The deepwater environment presents numerous challenges in the production of oil and gas wells. The expense of intervention operations and the corporate bottom line impact of production optimization have generated a need for more sophisticated data gathering and monitoring systems. However, implementing these new technologies in deepwater is challenging because of a lack of installation experience in this environment and difficulty quantifying full cycle benefits.

One recent successful application of new technology is the use of permanently installed downhole optical pressure/temperature gauges and distributed temperature sensors (DTS) to monitor well performance in the producing wells at the Marco Polo field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Innovative techniques were utilized during the facility commissioning and completion operations, allowing these gauges to be installed more efficiently than in the past. The resulting cost savings helped to minimize the additional expenses associated with implementing this technology.

The information from the downhole optical monitoring system has proven useful not just in providing pressure data for reservoir management and drawdown maintenance, but in application of the DTS data in different production scenarios. DTS data has been used to monitor well performance for flow assurance purposes. It has been used with the gas lift system to define valve setting parameters during the job design and to monitor the point(s) of gas injection once the design is in place. To further enhance the value of information from the downhole optical monitoring system, the data is directly available via the internet for real time evaluation.

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