The success of field monitoring and management depends on the accuracy and precision of the data gathering quality. A major parameter is the water cut value. The range of methods to measure and obtain the water cut values varies from conventional to high technical. Providing a means for continuous monitoring provides the information to take corrective action in a timely manner to better manage expensive well assets by maintaining well potential, managing water conformance and increasing the well life.

Saudi Aramco's traditional well testing practices, utilizing a test trap at a GOSP, limit the information available due to the frequency of test trap availability on a per well basis. This usually exceeds one month or more. Test trap data has inherent error built in due to averaging and human error. However, high tech real time water cut monitoring systems can provide the needed frequency and precision. Choosing the right application depends on how much data is needed and how accurate the data can be. In considering the methodology for obtaining water cut data, accuracy, data transference and cost play major roles.

Needless to mention, the drilling cost is significantly high when it comes to high potential complex multilateral and MRC wells. The expenditure for such wells cannot be recovered if the wells die due to high water cut that goes unnoticed due to lack of data. Real time water cut monitoring can significantly reduce the number of such dead wells by providing the data to implement corrective action in a timely manner. This paper presents that how the infrared meter provides cost effective mean to monitor water cut for expensive complex wells.


The real time water cut monitoring trial test using Infrared water-cut meter started in March 2006 and was successfully completed in January 2007. The test indicated that the water-cut meters provided a reliable and cost effective qualitative means of monitoring the water-cut trends in two oil wells, Well-408 and 458.

The infrared water-cut meter was used for the first time in Southern Area Oil Operation (SAOO) field wells to monitor real time water-cut data. Similarly GSM data enabled SIM card technology was used for first time in Saudi Aramco to transmit water-cut, pressure and temperature data to the engineers' desk top.

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