Reservoir developments that rely on long horizontal wells are common practice. Understanding the inflow distribution from a horizontal well is an ongoing challenge for our industry. The effectiveness of reservoir management decisions are greatly improved with an understanding of the flow distribution across the reservoir interval.
While technologies have been developed using tractors or coiled tubing to deploy production logging tools into horizontal wells, it requires a well intervention operation, increases risk exposure and is not always successful.
This paper reviews a case study from a multi-lateral well in Alaska where a new style of chemical tracers embedded into the completion equipment was used to derive a quantitative estimate of the inflow distribution in a dual horizontal, multi-lateral well.
The chemical tracers, which resemble strips of plastic, are designed to release unique chemical fingerprints when contacted by oil. The tracers are then detected in the oil to concentrations as low as 1 part per trillion. In this case study six locations were selected for placement of oil sensitive tracers.
During a shut-in period the strips continue to release their unique chemical tracers causing an increased tracer concentration to develop in the oil immediately surrounding the tracer location. Upon start up, these small volumes of oil, containing the higher concentration of tracer, are displaced to the surface. Samples of the produced oil are analyzed to develop a plot of each tracer’s concentration vs produced volume. The arrival of the oil containing the high tracer concentration is related to the inflow distribution.
This paper reviews results from a field deployment in a dual lateral well that contained 3 tracer locations in each lateral. The results from this well indicate that one lateral was producing approximately 30% more than the other lateral. Additionally the data indicates the toe of one of the laterals was a major contributor to the total well flow.
This insight into the reservoir performance was obtained with no intervention into the well and only minor modifications to the completion design.