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SPE Live: Surveying and Wellbore Positioning Industry Practices for Safe Separation

The Operator’s Wellbore Survey Group (OWSG), a subcommittee of the SPE Wellbore Positioning Technical Section (WPTS), initiated the development of American Petroleum Institute (API) RP 78 in response to the lack of industry-wide minimum standards for safe wellbore positioning and separation from subsurface hazards. The WPTS is commonly known as the Industry Steering Committee on Wellbore Survey Accuracy (ISCWSA).

Accurate wellbore placement is critical in all subsurface borehole applications. To that end, the RP 78 Task Group developed this new technical standard for wellbore surveying and positioning, which is applicable to a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, geothermal, carbon sequestration, coalbed methane, horizontal directional drilling, mineral ventilation, and scientific coring. The standard was created by independent consultants, industry experts, academia, and public and private energy operators with the goal of providing modern engineering practices for the subsurface boring industries.

Recently published peer-reviewed SPE journal papers provide excellent insight into wellbore surveying, wellbore positioning, separation rules, and fundamental management principles for safe wellbore construction operations. These recent SPE technical publications lay the groundwork for the new recommended practice, which aims to boost confidence and reduce uncertainty in wellbores’ subsurface positions.

Speaker: Jonathan Lightfoot, Principal and Senior Drilling Engineering Consultant at Oxy

Moderated by David Gibson, Gibson Reports

Held on Wednesday, November 15, 2023