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Case Study: sonicVISION LWD Data Enables Successful Sidetrack in Gulf of Mexico Exploration Well

Operator uses real-time pore pressure monitoring to avoid risks

Challenge: Sidetrack high-angle well to reach TD in challenging Gulf of Mexico field.

Solution: Use sonicVISION sonic-while-drilling service to monitor pore pressure in real time from an OSC.

Result: Drilled successful sidetrack and avoided drilling risks.

Drill sidetrack

An exploration company was drilling a high-angle well in an area of the Gulf of Mexico in which offset wells had been plagued by drilling problems, including kicks, stuck pipe, and BHAs lost in the hole. During drilling operations, real-time pore pressure from resistivity measurements was monitored from an OSC and compared with the exploration company’s pore pressure data.

When a discrepancy was observed between the real-time data and the company’s data, the well was circulated bottoms up, and the BHA short-tripped back to bottom. A large quantity of gas was obtained, so the well was shut in to control it. To save the well, a sidetrack had to be drilled to planned TD, and accurate real-time pore pressure monitoring would be critical to success.

Calibrate pore pressure model

The sidetrack was drilled successfully, using sonicVISION real-time measurements to calibrate the pore pressure model. Real-time sonic and resistivity data showed a regression in pore pressure as depth increased, instead of the expected ramp—a rare occurrence in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on the pore pressure data, the drilling team used lower-weight mud in the sidetrack than in the original hole.

Reach TD with sidetrack

Using real-time sonicVISION measurements to recalibrate the pore pressure model as drilling progressed helped the team avoid kicks, stuck pipe, and lost-in-hole incidents. The sidetrack was successfully drilled to TD, saving the well.


Download: sonicVISION LWD Data Enables Successful Sidetrack in Gulf of Mexico Exploration Well (0.87 MB PDF)

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