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Horizontal drilling

Horizontal drilling technology

Horizontal wells are of great interest to the petroleum industry today because they
provide an attractive means for improving both production rate and recovery
efficiency. These are due to that horizontal wells provide a large-area of contact with
the reservoir than do vertical; wells and in addition, they provide a means for the
lateral transportation of fluid. Thus, the horizontal wells can be drilled as new wells or
horizontal sidetracks, drilled to revitalize the performance of exiting vertical wells that
are called drain holes The past few years have seen great improvement in drilling
technology. Development such as the use of bent, down hole drilling-motors, topdrive rigs and MWD (measurement while drilling) or advanced MWD called
geosteering technique together with steerable drill systems have greatly reduced cost.
Recent horizontal wells have cost no more per meter of well drilled than comparable
conventional wells. Thus, great advances have also been in methods for-drilling shortradius drain holes from existing vertical wells. The construction and placing of
horizontal wells has become routine Usually it is no longer speculative as to whether
horizontal wells can be drilled .In most cases now, the choice is not whether one can
drill horizontally but whether on should.
Great advances in the technology of drilling and locating horizontal wells continue to
be made. Today much attention is being paid to the problems of re-entering existing
vertical wells using smaller diameter, medium-radius and short-radius equipment.
These improvements will allow a much larger proportion of existing conventional
wells to have their live extended by re-completion with long, horizontal drain holes.
The provision of MWD tools that will operate in smaller diameter holes is a
particularly active area. There are developments, too, in logging tools. Tools are now
available that can be operated while drilling (LWD) to provide information about the
reservoir being encountered. Locating the logging sensors closer to the drill bit to
allow a more timely evaluation of the bit position and of the rock being penetrated is

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Horizontal drilling

another area of active development.

Application of horizontal wells


Thin formations
When considering thin formation for hemogenous formation, it should avoid drilling a
horizontal well into this formation thicker than 022 ft maximum pay zone thickness
does not hold true for formation heterogeneous formation or formation with vertical
naturally fractured. Thus, the productivity index (PI) for a horizontal well reflects the
increases area of contact of the well with the reservoir. Typically, the PI for a horizontal
well may be increased by a factor of 4 compared to a vertical well penetrating the same
reservoir, although enhancement by a factor of 02 or more may be achievable in
certain circumstance.

Vertical naturally fractured formations


A horizontal well provide a means of communicating with natural vertical fractures,
e.g., and a high fractured limestone. If the well is oriented to interior these fractures
the productivity index can be substantially increased even when the fracture density is
low. Unfortunately, this can also accelerate the movement of gas or water to reach the
well bore.

Low permeability formations


One question is often asked by the operator that is how low should the permeability be
in a homogenous formation before considering drilling a horizontal well? Gieer
determined the amount of oil that could be produced under the same following
conditions for horizontal well and vertical well using the same homogeneous reservoir
for various reservoir permeabilitys. That is the homogeneous formation with reservoir
permeabilitys greater than 02 md should not be considered for a horizontal well
completion. For 022 md the same oil volume would be produced after about 022 days
from cither types of well? Even during the first 022 days, there is little difference in the
amount produced from a horizontal well versus a vertical well because formation is not

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Horizontal drilling

homogeneous. However, the productivity, obtained by drilling a horizontal


well partially depends on the magnitude of the vertical permeability and
the length of the drain hole. Where the ratio of vertical permeability to horizontal
permeable is high a horizontal well may produce more cost effectively than a vertical.

