The Alliance – DWL and Geowellex

Diversified Well Logging and Geowellex Allied in Brazil

Two forward thinking mudlogging and geological service companies have announced an alliance to bring a fresh look to the business. The first is Diversified Well Logging, a leader in  offshore deepwater and unconventional operations in the United States and Mexico.  The second is Geowellex do Brasil, an 8-year old company and a leader in wellsite experience of the sedimentary basins of Brazil. Together, Diversified and Geowellex are committed to realizing a great future for both companies.


Geowellex do Brasil

Geowellex is a Brazilian geological service company founded in 2012. During this time it has grown by developing technology along with its operational expertise. As a result, it has provided wellsite services on over 170 wells. Services include for example, mudlogging, petrophysics, wellsite geology, and consulting. In Brazil, Geowellex has a customer base that includes SONANGOL, ENEVA and PETRORIO. 

Importantly in Brazil, Geowellex delivers wellsite reports and logs in full accordance with the regulatory requirements of the Brazilian government as set out by the ‘Agência National do Petróleo – ANP’.

Business growth has similarly been achieved in the international market.  For instance Geowellex has operational bases in Egypt and Libya, working with AL WAHA and AGOCO. 

Geowellex is located in Rio de Janeiro.  In addition it has a  base and technology center with a test rig in Natal. The company works closely with Hohner Oil and Gas, a highly respected provider of oil and gas instrumentation. As a result Geowellex tests and uses some of the latest technology developed specifically for the oilfield industry. It also developed an advanced gas analysis system in collaboration with REPSOL. This system has been successfully tested on several offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico.


Geowellex on location in Brazil

State of the art Geowellex logging cabin

Geowellex Well Monitoring

Geowellex Libya Operations


Diversified Well Logging

Founded in 1952, Diversified Well Logging is a major geological service and wellbore surveillance provider in the USA. Importantly, Diversified began its operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and has developed extensive deepwater expertise. Diversified's deepwater customers include oil majors such as SHELL, HESS, MURPHY, EXXON, and CHEVRON.  Currently it works with ENVEN, LLOG, BEACON, and FIELDWOOD, providing data logging, pressure monitoring, geochemistry, and remote operations support.

Diversified Well Logging is the leader in geochemical mudlogging in the USA unconventional market.  It uses automated technology, such as its Robologger cuttings-catcher.  Moreover, it has quality driven workflows that transform data from cuttings into efficient drilling and completion solutions using in-house processing and the data science of Enovate Upstream’s ‘ADA A.I.’ platform.


The Alliance

The expertise and resources available with the alliance of Diversified Well Logging and Geowellex do Brazil is significant. Their shared vision and combined focus on modern technology, service quality, and capital efficiency place them in the perfect position to fill the current and future needs of the Brazilian deepwater oilfield industry.


DWL Deepwater Operations

Geowellex Leading in Brazilian Wellsite Services

Geowellex and Diversified Well Logging Alliance


Requests for service information and quotes may be directed to:

Diversified Well Logging - Services

Geowellex do Brasil - Services


Oil Field Evolution and Revolution

Hybrid Mud Logging Revolution

Formation Evaluation Returns to the Surface

Realtime formation evaluation at the wellsite used to be carried out by geologists or mud loggers examining the drilled cuttings and formation gas collected from the mud stream and “lagged” to bit depth.  This was mud logging or surface logging or data logging. Over the years, technological advances and economics allowed more complex downhole measurement tools to be created and run. These MWD and LWD tools determine several formation properties indirectly but became uniquely associated with formation evaluation to the point that 'real' rock analysis in realtime was deemed insufficiently precise.

