In the past decade, Fiber-Optic (FO) based sensing has opened up opportunities for in-well reservoir surveillance in the oil and gas industry. Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) has been used in applications such as steam front monitoring in thermal EOR and injection conformance monitoring in waterflood projects using (improved) warmback analysis and FO based pressure gauges are deployed commonly. In recent years1 significant progress has also been made to mature other, new FO based surveillance methods such as the application of Distributed Strain Sensing (DSS) for monitoring reservoir compaction and well deformation, multidrop Distributed Pressure Sensing (DPS) for fluid level determination, and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for geophysical and production/injection profiling. For the latter application, numerous field surveys were conducted to develop the evaluation algorithms or workflows which convert the DAS noise recordings into flow rates from individual zones. The applicability of a new graphical user-interface has been expanded to include smart producers and injectors that allows the user to visualize (in real time), QC and evaluate the DAS data. Also, the evaluation methods for the use of DTS for warmback analysis have been significantly improved.
There are still improvements to be made in enabling Distributed Sensing infrastructure, such as handling and evaluation of very large data volumes, seamless FO data transfer, the robustness & cost of the FO system installation in subsea installations, and the overall integration of FO surveillance into traditional workflows. It will take some time before all these issues are addressed but we believe that FO based applications will play a key role in future well and reservoir surveillance.
In this paper we present a recent example of single-phase flow profiling using DAS. The example is from a long horizontal, smart polymer injector operated by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).