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Geologic Problem Solving with Microfossils: A Volume in Honor of Garry D. Jones

SEPM Special Publication No. 93, Copyright © 2009

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), ISBN 978-1-56576-137-7, p. 21–27.

Biostratigraphy is making a significant contribution to value creation and realization when planning and drilling hydrocarbon development wells. Biosteering production wells provides the support to enable operators to drill more ambitious and technically challenging wells with increased levels of confidence. Precise biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic control whilst drilling increases safety, saves money, and greatly increases the long-term potential of production wells at relatively small cost.

Following the completion of four exploration and appraisal wells, the Kristin Field is currently under development utilizing twelve either highly deviated or horizontal production wells that are technically challenging and expensive to drill. Biostratigraphy, and in particular micropaleontology, is helping with both of these issues by providing quantitative real-time wellsite stratigraphic support, increasing confidence in the placement of casing shoes, by ensuring that wells are landed at the correct stratigraphic level with the correct hole angle, and by negating the necessity for costly lookahead vertical seismic profiles (VSPs).

Depth of burial and thermal maturity precludes the use of palynology through most of the Kristin Mesozoic well sections. Micropaleontology has therefore been utilized as a stand-alone tool for stratigraphic calibration of the Upper Cretaceous Intra Lange Sands, the Lower Cretaceous “Albian Shale”, and the Middle Jurassic Melke Formation, all of which are critical in terms of drilling operations on the field.

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