Hart E+P - September 2020In today’s business climate, upstream oil and gas companies are increasingly focused on capital efficiency and return on investment (ROI). Delivery of an acceptable ROI to private and public investors is currently challenging in unconventional plays. However, these challenges also apply offshore with its high cost operations, the focus on trimming budgets, reduction of nonproductive time (NPT) and risk, and getting the best data at the best price.  Modern services - Surface Measurement While Drilling - from Diversified Well Logging combine quality and economy that are fit for today's oilfield.  It is Evolution and Revolution that will be the future of Surface Logging.

Read the article in this months Hart E+P Plus Magazine.

For more information on related services check our  Hybrid Mud Logging and Geosteering Services pages.

Also read “A Robotic Future”.

The future of mud logging

The reinvention of mud logging was necessary to increase the geological data available to drive operational and capital efficiency, which in turn helped to

create the hybrid mud logging (HML) system.  Using drill cuttings, a free byproduct of the drilling operation the system provides near real time rock composition measurements.  When combined with drilling data, A.I. methods provide an important window into the subsurface.

The full article on how Robotics and Automation are driving capital efficiency can be read in the June edition of Oilfield Technology.

And more information can be found here Robotics – Automation and here A.I. Machine Learning

A Very Valuable Resource

A very valuable unconventional resource

In a Rigzone article on June 10th, 2020, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance was quoted as saying “Shale is not broke; shale is not gone; shale will come back.” While the third statement seems to contradict the second, we all know what he means, and we all agree. Shale and other tight unconventional hydrocarbon plays are valuable strategic resources.

Being of strategic value it makes sense that more care should be taken to assess (and indeed access) the real potential of these formations. For years we have all seen similar reports of unconventional wells underproducing, for example, “of the thousands upon thousands of unconventional wells that have been drilled, 70% do not meet their production targets and 30% of all perforation clusters fail to produce.” This was stated back in 2016. I will generously assume that the statistics have improved, but possibly not, which begs the question why?

The first answer that comes to mind is that oil production was good enough to keep investors relatively happy. “Wells drilled in past 2 years provide nearly half of U.S. oil”, was the title of Adam Wilmoth’s piece in ‘The Oklahoman’ from March 27th, 2016. I am not much good at math but if that 50% of U.S. oil was coming from 70% of the formation in only 30% of the wells drilled then the U.S. could probably have been self-sufficient in, and exporting vast quantities of oil and gas way back when. But no, and again, why?


Oil price vs Oil Production

U.S. production vs. price - just missing the sweet spot?


The second answer that comes to mind is that unconventional drilling being a relatively new business did not quite know what it was doing. Conventional formations were easy(ish).  Unconventional ones were proving trickier, though the elevated price of oil helped justify drilling more and more. According to data from the ‘Energent, Westwood Global Energy Group’, as quoted in ‘JPT’ from February 2019, around 32,500 unconventional wells were drilled in 2014, which seems to be a rather good number of ‘practice runs’. Early lateral wells were shorter than today’s, so if we estimate each one at an average of 6000 feet, that is an impressive 195 million feet of data available to figure out why only 30% were good and 70% were not. Although I am completely ignoring political and economic factors, it still seems that the 20,000 or so wells drilled and completed in 2019 are far from being capital-efficient monsters of production.  Once more, why?

The third answer seems to be a lack of real geologic knowledge. Certainly, we have the 195 million feet of hole drilled in 2014 and as a very, very rough estimate another 702 million to the end of 2019. Even the biggest big-data fan cannot complain about those numbers. But is the data available for study? Probably not. Due to the pressure to produce hydrocarbons and get a reasonable return on investment the focus seems to have been on capital-efficiency, that is, once pilot holes were drilled and evaluated with cores, downhole LWD tools, and wireline logs, the big money had been spent with lateral targets being simply drilled as best they could with gamma ray for geosteering and cuttings descriptions and gas for the geology.


Unconventional resources big data piles

There goes your big-data.


