Abstract

Short radius wells typically incorporate build rates between 35deg per 100ft and 70deg per 100ft. These wells are typically drilled to minimize exposure of a problematic zone above the target or to reduce geological uncertainty. This paper will discuss best practices and equipment developed specifically for delivering these wells in the Middle East. Case histories will illustrate the close collaboration with the operator resulting in performance step change for short radius drilling.

The approach is based on a rigorous Drilling Engineering process. Such process is divided in four major steps; design, execute, evaluate and optimize. One of the first key steps is to perform a diligent risk assessment ensuring the customer objectives are achieved. This resulted in the development and implementation of technological innovations on downhole motors and Measurements While Drilling (MWD) tools to achieve the required high build rates safely and consistently. Proper communication was crucial for flawless execution, and meticulous documentation enabled proper evaluation and optimization of the art of short radius drilling.

For over 10 years, multiple short radius wells have been consistently delivered meeting their objectives; from successful sidetracking operations, accurate curve landing, optimum geo-steering, valuable Logging While Drilling (LWD) data collection, to extending the life of the wells by maximizing their production. The last two steps of the Drilling Engineering cycle (evaluate and optimize) have been the foundation of the continuous improvement process; targeting adequate equipment maintenance, Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) design and operational practices to ensure consistent results. The paper will recap the drilling engineering cycle for wells drilled recently. The discussed best practices have enabled master the art of short radius drilling. Such distinctive knowledge should be shared with the entire oil and gas industry.

The paper captures the engineering approach to tackle the traditional challenges of drilling short radius wells. It also discusses the reliable solution for drilling short radius wells in Middle East which are planned to access new reserves from an existing infrastructure, while minimizing drilling and geological risks.

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