Niobrara Basin know-how in the Rocky Mountain State: A Cordax case study


We delivered a virtually invisible logging experience for a client in Colorado

Sept. 4, 2018

No well geometry or hole condition is too difficult for Cordax’s Logging While Tripping (LWT) technology. With a growing need for open-hole formation evaluation logs in the upstream O&G industry, LWT has proven to be a reliable, risk-free and cost-effective method to ensure you get quality open-hole data—regardless of hole condition or wellbore geometry. Every time.

Check out how Cordax logged a horizontal well with ultra-challenging hole conditions for a client working in Colorado’s Niobrara Basin with minimal impact to drilling operations—virtually an Invisible Logging Experience. 

The challenge

Early in Q3 of 2018, Cordax began a logging campaign for a client in Colorado’s Niobrara Basin. The operator was applying LWT open-hole data to customize completions and fine-tune stimulation operations to improve the effectiveness of their “fracks” and increase production.

Cordax had already successfully logged several wells in the area but this particular well was proving to be much more difficult—with hostile hole conditions causing the rig to “pull tight,” and making “backreaming” operations necessary.

With the intensified nature of arduous drilling operations required, while tripping to surface, Cordax’s LWT method was the only viable open-hole logging solution in the O&G industry today. 

The solution

Given the challenging horizontal well environment, the operational flexibility and ultimate quality of Cordax’s LWT logs was really going to be tested.

As part of this LWT operation:

  • No changes to standard drilling procedures were required. LWT steel collars were run in the bottom hole assembly (BHA) during a scheduled bit trip

  • After the well reached total depth (TD), Cordax’s logging tools were deployed at surface, pumped down and securely latched in LWT collars

  • The logging interval (about 5,250 feet) was tripped in just under 12 hours (significant delays were encountered due to stuck pipe)

  • Logging measurements were recorded to memory, as the drill pipe was repeatedly “worked” in tight hole environments while tripping to surface

  • The drill string was rotated at 25 RPM, and mud circulated at up to 400 GPM, while logging during tripping operations

  • To ensure data quality, LWT logging speeds in typical hole environments are slightly slower than routine rig tripping rates. Given the disproportionate time incurred “working pipe” in this demanding well, the overall extra rig time incurred to facilitate purely dedicated LWT logging operations was just 2.8 hours 

The result

In spite of these extremely challenging hole conditions, Cordax achieved a seamless logging operation that was virtually invisible to drilling operations.

How did this Cordax client measure success? In multiple ways:

  • Quality open-hole logs were delivered on time, and within budgeted rig time allowance

  • No deterioration in open-hole log quality, despite a demanding logging environment

  • The chance of losing tools/abandoning radioactive sources was negligible, with logging tools always safely secured inside steel collars

Cordax’s unique LWT technology enables operators to acquire quality open-hole logging measurements in horizontal or highly deviated wellbores, regardless of hole condition, where logging was previously thought to be impossible or uneconomical.