Determining positional inaccuracies in directionally drilled wells

WELLBORE POSITIONING—1Calculated borehole position may be erroneous in over half of the horizontal wells drilled during the past 15 years, according to the results of an ongoing industry study of continuous vs. stationary survey measurements. In a typical horizontal well, positional error of as much as ±25 ft true vertical depth (TVD) can accumulate. This study found that several generally accepted directional drilling and well surveying practices are primarily responsible for these errors.The directional well surveying industry has used the minimum curvature method as its standard means to calculate the position of a wellbore from stationary inclination and azimuth measurement...

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