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Permanent Fiber-Optic System Monitors Oil-Rim Movement

In highly fractured carbonate reservoirs, the conventional method of monitoring oil-rim movement is running wireline gradiometric surveys periodically. However, some operators have found that this method is inconclusive and is unable to provide information in a manner timely enough to influence operations because the gradiometric surveys are only run a few times a year. In this paper, the authors describe a project to design, field trial, and qualify an alternative solution for real-time monitoring of the oil rim in carbonate reservoirs that overcomes these disadvantages.

Current Methodology

The methodology of performing gradiometric surveys can be applied in reservoirs successfully where the permeability of the formation is high and where the formation is fractured such that good communication exists between fluid within the formation and within the observation well (given that the well casing is highly perforated across the full length of the reservoir section). Under these conditions, the fluid levels measured by the gradiometric surveys give the operator enough information about the oil rim within the reservoir to adopt an active smart-field production method. The term “smart field” is used by the operator to describe oilfield operations where surface decisions are supported by measurements from within the reservoirs.

While the use of gradiometric surveys for production optimization is helpful, it does have disadvantages. Each survey requires a well intervention; as can be imagined, the process is relatively expensive and introduces health, safety, and environmental (HSE) risks while the well is open. Consequently, gradiometric surveys are generally commissioned at a low frequency, perhaps only one or two measurements per year within key observation wells.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 188868, “Development and Field Application of a Permanent Fiber-Optic Wellbore-Fluid-Level Monitoring System,” by C. Staveley, SPE, C. Doyle, and C. Coetzee, Smart Fibres; A. Franzen, H. Den Boer, A. van Rooyen, and W. Birch, Shell; and A.B. Biderkab and E. Moes, Petroleum Development Oman, prepared for the 2017 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 13–16 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Permanent Fiber-Optic System Monitors Oil-Rim Movement

01 March 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 3

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