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A revolution in reservoir characterization

ireline formation testers have evolved through a series of innovations and small refinements. The new Modular Formation Dynamics Tester (MDT*) tool now offers major innovation - multiple sampling during a single wireline run, and rapid pressure measurement using new generation quartz gauges that stabilise quickly to measure formation pressure. Multiple, uncontaminated fluid samples, fast and accurate pressure surveys, determination of permeability anisotropy and even a mini drillstem test on wireline are all within the reach of the engineer today. In this article Cosan Ayan, Adrian Douglas and Fikri Kuchuk show some of the initial applications of the MDT tool.

Special Contribution - Anya Radeka for thorough and challenging field testing of the MDT tool in the Middle East while with the Technique Department in Dubai.

hen wireline formation testers were introduced, almost 40 years ago, there was one simple objective - fluid sampling. The first wireline testing tool, the Formation Tester, was introduced in 1955, specifically to collect reservoir fluid samples, but could only collect one sample per trip in the well. This tool was replaced first by the Formation Interval Tester (FIT*) and then, in 1975, by the Repeat Formation Tester (RFT*) tool. The arrival of the RFT tool allowed operators to devise new applications for wireline testing. The fluid sampling capabilities of the RFT tool often played a secondary role to the repeat pressure measurements which this tool made possible for the first time. The most recent step of this evolutionary progression is the development of the Modular Dynamics Formation Tester (MDT*) tool. As a replacement for the RFT tool, the MDT tool offers significant improvements in pressure measurement, thanks to its Combinable Quartz Gauge (CQG*) and improved sampling capabilities (figure 3.1). The collection of condensates and critical fluids at the sandface, one of the most difficult downhole sampling operations, can be carried out quickly and efficiently using the new tool with very small pressure drawdowns. Recently, the MDT tool was used to determine lateral hydraulic continuity in a Middle East sandstone reservoir. The tool was run in a horizontal well using the Tough Logging Conditions (TLC*) system. Deployed in its basic configuration, the MDT tool generated a pressure profile (figure 3.2) which indicated a low porosity interval between x280 ft and x350 ft, which acted as a flow barrier, and consequently a significant pressure differential had developed across this interval. One of the most important improvements offered by the new tool is the ability to control a multitude of tool functions from the surface. The MDT tools single probe module contains a 20 cc pre-test chamber. However, the size of this chamber can be adjusted from the MAXIS-500* (wellsite surface instrumentation) acquisition unit.

Electric power module

Electric power module

Hydraulic power module

Hydraulic power module

Probe module

Probe module

Dual probe module

Flow control module

Sample modules

Optical fluid analysis module

Multi-sample modules

Sample modules

Dualpacker module

Pump-out module

This feature allows the engineer to reduce chamber volume for faster tests in tight zones where flow rates are very low. Another type of surface pre-test is to set the maximum allowable pressure drop during the test. This prevents gas liberation around the probe in tight formations.

Fig. 3.1: A MODEL OF MODULARITY: The standard MDT with the single probe module and multiple sample chambers. The single probe module offers a variable pre-test chamber and a new CQG (Combinable Quartz Gauge) which provides fast and accurate pressure measurements. The optional modules provide permeability anisotropy, mini DST (drillstem test), sampling and fluid identification capabilities. The tool's modular design enables engineers to select the modules required for a particular operation.


Middle East Well Evaluation Review


HYP(psia) 2000










Fig. 3.2: SIDEWAYS GLANCE: An MDT tool-derived pressure profile and the density-neutron log recorded in a horizontal well in a Middle East sandstone. The MDT tool was run in this well to verify hydraulic continuity throughout the reservoir. The density-neutron plot shows a relatively low porosity interval from x280 ft to x350 ft. Unfortunately, it is not apparent from these logs whether or not the zone is a permeability barrier. However, the formation pressure measured with the MDT tool gives a clear indication of pressure discontinuity along the well trajectory.





Figure 3.3 shows two pre-tests which were carried out at the same depth. The first used a pre-test chamber size of 7 cc and achieved stabilized build-up pressures in five minutes. The other, which filled a 20 cc chamber, required 17 minutes to reach formation pressure. The option of variable pre-test chamber size means faster surveys and helps the engineer to avoid dry/incomplete tests in low-permeability zones.

