Saudi Aramco has been granted patent number 7,359,844 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for GeoMorph, a "road map" technology that helps navigate thousands of feet beneath the earth's surface. GeoMorph inventors Roger Sung of the Exploration Applications Services Department and former employee Ken Lewis of the Reservoir Characterization Department wanted to help resolve the significant challenge of finding and extracting oil and gas by providing those involved in the exploration process a better view underground. Accurate prediction and interpretation of reservoir geology play a key role in guiding, or "geosteering" the drill bit to the optimal position.
GeoMorph provides real-time data from the drilling rig to an earth model. The earth model uses this data along with geological, geophysical, petrophysical and engineering interpretations to create a three-dimensional picture of the reservoir - something like the physical model of a building that architects construct: the shape of the building (3D structure of the reservoir), number of stories (size of the reservoir), window and door layout (porous space in the rock to potentially hold hydrocarbon) and color and content of the building (oil, gas, water or others).
Geoscientists and engineers can rotate and slice the earth model using advanced high-resolution visualization systems to gain a better understanding of the subsurface structures.
The GeoMorph system uses logging-while-drilling data sent directly from the rig and enables experts to analyze unexpected results and update the geological model within minutes of penetration.
"GeoMorph significantly enhanced geosteering efficiency, as an on-the-spot road map is created for maximum reservoir contact with pinpoint accuracy," said Dr. Adel S. Al-Naji, manager of the Exploration Application Services Department.
GeoMorph has been successfully applied in the Ghawar, Abqaiq, Qatif and other fields with significant bottom-line contribution.
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