Heterogeneous reservoir formations


A horizontal well may provide a number of advantages when reservoir heterogeneity
exists in the horizontal plane. A horizontal well bore reservoir provides potential for far
more information about the reservoir than would normally be available. As logging and
completion techniques become more sophisticated, this aspect of horizontal wells is
likely to be used advantage.
From a production viewpoint, a horizontal well in an irregular reservoir may provide a
means of accessing isolated productive zones, which might otherwise be missed.
Furthermore, in heterogeneous reservoirs, the influence of the heterogeneous along
the well bore is reduced by the composite flow geometry, so that production rates are
generally enhanced in these circumstances

Application in reservoirs with bottom water or with a gas cap


In many cases, the most important factor limiting the production of oil from a reservoir
is the tendency for water from an underlying aquifer, or gas from gas cap, to be drawn
vertically to the production well. Horizontal wells can have substantial advantages in
such reservoirs. The conventional way of reducing the effect of coning is to complete
the vertical well over a limited vertical distance to maximize the stand off from the
water or gas cap as the case may be. Because of its extended contact with the
reservoir, a horizontal well usually has less pressure draw down for a given production
rates than does a vertical well. This reduced draw down lessens the tendency for the
coning of water or gas with the produced oil. Thus, for example, horizontal wells may
be operated at the same rates as conventional wells but with less sometimes much
less-coning, i.e., with better water-oil ratios or gas-oil ratios or both in some case,
production without coning may be economic using horizontal wells.

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Horizontal drilling

Where it would be prohibitively slow with conventional wells. In situations


where the initial rate for production without free gas coning would be
impractical with vertical wells, it may be possible with horizontal wells to achieve
economic production by gravity drainage with only a small rate of gas injection to
maintain gas cap pressure. Even if operation below the critical rate for coning is
impractical because of economics, there can still be a large advantage for horizontal
wells. This situation is common when viscous, conventional heavy oils are produced
from above a water layer. When the high oil viscosity and the low difference in density
between the oil and water make coning, or more correctly fingering, occur even at very
low production rates. In these cases, the volume of oil that is produced is
approximately proportional to the volume swept by the water finger. Horizontal wells
have an advantage over vertical wells here because they (really a crest shaped liked
the roof of a house along the length of the horizontal well) have a much larger volume
and this larger crest displaces a much larger volume of oil.

Advantages of horizontal wells in offshore application


Many horizontal wells have been drilled from offshore platform. Such well offer savings
in platform costs in addition to the advantages found onshore, For example, one
operator states that the cost of his North Sea platforms approximately $ 6 million per
well slot. Using horizontal wells, the same number of well slots on a platform can
produce since each horizontal well more productive than each conventional well.
Furthermore, since offshore wells are normally highly deviated in any case the extra
cost for horizontal drilling can be relatively small. Commercial offshore horizontal well
projects in various areas including the Adriatic, the North Sea and the Java Seas arc
described in the literature.

Heavy oil application


Probably the most prospective area for using horizontal wells lies in the field of heavy
oil recovery, particularly thermal recovery using stream- For example, the bitumen

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Horizontal drilling

deposits is Canada, which are impossible to recover economically by


conventional methods, have a volume of oil in place approximately equal to
that of all the known conventional crude oil in the world. One approach used to recover
these resources is open pit mining. However, this is limited to the small fraction of the
Tabasco reservoir that is close to the surface and the approach involves handling vast
quantities of material. In situ thermal recovery is more generally applicable, cheaper
and less damaging environmentally.
Thermal recovery normally requires close well spacing. Typical projects have a spacing
of 0.2 to 2 acres per well and, in many cases, these are latter in filled to improve
recovery. Stream flood projects in California with spacing are as low as 2/5-acre arc
being operated. In such circumstances, a single horizontal wells. This may become one
of the most important applications of horizontal wells. The successful operations of
field pilot in Cold Lake, the Lloyd Minster area and in Athabasca using horizontal wells
and streams-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) are discussed in the literature. A
particularly important feature of the use of horizontal wells for stream recovery is that
it is possible to operate and obtain high recoveries with little stream production, I, e.
with little streams bypassing by cresting. With horizontal wells, it is possible to produce
economically below the critical rate for stream by pass; with vertical wells, stream
flooding is impractical without the bypass of stream except on very lose spacing.

