The horizontal recompletion of the Ryckman Creek Well #21 was the first to be attempted in a Thrust Belt Nugget field. The horizontal completion is significant because of the potential to substantially increase oil reserves over what can be produced with conventional methods. A horizontal wellbore has the ability to penetrate long intervals of an oil zone and expand the well's drainage area. The greater open productive interval permits lower drawdown pressures, alleviating the stratigraphic gas/water coning tendencies that have plagued many Nugget fields.

To recomplete the Ryckman Creek #21 as a horizontal wellbore, a directional program was designed to incorporate industry proven tools and techniques. A section was milled in the 7 in (17.7 cm) production casing at a predetermined elevation above the desired horizontal target zone. Medium radius of curvature (20 degrees/100 ft [30.5 m]) tools were utilized to drill the curved portion of the wellbore. A total of 534 ft (162.8 m) of lateral hole was drilled with a steerable bottomhole assembly. The amount of open productive interval was a five-fold increase over the vertical completion originally performed in the Ryckman Creek #21 well.

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