Integrated downhole seismics

Integrated downhole seismics

This is a topic page to show an overview of a sub field of Integrated operations, describing the knowledge developed by the IO Center

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In phase one of the IO center, program one ran a successful study on downhole seismics and the method of full waveform inversion. We here give an account of the results and its continuation in a new project.
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Integration of disciplines has been a key aspect of Integrated Operations and the breakdown of data silos a necessary pre-requisite to achieving this. Another aspect of IO has been tools that let the organization make use of all available data across disciplines in its decision making process. IO project 1.4 Utilization of Increased Bandwidth from Borehole captured these aspects of IO.

The project took as its starting point the wired drill pipe technology, which delivers broadband data rates to downhole tools during drilling. The project focused on the opportunity this opened for utilizing seismic sources and receivers in the borehole while drilling. Borehole seismics together with real time measurements of formation parameters would allow us to integrate the work processes of drilling and that of seismics, which is usually carried out prior to drilling. Synergies include optimal placement of the wellbore and improved reservoir drainage.

The project ran simulations of a drilling operation where seismic sources and receivers were placed in different wells. The ability to "illuminate" and observe the formation from other angles than what is possible with surface seismics give advantages alone. But most enticing is the ability to give a high-resolution picture of the rock formation around and in front of the bit and feed this into real-time decision making such as directional drilling, which itself gets a boost from wired drill pipe.

There is a challenge in interpreting seismic data of this kind, but the project introduced the Full waveform Inversion (FWI) method as a solution and demonstrated the effectiveness in simulations. The results were met by approval by the IO center industry partners, which expressed interest in the results being taken towards field implementation. And while it is not part of the IO centre's phase two portfolio, this research is today being continued in the centre for drilling and wells for improved recovery, (SBBU) in Stavanger. See SBBU program 2 and page 10 of the SBBU 2012 annual report for details on its continuation.

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