Combining the competencies of the well engineer and the geoscientist from the earliest phases of exploration is reaping economic benefit for major capital drilling projects (single wells costing at least US$25 million). As the geologic and geophysical modeling of the explorationist matures and the subsurface picture becomes clearer, appropriate well design flexibility can be achieved using mechanical Earth model (MEM) technology. This approach to well planning is particularly beneficial for deepwater exploration.

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