In conventional drilling environments, drilled cuttings and gas are of great use when observing changes in formation.  In conventional drilling the reservoirs are generally distinct from the formations that surround them.  However, the unconventional environment is not that simple even though it may appear to be – find the right formation and drill sideways through it as far as you can go. The trouble is, unconventional formations are not the homogenous things they are thought to be.  There are facies changes, isolated influxes of debris, differences in diagenesis or localized chemistry, and of course fracturing and faulting that may or may not be visible prior to drilling. When relying on the observation of cuttings to give you the best hydrocarbon potential and production information on these complex rocks, you are probably going to be disappointed. This means the 70% under-productive figure, and 30% fracture cluster failures for unconventional wells should come as no real surprise. The need for speed (and economy) has turned our valuable strategic resource into more of a drain on capital.

With cost reductions and capital efficiency and return on investment still uppermost in everyone’s minds it would appear that the possibility of getting better in-depth geological data necessary to turn unconventional drilling into a win-win every time would be slim. But no. There are solutions and economical ones at that.

Diversified Well Logging is fully invested in providing the services to provide more data, better data, and at a price that would allow any company to run those services on every well drilled. And the cost? On many wells, the service pays for itself many times over. Using elemental data from wellsite XRF analysis of cuttings, gas data, drilling data, and, for deeper analysis, advanced A.I. software we combine everything to give surface measurement while drilling solutions that match downhole MWD/LWD results. This means that the geological data that has thus far been largely missing from the roughly 900 million feet of rock drilled since 2014 can start to be collected. Again, imagine the insights that the big-data folk could get from all of this. Could we finally see every well and every fracture cluster producing as expected and hoped for?  Geology is geology so maybe not, but we would surely get close and our valuable strategic resource would REALLY be valuable.


Get the most value out of your cuttings

Cuttings to completions - value added and cost reduced.


Finally, even on the small scale that Surface Measurement While Drilling is being used by Diversified Well Logging currently, the financial benefits are demonstrable.  Using elemental analysis – chemostratigraphy – DWL has successfully steered through faults to pick up the target zone allowing extra formation to be opened for production and adding value. We have also called a stop to drilling after faulting completely out of zone with no way back and saving money. Elemental data has also picked rate-of-penetration sweet spots allowing faster drilling and saving bits and bit trips that were previously common-place. We have also saved trips for MWD failure by drilling to the planned section TD by using calculated elemental gamma ray – this latter cost saving benefit has also been applied in the Gulf of Mexico with even greater savings on unplanned trips.  And of course, there is the value of knowledge.  Knowledge that can increase profits even in more difficult times.

As we pass  a billion feet of unconventional rock drilled has DWL found the magic formula?  Possibly not magic, but an innovative and expertly implemented formula certainly and one that will  help maintain a profitably healthy industry by treating its valuable strategic resource with the respect it deserves.

Contact DWL for more information on Surface Measurement While Drilling™



Offshore Challenges and Realtime Wellbore Surveillance

Realtime wellbore surveillance offshore

All wells experience problems while drilling. Problems that result in unexpected hazards that can affect the safety of workers, damage to equipment and facilities, cause environmental damage, and greatly increase cost. Offshore, and especially in deepwater environments, if you only practice reactive control, these hazards could potentially add huge direct and indirect costs to a project seriously affecting the ROI of any company.

At the height of offshore drilling activity, pre-2016, studies have suggested that at least 40% of operating cost was due to non-productive and invisible lost time and around 40% of this lost time was associated with wellbore stability and formation pressure issues. At the time, this represented an estimated $26BN per year.

Today, the old challenges of wellbore stability and formation pressure still exist but are now often further complicated by more complex well paths into structures that have changed significantly over the years due to reservoir depletion and structural stress change. To successfully counter these problems every project needs good pre-well planning, watchful surveillance while drilling with excellent communication, and, post-well, expert analysis and delivery of answers and recommendations for future wells.

