Non-acid wellsite palynology: Widening opportunities
Published:January 01, 2005
G. Williams, S. N. J. Payne, R. Dyer, D. F. Ewen, N. Patrick, P. Watson, 2005. "Non-acid wellsite palynology: Widening opportunities", Recent Developments in Applied Biostratigraphy, A. J. Powell, J. B. Riding
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Wellsite palynology is a geoscientific tool, which involves real time preparation and analysis of subsurface samples. Analysis of palynomorphs during drilling is used to identify the location of the drill bit in the geological succession, critical for reservoir prediction, biosteering, casing, coring and terminal depth determinations to be made. Until recently, extraction of palynomorphs was only considered possible with the use of highly toxic and hazardous chemicals (e.g. hydrofluoric acid) and technical support in a mobile laboratory, resulting in high costs, logistical problems and potential Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) risk. The development of new processing techniques has removed the bulk of the chemical component in the sample processing and allow a primarily mechanical extraction technique to be employed at wellsite, representing a major breakthrough that reduces cost and logistical problems and virtually eliminates any chemical HSE risk. As a result, the application of wellsite palynology has expanded, operational costs at wellsite have been reduced, the dependence on a limited market place for the hire of specialized laboratory equipment is alleviated and the global reach of this technique is enhanced. The technique has been used successfully at wellsite for sediments of Middle Jurassic to Palaeogene age, on over 60 offshore wells in the UK, Norway and Faroes. Laboratory testing has shown wider geographical and age applicability. The technique has enabled horizontal biosteering of wells, the maximization of mature field recoverable reserves and the application of wellsite palynology to areas with logistical limitations, with significantly lower HSE risks.
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Recent Developments in Applied Biostratigraphy
In recent years the application of biostratigraphy to hydrocarbon exploration and development has become increasingly important both scientifically and economically. The demand for higher stratigraphical resolution in field development studies has resulted in the utilization of new approaches. However, in under-explored areas with little reliable primary biostratigraphical data, conventional methods using relatively coarse biozonations still have relevance. The aim of this volume is to encourage an exchange of ideas and to seed new research initiatives particularly within integrated multidisciplinary teams. The papers are divided into four main themes which cover a broad range of modern applications of biostratigraphy. The first three themes are: UK North Sea field development; outcrop analogues; and international exploration and development. The final section discusses new methodologies, such as the application of correspondence analysis and multivariate correlation of wells, and palynological processing techniques applicable to the wellsite.