Today's increasingly complex and crowded drilling environments have placed a greater emphasis on wellbore collision avoidance. The safety and financial implications of shutting in production on platforms or repairing damaged wells have established a need for the industry to evaluate the potential for collision with a producing well. This paper will describe an effective approach to evaluating, minimizing and mitigating these hazards, and will include a number of case studies illustrating the successful application of this approach in the field. This paper, the latest in a progressive series will detail the importance of gathering appropriate data—such as completion type, offset surveys, well pressures, casing depths, reservoir fluids and mud densities—and analyzing this data to accurately assess potential collision risks.

Each well and field poses different challenges; not all data is available and wells can vary from simple vertical land wells to crowded offshore and fishbone designs. The well position uncertainties are determined by using survey error models from the Industry Steering Committee on Wellbore Survey Accuracy. This method was chosen because it is an industry-recognized standard of defining the magnitude of survey uncertainty. Recommendations for minimizing risk are based on the status and conditions of the adjacent wells and the nature and severity of the risks associated with a collision. These recommendations are formulated to minimize the risk while ensuring that production is disturbed as little as possible.

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