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  • Examining trajectory effects can improve horizontal well performance


    A. Bond, D. Zhu and R. Kamkom

    Horizontal wells have been used in recent years to develop oil and gas fields more efficiently than conventional vertical wells. The significant difference in drainage patterns of horizontal wells, when compared with vertical wells, makes it critical that the formation have a certain, minimum vertical permeability for these wells to be productive. In cases where vertical permeability is very low, horizontal wells can lose their attraction because of poor vertical communication. To overcome this disadvantage, a horizontal well can be designed with some undulations in the well trajectory, which will avoid direct dependency on vertical permeability. In addition, this will further increase contact between the well and formation. But, as undulations are added to a wellbore, its hydrodynamics become more complicated, and the effects of wellbore flow may jeopardize productivity. The wellbore trajectory, and effects on productivity and flow, should be studied carefully when designing an undulating well.

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