With close to 70-years of offshore operational experience and innovative tools developed to drive capital efficiency in unconventional drilling environments, DWL offers its Surface Measurement While Drilling™ services in deepwater with tools to better describe the formations being drilled, tools to increase drilling efficiency, tools to lower non-productive time, and a dedicated team on geologists and engineers both at the wellsite and in one of our Remote Monitoring Centers on-hand 24/7 using those tools for Realtime Wellbore Surveillance.

With the potential cost (not purely monetary) of a major offshore incident clearly understood by Diversified Well Logging, we offer a large, varied, integrated range of products to the table.  We are fully involved in pre-well planning and post-well summation and in realtime, depending on the requirements of our clients, our workflow includes the following:

Realtime wellbore surveillance overview

wellbore surveillance responsibilities

Geology and Wellbore Surveillance

Operations and Wellbore Surveillance

DWL will bring an extra level of formation evaluation to the offshore environment with its Hybrid Mud Logging service.  XRF elemental analysis of the cuttings allows far better geologic insight into the rock properties and their potential behavior.  Using the K, Th and U from the XRF , we can derive an Elemental GR (EGR).  Having two independent GR measurements can provide corroboration for both and, as has happened, EGR can be used to successfully drill ahead if  problems with the downhole GR occur.  Not only will this save the cost of a trip but also avoid problems that may occur when tripping through problematic formations.  

Drilling hazards for surveillance

Pore Pressure Management

Wellbore stability surveillance

Drilling Dysfunction Surveillance

In summary, Diversified Well Logging treats wellbore surveillance with the seriousness it deserves.  Our tools collect vital information and our communication protocols assure that issues are promptly flagged and all key-players are made aware of the situation.  Experience has taught us that there is no such thing as a small problem.  Small problems while drilling generally do not go away, they only get bigger.

We are proud to have had a ZERO recordable incident rate in 2019, and we bring this culture of safety to all we do,  Wellbore Surveillance included.

For more information and downloadable service overview ... Click Here.

Weathering the Storm

Weathering the storm with capital efficient services

This ‘blog’ is inspired by some excellent photography by John Wagner who captured the ‘title-image’ on one of our rigs in Oklahoma.

When difficult times hit the upstream oil industry, something which seems to be increasingly frequent, it helps that companies such as Diversified Well Logging, LLC., (DWL) can rise to the occasion and deliver innovative wellsite services that provide value to operators while keeping costs in line with tight budgets.  When geological understanding is key to the long-term economic success of a project, but cost constraints limit spending on the data that provides that geologic knowledge, DWL has the perfect, capital-efficient services to bridge the gap.

Our Oklahoma project, like many others across the North America unconventional plays, is running the Surface Measurement While Drilling (SMWD) program with Hybrid Mud Logging and Elemental Steering or chemosteering.  Hybrid Mud Logging uses realtime wellsite XRF data to model mineralogy and lithology and provide true quantitative geologic information while drilling.  While traditional mud logging delivers useful observations, Hybrid Mud Logging delivers understanding.

On SMWD jobs our customers realize the benefits of improved geology, geosteering, targeting of zones for improved rates of penetration, overall drilling efficiency, and the benefit of realtime and near-realtime data for completion strategies.

With our elemental data being collected and analyzed at the wellsite, the quality control procedures that DWL use can quickly identify possible errors or inconsistencies.  We run laboratory quality calibration standards every 5 samples and the elemental gamma ray (EGR) that is calculated is constantly compared with downhole gamma ray to assure that samples are on-depth and representative of the formations drilled.  With quality control being performed in realtime we can quickly fix issues that might take weeks or months to surface if analyzed in a traditional laboratory setting.

