Abstract

A state-of-the-art time-domain electromagnetic tool is presented that is capable of quantifying four barriers individually, and inspecting a fifth barrier qualitatively. The working physics and salient features of the tool and its underlying technology are described.

The new tool uses time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) or pulsed eddy current (PEC) technology, which has set the benchmark for individual quantitative tubular corrosion evaluation in multi-annular well systems (multiple concentric tubulars) in recent years. Time-domain electromagnetic tools widely used in the industry are currently capable of quantifying the individual metal thickness/loss in up to three barriers. The new tool employs three highly sensitive sensors to provide high-resolution analysis of the inner barrier, while providing sufficient radial depth of investigation for up to five barriers.

The above features and advantages of the new tool are supported by modeling and fixture test results. Additional modeling is shown to compare and contrast the resolution and radial depth of investigation of the three sensors. Case studies from actual wells are also presented that illustrate how three sensors enhance the performance of this technology. Corrosion evaluation of multi-barrier systems is a major component of well integrity management because it can provide timely and cost-effective information for planning well repairs if needed. The ability of the new tool to inspect more barriers is important because it gives the operator better information for more proactive well integrity management.

The novelty of the tool is in its ability to exploit the information-rich wideband pulsed excitation using three sensors that enhance the sensitivity to multiple barriers.

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