Archive for September 23, 2009

First Reservoir Monitoring Using Fiber Optic Acoustic Sensor

UK-based Fotech Solutions has installed the world’s first downhole distributed acoustic optical fiber system using the company’s unique Helios monitoring solution in a coalbed methane well in Scotland for Composite Energy Ltd of Stirling, UK. The easily-installed Helios system can be deployed in a range of applications in the global oil and gas industry including reservoir surveillance, production monitoring, integrity assurance, flowline movement, flow assurance and leak detection.

            The system was installed in August 2009 and has already provided valuable data including:

  • Downhole pump condition monitoring,
  • Location of water level,
  • Flow profiles across the production intervals,
  • Vibrations at the wellhead, and
  • Gas flow.

            Such a set-up can also be used for monitoring sand production, casing/tubing integrity and cross flow.

            The system comprises two elements: 1) a simple, low-cost, telecoms grade optical fiber cable; and 2) the Helios interrogator, which is the heart of the system. Helios effectively provides acoustic or vibration information along the entire length of the installed optical fiber to provide multi-event information, event characterization and highly accurate event location. An acoustic signal is recorded for each meter along the fiber, enabling the system to detect and position an event to an accuracy of one meter and distinguish separate events more than two meters apart. It also has remote control capability. The fiber can be laid near a pipeline or installed in a borehole.

            Don Sharples, technical manager, Composite Energy, said: “Initial results from the Fotech fiber are very encouraging. The Fotech Distributed Acoustic technology collects data that is not available from other downhole sensors and will give Composite the ability to determine which coals are producing in any given well.”

            Alan Piesse co-founder and Exec. VP of Fotech Services, said: “Our vision for Helios was to provide sound at the speed of light, and its successful deployment has really changed the game in the global monitoring sector. We see a strong future for the system in monitoring gas flow in coalbed methane wells and other applications. For the first time flow can be seen and

heard entering and moving in the well and quantified in real time. We hope to continue monitoring Composite Energy’s CBM wells and look forward to a close working relationship with them.”

September 23, 2009 at 1:26 am 1 comment

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