Sand production
At higher draw down-pressure, sand production is a common problem especially the
production from unconsolidated and fire grained sand. Sand erodes and plugs the
equipment and restricting the flow rates. Screens and gravel placing limit sand entry
into the well bore and in some cases reduce productions rates, less pressure draw
down eliminates the need for screen and gravel placing and allows higher production
rates from drainhole or horizontal well.

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Horizontal drilling

Types of horizontal wells and different drilling technique used :


The choice of drilling method depends upon drilling cost, well spacing and the
mechanical condition of a vertical well bore is existing. Also, the reservoir
considerations are also important in selecting the drilling method. During the last
decade, the incremental cost of drilling horizontal wells and drainhole. Over a vertical
well cost, has come down considerably. But today oil industry grains more experience
and use newer drilling technologies; in turn the cost of drilling horizontal wells may be
further reduced. Accordingly the practical horizontal drilling methods can be classified
into four categories depending upon the turning radius required to turn from a vertical
to a horizontal direction. Also, the use of a top-drive drilling system (TDS) is essential to
the successful implementation of a horizontal drilling program for: deeper wells; larger
well bores; outer-row wells (offshore platforms); Gumbo or tendonitis hole sections
when drilled with water base mud; where simultaneous high torque and tension is
required to be applied drill string. A discussion of various drilling methods is given
below for each type of horizontal well and drainhole.

Ultra Short turning radius


Ultra-short turn-radius horizontal holes, sometimes called drainhole. In this method, it
utilized water jet to drill 022-022 ft long drainhole with a turning radius of 0 to 0 ft.
these arc drilled in previously cased often multiple horizontal laterals are drilled from
the same well bore, It is reported that, sidetracking may be done with a whipstock
deviating tool with a curved guide. Also, a long slender steel tube fits inside the dill pipe
into the top of the whipstock guide. The upper end of the tube has a pressure seal to
contain pressure and divert drilling fluid through the tube. The jet nozzle Fits on the
lower end of the tube. Thus, drilling rate is controlled with a retaining cable connected
to the top of the tube.

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Horizontal drilling

Short Turning radius

Short-turn horizontal patterns have a turn radius of about 02 62 ft, for a


drilling from cased holes. The process begins by sidetracking, building angle, and drilling
the curved section with a special angle building assembly. Thus, for a re-entry drilling
system to be technically successful, it must be capable of drilling a consistent radius of
curvature and of drilling curve in the desired direction.

These requirement arise from the needs


0.To position the end of the curve within a precise depth interval so that the lateral can
traverse the pay zone as desired
0. To place the lateral in a direction dictated by well spacing, desired

sweep patterns,

or other geological considerations.


0. To establish a smooth curve to facilitate drilling the lateral and completing the well.
Several types of short-radius curve-drilling systems arc commercially available. The
most common types uses a mud motor to rotate a drill bit that is titled bit drills a
curved path, and the rotational orientation of the motor housing in the borehole
determines the direction of the curve. Either a steering tool or a measurement-while
drilling (MWD) tool is required to keep the motor housing oriented during drilling. The
system may be used with conventional or work over rigs or with coiled-tubing units.
This is the most popular method of drilling a curved borehole, but it is often too
expensive to be economical for re-enters in mature fields.
Constrained-rotary systems arc second category of commercially available tools. They
have a flexible drive shaft inside an articulated non-rotating housing. Since originated
by Zublin in 0520, this approach has been greatly refined. A resilient curve guide acts as
a spring that applies a side force to the bit and force the bit to drill a curved path. The
curve guide initially is oriented in the desired direction and then relics on well bore
friction to maintain orientation as it advances along the curve. Because of the
considerable hardware required and the associated operating procedures, use of
constrained-rotating systems has declined in favor of the more reliable mud-motor

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systems.