(a) 1110 1108 Pressure (psi) 1106 1104 1102 1100

7 cc pre-test at x120 ft

Fluid contacts
The depths at which water is overlain by oil (the oil-water contact) and oil is overlain by gas (the gas-oil contact) are very important reservoir parameters. Once we have an accurate picture of the reservoirs internal boundaries we can estimate actual volume of oil and gas in place. This is clearly very important in the early stages of field development, when the emphasis is on identifying overall reservoir extent. The well completion methods selected to minimize gas-water coning will depend on the locations of the gas-oil and oilwater contacts.
100 200 300 400 500

Fig. 3.3: TIME SAVER: Stabilization times can be reduced by lowering the volume withdrawn during pre-tests. Pre-tests taken at the same depth show that while a buildup preceded by 7 cc drawdown (a) stabilizes in five minutes, it takes 17 minutes to reach formation pressure when withdrawing 20 cc during drawdown (b).

Time (sec)

(b) 1110

1108 Pressure (psi) 1106 1104 1102 1100 100 200 300 400 500

20 cc pre-test at x120 ft

Time (sec)

x550 45

Number 16, 1996.



Fig. 3.4: FLUID FINDER: Formation pressures can be used to define fluid type at any given depth within the reservoir and to locate fluid contacts.



Water 7200 Density-Neutron (a) x474.8 Pressures (Raw and smoothed) psia Pressures (Raw and smoothed) psia 30 60 90 Delta time sec 120 150 Pressure (psi) Resistivity (b) x474.8









90 Delta time sec



The excellent resolution and accuracy possible with quartz gauges makes them the obvious choice for determining these fluid contacts (figure 3.4). Conventional quartz gauges, however, require long stabilization periods when subjected to sudden pressure and temperature changes, such as those encountered during the pre-testing of oil and gas wells. Strain gauges have a better dynamic response (i.e. they give a stable reading much sooner) than the conventional quartz gauge. However, they are not accurate enough for most fluid gradient determinations. The CQG offers the dynamic behaviour of the strain gauge coupled with the accuracy of a quartz gauge (figure 3.5). The CQG owes its exceptional dynamic response to the fact that temperature and pressure measurements are made with a single quartz resonator. This breakthrough was achieved by forcing the resonator to oscillate simultaneously in two different modes (frequencies). One mode is dominantly pressure-sensitive, while the other is influenced mainly by temperature. This means that the adiabatic effect introduced by pressure variation is immediately sensed by the temperature mode and automatically

compensated, ensuring an excellent dynamic response. A few minutes can be saved during each test and, when many pre-tests are performed, the minutes add up to hours of rig time.

Sweet success in sour gas

Home Oil and partners recently drilled a carbonate test well in Alberta, Canada. The hydrocarbon target was a gas zone rich in natural gas liquids and highly toxic hydrogen sulphide (H2S). The reservoir was highly dolomitized and contained a lot of vugs. This vuggy character meant that conventional logging could not identify fluid gas contacts precisely, with discrepancies between logging runs of approximately 9 m. It is vital that the exact contact depths are known in order to estimate reserves a particularly important consideration in sour gas reservoirs. Reservoirs with a high H2S content require special scrubbing facilities which may be too expensive to install on a small field. An over-estimate of reserves could encourage development of an uneconomic field, while an under-estimate might result in a missed opportunity.

Fig. 3.5: GAUGE THE DIFFERENCE: In this example the module was equipped with a conventional quartz gauge and the CQG. This allowed a direct comparison between the two pressure datasets during each pre-test. The conventional gauge (a) had not reached formation pressure after 150 seconds, while the CQG (b) was fully stabilized after just 100 seconds.

In this case the operator decided that a wireline testing tool was required to help identify these key contacts. It was expected that the reservoir would provide very few opportunities for packer seats. Home Oil decided that any data which could be gathered should be of the highest quality. The MDT tool was run with two H2S sample chambers, the single probe module and the Optical Fluid Analyzer (OFA*). In this case the MDT tool recorded data which allowed engineers to determine the reservoir fluid contacts and captured representative fluid samples.


