Ultrasonic imaging based tools have been used for long for delivering high-resolution, comprehensive real-time confirmation of the pipe-to-cement bond quality and downhole pipe condition. However, for comprehensive analysis of cement barriers in challenging scenarios like lightweight cement and for better distinction between different annular materials downhole, a multi-physics evaluation has been developed which combines the measurements taken in thickness-mode with measurements taken in flexural-mode of the casing. Signals from these independent measurements are then processed to provide robust interpretation of solid-liquid-gas behind casing using acquired flexural attenuation and acoustic impedance data.
The information provided by the flexural attenuation is related to the state of the material in contact with the casing and does not probe deeper into the cement sheath. However, the pulse radiated by the flexural wave packet into the annulus may be reflected by the third interface, the interface with the formation or outer casing. The inner casing is fairly transparent to this reflected pulse so that it can also be picked by the receivers with significant amplitude. Since this reflected pulse propagate through the thickness of the annulus layer it may bring valuable information about the annulus geometry and material, and about the formation or outer casing geometry.
This paper demonstrates third interface echo principles and showcases several case studies for evaluating the outer casing geometry, annular material characterization, casing cut and pull depth suggestion and determining open hole size.