How do you drill quickly and effectively, and still stay in the zone’s sweet spot? What are the techniques you should use? How do you make decisions and work effectively with your team? Best practices for drilling horizontal wells will be the focus of a short course on geosteering given by KC Oren on October 16, in Houston, Texas. A part of the AAPG Fall Education Conference, “Honing the Zone…or Just Drill It! The Trade-Offs in Drilling the “Perfect” Horizontal Well” is ideal for geologists and engineers who want to be highly effective as they drill horizontal wells.

Welcome to an interview with KC Oren, Horizontal Solutions, International.

1.  What is your involvement in the oil industry?
[KC Oren] I have been associated with the oil & gas E&P industry now for over 30 years working for service companies involved in drilling technologies and the geosciences. Early in my career I was a trainer and then technical services for emerging drilling systems R&D. Later, my expertise in software and international business development paved the way to supporting the geosciences and production domains. Now I have combined all of the above for geosteering services sales and operations.

How did you get started?
[KC Oren] I started in the oil and gas industry as a technical trainer for a directional drilling company, Eastman Whipstock way back in 1981.

What do you do now?
KC Oren] Today I am selling HSI’s geosteering services to the geosciences community in support of horizontal well drilling programs. The goal of HSI is to help our customers “stay in zone” and maximize contact with not only the producing zone, but the “sweet spot” of the resource. Whenever possible I share my experiences and expertise with others to educate them about the pitfalls in drilling horizontal wells and the ever so many dichotomies between the geosciences and engineering communities.

KC Oren AAPG Fall Education Conference

KC Oren

2.  You’re very respected for your work in horizontal wells. What should geologists know about new developments in horizontal drilling?
[KC Oren]  While there are always new innovations in directional and horizontal drilling, the advances are incremental and measured. A big factor in every company’s advancements in horizontal well drilling and unconventional resource development comes from each individual contributor to an asset team; this is achieved through lessons learned and understanding the trade-offs and the gains to be achieved by working together. Excellence is best achieved by measuring, assessing, defining, and implementing company best practices in a collaborative fashion to realize the benefits of a unified team and company approach.

3.  How can geologists improve in geosteering?
[KC Oren]  Again, by understanding the challenges every discipline faces in planning and executing a horizontal well program, including the entire life-cycle of a producing asset. That is, the asset in terms of the individual producing well to the overall “system” of wells and infrastructure that comprises the entire opportunity. Understanding the overall objectives and trade-offs, the better the chances for meeting common goals and unifying your team to achieve a company’s particular definition of “success”.

4.  What makes you excited about the industry right now?
[KC Oren]  The radical changes we have seen in the oil and gas industry due to the development of unconventional resources is really a perfect alignment of many technologies that have been available for many years in terms of drilling systems and geosteering. The final catalyst has been the application of hydraulic fracturing; this technology has permitted the convergence of geologic knowledge and directional drilling to now be leveraged on a much broader, and economic basis. We are now seeing a dramatic shift through the integration of these individual disciplines; these are exciting times indeed!

5.  What area do you think most geologists tend to overlook in their training and professional development?
[KC Oren]  Take time to learn and truly understand the demands and challenges of the drilling process. And perhaps even more importantly, the impact of drilling and geosteering decisions “downstream”; i.e. your decisions today will impact the completions and production engineers for the next thirty years of the producing life of the well. Always consider the decisions made during the first 30 days of a well’s life (drilling and completions operations) will impact your company’s asset over a generation.

6.  Where do you see technology having another breakthrough in the next 5 or 6 years?
[KC Oren]  Hopefully improving our industries environmental impact in terms of emissions and water requirements. The public and government’s position of zero tolerance for accidents and abuses will only be more constraining in coming years, so it is imperative that our industry takes the lead in anticipating these issues and coming up with new methodologies and technologies to overcome these acute challenges.

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