With drilled cuttings, formation gas, and drilling parameters – basically the ‘free’ data that every well produces – DWL can deliver the following:

  • XRF Elemental cuttings data
  • Chemostratigraphy
  • Stratigraphic changes in lithology and chemistry
  • Analysis of paleoenvironmental, depositional, and provenance indicators
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Calculated gamma (elemental gamma ray)
  • Modelled mineralogy
  • Facies characterization
  • Modelled total organic carbon (TOC)
  • Stratigraphic benchmarking – pick tops when gamma ray is poor
  • Select casing points
  • Geosteering (elemental steering or chemosteering)
  • Characterize the lateral – stay in zone – identify faults
  • Identify cavings and wellbore stability/instability
  • Drilling problem mitigation – chert/pyrite/clay
  • Rock physics modelling – grain density and brittleness
  • Utilize data where LWD tools are impractical or fail
  • Integrate with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry
  • Optimize target and completion program
  • Integrate drilling parameters, artificial intelligence (A.I.), statistics and modelling


From cuttings to completions, SMWD brings formation evaluation back to the surface.  The value to our clients has been proved over and over again. DWL has saved costs by recognizing faults and steering successfully back to the target zone for more production potential.  We have also indicated that stopping a well would be the best option when passing certain faults could not allow successful re-steering to the target. The former adds value, the latter saves money.  Confidence in our elemental data and modelling has also allowed drillers to avoid costly bit trips when expensive downhole tool have failed.  And, elemental investigation of the rocks drilled has identified ‘sweet spots’ for drilling optimization by recognizing that the ‘homogenous’ formation being drilled (homogenous under the microscope) was in fact not homogenous at all.  This recognition has recently saved at least two bit and motor runs.

Clearly, SMWD, realtime wellsite analysis of cuttings, is a service that adds value, saves money and more than pays for itself.  Of course, it also allows us to deliver high quality geological data on every well drilled for more geocertainty across a pad or field.  Geocertainty that was previously considered to be in the realm of downhole logging tools and cores.  Bringing evaluation to the surface reduces initial cost (we are a fraction of core and LWD costs) and the risk and extra cost of a failed LWD or coring tool (our replacement equipment can be on the road to the wellsite within an hour or so.)

DWL’s vision for the future is a future we deliver now.  We have evolved traditional mud logging services to create innovative methods to bring value to our customers; we bring capital-efficiency to the upstream oil industry helping to weather the storm of economic and political factors that affect us all.

(Photograph by John Wagner - DWL Field Supervisor)

Evolving for Unconventional Challenges

surface measurement while drilling

Evolving for Unconventional Challenges

n response to a couple of posts about the ‘death’ of mud logging in hard times and the scant attention paid to cuttings and gas information by oil companies, I think we need to consider a few things.

1)    In the dim and distant past mud logging was the only method of getting realtime geological data so by necessity it was a valued service which expanded into drill monitoring and pressure monitoring.

2)    MWD and LWD then came along, grew, and became extremely profitable. They basically cornered the realtime Formation Evaluation market – especially offshore where cost was no problem.

3)    Mud logging remained as an ‘afterthought’ offshore. Onshore, it dug in and continued to bag samples and find cheaper and cheaper ways to operate and make a living. The service gradually regressed back to its 1930's roots – a gas trap and a logger trying to differentiate color changes in shales.

4)    In the present day with the rise of unconventional drilling, mud logging is again the most cost-effective way of getting realtime geological data - so, an opportunity exists.

5)    MWD and LWD are of course still around but are too expensive to be run onshore in every lateral.

6)    Unfortunately, mud logging has not risen to the new opportunities open to it. It has remained hunkered down close to its roots providing the same service – a gas trap and a logger trying to differentiate color changes in shales. To an oil company trying to stay financially afloat in a flooded market where, honestly, is the value to them of a bag of cuttings and a gas curve?

If mud logging is slowly dying it is no one’s fault but the mud logging companies.

Diversified Well Logging recognizes that to provide value to its clients it has to deliver something that will be cost effective, reduce inefficiencies, reduce geologic uncertainty, and overall show that the return on an investment in DWL services far, far, exceeds the outlay. With our Surface Measurement While Drilling™ services and our A.I. platform we take drilled cuttings, we do all of the aforementioned, and we give you completion strategies and production forecasts. That is VALUE.

