Topic: Wireline Ops in Difficult Trajectory Wells
Date & Time: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 11:30 AM
Location: Brookhaven College Geological Institute
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An E&P operator was developing a reservoir and planned a horizontal well in an area where zones above the target cause drilling problems when trying to build angle and land the horizontal lateral. The operator suffered drilling difficulties on offset wells; therefore, it was decided to change the drilling plan for this prospect. The new plan required drilling through the target reservoir, into the formations below and then drill back up dip to the target. After reaching the base at a measured depth of 14,000 ft. the well plan required drilling up at maximum of 114° until reentering the target reservoir. Because of faulting in the area and required well direction, the target reservoir was dipping up at ~10°laterally in the direction of the horizontal drilling target. To maintain position in the reservoir, the well had to drilled at ~100° deviation to a measured depth of 21,100 ft.
This wellbore trajectory made normal wireline plug and perforating completion operations extremely difficult. The wellbore trajectory meant high frictions on the wireline when coming off bottom. Also, due to the toe-up trajectory there was risk the wireline tools would slide down the inclined casing during and after plug setting and perforating. If the tool position could not be maintained there was risk the wireline cable could be entangled and a stuck tool could result. If the tools overrun the wireline cable the result could be wireline cable next to the perforating guns when detonated and wireline cable severed. The E&P operator needed to know if this challenge could be met.
Alternatives to pump down plug and perforating could be very expensive (estimated $millions):
- Abandon acreage,
- Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target,
- Reposition surface location and drill down dip,
- Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or
- Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
To meet the challenge several new methods and technologies developed for extended laterals were utilized. These products and methods included: advanced risk deployment modeling, jacketed wireline cable, addressable separation tool and downhole tension tool.
Larry Albert is a BSc graduate of Oklahoma City University. He joined Gearhart Industries in January 1977 as an open hole field engineer in Enid, Oklahoma and held numerous field and engineering management assignments throughout the USA. He joined Halliburton with the acquisition of Gearhart in October 1988 and held key management assignments at the corporate office and in field locations around the globe. At the time he left Halliburton in 2010, he was Senior Director of Operations and managed the global wireline business that included over 5,500 employees and annual revenues greater than $2B. In May 2010, he formed Allied Wireline Services and served as President & CEO until Allied was merged with Horizontal Wireline in March of 2014. He is currently Vice-Chairman and member of the Board for Horizontal Wireline Services, one of the largest independent wireline services companies serving the USA onshore market.
He has been a member of SPWLA since 1977 and has held officer level positions in chapters around the globe. He has been a member of SPE since 1984, has published numerous technical papers and been an active speaker and contributor. He is a member of API, AADE, AESC and ICoTA.