Application of Minimum Curvature Method to Wellpath Calculations
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# Application of Minimum Curvature Method to Wellpath Calculations

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## Abstract

A major drawback of directional and horizontal well drilling is the numerous complex computations required to be done while planning a well. These computations are very stressful and time consuming especially when done manually.

One of the objectives of this study was to develop a user friendly Excel Spreadsheet program that would make the computations of these well trajectory parameters easier, faster and accurate.

An Excel Spreadsheet program was developed employing the Minimum Curvature method (and for other five methods) for wellpath design and planning. This would help increase the usage of these trajectory methods especially the Minimum Curvature method.

The program is able to provide pictorial views both in the vertical and horizontal plane of the trajectory of the drilling bit’s position in the wellbore. This would therefore help to minimize risk and uncertainty surrounding hitting predetermined target.

This is possible because deviations can easily be detected and the necessary directional corrections or adjustment be initiated to re-orient the drilling bit to the right course before (planning process) and during the drilling operations.

## Introduction

Directional drilling is the science and art of deviating a wellbore along a planned course to a subsurface target whose location is a given lateral distance and direction from the vertical (Bourgoyne et al, 1991).

Directional drilling and horizontal wells represent an efficient way to achieve or hitting special targets that may or are very difficult to reach using vertical wells (Tarek, 2000).

Directional drilling is relatively done to increase production rates, control water and gas conning, control sand production and increase recovery rate (Bourgoyne et al, 1991).

There are many reservoirs which can not be tapped by vertical wells or would be uneconomical to exploit with vertical wells (Bourgoyne et al, 1991).

Other reservoirs are also characterized by vertical permeability or the pay zones may be very thin and producing with vertical wells would require quiet a number of them which would make vertical wells to be very uneconomical in such situations.

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