The need to design wells that can quickly and safely bring on new production calls for greater clarity in understanding the subsurface environment.
Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes sees 3D design software as a way to gain a clearer picture of the subsurface environment. In the past, 2D software has been used, but does not give the full picture of the subsurface environment, which the industry needs to better understand reservoirs in complex environments such as high pressure, high temperature wells, extended reach wells, multi-lateral wells, multi-zone completions, intelligent and deepwater wells.
On Wednesday, the company announced the commercial release of its Completion ArchiTEX (CTX) 3D completion design software at the Social of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Amsterdam.
“It’s when we bring technology and software advances together when we can create an environment where engineers can design wells to meet today’s challenges in complex wells safely and efficiently,” said Rob Early, director of production solutions for reservoir development services at Baker Hughes, during a presentation at ATCE. “But to do this, we must first understand subsurface. As design engineers, we need to build a clear picture of subsurface environment. We need to understand structure, reservoirs and the faulting and we also must understand new wellbore stresses so we can design wells that reduce that stress, minimize risks, and allow for the well to be placed optimally in the reservoir.”
The tools are available to provide a clearer picture, including estimating core pressures to optimize mud weights and advances in logging while drilling enables companies to respond to the actual environment, correct time models, recalibrate and drill ahead safely. However, the models are only as good as the data available, and need to be calibrated.
The need to understand fluid behavior over time – one of the most critical aspects of well design, in Early’s opinion – also means software is needed that gives a greater understanding of the subsurface and allows for safe operating facilities to be designed that will last the entire well’s lifetime.
The software allows for a transparent workflow process, allowing the user to make adjustments to the model to correct and improve the completion design. The software also features an intuitive user interface with a drag-and-drop function for easier creation of 3D designs, Baker Hughes said in an Oct. 29 press statement.
The CTX software models are constructed using a CAD engine that generates 2D schematics and interactive 3D graphics, allowing users to view and navigate through the well path, casing, tubing, and completion subassemblies in simulated 3D environments. It offers an interactive design workspace, allowing users to share concepts and parameters, and propose changes, and allows for collaboration from multiple locations. It also provides operators with completion designs, cost estimates and daily performance reports.