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Remote well monitoring

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Remote well monitoring is the ability to provide data obtained in or near the wellbore without requiring access and entry for intervention to the well. The primary objectives of well monitoring is to provide surveillance which will

  • enable production optimization
  • improve ultimate recovery
  • diagnose well integrity

Downhole monitoring

Downhole permanent monitoring has been a widely accepted technology since the early 1990s. There are advantages and disadvantages to all monitoring systems; however, improvements in reliability and the realization of the added value of information have made this technology commonplace in offshore and some land applications. Remote monitoring can be coupled with remote flow control applications in intelligent wells, or it can be run as a standalone system. Sensor systems may be electronic or optical based. Sensor systems measure various well parameters such as pressure, temperature and flow rate. These measurements can be discrete points (eg. a pressure transducer in a gauge mandrel) or distributed measurements (eg. distributed fiber optics) along the wellbore. Fiber optic technology enables the acquisition of high rate which allows more detailed interpretation of downhole coditions. Examples of parameters that can be measured with fiber optics are:

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Strain
  • Sound for microseismic or flow measurement

Electronics primarily measure at discrete points. Examples of parameters that can be measured with electronics are:

  • Pressure
  • Temperature
  • Vibration
  • Flow rate

Fiber optics

Fiber-optic systems have been developed that enable direct conversion of downhole measurements into optical signals. Early sensors deployed into steam injection wells in North America used thermal interaction with the optical fiber to generate direct distributed temperature traces. Development of resonating crystal optical pressure sensors produced a transducer that gave an optical output varying with pressure. These early pressure transducers were installed initially in an onshore gas well in The Netherlands and in the North Sea Gyda development. The first subsea installation of a fiber-optic sensor (including a subsea optical wet mateable connector) was completed in the North Sea Guillemot field. Subsequent developments in optical sensors have resulted in the downhole deployment of fiber Bragg-Grating sensors configured within transducers to measure pressure, temperature, flow, and seismic data.


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