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Well of the Week - If at first your don't succeed. Whip it!

Now whip it

Into shape

Shape it up

Get straight

Go forward

Move ahead

Try to detect it

It's not too late

To whip it

Whip it good

Devo: Whip it


In the spirit of Christmas, today we offer up two Petro Ninja – Enlighten Geoscience Wells of the Week.  The first, 100/14-29-109-08W6/00 is kind of like getting socks from your grandmother for Christmas.  Pretty much a dry hole but there were hints of a Keg River reef and a dipmeter was part of the log suite.  The second, 103/08-32-109-08W6/03 was whipstocked (Now whip it) and the result was more akin to the top item on your Santa list.  The production attribution between the 14-29 and 103/8-32 wells is a bit convoluted, but together they are credited with 2.8 mm bbls of oil and 11 bcf of gas.


Figure 1.  Location map of 100/14-29-109-08W6/00 and 103/08-32-109-08W6/03.  Map courtesy of Petro Ninja.

But why were dipmeters and whipstocks required to access this resource?  You might remember a WotW from back in June which outlined the importance of seismic in discovering the Keg River reef play.  Pretty interesting bit of exploration.

But every technology has its limitations.  Prudent operators will recognize these boundaries and take steps to mitigate the shortcomings rather than pushing the data too far.  So, the operators soon developed a workflow of making a best guess using seismic and running a dipmeter in the initial test hole.  A rapid interpretation turnaround allowed the crew on the drilling rig to use directional drilling to “whipstock” a follow-up wellbore to the peak of the reef and more resources.

The concept, as outlined in Figure 2, is fairly simple.  Use the dipmeter to figure out where the full reef buildup is and target your follow-up.

Try to detect it

It's not too late

To whip it


Figure 2. Example of a dipmeter interpretation leading from an essentially off-reef to a nearby full buildup location. Cox (1968).

This is a fine example of innovative thinking leading to better well placement in carbonate buildups.  Perhaps a similar technique could be applied in current plays.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the Well of the Week over the last year as much as I have delving into the WCSB history.  All my best wishes for a happy holiday season.  My composition focus must now pivot to a more seasonal and, somewhat, rhyming effort – my personal, annual Christmas poem!


Cox, John W. "Interpretation of Dipmeter Data in the Devonian Carbonates and Evaporites of the Rainbow and Zama Areas." J Can Pet Technol 7 (1968): 164–171. doi:


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