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Fluid density One wireline testing technique involves (a) from pressure the collection of numerous point pressure gradient (g/cc) Pressure (psi) measurements to establish a pressure graGas - oil - water dient which defines reservoir fluid type. 0.6 1.2 450 550 650 0 The restrictions imposed by limited precix425 Fig. 3.6: TANDEM PRESSURE sion in strain gauge measured pressures GAUGES: A large number of and uncertainty related to depth, have, in single probe pressure the past, confined this technique to thick measurements (left) allow the reservoirs. reservoir gradient to be GAS A high-precision quartz gauge introestablished statistically. These duced in 1980 allowed gradients to be gradients (or fluid density) measured in thinner beds, but depth indicate the fluid type present. When a quartz gauge and a strain placement uncertainty and long stabilizagauge are used together (below), tion times made this unattractive. x550 with a spacing of just 2.3 ft, the By running fast-response, high-precix575 vertical resolution improves sion quartz gauges, the MDT tool has oversignificantly. These examples are come the stabilization delay inherent in plotted with the same depth scale. previous quartz gauges. The tandem Two quartz gauges would have assembly (figure 3.6b) removes depth given even greater precision. uncertainty because the separation dis- OIL tance is fixed. Reservoir fluid density can be determined over 8 ft thick intervals or (b) Fluid density from even 2.3 ft intervals, when conditions are pressure gradient (g/cc) favourable. x700 A new technique, which compensates 1.2 0 0.6 X450 x700 for the uncertainty between the paired gauges by normalization to a downhole measurement of the mud pressure gradiOIL ent, allows the operator to double the number of pressure points obtained at WATER each station, offering a major time saving on traditional contact determination 2.3ft WATER methods. Gas Oil Water Using this method, reservoir fluid denx825 X575 sity can be quickly and accurately determined over short intervals (table 1). This provides a direct hydrocarbon determinaTable 1 - Fluid density determinations tion independent of water resistivity (Rw) invasion or lithological model. Table 1: Multiple Station (ft) Log Pressure derived fluid The emergence and refinement of new stations and the interpretation density (g/cc) interpretations based techniques indicate that log analysts are on readings from determined to explore the full potential of A x390 Oil 0.6 quartz gauge and the MDT tool. B x446 Oil 0.4 strain gauge spaced C x452 Oil 0.5 2.3 ft apart. D x457 Oil 0.4 E x465 Oil 0.6 Depth(ft)

Oil-water contact F x539 G x573 Water Water 0.9 1.0

Sour gas exploration/development calls for special evaluation techniques, and in a climate of growing environmental awareness, restrictions on acid gas flaring can severely limit production tests. The quality of the MDT tool results allowed the operator to cancel an expen-

sive production test. Home Oil considered the quality samples and fluid contact determination provided by wireline formation testing an effective and affordable alternative to production testing. The MDT tool can contribute to wellsite safety and help to protect the environment. These issues are particularly

important when production tests on sour gas are to be carried out in populated or environmentally sensitive areas.

Number 16, 1996.


Depth: X586.08 ft

4800 4200 Pressure, psig 3600

Mud Pressure before test = 4762.12 psig Mud Pressure after test = 4761.44 psig Last build-up pressure = 3893.20 psig Drawdown mobility = 8.9 md/cp 30 24 Resistivity, ohmm 18

3000 12 2400 1800 0 0 6 0 600 900 1200 1500 1800 2100 2400 Time (sec)
Gauge: BSG1

Pre-test chamber volume: 20.1cc

Res: 0.040psi

Fig. 3.7: PUMP, THROTTLE AND SAMPLE: After pumping 9 litres of mud filtrate in this well, the flowline resistivity cell (black line) shows an increase. The pumpout module was stopped and reservoir fluid directed into a sample chamber. During sampling, the throttle valve keeps sampling pressure around 3500 psia (red line). When opened at the PVT laboratory, the sample chamber was found to contain hydrocarbon gas and 500 cc water.

