Numatex became the envy of oil producers in Webster County, Kentucky, in 2005, and people came from miles around to witness the gigantic flare coming off our wells. However, even though Mr. Wiley had experienced an 85% success rate with NMR, he was not satisfied. How does one account for the remaining 15% “error rate,” and how could the process be patented without that accountability? While the Company’s Business Plan includes additional drilling for its own benefit and that of its stockholders, the Company’s long-term plan since 1992 has been to market NMR throughout the industry and throughout the United States. The eleven Webster County wells became a laboratory, intended to prove and improve the technology Mr. Wiley had discovered in 1992 and which had proved only partially successful in four previous wells, encountering numerous disappointments at financial loss (Bobbie Burdette & Indiana). Without 100% accuracy and accountability, how could the Company legitimately claim mastery of the science for patenting, marketing, and implementing NMR as a cutting-edge science for all companies, large and small? How could the Company risk failure in a million-dollar venture for someone else? How could a 15% failure rate ever be eliminated or justified? In Mr. Wiley’s eyes, a 15% failure rate meant that he had not done a good enough job. It had to be eliminated.
By all scientific measure, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is a perfect science. There is no such thing as a “false reading” with NMR. How much latitude would be given medical practitioners if the MRI was only 85% successful and failed to detect a fatal disease or miss-diagnosed an injury within an acceptable 15% failure window? In view of working with a perfect science, Mr. Wiley never accepted any NMR reading as “false;” he always saw any reading that turned out to be anything other than what he expected as “need of further research for correct interpretation and application.”
Over the twenty years of Thomas Wiley’s research and in the seventeen wells he has drilled by NMR, two mysterious anomalies have repeatedly occurred which postponed Numatex’s patent application until January 31, 2012. (1) How could the earth generate an NMR magnetic field when no visible oil is encountered in that target zone? (2) How could an NMR reading predict exceptionally high results only to sometimes result in low permeability or small oil shows (15% error rate)? Because of the basic physical laws pertaining to NMR, Thomas Wiley never allowed those questions to deter his research or confidence in a solution; they only postponed his patent application.
Both questions can only be answered with a further insight into the properties of NMR, coupled with geological realities and experience. Before considering the solution to anomalies, let us emphasize one solid reality. When a reservoir of oil is beneath our feet, it absolutely cannot escape detection with the proper application of NMR. By all laws of physics, it cannot hide, at any depth, and it will reveal its properties clearly to the surface, accounting for the 85% success rate.
With his experiences in the seventeen wells drilled by Mr. Wiley and Numatex from 1992-2008, using only NMR with which to stake each well and determine target depths, a strong scientific answer had to be found for what otherwise would be called “false readings.” After all, the accepted practice of radiometrics also recognizes that certain “anomalies” factor into its readings and recommendations. Why not allow for a 15% error rate? Because of the financial risks associated with each and every oil well, and because of his pursuit for perfection, Mr. Wiley was never content with a 15% error rate.
While pursuing further research within the body of established information pertaining to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mr. Wiley found the answers he was looking for. What has been revealed when the United States Patent Office granted Numatex’s patent July 21, 2015, is the discussion of “free radicals,” which stands to be the answer to all anomalies encountered by Numatex in its drilling ventures, as well as those encountered by radiometric practitioners.
Whereas the human body contains its molecules in predictable conformities of shaped bones, tissues, and fluid percentages, the ground provides no such luxury, especially where volatile, gaseous molecules exist without sometimes confinable environs. Therefore, the distribution of detectable molecules is affected by various depositional realities. Numatex’s patent recognizes that within established NMR science, certain molecules and compounds have become detached from their greater masses and react differently when tested at vortex. We attribute many of those molecules to the oily sheen on formation water, and residual molecules either left behind by oil migration or created by extremely localized in situ maturation. In any event, those molecular reactions “read” differently and can confuse even an experienced NMR operator. They succeeded in confusing Thomas Wiley in his early research and development of the process. If he had understood and recognized free radical signals, the third zone missed in the 1994 Spencer County, Indiana, well would never have been drilled; the 1999 Maceo (Bobbie Burdette) well would never have been drilled at its chosen location, and several other drilling decisions made among Numatex’s twelve wells drilled in 2005, 2006, and 2013 would have been altered, and perhaps the Company’s 80,000 barrels of recovery could be 160,000 barrels or more. It took scientific curiosity, mistakes, drilled wells, and continuous comparison of established science to drilling outcomes to solve the anomaly issue. The ground will always challenge geophysical science, but science itself, combined with experience, will meet the challenge for the highest possible accuracy rate.
Based on experience and geological realities, it is the conclusion of Numatex that free radical activity will exist at almost every drilling location, because of hydrocarbon activity in the area and water sheen. On the other hand, complete lack of reservoir-quality hydrocarbon molecules AND free radical activity is a 100% guarantee of a bone-dry hole. Our experience and understanding of the science enable Numatex to provide you the highest potential for a successful well in the most productive location.