Downhole temperature distribution in horizontal wells can be an important source of information that helps us characterize the reservoir and understand the bottom-hole flow conditions. The temperature measurements are obtained from permanent monitoring systems such as downhole temperature gauges and fiber optic sensors. Also, production history and bottomhole pressures are usually readily available and are routinely used for history matching to improve the initial geological models. Combining the downhole temperature distribution and the production history, we can extract more reliable information about the reservoir permeability distribution and bottomhole flow conditions that help us optimize the wellbore performance, particularly in horizontal wells.

In this paper, we use a thermal model and a transient, 3D, multiphase flow reservoir model to calculate the wellbore temperature distribution in horizontal wells. By comparing the simulated temperature and the observed data, we first derive large-scale permeability trends in the reservoir. These permeability trends are then incorporated as ‘secondary’ information in the geologic model building and history matching. Finally, the updated permeability models from history matching are used to infer the downhole flow conditions along horizontal wells. The final outcome is a geologic model that is consistent with reservoir static and dynamic information, and also the wellbore temperature measurements.

We present several synthetic cases to illustrate the procedure. The results show that with only production history matching without distributed data along the wellbore, the water entry location in horizontal wells can not be detected satisfactorily. Combining production history matching with the temperature distribution in the wellbore, we can get an improved geological model that can match the production history and also, locate the water entry correctly. Based on the downhole flow conditions and the updated geological model, we can now optimize the well performance by controlling the inflow rate distribution, such as shutting the high water inflow sections.

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