DiPpY: a free 2-D dip calculator

March 3, 2015

When I first started as a wellsite geologist in 2009, I was tasked with geosteering horizontal oil wells in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in western North Dakota. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing at first, but the only tools I had were a sheet of paper, a pencil, and a scientific calculator. Gamma points were correlated with best guesses, TVD and VS coordinates were interpolated manually from surveys, and formation dip was calculated between them with inverse tangent functions. Finally, waypoint targets were generated manually by projecting ahead using the formation dip.

Five years later, I was geosteering multiple wells simultaneously, using amazing software like SES. Man, what a difference the right tools make! With a little bit of drilling sense, SES made geosteering a pleasant experience. However, I still found myself calculating dips manually from time to time, while testing different scenarios. I also found myself manually projecting target lines back to zero VS.

So, I decided to do something about it. What better opportunity to learn some programming and make something useful at the same time? DiPpY is the result of two days worth of work, and some 268 lines of code. It does dip calculations based on VS-TVD waypoints, and also projects TVD at zero VS given current position parameters. It is written entirely in Python 3.4, and uses the built-in Tkinter module to handle the GUI elements.

Figure 1: Screenshot of DiPpY in action.

DiPpY is free to download, use, modify, and distribute. You must have Python installed on your local machine, and set Python's PATH variable (see the included instructions). Unzip the DiPpY folder and relocate it to where you want it. Once you have Python installed and its PATH configured, run DiPpY by double-clicking on the DiPpY.pyw file.

Ultimately, I will make a web-based DiPpY application that you will not have to download to use. But once you have Python installed and configured, using DiPpY locally is a snap. It's a great little app to have running in the background while you're steering.

Good luck and happy drilling!