When planning a new project and the checklist gets to ‘Mud Logging Company’, try to visualize the benefits of using a Surface Measurement While Drilling company instead … along with the bag of cuttings and a gas curve you will get everything you need to drill, correlate, geo-position, map hydrocarbons, plan completions and more.

Diversified Well Logging has evolved. Contact us to discover how our evolution can help you.

Why We Love Elemental Geology

Quantitative sample evaluation with hybrid mud logging

When a stereoscopic microscope, tweezers, sample probe, some chemicals, and an ultraviolet lightbox were the ‘state-of-the-art’ in cuttings evaluation equipment, mud-loggers and geologists did a very good job in identifying drilled formations all things considered. Similarly, when coach-and-horses and sailing ships were the ‘state-of-the-art’ in transportation, they also did a very good job transporting people and goods from place to place.


But times change.


In the mud-logging world, Diversified Well Logging (DWL) is embracing X-Ray Fluorescence as the new ‘normal’ for realtime sample evaluation. Driven in part by the demand for better geological information in unconventional formations that are difficult to impossible to examine accurately under the microscope, elemental analysis can be used to accurately determine the elemental, mineralogical, lithological, and geomechanical properties of a sample. With this quantitative data, we will know exactly what the formation is and where we are in it. No more fifty shades of grey, but a wide range of ‘colorful’ elements.



With what DWL is calling Hybrid Mud Logging, our field geologists will be able to respond to wellbore issues with more certainty. Where answers to downhole questions used to include a ‘maybe’ or a ‘possibly’, we will now have rock solid evidence. For example:


Q1: Why am I now drilling slowly when I am in the same formation?   My gamma ray and visual cuttings descriptions are the same. Is the bit or motor failing? Are there hole cleaning issues? Do I really have to waste time and money and trip out of the hole to check?

A1: Realtime geochemical analysis with XRF will help determine the cause.   Evidence of biogenic or authigenic silica – siliceous/quartz cement will affect the ROP. Evidence of carbonate cement can also affect the ROP. Subtle changes in the clay type that will lead to swelling can affect the ROP. Or no change in lithology at all would indicate there is a hole cleaning, bit or motor problem. Whatever the answer, there is evidence to back it up.


Q2: I am starting to see an increase in cavings, but where are they coming from?   The cuttings seem to be the same. Do the new formations have stability issues? Are the cavings coming from destabilized formations up-hole? Is hole geometry or drill-string configuration involved? Should mud properties be changed?

A2: Hybrid Mud Logging with elemental cuttings analysis can help answer the questions.  The elemental signature of the cavings will definitely confirm their origin. The exact zone the cavings are from will determine if hole or pipe geometry is a contributing factor. And a change in mineralogy / clay type of the new formation can indicate a mud property change is needed.



Q3: I am geosteering but now, 750 feet away from TD, my gamma ray tool has failed.  Do I trip out of the hole to change the tool and waste time and money? Do I drill ahead blindly, possibly deviate out of the target and maybe lose the footage for production and waste money drilling? Or, shall I call TD short, definitely lose the 750 feet for production, but save the drilling costs?

A3: With Hybrid Mud Logging, the other option would be to Chemosteer the final 750 feet.  A trip would be avoided, and the uncertainty surrounding the possible loss of a productive section of hole would be avoided.


These are just three examples of how quantitative elemental analysis of the cuttings can greatly improve the decision-making process and bring value that far outweighs the cost. There are many more. In general, of course, it comes down to operators wishing to improve their returns on investment. Hybrid Mud Logging will do that.


One final example with Hybrid Mud Logging and Chemosteering is estimated to have saved an operator at least $10 million. A third well on a pad intersected an unexpected change in structure above the target, identified with realtime elemental cuttings analysis. Quick interpretation allowed the well-path to be altered and by Chemosteering the reservoir target was successfully intersected. If the change in structure had not been identified, a $10MM sidetrack would have been necessary.


