Under the Sea: Deepwater Exploration and Evaluating the Asset

deepwater explorationThe challenge in deepwater exploration has a singular focus: gather formation data as efficiently and accurately as possible, and present the data so that the operator can understand the potential value of the asset and make reasonable economic decisions about the well. While the scope is highly focused, the implementation is far more complex.

In the exploration phase, the primary goal is to determine the quality and quantity of the asset using evaluation services—mudlogging, measurement-while-drilling/logging-while-drilling (MWD/LWD) technology, coring, wireline, and testing. Due to the high risks and uncertainties accompanying the drilling and development of deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration wells, the benefits of real-time acquisition of formation data are substantial, enabling operators to determine the precise drilling, completion, and facility parameters needed to optimize drilling efficiency, ensure safe operations, and maximize the return on investment.


Mudlogging technology creates a “formation fingerprint” by identifying formation mineralogy and whole rock chemistry. This data set addresses the limitations found in multiple formation layers where operators are often unable to accomplish precise wellbore positioning or formation evaluation, enabling a more pinpoint drilling and completion placement to be conducted.


MWD/LWD assists in characterizing the reservoir quality and quantity not just from a depth perspective but an aerial extent as well. Overcoming limitations from older technology, deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration areas can now go further out and deeper because new, state-of-the-art MWD/LWD sensor technology has been developed to withstand temperatures up to 230°C and 25,000 psi, reducing the risk and enabling the development of high-temperature, high-pressure (HT/HP) wells.


Core samples determine geological lithology and stresses, hydrocarbon content, and the asset flow characteristics. Today’s deepwater wells require robust coring systems that can withstand the HT/HP environments yet deliver 100% core recovery in long intervals, sometimes up to 1,000 feet and without fluid invasion. Our specialized coring system has delivered consistently excellent data globally that helps to correlate and confirm the openhole wireline data and MWD/LWD data.


Openhole wireline data provides the original reservoir baseline data and detects potential productive intervals. Once the well has begun producing, cased-hole wireline must detect accurate flow rates from the intervals and compare the data to see actual interval production performance and formation fluids quality. Precision measurements between MWD/LWD and wireline are kept within specific tolerances, and produce accurate, consistent evaluation data to generate an ongoing picture of the life of the reservoir and reservoir fluid quality throughout the field life.


In remote deepwater areas, the difficulties encountered generally involve cold temperatures, hydrates, and viscous fluids. Our subsea testing system consists of a subsea test tree and retainer valve at the bottom of the landing string. These valves are controlled with umbilicals, may be hydraulically- or electronically-controlled, or possess a dual-control system. The landing string enables a subsea well to be tested, either for a simple pressure buildup or for a well test that may require a four–phase separator that provides oil, gas, water, and solid measurements. Given various drawdowns, one can predict how a well will perform over its lifetime, and the specialized production testing provides an extent of the reservoir drainage and its production capabilities.

Each of the exploration components––mud logging, MWD/LWD, coring, wireline, and testing––build on each other to provide the operator a complete and accurate picture to determine if the asset can be developed into a high-return economic success. Accurate data that can be collected in real-time for quick decision-making has the biggest impact on a deepwater or ultra-deepwater asset, not just during the exploration stage but through the field life cycle.



About Glenda Wylie
Technical Marketing Director

Glenda Wylie is Technical Marketing Director for Halliburton, where she focuses on developing new assets. She is responsible for assisting clients in holistically developing deepwater resources, from initial field discovery and field development to final abandonment.

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Ms. Wylie delivers the complete solution by identifying customer needs as well as developing and/or applying revolutionary or proven technical solutions with an economic-viability viewpoint. Her unique background includes work for both operator and service company across the hydrocarbon value chain, particularly in exploration, equity and early development.

She has worked for Halliburton in various engineering roles for the last seventeen years. Before that, she worked with an operating company in exploration, reservoir management, production engineering/management, drilling engineering/management and facility design/management.

With more than 30 years of combined experience, Ms. Wylie is an expert in developing holistically efficient solutions for start-up, emerging, and high-growth companies. Her expertise is particularly useful in collecting and analyzing data and applying the knowledge across the field life cycle to make better decisions in every aspect of the field development and production. She has written numerous technical presentations, papers and patents and is on the board of various technical forums for selecting various papers for industry presentation.

Ms. Wylie is on the advisory board of the Drilling Engineering Association, which is connected to the International Association of Drilling Contractors. Also, she is a member of the American Association of Drilling Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, Business Marketing Association and National Association of Female Executives.

Ms. Wylie earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from Murray State University and Texas A&M University, respectively. She also holds a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Alaska. She has a corporate governance certification from Tulane Law School, holds a product development certification, and has received project management training.


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