This paper presents methods to interpret measurements in complex wells (horizontal, multilateral and multi-branching wells) to determine the inflow profiles of oil, gas and water. These methods are needed to take full advantage of intelligent well, a technology that is rapidly evolving to continuously and permanently monitor downhole temperature, pressure, and perhaps volumetric flow. To realize the value of intelligent wells, the efficient and accurate interpretation of the raw data being acquired is needed.
The interpretation of flow profiles of horizontal or multilateral wells from temperature and pressure profiles requires consideration of subtle effects that are often neglected. In this paper, we illustrate how some of these effects can be predicted, and how they can be used to evaluate complex well performance. In particular, we will highlight the following characteristics of flow in horizontal wells, each of which can provide information about the inflow profile of the well.
Firstly we discuss about Joule-Thomson effects (the heating of oil and the cooling of gas) on the temperature profiles, seeing if they are noticeable changes or not. The discrete production cases are then considered to infer how the pressure or temperature profiles retain marks where the production starts and ends. Also, we examine well trajectories effects. Small inclinations (+2° and -2°) in nominally horizontal laterals affect both pressure and temperature profiles. The differences in potential energy in up-inclined and down-inclined segments may prove to be diagnostic of relative flow rates of the phases. As a last example, water entry effects on the each profiles are shown. When the production becomes oil and water two-phase flow, the fluid properties change and affect the both profiles. In certain cases, the location of the water entry may be noticeable.