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Explosive growth in deepwater drilling today is fueled by changing economics and new technologies. Increasing production from deep offshore areas is essential to satisfy energy demand and offset natural depletion of oil and gas reserves. We discuss upgrades of existing drilling rigs and the construction of new units for operating in deep and ultradeep waters to meet these objectives.
Conventional barriers between data, interpretations and interpreters can be overcome through the use of an integrated and comprehensive software platform. Multidisciplinary teams can now view, interpret and manage information simultaneously throughout the evaluation and analysis cycle, thereby improving predictions from complicated tasks like reservoir characterization, saving time and fostering teamwork on E&P projects.
Recent advances in dipole tools and processing techniques provide higher quality logs; identify fractures, stresses and their orientation; and help select drilling and perforating strategies. Real-time sonic-while-drilling is used to detect overpressure, locate pay and determine unaltered formation properties. This article also examines how petrophysicists evaluate one of the most difficult logging environments—gas-saturated formations.
A new method determines near-wellbore structure by combining sonic logging and seismic techniques. The resulting images can show a variety of features, from large reservoir caprocks to thin permeability barriers. Sonic imaging can verify wellbore trajectory relative to geologic markers, image subseismic formation reflectors to better understand porosity and permeability, and detect fractures away from boreholes to distinguish them from drilling-induced cracks.
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