale than just the immediate active well. This creates an information rich environment with insightful information during geosteering real time jobs for better decisions. Additionally, the analysis method can be performed as a field study. This more comprehensive approach allows integration with other information after drilling operations have ceased to improve resource recovery and pick better future drilling targets.