Logging Horizontal Wells – The Game is Changing

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Canada and the United States are leaders in best practices of designing and innovating horizontal well technology. Horizontal wells now account for a large portion of all wells drilled in both countries. One best practice often neglected by some oil/gas companies is logging horizontal wells.

New Approach to Horizontal Wells

The long period when horizontal wells were considered a ‘last resort’ is underlined by the under-development of logging systems and interpretation for horizontal wells. The methods available have lagged behind the advanced interpretative techniques developed for vertical wells, but this situation is changing. Research and development programs are at the forefront to yield new approaches to log analysis in horizontal wells.

New logging methods that have emerged as horizontal wells become standard practice are:

  • Logging While Tripping (LWT)

  • Pipe Conveyed Logging (PCL)

  • Shuttle/Garage System

  • Logging While Drilling (LWD)

Each system produces similar results in that logging data is the final product, though there is some variance on the delivery methods.

Benefits of logging the horizontal sections:

  • Recognition of changing reservoir quality such as porosity or fluid content

  • Measurements of resistivity with minimum invasion

  • Revealing faults early enough to react to potential problems

  • Detection of fluid boundaries

  • Replacement of pilot holes

  • Frack and completion optimization

  • Mapping of sweet spots

Still Not Convinced?

All of the above mentioned has the potential to make or break a well. While logging waivers may seem like the easy way out and may potentially save minor costs on the overall AFE, the overall benefits from the potential missed information could affect the final oil/gas production of that well. The lack of data could also affect future well placements and missed opportunities on lucrative land sales.

So when it comes to your conventional thinking on logging horizontal wells, turn your ideas sideways and think horizontal!