In recent years, oil and gas producing companies have increasingly migrated towards using tracer-based methods to obtain data on horizontal wells operation. The interest in these technologies is largely due to their ability to obtain data over a long period of time with a radical decrease in the required resources, thereby providing new opportunities for well management and increasing cumulative production. The aim of this article is to compare the results of applying different tracer-based systems in one well.
Tracer-based technologies produced by different manufacturers vary in physical principles of operation, as well as in the methods of their injection into the well or reservoir. Tracers designed for long-term work are injected into the reservoir with marked proppant or lowered into the wells in the lower completion cassettes. For the first time, alternative tracer-based systems were applied in one well, ensuring the selectivity of work with oil and water. This allowed us to compare the results and evaluate the technology's advantages and disadvantages. The well was completed by multi-stage hydraulic fracturing with the possibility of subsequent port control using coiled tubing. Each of five well intervals were equipped with two tracer cartridges fixed on an MFrac sleeve on both sides. In addition, proppant with markers was pumped in 3 months. The unique signature of the marker was used for each fracturing stage (5 unique signatures for each of 5 fracturing stages).
As a result of this world-first field application of alternative tracer-based systems, valuable analytical material was obtained related to the quantitative analysis of various tracers, the performance of different polymers, and the stability of the tracers’ allocation in the formation fluid. The data obtained confirmed the character of the marked proppant pack washing out with the formation fluid in comparison with the tracer casings attached to MFrac port on both sides.
The following results were achieved upon completion: additional tools were obtained for the correlation of data on the tracers amount and concentration, and comparative indicators of different tracer technologies in terms of efficiency and work accuracy were identified. It was also confirmed that the marked proppant is not washed out into the well under these reservoir conditions. The authors of this article were the first to compare the technologies with different approaches to the tracers’ placement in a well within one project. Based on the project results, the obtained data allowed us to answer many pressing questions from oil and gas producing companies related to the comparison of tracer systems.