Remote life monitoring of field operations, such as injection, has been very restricted although real-time data is often collected at field sites. The difficulties lie in the data access and limitations to obtain computing resources for data analysis, which restricts the engineers' abilities to provide useful and timely remote assessment and assurance to the operations. Cloud computing combined with web-based apps, however, makes it much easier and cheaper to remotely monitor field operations and parameters in real-time from anywhere around world.
The current work provides our first attempt to apply the cloud computing and web-powered apps to monitor slurry injection at one injection site in Texas, USA. The site provides real-time injection data including flow rate and surface treating pressure, as it is recorded and stored automatically in a cloud database. The data can then be accessed and analyzed through a web-based app from any web-enabled device. Monitored injection pressure and rate, provide the basis for pressure fall off analysis to evaluate injection formation pressure and stress change, estimate fracture skin, and determine injection-induced fracture geometry at the end of each slurry injection batch. If the fall off analysis yields an unanticipated fracture geometry, advanced fracture simulations would be conducted to model fracture growth in three-dimensions under real injection conditions in order to gain a better understanding of the effects of a specific injection on fracture geometry.
The real-time monitoring of the slurry injection is a critical component for the long-term assurance of fracture containment and injection well integrity. The results of remote real-time data analysis set up early warnings to alert both onsite and offsite staff ahead of operational upsets. The analyses are also critical to optimize injection parameters, maximize injectivity, extend well life and minimize risks of creating unexpected fractures.
Compared to traditional desktop applications and isolated local data servers, cloud computing and web-based apps provide a more convenient and cost-effective way to monitor field operations in real-time. The technique and workflow presented here may be also applicable to monitor other field operations, such as drilling, water injection and production.