Diversified has embraced the future and is now pioneering its Surface Measurement While Drilling services (Hybrid Mud Logging, Chemosteering, Automated Remote Mudlogging). In short order, we believe that our clients will appreciate the new service benefits as they see their geological knowledge grow along with the profitability of their wells.

Gas Quality, Control and Analysis

Quality contro; in hydrocarbon evaluation

Since early days of the oil industry, gas liberated from the formation during drilling has been looked at as a means to predict what type of hydrocarbons are lurking in the reservoir. Various ratios and procedures have been tried and tested with various measures of success in reservoirs around the world. The major lesson learned is that every reservoir is different, and that you just can’t trust things to be exactly the same from one place to another.

With the rise of the machines - downhole MWD/LWD ‘machines’ – work with gas ratios as a serious predictive tool slowed down or stopped, becoming another arcane tool of mud-logging folk; a source of data that was always present but rarely used in earnest. Granted, the accuracy of gas data depends on a number of factors that include, at a high level, the formation itself, drilling mud, drilling parameters, lag time calculation, and gas extraction and measurement equipment, but despite the various possible drawbacks, gas data, especially the ratios, is still very useful when looked at in the right way. (And strangely, that right way includes a certain amount of squinty-eyed skepticism.)


Diversified Well Logging uses a process that allows daily collaboration between the wellsite, the regional office, and a squinty-eyed data analyst who provides a triple-check of the gas data. This triple-check assures DWL and their Clients that the data is good, and that any issues have been addressed in a timely manner. Quality is important.

In the unconventional, tight formations that are currently drilled in North America, DWL uses gas curves and ratios to (1) aid as a primary quality check, and (2) evaluate what is going on downhole. The traditional ratios, with their traditional setpoints may not point directly to the type of hydrocarbon in place, but they can still be used to

  • Pick or corroborate formation tops
  • Indicate subtle changes in ‘homogenous’ formations
  • Indicate major changes in formations
  • As an aid in geosteering (preferably along with DWL’s Chemosteering)
  • Indicate potential changes in formation fluids
  • And, with squinty-eyed skepticism, point directly to the type of hydrocarbon in place

As a cost-effective formation evaluation technique, DWL believes that gas analysis provides important insights into the downhole environment.

It may be an arcane tool of mud-logging folk, but it is a very good tool.

Gas, used alongside our XRF service allows us to offer HYBRID MUD LOGGING … Hybrid Mud Logging used alongside our Geosteering service allows us to offer CHEMOSTEERING … and along with hi-data-density AUTOMATED REMOTE MUDLOGGING, if hi-data-density cuttings sampling is needed, we offer Operators the full benefits of …

SURFACE MEASUREMENT WHILE DRILLING (SMWD) – Bridging the gap between Seismic and Downhole logs.

A Straw Too Many

Improving completion efficiency with elemental mud logging

This is not going to be about the damage to the environment caused by the proliferation of plastic straws (but I do recommend that paper ones be used - they are being sold again you know - or just sip from the glass - glasses are specifically designed to be sipped from.)

No. This is an article about some other wastefulness - over-drilling.

The popular phrase of the moment in the unconventional world seems to be 'Parent-Child Relationship Issues'. That is, just like real-life human families, the more children you have, the faster the poor parent's resources will be sucked dry. There has to be a sensible limit both in the amount of wells poked into a formation and children running around the house.

For the last two weeks or so, the SPE's 'Journal of Petroleum Technology' has run pieces on the increasing focus on shale production with the 'Parent-Child' thing being the major issue. The salient point in the last article I read was that unless fewer wells were squeezed into a certain area of rock, then those wells will start to produce less and less - quickly. Just think about it - give ten kids a straw each (a paper straw remember) and only one glass of lemonade, well, no-one's going to be happy.