Clean sampling at a range of depths

One of the main objectives for wireline formation testers has always been, and will continue to be, reservoir fluid sampling. Conventional tools can collect up to two samples with each run into the borehole. Unfortunately, the quality of these samples is often impaired by the presence of mud filtrate associated with invasion during drilling. Conventional wireline testers cannot evaluate the purity of fluid entering the chamber during sampling. The chambers have to be returned to the surface before the operator can determine whether or not the samples are useful. The MDT tool has overcome these difficulties - up to 12 sample chamber modules can be connected to the tool. However, weight limitations (determined by well conditions and cable strength) generally restrict the number to six. The multi-sample module contains a set of six chambers, each with a 450 cc capacity, and so can provide additional fluid samples during a single trip. This flexibility allows the operator to sample at a variety of depths and produce a profile of the reservoirs fluid properties. The surface unit can use the resistivity cell on the probe module, or the Optical Fluid Analysis module, to identify fluids (mud filtrate, oil, water and gas) before taking samples. The resistivity cell often has difficulties in identifying fluids when a well has been drilled in oil-based muds and may, in some cases, be unable to differentiate oil from gas. The optical fluid analyzer has been designed to cope in these circumstances, identifying mud filtrate, oil, water and gas quickly and accurately. The final obstacle to the collection of clean samples is mud filtrate invasion into the formation. Fortunately, the MDT tool has a solution. Mud filtrate can be displaced by the pumpout module, a miniature downhole pump which pushes unwanted fluids into the borehole before sampling begins.

GR SW for RW = .018 0 100 0 (PU) 100.00 SW for RW = .047 1:500ft 0 (PU) 100.00

Water Oil (RW = .018) Oil (RW = .047) 0

SW for RW = .047 (PU) 100.00

Electronic power module Hydraulic power module Power module Sample module Sample module Pumpout module

Fig. 3.8: SWEEPING CLEAN? Two openhole log evaluations using the original formation water and sample water resistivity. In this Middle East example, the pumpout module was used to displace the mud filtrate and sample the water, which proved to be a mixture of formation and injection water. Log evaluation based on formation water resistivity suggests poor sweep efficiency. When the actual water resistivity (measured using the MDT tool) was substituted in the equation, a more accurate and encouraging result for sweep efficiency was obtained.

Bubbles and dew

Having eliminated contaminants such as mud filtrate from the sample our attention turns to the sample itself. To obtain the high-quality samples suitable for PVT we must avoid phase changes during sampling. Throttle valves prevent gas flashing or liquid dropout during sampling. These valves, under the control of the surface


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computer, automatically keep the sampling pressure above a specified value to ensure representative samples, limiting drawdown during sampling. A key factor in achieving a small drawdown is the formation mobility: the best control over sampling drawdown is achieved in high mobility formations. Another sampling application is the collection of pure formation water samples. The tools pumpout capability has provided, for the first time, the means to capture pure water samples in situ.

100 Sample 1 Sample 2 10 Component % Sample 3 Sample 4

Pumpout in action
A sample taken from a reservoir in the United Arab Emirates provides a clear example of the effectiveness of the pumpout module. Figure 3.7 shows the pressure at the flowing probe along with the flowline resistivity curve. After pre-testing the formation, the pumpout module is used to pump fluids from the formation into the wellbore. The low resistivity of the fluid indicates that mud filtrate is being pumped. After pumping approximately 8 litres, a spike develops in the flowline resistivity curve, indicating hydrocarbon flow. At this stage, the pumpout operation is halted and a sample chamber opened. During sampling, the resistivity curve confirms a hydrocarbon sample. This real-time fluid identification eliminates the uncertainty and time wasted by conventional sampling.

0.01 CO 2 C1 C2 C3 i-C4 n-C 4 i-C





Fig. 3.9: FOUR OF A KIND: The results of PVT compositional analysis on four samples from the same reservoir indicate a strong degree of similarity between the samples.

