Data Engineering and Science

Data analysis in well planning

How do engineers analyze data in well planning and in operations?

Well reviews
Well planning engineers are data scientists.

Most of the time and in all phases of the work process, you work to find data, analyze data, and document decisions with data. Let's walk through the decision gates of well production, from a data science view.

Data analysis in the early decisions, can we do this?

In the DG0-DG1 phases, the goal is to evaluate whether a well can be drilled or not. The subsurface team will give you a post-it note with location and depth, and ask you how much this will cost, what is the risk, and can we handle this risk?

Then you as an engineer start to analyze data. What wells are drilled in the area? You will get hold of the reports from the wells and search through databases to find relevant information. One engineer who used to work in this area is still in the company, so you call her up and ask for a meeting for experience transfer. This is all data science, but with very unstructured data.

A more structured approach is to search in Pro Well Plan for wells in the area and use the statistical tools to analyse performance and events. You can also quickly compare the well designs in the area.

If you are in a previously unexplored area, you have to rely more on offsets with similar features, and that is very difficult without a proper database. The problem is that you need to ask everyone in your network if they have some experiences to share on your well. When final well reports are written on a well level, not on sections or events, there is infinite reading to do to find relevant experiences.

And you have to create some massive spreadsheets to combine your learnings. Spreadsheets you probably will struggle to understand the next time you open them, and which no one else can reuse.

Pro Well Plan let you search and analyze offset wells. You can search for formations, sections, gamma rays, inclinations, fluids, and any combination of these. And then you can review the experiences related to these wells. You store your work and share it on the fly, so your team is up to speed, and you don't have to make presentations. And next time someone is planning a well in the same area, they can continue where you left off.

Data analysis in the concept select phases, what is our best design?

For the concept select phases, you are mapping different scenarios, to choose the best business case for the company. You have to look in detail at a design to make sure there are no deal breaking risks or uncertainties, and present a clear picture to all the stakeholders so they can optimize their decisions. In balancing expectations of performance, risk and targets, you analyze multiple scenarios and rank them.

Like in the early decision phases, you read up on documents and data you have available, and you make design alternatives which you present to your team for feedback and improvements. You then document the pro's and con's with the data you have available, such as final well reports, historic charts, studies and data.

With Pro Well Plan, you both speed up the process and improve the decision making. Since you have all the data available at your hand, you can search and filter for similar designs, and you are not limited to only the nearby wells where your team has expert knowledge. Your work is to analyze and make multiple designs, and you do this task in weeks instead of months, and when the work is done, the reports are already made.

Data analysis in the detailed well planning phases, what are the possibilities?

Now moving into the detailed well planning, you are preparing for any likely outcome of the plan when operations commence. You know drilling has a lot of randomnesses, there is manual decision making, rig and equipment failures, an unknown subsurface and very limited data gathering while drilling, leading to a forest of potential outcomes. Looking at previous wells and the team history, you make a list of what can go wrong, and make some contingency plans. Stuck situations, fluid problems, weather situations, logistics problems, changing targets, changed TD criteria, and more.

You report the keep multiple scenarios alive throughout the detailed planning phase, and you document offsets for scenarios in reports and spreadsheets. You read through final well reports, daily summaries of events, have discussions with your team and bring in detailed operational data like ECD charts, BHA tallies, and rig data for hook loads, pump rates, and operational parameters.

This data analysis is much more efficient in with Pro Well Plan, as you both find the data much quicker, you have the tools to analyze, and you can store your findings in the platform. All your work is shared with your team as you go, and you can create beautiful figures on the fly with statistics and well diagrams. You keep doing data analysis all the way through the planning phase. You can reuse the experiences you created on the previous well or previous phase, so you don't start from scratch every time.

Data analysis in drilling and completion operations, what is happening?

As soon as the well is spudded, everyone is on alert day and night, chipping in with personal experiences. And if the well goes according to plan, the plan is not detailed enough, because there are so many decisions made all the time. Some decisions are activated in a few minutes, others are about the next section, or tomorrow's operations, or maybe about a redesign of the reservoir section because of a problem drilling the overburden. You want to fact check the decisions and proposals, but events are just too fast. So you rely on personal experiences from the team closest to the operations. With larger deviations from the plan you have to follow change management rules and document why the plan changes. This leads to a myriad of reports, emails, comments, presentations, stakeholder updates, technical plots and daily reports.

Post operations, the team is in full data analysis mode, summarizing events for a final report. Over months, all experiences are gathered, and there are commercial agreements made based on performance and incidents in the operations. Also, the team KPI's are colored by the events in the operations, so there is a strong political shade over the final well reporting. Major incidents might kick off in-depth analysis with experts from outside the operational team.

Pro Well Plan let the planners follow the operations and make multiple well designs to document changes to single sections or the full well. The decisions are then supported by experiences that are populated with offset wells. This allows for fast and precise iterations in documentation of decisions. Post drilling, the experiences and well designs are used to compare plan to actual, so the team don't have to write new reports, but can work on what has already been created during operations. Presentations are a breeze as always, the illustrations and text are ready for print or presentations.

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