Experience RS

Seeing Through the Eyes of a Geologist

Operators and investors are faced with tough decisions that carry capital commitments often costing millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars. These decisions must take into account where to drill, how to best complete wells or which investment strategy is optimal based on the acreage held. Many of these elements are tied to subsurface geology, meaning this area is critical for all stakeholders to understand, not just the geologist.

Visualization is a powerful way to communicate geological concepts. While we cannot see into the subsurface, we can identify changes in rock properties with wireline logs. Due to the complexity of the analysis, the geologist’s concept of the subsurface needs to be presented in a way that can be interpreted by increasingly multidisciplinary teams and non-technical decision makers.

One way to paint the picture is with the use of RS NextTM electrofacies, which leverages the power of data science to statistically cluster similar wireline log responses and quantitatively breaks down the subsurface into intervals with similar geological properties or defining rock types. Geologists can correlate these rock types to numerous other properties, including lithology, geomechanics and resource viability.

The left side of Figure 1 shows a conventional wireline log suite with potential future horizontal well placements. In its current state, it is difficult for non-geologists to visualize what’s going on. The right side of Figure 1 shows the same well placements on top of our electrofacies, which are correlated to numerous other properties and colored to illustrate changes in lithology. This creates a much better image of the subsurface for non-geologists, allowing for improved communication and understanding between disciplines. The result is a clearer path forward for all team members, allowing for timely, cost-effective, and more confident decision-making.

FIGURE 1 

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