The Rewards of Staying in Zone?—Geosteering Part III

The industry spends a fair bit of money on geosteering—the process of matching logging-while-drilling data to open-hole log data to ensure that the wellbore is drilling through the most productive rock. It can be a nerve-wracking process—I know because I did some geosteering on Austin Chalk wells around Dilley, Texas, in the early 90s, mostly by sample descriptions. The technology for doing what we do today was rudimentary, novel, and raw. Today’s operators can, by-and-large, trust their geosteering contractors or in-house staff to keep them pretty much in their defined target or landing zone, and the geosteering mavens routinely deliver great results. I’ve taken it as an article of faith that the more the wellbore is in zone, the better the well will be. However, now that I’ve looked at a fair bit of data, I’m not so sure that’s true. I looked in DI Play Assessments at wells in the Delaware Basin with a landing zone = Wolfcamp A XY. There doesn’t seem to be a clustering of out-of-zone wells. Instead they are spatially distributed in the same manner of wells that have higher in-zone percentages. With the help of our geology team, I got this cross section of… continue reading

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