During the past few years, horizontal drilling has proven to be a viable alternative to conventional vertical drilling. In the search for innovative ways to recover oil and gas reserves the development of horizontal drilling has meant new success in some areas of the oil patch.
Many of the drilling and logging problems have been overcome which were earlier thought to prevent widespread development of horizontal wells. The primary obstacles which remain in drilling technology are depth and cost.
More attention now is being paid to methods for determining the most profitable applications for horizontal drilling. To date, most horizontal wells have been drilled in relatively tight fractured reservoirs, reservoirs with heterogeneous geometry, and reservoirs with mechanical problems such as coning. Although engineering advances have accelerated horizontal drilling technology, there is a need for clearer understanding of the geologic parameters necessary for the successful exploitation of potential horizontal drilling reservoirs. Although there have been extensive studies done on engineering applications of horizontal drilling, there has been relatively little examination of the geological and geophysical parameters necessary for horizontal well development, except in a select group of companies which are the current leaders in this field.
The purpose of this course is to examine the geological, engineering, and geophysical conditions necessary for potential horizontal drilling and to discuss the areas where these conditions exist.
There are basically two categories of non-vertical wells: (1) deviated and (2) horizontal. One of the most common questions presented in defining a horizontal well is how
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Geological Aspects of Horizontal Drilling
This publication consists of 13 papers that provide information on horizontal drilling from a geological standpoint. The publication begins with basic definitions, history, and classifications of horizontal drilling, and moves into a more etailed look at horizontal well spacing and placement, and factors that influence productivity. There are field histories and specific field studies, and the publication includes a paper that provides a detailed look at source rocks, carbonates, and sandstones.