Fiber-optic distributed sensing is known in the oil and gas industry as an enabler for permanent temperature profiling along entire well paths. This application is limited to recovery processes with a pronounced thermal signature. Currently, we witness a confluence of novel fiber-optic technologies promising a much wider and more complete range of subsurface measurements. This opens new avenues in well and reservoir surveillance and highlights the opportunity for fiber-optic sensing to become a pervasive oilfield technology.

In this paper we discuss field trials that combine Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS), Distributed Strain Sensing (DSS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). These trials demonstrate the potential of fiber-optic sensing technology for well integrity monitoring, gas lift optimization, in-flow profiling and downhole seismic acquisition.

Essential to realizing this potential is the development of cost-effective, easy-to-deploy fiber-optic cables optimized for these combinations of fiber-optic measurements. We also highlight the business integration challenge of handling, storing, and interpreting data volumes that reach levels of 1 TB/well/day. We conclude that while significant technology challenges remain, with a broad range of oilfield technology providers working on derisking fiber-optic sensing technologies, the industry is on the verge of a step change in well and reservoir monitoring capability.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.