The study area is a marginal oilfield with tilted oil-water-contact. The target reservoir is located more than 5000m deep with an oil column of merely 1m. The primary challenge is to accurately land the well in this thin interval without penetrating the water zone. Faced with complex lithology in a low resistivity pay zone, formation evaluation poses obvious complications. Steering the production lateral within the thin oil column, while performing real-time reservoir evaluation, is the key to succeed economic objectives.

A combined while-drilling technology, including multi-layer bed-mapping and multi-function Logging-While-Drilling (LWD) tools were employed to address these challenges and by the end of 2014, the pilot project had successfully placed the lateral within the target zone, securing an in zone Key-Performance-Indicator (KPI) ratio of over 90% despite encountering lateral heterogeneity. By achieving this KPI, the drilling cycle was shortend by almost one-third. The authors believe that the fit-for-purpose solution can be applied in similar blocks to achieve repeated success.

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