Image from Water and Power Associates
Search and Destroy
I’ll start with a personal anecdote; I used to think manual handling and editing of data was something everyone in our team should be proficient at, and by doing this well we create value for our company. The task is mundane and often time consuming, but hey, I got the job done and I learned something along the way - value created right?
Following the Pro Well Plan mantra: “Identify a problem - solve it” I now want to show you part of the workflow I usually go through when starting a new project, I suspect many can relate in one way or another. Hopefully you’ll see how the mantra can be applied in this story.
Setting the stage
As a geologist I have been working with seismic and well-data for 14 years and when starting a new project, be it; basin review, prospectivity reviews, license round applications, farm-in due diligence or seismic processing, the first step is gathering information. Well data, being ground truths, is obviously valuable for all of these projects and below I’ll outline the general workflow for gathering this data.
Let's say I need to find and select a number of wells in the Utsira High area for one of my projects, they have to contain composite logs with Vs, density, gamma, Vp values as a minimum and I also need the deviation file, Time-depth curve and preferably markers.
The initial search revealed a total of 238 wellbores within my AOI, however, which of them penetrated the formations of interest, are they deep enough, which found hydrocarbons, were there any shows etc. Depending on the usage my search criteria will vary and with 238 wells to search from I can look forward to weeks of reading well summaries to get a decent subset of wells. Likely approach is to randomly select a subset based on spatial distribution, this might very well end with a representable subset, but there is also a very real chance that some important information is missed.
After a painstaking process of narrowing down my list of wells to a manageable level I now have to find out if the wells have the hard data needed to bring my project forward.
Does the folder structure above look familiar? I bet it does! Now the spreadsheet containing my subset of wells needs to be checked towards the corporate “database”, do they contain the logs and files needed to build my project. Does the composite log contain the required logs, if not I have to request the information from the national data repository (if there is one). If I, after first searching all available databases don’t find the information required for a specific wellbore I have to return to map search in step 1 to find another well that potentially ticks my boxes.
Last step is to make this data that I have now dug up from folder structures and “databases” readable for the workstation, again manual checking of files, logs and formats is necessary before my data is ready to be used (another proud moment of doing it myself). If for some reason a log is corrupt beyond my ability to fix it, I have to return to step 1 to identify a new well and bring it through step 2 to check if it has the data, you get the drift? This is starting to feel like a game of Ladders. And another caveat, there is a distinct possibility someone in our organization has already jumped through these hoops before, maybe the well I’m looking for is just sitting in another folder where I didnt think to look, hours of work wasted, but as is stands I’m blissfully unaware and keep chipping away. Still thinking we are creating value?
This figure illustrates the steps outlined, as you see I can at any point expect to be sent back to the start. I have also boldly drawn in a potential solution.
By now I suspect you are both nodding in recognition and sobbing of desperation at the same time, anxiously hoping and daringly thinking there must be another way.
I’d say the problem has been identified and according to our mantra we have also found the solution. We claim it is possible to go from step 1 directly to a final usable selection. Data cleaning is done for you, so no more editing of text files and spreadsheet. All welldata is located in the cloud and accessible from anywhere. All updates and edits done by you and your colleagues are stored on the fly. No more wondering if the data you are looking at is the latest version or if there are more data available elsewhere. At your fingertips you have an easily searchable database capable of bringing you the welldata needed within minutes, freeing up your time to do actual analysis and interpretation, enabling you to start your project immediately and spend your time creating actual value for your company. Talk about opportunity!
In the short video below I'm using the Pro Well Plan software to efficently get a well selection for my project.
15 years from now my personal anecdote will probably mock this innovation, digitalization and machine learning effort to bring me well data within minutes rather than days. But where would you rather be in between? Editing text files or creating value.
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