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Review of Radial Drilling Technology and Viable Prospect in Mature Field Development in the Niger Delta

Onwukwe S. I, Ogbuagu C. I, Obah B


A review of some Niger Delta oil field reservoirs indicates that most of the reservoirs are at the mature stages, thereby vulnerable to challenges such as; coning due to reduced size of the oil column, low oil production and lack of access to the residual oil trapped between existing wells of the mature field. Due to coning occurrences in the Niger-Delta oil field, most wells have been shut-in and a lot of recompletions are being made in order to combat this problem. To proffer solutions to these technical challenges of mature oil field, this study seeks to review the potentials of Radial Drilling Technology and its viable application to optimising oil production from mature oil field. Radial Drilling Technology involves a method and apparatus for milling through the walls of a well casing at a 90o angle to provide horizontally jetted radials of few inches diameter into the formation strata to a maximum of 330 ft. from the vertically extending well casing. The technology uses a combination of coil tubing operations, with milling bit and high pressure jet drilling assembly. Radial Drilling unlike the conventional drilling can get past the near well-bore well dam­age zone, allowing contact to the un-accessed part of the formation, thereby having potential to mop up oil from previously un-accessible zone with respect to optimising production from mature oil field.



Keywords: Radial drilling, Mature field, Coning, Reservoir intervention

Cite this Article

Onwukwe SI, Ogbuagu CI, Obah B. Review of Radial Drilling Technology and Viable Prospect in Mature Field Development in the Niger Delta. Journal of Petroleum Engineering and Technology (JoPET). 2015; 5(2):       60-66p.



Radial drilling; Mature field; Coning; Reservoir intervention

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