Simple old fashioned techniques like wellsite observation, Pore Pressure prediction and Geomechanics secure safe and cost-efficient drilling despite sophisticated measurements, advanced technologies and increased amount of available data.
In the near future, the energy industry will face challenges. The oil and gas industry’s cyclical nature, the ongoing pandemic along with increasing need for more energy production has created a backlog of wells to be drilled. In the meantime, the loss of O&G professionals over the past decade means there is less expertise available, there are gaps in learning to support key decisions during high activity, and not the least, energy transition and low carbon ambitions set strict framework for drilling planning and execution.
This leads to complex geology of exploration and appraisal drilling requiring more advanced well designs. Unexpected Pore Pressure (PP) and Fracture Gradients (FG) can add unplanned casing strings and sidetracks. Resulting Non Productive Time (NPT) costs millions and compromises the safety of natural life and people on the site.
Development wells have also become increasingly complex with extended reach drilling (ERD) and Geosteering used to maximise production. Well-bore stability (WBS) is increasingly a challenge in mature, depleted, fields.
Pore Pressure: An essential factor in well design and operation
Pore Pressure analysis involves using data from multiple sources. This include Mud Logging, Logging While Drilling (LWD), Wireline Logging and, importantly, wellsite observations.
Despite more sophisticated measurements, advanced technologies and increasing amount of data, the old adage of ‘listening to the well’ is still crucial.
Defining if the hole problems are caused by PP, WBS or other factors is also essential to safe and cost-effective drilling. Too often PP techniques used in one basin (such as the Gulf of Mexico) are applied in basins with very different geological settings, leading to misleading advice.
When a business works only with quantitative data, they have limited insight and struggle to see a complete picture of the pore-pressure regime. For a view over everything – from mud weight, rate of penetration (ROP), relationship to produced gases, gas, temperature, cavings, lithology, geopressure profiles, torque, drag and fill – qualitative data is also needed. In High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and deepwater wells, the mud window between the PP and FG can be narrow, with complications such as “ballooning” easily leading to misleading gas indications.
The Risks Demand Experienced Judgement
We have helped our clients to avoid poor interpretation of Pore Pressure conditions which has enabled them to escape lost circulation, kicks or even losing their well. AGR’s combination of experience and state-of-the-art technology – like geomechanics models based on our very own velocity cubes hiQbe® – helps energy companies to manage risks in well planning and operations resulting in safe and efficient project completion.
Nobody can afford shortcuts, when the stakes are this high. Here’s how our engineers optimise drilling process to mitigate environmental footprint of hydrocarbon exploration and production:
- Pre-drill – peer review to optimise mud weights and casing setting depths
- Real-time – analysis to reduce uncertainty while drilling
- Post-drill and Basin – study to improve planning and drilling performance in future wells
- Training – practical courses aimed for Geologists, Wellsite Geologists and Reservoir Engineers, with a focus on Pore Pressure techniques in client specific Basins
- Data Management – consultancy resulting in organised database and streamlining procedures to save time and free new resources
Would you like to find out more about our capabilities within Pore Pressure and Geomechanics? Click to our Pore Pressure webpage. We have also prepared a summary of our Pore Pressure expertise AGR-Pore-Pressure-Peer-Review-Services.