Abstract

Effective Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operation relies on subcool management to reduce the risk of steam breakthrough. Monitoring of several parameters is performed to assure uniform development of steam chamber and heating of reservoir. This paper discusses the application of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), a monitoring platform to achieve reliable reservoir and wellbore surveillance in SAGD projects.

In this study, a comprehensive review of DAS deployment in oil and gas industry was performed including vertical seismic profiling, hydraulic fracturing, well/pipe integrity and flow profiling applications. Then, SAGD flow monitoring was investigated in detail. To utilize DAS in SAGD projects, knowing completion designs are necessary. Therefore, various SAGD completion designs and corresponding flow regimes were discussed as well. Finally, four flow loop designs were proposed to accurately simulate the complex wellbore hydraulics of the SAGD producer using DAS recordings.

This work started with an overview of DAS systems in downhole monitoring including real time high resolution vertical seismic profiling, hydraulic fracturing characterization and optimization, well and pipe integrity, leak detection and assessing completion effectiveness. Then, flow profiling including flow rate, flow fractions and flow regimes determinations using DAS were discussed with focus on SAGD monitoring. Completion designs directly impact on SAGD monitoring and DAS recordings, more specifically on flow regimes inside the tubing and annulus. Therefore, various completion designs with their tubing and screen sizes were presented and corresponding flow regimes were determined in both tubing and annulus. It was observed that flow regimes vary with type of completion design, liquid flow rate, steam breakthrough locations and tubing/screen sizes. Eventually, four flow loop designs were proposed based on the discussions for future DAS application.

This paper discusses existing completion designs and possible flow regimes in SAGD projects. Consequently, novel designed flow loops are introduced for DAS deployment to better understand the complex wellbore hydraulic of the well and measure the key parameters in optimizing the production operation. This study is a design stage for future quantitative measuring of flow profiling using DAS systems.

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