Horizontal drilling

Medium Turning radius


Although the long-radius approach to drilling horizontal wells is highly developed and
very successful, the radius required restricts the applications possible. Medium-radius
drilling extends the techniques so that build sections with a radius down to about 022
ft (52m) can be drilled. Holes drilled by medium-radius techniques have several
advantages compared to long-radius wells and almost no disadvantages. They can be
drilled with conventional drilling rigs, although they require some special, but now welldeveloped, equipment. Medium-radius techniques use non-articulated drill strings and
bend mud motors. These are three principal requirements:
A-The bottom-hole assembly must be able to drill along a trajectory with the required
radius.
B-The drill string must be sufficiently flexible to follow the drill without mechanical
failure.
C-Tools used in the hole must be able to be moved around the curved parts of the hole.

It is important to note that the third requirement listed above limits the tools that can
be used in the horizontal part of the hole even through the curvature there is
negligible. These requirements place limitations on what can be achieved by mediumradius drilling. The requirement for drill string flexibility means drill strings must be
smaller in diameter for higher curvatures. At the limit, it is necessary, e.g., articulated
strings, coiled tubing type strings stressed beyond the elastic limit, and strings made of
exotic higher-strength the materials such as titanium, carbon fiber or steel-reinforced
hoses. Charges of this sort move the technique beyond the boundary of normal
medium-radius drilling.
The trend to using smaller diameter drill pipe goes along with the drilling of smaller
diameter holes. Another driving force moving the technology towards small diameters
is the incentive to drill horizontal drains starting with existing vertical wells. To do this,

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Horizontal drilling

medium-radius equipment that can be inserted down the existing vertical


well casing is needed.
Drill pipe for Medium Radius Drilling:
Dech, Hearn, Schuh and Ienhart described the first medium-radius drilling system in
0556. It allowed holes 06 in. in diameter to be drilled to horizontal distance of 0222 ft
with a build rate of about 02: 02 m (022ft). The system used a narrow-diameter, special
compressive service drill pipe (CSDP) carrying larger-diameter wear knots. In holes with
a lower build rate than 02/02 m, heavy-wall drill pipe is used. This pipe has a wall
thickness, which makes it about two and a half times as heavy as standard drill pipe (e.
g. 60.2 Kg/m for 4.2 in. pipe compared to 02.0 Kg/m for standard pipe). In addition,
hevi -wate pipe has, in each 02 ft length; a central upset section, which behaves
similarly to the wear knots in CSDP. The wear knots keep the drill pipe away from the
wall of the hole in the curved section. This reduces both rotating and longitudinal
friction, resulting in less striking. It is also through the wear knots help keep the cuttings
in suspension in the drilling fluid.

Long-Radius Horizontal Well:


Long-turn radius horizontal well classifications are drilled mainly by deviation in open
holes. Wells in this classification are characterized by larger hole sizes and are very
susceptible to high drag and torque because of long open hole section. Hole size range
up 00.02 in diameter although smaller diameter holes are more common.
Wells with a radius of curvature of about 022 m (0222 ft) in the deviated sections are
commonly drilled using the techniques a steerable bent mud motor and MWD to locate
the hole as drilling proceeds. Also, there are significant advantages in using top-drive
rather than rotary table drilling rigs, and top-drive rigs are commonly used in offshore
applications. Few land rigs have had top-drive because of the cost installation,
however, new top-drive designed specifically for land operations are available.

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Horizontal drilling
Over View

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Horizontal drilling
Horizontal Well Profiles

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Horizontal drilling

Design of a horizontal trajectory

Design by using simple method:


In accordance with the horizontal well drilling, there are three sections namely:

1) Vertical section:
It is drilled from seabed (mud line) until kick-off point (KOP).

2) Turning or curved or angle build section:


It is drilled from kick-off point (KOP) to the end-of-curve (EOC). This section includes
the first build arc, the straight tangent, and the second build arc.

3) Horizontal section:
It is drilled from the end of second build arc (EOC) to the end of proposed
distance to be drilled horizontally in the pay zone, in accordance with the type of
horizontal well to be drilled.

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Horizontal drilling

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