Prediction and Early Detection of Karsts — An Overview of Methods and Technologies for Safer Drilling in Carbonates
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The nature of carbonate deposition as well as diagenetic processes can cause the development of unique geological features such as cavities, vugs and fractures. These are called karsts. Encountering karsts while drilling can lead to serious consequences such as severe mud losses, drops of bottom hole assembly and gas kicks. To improve drilling safety in intervals of karstification, it is important to detect karsts as early as possible, preferably in advance. In this paper, we review methods and technologies that can be used for the prediction and early detection of karsts. In particular, we consider acoustic, resistivity, seismic and drilling-data methods. In addition to the inventions and technologies developed and published over the past 40 years, this paper identifies the advantages, limitations and gaps of these existing technologies and discusses the most promising methods for karst detection and prediction.