Straws are cheap. Ten wells sunk into the ground are not. They cost a lot of money to drill and they cost a lot of money to fracture and complete. If well number 1 just happens to be sucking a lot harder on its 'straw' than well number 10, or 3, or 7, or whichever, hopefully the returns from well number 1 compensate for the drilling and completion costs of the other poor performers.

Now, according to a recent Spear's blog-post I saw, the average number of wells per pad throughout the continental USA is in fact about 3 or 4. That doesn't sound bad, but of course there are pads with up to 10 wells and some with only 1. In either of these extreme cases, there must surely be room for improvement. Lets save some drilling costs and only poke 6 'straws' into our reservoir here, or lets add a couple more into our 1-well pad here, and hopefully tap into some hidden hydrocarbons.

The question of course is how many children are needed, how much are they going to cost, are they going to be useful or just a drain, and where on earth should they be put for the most benefit? Unfortunately, for geologists working on plans for a productive field, the answers to such well-centric questions can often be hard to answer because the data may not be there. You just don't know. You think you know. But you don't. You're just making the best choice you can with the information that you do have.

economic geologic evaluation over your pad

I mean, look at the picture on the left. Lots of wells, many of which are probably heading down and into the same target formation. A target that has been deemed good with some probably low resolution seismic data, some wireline and/or LWD data, and some excellent core data from an 8-inch pilot hole somewhere or other in that picture. What needs to be remembered is that an 8-inch cylinder of rock at point 'A' will not fully represent points 'B' through 'Z'. Geology is a tricky thing, (and coming back to the children theme) every well, like every child will be different. They need to be watched pretty constantly!

Alright then, back to the issue of wastefulness. What would it be worth if improved geological knowledge could be achieved on a pad, field, or region? What if that knowledge helped in the drilling of correctly spaced wells allowing a fracture program to be designed without fear of damaging parent or sibling wells. This would have to make life easier, less uncertain, and would probably save money. Unnecessary wells would not have to be drilled and there would be savings on ineffective fracturing. I'll also throw out for debate the supposition that production might be enhanced, and the whole project would become more profitable.

improve cost savings and ROI

But how do we improve our knowledge? How do we gain the geological certainty needed to place each well correctly? Because it is geological certainty that is needed. Pretty much every article agrees that it's the rocks that hold the key to better performance, but, apart from that 8-inch cylinder of rock in the middle of a vast expanse of West Texas or wherever, we do not have much to look at, scientifically speaking.

There are ways to get the data of course. Wireline, LWD, cores - methods that are used in vertical pilots, but probably not so much in the laterals. Hey - we hit the target our 8-inch cylinder of rock from several miles away told us to hit and the cuttings sort of look the same, so we're good right? Plus, that wireline, LWD, and core stuff is way too expensive to run in every well. Let's just rock along with the status quo.

What if there was a better way? The initial problem is clear - money wasted and production compromised. The answer to this is also clear - better geology from every well drilled. Which raises the secondary problem of having to spend a bunch of money to get the better geology. So ... the better way is?

The better way is to get quantitative, scientifically accurate data that can be used for correlation, interpretation, use in geological models, etc., etc., from every sample on every well, and, here's the best part, at a price that fits every cost-conscious operator's budget. It combines old-tech with new-tech and some hard work and a lot of expertise.

Diversified Well Logging LLC., is calling this 'Hybrid Mud Logging', a 'Surface Measurement While Drilling (SMWD)' service. No more subjective lithology percentages or descriptions on the mud-log, but accurate modelled mineralogy or lithology, allowing integration with geosteering, and of course, real-time, cross-field correlation which can let you know whether or not you have one child too many draining your resources, or whether you could possibly fit in one more before you quit your pad.

Bottom line; SMWD from Diversified provides the geological certainty that can save operators hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars, while adding millions through better production at a cost that makes the service hard to ignore.

Forget the status quo - Diversify your Well Logging.