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Horizontal wells in the Tar formation
Horizontal wells in the Tar formation

Wilmington Field, California

Technology Provides Competitive Advantage

Warren’s operations team has more than 150 years of combined experience. The team has been able to implement many technologies that are now benefitting Warren and its shareholders. Warren’s upcoming three dimensional seismic project and gas sales and transportation plans are examples of these technologies.

Warren has three main strengths concerning the wells it drills:

  1. The application of advanced technology allows us to drill complex directional and horizontal wells miles away from the surface locations, and enables geologists to maintain bit-to-formation distances of less than two feet. This ensures that the completion section of the well is optimally placed, which minimizes the coning of water and maximizes oil production and economic longevity.
  2. By thinking outside the box, Warren drilled and completed the first gravel packed, sinusoidal, extended reach well in the industry. Sinudoidal wells allow for multiple, thinly bedded sands to be intersected in the productive section of the well, and ensure drainage of hydrocarbons from the sands that could not be obtained with a traditional horizontal or vertical well. We have successfully modified this drilling and completion technique and now use it in both the Ranger and Upper Terminal sands.
  3. Attention to detail and the in-house development of a monitoring system has resulted in Warren becoming an industry leader in run times for electric submersible pumps. These pumps typically run two to three years before failure. Warren has been able to increase that time to five or more years through redesigned components used in the equipment and improved completion practices.

Minimizing Our Footprint

Warren’s state of the art facility at the Wilmington Townlot Unit (WTU) has been visited by many oil company personnel and government agencies, and serves as an example of how a complex drilling and production operation can be successfully integrated into surrounding residential communities and commercial areas.

Warren owns its own fully enclosed, soundproofed drilling rig that can be easily moved from well to well on a cushion of air. This technology allows the drilling engineer to commence drilling operations just hours after finishing the last well without having to lay down pipe or dismantle any portion of the rig. The sound proofing eliminates noise and allows for around-the-clock drilling.

The actual drill site is comprised of three cellars that capture all fluids, including rainwater, that are subsequently processed, cleaned and injected into the reservoir. No fluids leave the site. Warren is abandoning all wells outside of the WTU to provide a better environment for the surrounding community. All wells within the WTU facility utilize space-saving electric submersible pumps. The wells are constantly monitored by a computerized SCADA system that maximizes run times and profitability. These technologies have set the standard in California, which other companies are trying to emulate.

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WTU Centralized Drilling and Production Cellars
Warren’s drilling cellars received the IOGCC 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award for independent oil companies.

Warren combines multiple technologies that enables the drilling of highly targeted wells with a minimal surface footprint. These wells are drilled in the Tar, Ranger, Upper Terminal and Ford formations.

A sample of extended reach wellbores penetrating productive horizons.
A sample of extended reach wellbores penetrating productive horizons.


Horizontal Drilling

Warren Resources utilizes the latest in geological software to visualize the hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs along with state-of-the-art technologies to drill highly targeted wells, placing them more precisely in the reservoir than ever before. Downhole telemetry allows for real time information of the adjacent formation allowing immediate decisions to be made on-site.

Warren utilizes the latest drilling technology to drill these complex wells, avoiding the myriad of existing wellbores, both old and new, placing wellbores within feet of required targets to ensure economic viability.

Before drilling the well, our geologists identify targets within the prospective zones and develop a preliminary plan to drill the well. Plans are developed utilizing directional software ensuring that a well plan can be drilled and completed without hitting another wellbore or requiring high angle turns. The well path in 3-dimensional space is then provided to the drilling rig to drill.

Intermediate casing is typically drilled with conventional directional drilling tools that incorporate continuous real-time, near-bit inclination data along with resistivity and gamma ray information to enable the geologist to precisely steer the drilling assembly to the desired spot in three dimensional space while avoiding collisions with other wellbores along the way. Upon reaching the intermediate casing point, casing is run and cemented in place to protect all water sands and other hydrocarbon formations above. Typical measured depths are 4,000 feet to 7,000 feet.

When drilling a horizontal Tar well, drilling is conducted with a rotary steerable system and deep azimuthal resistivity measurement tools. These tools give precise steering control that optimizes well placement within the reservoir allowing the geologist to avoid non-productive pay and remain within the sweet spots of the reservoir. The azimuthal resistivity tool provides the geologist with resistivity measurements up to 14 feet away and can identify the bed boundaries enabling the geologist to precisely steer the tool, maximizing productivity. Horizontal wells are used in the Tar formations to stay away from the underlying water. The productive interval can range from 800 feet to more than 2,500 feet in length.

Real Time Log
Real Time Log

In our Ranger and Upper Terminal target horizons, drilling is typically conducted with a rotary steerable system and conventional measurement-while-drilling/logging-while-drilling tools. The conventional MWD/LWD tools are used where placement is important but does not have to be accurate to within inches. Warren has pioneered drilling and completing wells with sinusoidal shapes that allow the wellbore to intersect multiple sands, many times. These wells are on the cutting edge of technology and have proven very successful for Warren, enabling the geologist to target sands that would be uneconomic by any other means.

The productive horizons are completed using wire wrapped screen or MeshRite screens to control sands inflow. Electric submersible pumps are installed capable of pumping up to 3,000 barrels of fluid per day.


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