Injector well completions are typically carried out using two methods: simple and selective. The performance of injector wells has traditionally been evaluated using spinner-based injection logging tools (ILTs) or on-demand fiber optic distributed temperature and acoustic (DTS or DAS) sensing while logging the well performance every 3 months or once a year depending on the application. However, with such methods utilizing a snap shot approach, critical well performance information or possible anomalies are often missed due to measurements taken only during certain periods. Therefore, operators have explored the use of advanced fiber-optics methods such as permanent distributed temperature sensing (DTS) and permanent distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), that provide continuous, real-time measurements to enable understanding of dynamic well behavior at all times and mitigate any deferred or behavioral problems.
Of relevance to this work is a vertical, injector well in a competent sandstone formation of the Heavy Oil Chichimene field in Llanos Basin, Colombia. As a first step of the fiber-optics monitoring strategy, a careful evaluation of DTS and DAS based fiber-optics methods was conducted. Based on the data analysis and operational history, DAS-based fiber optics monitoring was chosen as the most effective monitoring solution for this well. Subsequently, a proprietary DAS algorithm was developed to analyze the data and estimate the flow allocation for all the four zones. The results include waterfall acoustic energy maps, temporal flow allocation profiles and most importantly, the zonal flow allocation values.
Predicted (DAS) zonal flow allocation data was compared with traditional injection logs (ILT) under different operational conditions (varied injection flow rates and valve choke settings). Based on comparable agreement between DAS and ILT data, the operator decided to replace ILT runs with DAS-based fiber optic monitoring, resulting in lower operational costs while enabling near real-time monitoring, and providing the continuous distributed data essential for the dynamic monitoring of the well. The successful application of fiber-optics monitoring to provide an injection profile in conjunction with a surface-controlled electric valve system demonstrates a significant potential to optimize the injection process in complex injector wells. Further, remotely controlling, monitoring and optimizing injection rates into the multi-segmented zones improves the service life of the injection operations, eliminates future intervention costs, and increases ultimate recovery.