A common practice in shale plays is to evaluate vertical boreholes with an extensive wireline logging program. Largely driven by cost, time and difficulty associated with acquiring wireline measurements in horizontal intervals, only data logged from the vertical hole is interpreted and used to define the reservoir profile for the horizontal target window. The horizontal wells are then steered based on simple gamma ray measurements by means of correlation against the vertical pilot wells. Detailed studies from a range of shale plays have revealed that the geosteering results for these wells using only gamma ray, are often questionable as it can provide non-unique structural modeling solutions.
Integrating Logging While Drilling (LWD) tools into the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) enables formation evaluation measurements to facilitate accurate well placement and perform detailed reservoir characterization across the target structure. Additionally, LWD measurements have been successfully used to avoid drilling hazards, enhance rate of penetration to reduce drilling time, and optimize completion designs. Using limited data for horizontal well correlations often result in inaccurate structural interpretations. This inaccuracy complicates the understanding of production variations between wells. By employing LWD, the uncertainties can be narrowed to enhance trajectory placement and provide a better understanding of the reservoir-production relationship. This relationship allows target refinement within the productive reservoir interval followed by an optimized completion for an overall increase in reserve recovery. This paper details the use of LWD measurements for accurate well placement, formation evaluation, and completion optimization within a shale gas play using an integrated shale gas solution.