A Flowmeter for Measuring Subsurface Flow Rates
- J.L. Newman (Lane-Wells Co.) | C. Waddell (Lane-Wells Co.) | H.L. Sauder (Lane-Wells Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1956
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 49 - 52
- 1956. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.6 Natural Gas, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology
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An instrument capable of measuring subsurface flow rates is described. The instrument is self-contained and may be run on piano wire line. It detects flow by means of an impeller suspended between two torsion wires. The force of the well fluid striking the impeller causes the impeller to rotate, exerting a torsional force to the wires. This force is determined by recording the angle of rotation of the impeller on film using a battery-driven, clock-controlled camera. The impeller is sensitive to flow in either direction and the same instrument can be used to measure injection as well as production rates. Changes in direction of flow, such as might be caused by thief zones, are measurable and are indicated by a reversal of the direction of rotation of the impeller. Adjustment of the sensitivity of the instrument to measure a wide range of flow rates is accomplished by the use of different size torsion wires. An umbrella-type fluid trap, which contacts the casing or wellbore, diverts the flow through the flow tube. The fluid trap remains closed while running in the hole and can be opened at any point in the well. The instrument with the trap closed is 1¾ in. OD and may be run through 2 in. tubing. Successful flow profiles have been made on wells with flow rates ranging from 60 B/D to 4,000 B/D at surface pressure up to 4,500 psi. The instrument is designed for high-pressure and high-temperature operations.
The need for an instrument that will measure flow rates in a wellbore is as old as reservoir engineering itself. A number of such devices have been designed within the past few years. Some of these have been described in the literature. One of these devices, a hot-wire anemometer type, made many successful jobs in dry gas producing areas. Difficulty was encountered when this flowmeter was used in wells producing liquids and development work was initiated to overcome this difficulty. The present flowmeter is the result of this work and provides an instrument with a wider range of application in the industry.
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