Distributed Microchip System Records Subsurface Temperature and Pressure
- Adam Wilson (JPT Editorial Manager)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 123 - 125
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 92 since 2007
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This article, written by Editorial Manager Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 159583, "A Distributed Microchip System for Subsurface Measurement," by Mengjiao Yu, Sufeng He, Yuanhang Chen, Nicholas Takach, SPE, and Peter LoPresti, The University of Tulsa; and Shaohua Zhou, SPE, and Nasser Al-Khanferi, SPE, Saudi Aramco, prepared for the 2012 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 8-10 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
A microchip system capable of measuring temperature and pressure over the entire wellbore was developed and tested in the field. When used in the field, tracers will be injected together with the drilling fluid. As the tracer travels through the wellbore, it will measure the temperature and pressure throughout the wellbore and store the data in the on-chip memory.
The prototype of the instrument system is shown in Fig. 1. The instrument sys-tem developed in this work includes two major components: the surface devices (Fig. 1) and the tracers (Fig. 2). A tracer (approximately 7.5 mm in diameter) consists of a small system-on-chip integrated circuit (SOC IC), which includes sensors, microcontroller, memory, transmitter and receiver circuits, and density-control material (hollow spheres), all encapsulated in a protective-chemical-coating shell. The surface devices include an initiator to reset the circuit on the tracer be-fore the tracer is injected into the wellbore, and a data collector to retrieve data from the tracer’s on-chip memory when the tracer is carried back to the surface by the drilling fluid. The initiator and data collector will use wireless communication to reset the circuit and down-load data from the tracer, respectively. A magnetic tracer separator (see Fig. 1) will be installed after the data collector to recycle the tracers. A lithium cell (battery) used in the tracer contains stainless steel, which can enhance the separation of tracers from the drilling fluid in the magnetic tracer separator.
When used in experiments or in the field, tracers will be injected together with the drilling fluid. Before a tracer is injected into the flowline, it passes through an initiator, which will reset the circuit for recording data. As the tracer travels through the wellbore, it will measure the temperature and pressure throughout the wellbore and store the data in the on-chip memory at a sampling rate set by the initiator. When the tracers are carried out of the borehole by the drilling fluid, they will pass through a data collector (controlled by a computer) through which the tracer will communicate with the surface devices to send the data stored in its on-chip memory.
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