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measured depth

1. n. [Drilling]

The length of the wellbore, as if determined by a measuring stick. This measurement differs from the true vertical depth of the well in all but vertical wells. Since the wellbore cannot be physically measured from end to end, the lengths of individual joints of drillpipe, drill collars and other drillstring elements are measured with a steel tape measure and added together. Importantly, the pipe is measured while in the derrick or laying on a pipe rack, in an untensioned, unstressed state. When the pipe is screwed together and put into the wellbore, it stretches under its own weight and that of the bottomhole assembly. Although this fact is well established, it is not taken into account when reporting the well depth. Hence, in virtually all cases, the actual wellbore is slightly deeper than the reported depth.

Alternate Form: MD

See: bottomhole assemblyhydrostatic headpipe racktrue vertical depth (TVD)

Diagram of measured depth and total depth.

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