The most significant directional drilling problem identified by operators drilling unconventional wells has been the inability to consistently follow a prescribed well path and to hit and stay within the targets identified collectively by the company’s geologists, geophysicists, and reservoir engineers. Failure to stay within optimized production zones reduces well production capability and profitability. Inaccurate directional drilling routinely leads to hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost production value per well.
In an attempt to stay on a defined path, directional drillers often fail to properly compensate for variations in rotary walk and build, effective formation stresses, tool face control, motor yields, hydrocarbon production potential, and tortuosity risks. There are, in fact, too many rapidly changing variables for the directional driller to consider and react to in real-time.
Attempts to compensate for deviations from the plan have often led to increased tortuosity of the final wellbore, missed reservoir, sidetracks, or unnecessary bit trips. The consequences of excess tortuosity include increased drilling times, increased stress on downhole equipment leading to tool failures, future problems in running completion hardware, increased torque and drag leading to limited reach for extended reach wells, an overall reduction in total recovered hydrocarbons, and future production problems such as unanticipated high water production or liquid hold-up in low spots along the lateral section of the wellbore. Inexperience or bad decisions by human directional drillers can result in many of these costly directional problems. It is estimated that approximately 25% of drilling costs are due to invisible lost time associated with human errors and non-optimal decision-making.
MOTIVE Drilling Technologies has addressed these problems with the MOTIVE Directional Drilling Bit Guidance System, the industry’s first use of cognitive computing to guide the directional drilling process which considers all costs to the asset and the economic consequences of directional drilling decisions. Directional drilling data analysis, decision-making, feedback, and reporting are all automated using machine intelligence within an OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, and act).
The Directional Drilling Bit Guidance System is available from Motive™ through certified channel partners, directly to oil and gas companies, or to rig contractors.