Improving horizontal drilling efficiency: A case study from the Woodford shale ///

Cimarex Energy Co. has been using positive displacement motors (PDM) to drill the curve sections of its wells in the Cana-Woodford shale plays, which require steep dogleg severity (DLS). To overcome drilling challenges, such as increased risk of equipment sticking in the wellbore, greater torque and drag in long, lateral sections, higher wellbore tortuosity, and low rates of penetration (ROP), the operator decided to test a high-build-rate rotary steerable system (RSS). In a drilling campaign of 17 wells, Cimarex experienced the fastest observed ROP in the lateral section, due to smoother wellbores with less tortuosity, as compared to wells drilled with a PDM. Smoother wellbores have also made it easier to run completions equipment.

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