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The Trade-offs in Drilling the ‘Perfect’ Horizontal Well

September 10, 2014
Petroleum Professional Development Center at Midland College
221 N Main St, Midland, TX 79701 United States

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The personalities of engineers and geoscientists are often very different. And when it comes to corporate risk-reward assessment, company incentives for these individuals are often counter to the overall corporate end goals: higher IP and superior well performance among its peer group. For example, drilling team metrics and operations team’s objectives are often in competition to maintaining geological target objectives (staying in zone) and, as a consequence, not achieving maximum overall production results (highest possible EUR). Divergent drivers such as these common examples may create even greater dichotomies between individuals due to personality differences, incentives and personal motivation, and other competing corporate goals, and therefore often create conflict between otherwise closely aligned asset team members.

The course will explore the trade-offs of staying in the targeted zone (sweet spot) by carefully steering the well and monitoring every move along the way versus drilling ahead for maximum ROP (rate-of-penetration) and less NPT (non-productive time). We will introduce basic geo-navigation principals to be used for effective geosteering decision support.

An overall goal of the course is to provide a basis for better understanding what makes the drilling team itchy and uncomfortable versus the overall benefits of staying in zone … sometimes the extra deliberations or seemly costly modifications in a drilling plan do in fact pay big dividends … or do they?


  • By the end of this course, participants will have an understanding of:
  • Best practices for avoiding problems in drilling horizontal wells
  • The various drivers by department/discipline and the trade-offs in achieving common goals and working together as an asset team.
  • Geo-navigation techniques using TSP (True Stratigraphic Position) modeling
  • Four key principles in geo-navigation
  • Leveraging all of your data for sound geosteering decision support
  • Every horizontal well project requires varying degrees of drilling monitoring and support
  • Horizontal well targeting techniques and recommended best practices
  • Overcoming subsurface position uncertainty and how it impacts your geosteering decisions
  • Horizontal drilling systems and high dog-leg severity BHAs


This introductory course is for anyone that wants to gain insight into both the geological and drilling aspects of horizontal well placement and control. Both geoscientists and engineers can benefit by attending this course to learn about and better understanding these two disciplines and the trade-offs of both as they impact the other for effective decision support in horizontal well objectives.

KC Oren has been in the oil and gas E&P industry for over 30 years in both the drilling and geosciences sectors of the business. Early in his career Oren was a technical trainer for directional drilling and sub-surface surveying at Eastman-Whipstock and held technical roles in drilling engineering and formation evaluation R&D at Smith International, Teleco and Halliburton.

During the middle of Oren’s career he held technical sales positions for both drilling tools and steerable systems internationally, and then later marketing E&P software solutions for drilling engineering, production economics and G&G solutions at Munro-Garrett International, GeoGraphix, Landmark and Halliburton. Throughout Oren’s career he has maintained executive roles for international business development at including Managing Director for Asia Pacific operations based in Perth, Western Australia.

He now resides in Frisco, Colorado and is employed by Horizontal Solutions Int’l (HSI) as Vice President for Sales and Marketing of HSI’s TrueTime™ Solutions in the Northern North America and Internationally.

Oren has BA degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics (Michigan State University, ’79, ‘80) and holds a teaching certification for secondary education (1980). Oren is a  

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