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A proper use of the adjacent land-based observatory magnetic field data to account for the geomagnetic disturbances during offshore directional drilling
  • Mikhail Kruglyakov,
  • Alexey Kuvshinov,
  • Manoj C. Nair
Mikhail Kruglyakov
University of Otago, University of Otago

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alexey Kuvshinov
Institute of Geophysics, Institute of Geophysics
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Manoj C. Nair
University of Colorado at Boulder and NOAA/NGDC, University of Colorado at Boulder and NOAA/NGDC
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Directional drilling in the oil fields relies particularly on the “on-fly” measurements of the natural magnetic field (measurements while drilling; MWD); the MWD are eventually used to construct the well path. These measurements are the superposition of the signals from the internal, core and crustal, and external, ionospheric and magnetospheric sources and the noise from magnetic elements in the borehole assembly. The internal signals are mostly constant in time and accounted for through the Earth’s internal field models. The signals of external origin give rise to diurnal and irregular spatio-temporal magnetic field variations observable in the MWD. One of the common ways to mitigate the effects of these variations in the MWD is to correct readings for the data from an adjacent land-based magnetic observatory/site. This method assumes that the land-based signals are similar to those at the seabed drilling site. In this paper, we show that the sea level and seabed horizontal magnetic fields differ significantly, reaching up to 30\,\% of sea level values in many oceanic regions. We made this inference from the global forward modeling of the magnetic field using realistic models of conducting Earth and time-varying sources. To perform such modeling, we elaborated a numerical approach to efficiently calculate the spatio-temporal evolution of the magnetic field. Finally, we propose and validate a formalism allowing researchers to obtain trustworthy seabed signals using measurements at the adjacent land-based site and exploiting the modelling results, thus without needing additional measurements at the seabed site.