In 2010, Petrolera Indovenezolana S.A. (PIV), a joint venture between Corporación Venezolana del Petróleo (CVP) and the Indian company ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), started planning for two horizontal wells in the Norte Zuata (San Cristóbal) field in the Orinoco belt of eastern Venezuela. The focus for this campaign was to evaluate the productivity of horizontal wells in thin sands and avoid areas of complex geology because of the high uncertainty in the structural behavior, applying technology that provided absolute control of the drilling process into the Oficina formation.
Within the Oficina formation, thin sand reservoirs with variations in thickness and dip, geologically facies changes and subseismic faults presented the main challenge to geosteering a horizontal well. Because the project faced high geological uncertainties, a pilot hole was drilled as the first stage in the first well to verify the structural levels and the continuity of the sand bodies.
To achieve the above challenges, the combination of a rotary steerable system (RSS) "point-the-bit" and a deep azimuthal electromagnetic resistivity tool (DAEMR) was used. The measurements provided accurate information to the well-placement engineers for proactive decisions in real time, mitigating the possible loss of the target by these geologic uncertainties.
High-quality and valuable data for real time geological model update were the expected results obtained from the effort made by PIV in the Norte Zuata (San Cristóbal) field, and the data showed the oil-producing potential of one of the main reservoir (Sand F, G). This application of high-tier technologies demonstrated that drilling and data measurements can be improved and optimized to yield added value for reservoir development and 100% net to gross (NTG) targets. This reduces operational cost, makes it possible to drill in the right place the first time, and pushes forward the limit of the achievable in terms of reservoir exposure.