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A major offshore operator in the South China Sea was drilling a deepwater exploration well. Due to the uncertainty of the formation depth, the operator needed real-time acoustic data to accomplish a seismic-well tie for the 17-½ in. borehole section.

The well inclination gradually changed from 1.3° to 26.2° and the water depth was 3,012 ft (918 m). The acoustic source-toformation coupling was a challenge in the large borehole, and high attenuation of the unconsolidated formation made it difficult to acquire reliable acoustic data.

Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) was engaged for the operation. The BHGE China Oilfield Services team proposed using the BHGE 9-½ in. SoundTrak™ acoustic service with the BHGE OnTrak™ integrated measurement while drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling (LWD) service.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Deepwater deviated well
  • Unconsolidated formation of uncertain depth
  • Logging while drilling acoustic logging required in large
  • 17-½ in. borehole


  • Delivered accurate acoustic data and a clear image of drill bit location relative to seismic
  • Enabled real-time seismic-well tie used by operator to drill the section at the optimal depth
  • Avoided wireline logging and saved the operator an estimated $300,000 USD