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Application of Short Radius Horizontal Completions: A Case Study, Belridge Diatomite, Kern County, California
This paper reviews the design, drilling, completion and results of a short radius horizontal well drilled by U. S. Great Pacific Resources, Inc. at Belridge oil field, Kern County, California. The well was designed to economically exploit the shallow light oil reserves of the Belridge diatomite along the west flank of the oil field by increasing; 1) the productive section completed (h), and 2) the number of natural fractures penetrated (k). A 1000 foot horizontal completion was achieved. This exceeded the 910 foot (KB) true vertical depth of the well. The well failed to produce fluid at significant rates. SEM analysis indicates that polymer drilling fluids used during the drilling of the well damaged the formation. Repeated attempts to break down the polymer failed.
The mechanical success and low cost of drilling the well merit consideration of this short radius, horizontal drilling and completion technique for the exploitation of shallow, low pressure reservoirs. Significantly longer completions at these shallow depths appear to be practical.
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