Depleting reserves and complex behavior of the remaining reservoirs has made optimal well positioning more challenging than ever. Especially in brown fields, pressure depletion, gas cap pressure depletion, reservoir drives, oil water contacts and the presence of nearby wells makes it important to place the well in the proper manner. Data gathered while conducting drilling process and the real time interpretation of these measurements can help in upgrading geological models and optimal well positioning thereby resulting in maximum recovery of crude oil and natural gas.

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While drilling a borehole, reservoir navigation technology adjusts the borehole position so that it reaches one or more geological target locations. The introduction of such type of technology which is capable of providing real time measurements of the distance from the wellbore to the formation boundary and the direction using deep electromagnetic measurements has enabled the operators to guide drill bits through longer and more complex well paths. A formation tester in the bottom-hole assembly while drilling gives extra advantages of identifying pressure regimes and reservoir connectivity, thereby calibrating the formation pressure gradient and improving the reservoir model.

Few years back brown fields were considered as dying assets, but now with recently available techniques, these fields have become economical and can provide good returns on investment to petroleum companies. With increase in energy demand, it is now considered as a requirement to develop brown fields, in order to sustain economic growth. The major challenge is to first identify the potential of the brown fields and then quantify it as accurately as possible.

Numerous horizontal and multilateral well drilling processes require proper well planning and a way to locate the path if required due to various structural and geological uncertainties. The drilling process, when incorporated with real time optimized well placement thus becomes reservoir navigation. It can be proactive, reactive or passive. In proactive reservoir navigation, the well path is changed in real time, based on data gathered while carrying out drilling and correlating the data with the model and look ahead capability for predicting the formations and their properties, that are yet to be explored. Generally, reservoir navigation is conducted by forming a resistivity model utilizing offset well data, determining the bed boundaries according to resistivity changes including the planned well path and generating the model resistivity.

The application of advanced reservoir navigation technique and proactive geo steering methods has allow to successfully carry out drilling process and complete difficult horizontal and multilateral wells with increased confidence. Reservoir navigation service substantially reduces the unnecessary course corrections and improves penetration rates.

By maximizing the reservoir contacts and accurately reaching well targets, reservoir navigation services provide an efficient and cost effective solution. It also allows maintaining wellbore in the pay zone and avoids reservoir exit, avoids NPT related costs, reduces any type of uncertainty, lower down the risk of costly sidetracks, enhances the completion strategy and increases overall asset recovery.

Growing population and emerging economies are some of the key drivers of the reservoir navigation services market. However, integration of new technology with the existing technology can hamper the growth of the market. Ample amount of opportunities are there for the reservoir navigation services market owing to the large number of crude oil and natural gas reserves that were discovered recently.

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Some of the key players in the business of reservoir navigation services are Seadrill Ltd, ENSCO Plc, Scientific Drilling International, Maersk Drilling, Schlumberger Oilfield Services Drilling, Noble Corporation, Kca Deutag and China Oilfield Drilling services among others.

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