Many drilling companies stop as soon as they hit the basement. Also called the economic basement, this term refers to old, often deformed rocks that have different characteristics than the rocks above them. For ages, these rocks were not considered to be useful places to find hydrocarbons, but many drilling experts are starting to rethink that idea.
Wondering if you should explore the basement of your drilling site? Here are four signs you may want to consider that.
1. You Have Extra Funds for Your Project
If you are near the end of your drilling project but you still have excess funds, you may want to consider the idea of basement drilling. You have the majority of the equipment you need on site, and from a logistical level, you are more or less ready to start. However, if you haven't done it before, you may want to hire a basement drilling consultant to help with the details.
2. You Have Access to Horizontal Drilling Equipment
Although a lot of the equipment you use for traditional drilling and basement drilling overlaps, you need horizontal drilling equipment for basement drilling. With this type of drilling, you don't just tap into reservoirs underground. Instead, you have to wind the drilling equipment through fractures. If you haven't been using that type of equipment in your existing project and it isn't readily available in your area, you may want to move onto something else.
3. You Have Access to 3D Seismic Data
Rather than just drilling blindly, you may want to access 3D seismic data. That gives you information about fault lines in the area, and when you combine that data with images pulled from doing logging while drilling (LWD), you will have an even better analysis of the situation. Then, you can find the spots in the fractures that are the most likely to have hydrocarbons, and you can target them accordingly.
4. Nearby Fractured Basements Have Yielded Oil
On the other hand, if nearby areas have yielded oil or other hydrocarbons, that can be an indication that something is likely to be in your area. In these cases, even if you don't have the right equipment on hand, you may want to take steps to get that equipment and expertise. Then, you can start drilling.
To make a final decision, you may want to have a basement drilling expert come to your site and advise you.