A new cross disciplinary workflow and methodology for optimizing the hydrocarbon recovery of a well with respect to well placement, positional uncertainties, the net present value and risk assessment is presented. The methodology has been applied in integrated operations by well planning teams to identify the optimal well design, and was used as a base for decisions during drilling operations. It is implemented in a new internal StatoilHydro software tool called DollarTarget.

Focusing on a geological target of the well path, the methodology integrates geophysical and seismic pick uncertainty, uncertainty in the well trajectory and net present value variation in such a way that multiple drilling scenarios and different realizations of the reservoir model are considered when balancing risk and return of the planned well.

Using the methodology in planning and operation for several wells in the Norwegian Sea, a pilot project concluded that the methodology improved cross-disciplinary collaboration within the well planning team. In addition the well planning teams reported that the net present value risk analysis lead to a significant increase in the expected net present value and adjustments of the well path for several wells in the project. Moreover, improved risk evaluation was reported as a result. Use of the methodology made the well planning groups able to evaluate the economical consequence of increasing the risk with the purpose of maximizing the hydrocarbon production. This required input from the entire well planning team. With 3D visualization of input data and results, the new software tool worked as a facilitator for discussions and common understanding.

In this work application of the methodology in well planning and drilling operations for three wells in the Heidrun and Smørbukk fields in the Norwegian Sea is presented. The examples show the significant benefit and business value of using DollarTarget for net present value risk analyses, and support the conclusions from the pilot project.

DollarTarget introduces an integrated operations workflow and methodology which has proven to be highly beneficial in well planning and drilling operations. The technology is currently being implemented in the well planning and drilling operation work processes in StatoilHydro.

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