A Technology Update in Wireline Formation Testing
- Ashers Partouche (Schlumberger) | Bo Yang (Schlumberger) | Chen Tao (Schlumberger) | Tamim Sawaf (Schlumberger) | Lina Xu (Schlumberger) | Keith Nelson (Schlumberger) | Hua Chen (Schlumberger) | Deo Dindial (Schlumberger) | Simon Edmundson (Schlumberger) | Thomas Pfeiffer (Consultant)
- Document ID
- Society of Petrophysicists and Well-Log Analysts
- SPWLA 61st Annual Logging Symposium - Online, 24 June - 29 July, Virtual Online Webinar
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. held jointly by the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA) and the submitting authors
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- 132 since 2007
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Wireline formation testing has evolved from discrete pressure measurements, introduced in the 1950s to measuring pressure gradients and fluid contacts since the 1970s. Technology introduced in the late 1980s and onwards added interval pressure transient testing, focused sampling, and downhole fluid analysis. Thirty years later, this paper shows data examples of a recently developed formation testing platform in a wide range of environments, and applications, that change how we plan, acquire, and use formation testing.
The dual-flow-line architecture of the formation testing platform is designed to systematically address shortcomings of legacy technology, enabling focused sampling in the tightest conventional formations, as well as transient testing in high mobility environments. Specialized pre-job planning software evaluates conveyance options to minimize friction and borehole contact, estimates the available flow rate, compares cleanup performance of the different inlets, and simulates transient testing responses. During the operation, the platform uses hardware embedded automation algorithms that execute routine tasks in a consistent and highly efficient manner, leaving more time for the user to focus on data quality and value of the measurements.
Case studies from Mexico, Norway, and the US demonstrate specific improvements in capability and performance. Field data from Mexico shows focused sampling of gas condensate from a heterogeneous submillidarcy carbonate formation in an HP/HT well drilled with oil-based mud. Controlled downhole decompression of crude oil in the flowline at a sampling station in Norway enabled real-time measurement of its bubble point pressure to within 6 psi of that measured in the laboratory. Another case study integrates accurate relative asphaltene gradients into an existing reservoir fluid study to prove reservoir connectivity across a large lateral distance in a producing field. Application of the dual packer subsystem demonstrates inflation within four minutes and pure oil samples within 90 minutes on station in a 1.5-md/cp fractured basement formation. The fine pump control at a low rate enabled sampling just below reservoir pressure in Alaska and a case from the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates the real-time impact of fluid properties on the understanding of reservoir architecture and completion design.
The presented examples highlight the impact of downhole automation, define the new operating envelope for formation testing in the most challenging environments, and highlight how the technology development leads to decision making on a broad reservoir scale by providing contextual answers rather than an accumulation of facts and figures.
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