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Ranging methods for developing wellbores in subsurface formations

United States Patent

September 6, 2011
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A method for forming two or more wellbores in a subsurface formation includes forming a first wellbore in the formation. A second wellbore is directionally drilled in a selected relationship relative to the first wellbore. At least one magnetic field is provided in the second wellbore using one or more magnets in the second wellbore located on a drilling string used to drill the second wellbore. At least one magnetic field is sensed in the first wellbore using at least two sensors in the first wellbore as the magnetic field passes by the at least two sensors while the second wellbore is being drilled. A position of the second wellbore is continuously assessed relative to the first wellbore using the sensed magnetic field. The direction of drilling of the second wellbore is adjusted so that the second wellbore remains in the selected relationship relative to the first wellbore.
MacDonald; Duncan (Houston, TX)
Shell Oil Company (Houston, TX)
12/ 250,273
October 13, 2008
GOVERNMENT INTEREST The Government has certain rights in the invention pursuant to Agreement Nos. SD 10634 and NFE 062050824 between Sandia National Laboratories (operating under Agreement DE-AC04-94AL85000Sa for the U.S. Department of Energy) and Shell Exploration and Production Company.