Light-emitting diode

Gas detector Lamp

Sweeping statements
Formation water resistivity is a vital input for open-hole log analysis. Waterflood sweep efficiency in a Middle East reservoir was calculated using water resistivity data based on MDT tool samples. Initial estimates of sweep efficiency using open-hole logs were hampered by the mixed salinity of water in the formation. A very pessimistic view of sweep effectiveness was obtained using the initial connate water resistivity value of 0.018 /m. The MDT tool was set at x 168 ft and, after pre-test, the pumpout module produced 27 litres of fluid from the formation. Once the pumpout operation had been completed, a one-gallon (approximately 3.8 litres) sample chamber was opened to collect the formation water sample. The pumpout then pumped an additional 5.3 litres into the wellbore before a 450 cc water sample was collected in one of the multi-sample modules bottles. Analysis of the water samples collected in this way indicated a water resistivity of 0.047 /m. Open-hole log analysis using this new value offered a much more accurate (and optimistic) view of the waterflood (figure 3.8).
Fluid flow

Water Oil


Liquid detector

Fig. 3.10: The Optical Fluid Analyzer has a two-sensor system which allows it to detect and analyze liquids and to detect gas. This allows highquality oil and gas samples to be diverted into the sample chambers after mud and mud filtrate have been pumped through the system.

The multi-sample module has six 450 cc chambers. These chambers can be transported without fluid transfer at the wellsite. Drawdown during sampling can be controlled by throttling valves and water cushions. If every MDT tool sample consists of representative reservoir fluids, duplicate samples from a particular depth should show identical compositions. Four samples, recovered from a reservoir fluid in near critical conditions, are shown in figure 3.9. These samples were obtained with a maximum drawdown of just 8 psi, thanks to water cushions, the throttling valve and high formation mobility. The sample chambers are designed to allow transport of the samples to a PVT laboratory, without transferring the sample to a

shipping bottle. The compositional analysis of the four samples, as well as other fluid parameters (such as flash gas/liquid ratios, bubble point and tank liquid densities) show excellent agreement confirming the validity of the samples. In the past, a large proportion of tests attempted to sample unsuitable zones. The new MDT tool offers us the chance to examine the fluid before we collect it. This sample preview capability means that the correct fluids will be brought to the surface for analysis (figure 3.10).

Number 16, 1996.


Perfect permeability
Pressure at the vertical probe, psia Flow rate, cc/sec

Pressure at the horizontal probe, psia


Flow into sink probe


Fig. 3.11a: STEP ONE: A multiprobe test carried out by the MDT tool acquires pressure data at horizontal and vertical probes. Flow rate data is either measured directly by the flow control module or calculated from the pumpout or sampling process.

Core permeability measurements have long been focused on calculating horizontal values, with vertical permeability values often missing or hard to obtain. Good samples for permeability evaluation are often made on good core sections. The worst core sections - the parts which represent barriers to vertical fluid movement - have been under-sampled or ignored. Vertical permeability can be determined by a single well transient test, provided that both spherical and radial flow regimes are observed, or by using a packer to isolate the zones in question and conducting a vertical interference test. Pre-testing with the MDT tools 20 cc chamber gives a value for drawdown mobility for each test. These values reflect a combination of horizontal and vertical mobilities, often referred to as the spherical mobility. The separate vertical and horizontal components cannot be distinguished from pre-tests and the small amount of

Pressure derivative

Fig. 3.11b: STEP TWO: The pressure changes, plotted against time at both probes, are used to construct a flow regime identification plot. This involves pressure-pressure deconvolution and produces a derivative plot similar to that obtained from a well test. Spherical flow is the most common regime, with a slope of -0.5 on the derivative curve.

Spherical flow slope = -0.5

Time (sec)

Horiz. mobility = 5.46 md/cp Vert. mobility = 2.58 md/cp Phi*Ct = 1.42E-06 (1/psi) Spherical Analysis Deconvolved vert. pressure Deconvolved horiz. pressure Pressure at vertical probe Pressure at horizontal probe Flow rate




1.25 1.0 0.75 1/ time (sec)



Fig. 3.11c: STEP THREE: For spherical flow, a spherical time function plot is generated. This is achieved by using pressure-rate deconvolution to obtain first estimates for horizontal and vertical mobilities and the porositycompressibility product. For an infinite medium, the maximum pressure change at the vertical probe is inversely proportional to the horizontal mobility. The arrival time of the pressure disturbance is a 0.0 function of vertical diffusivity.


Delta - pressure (psi)

fluid withdrawn from the formation means that the drawdown mobility estimate applies to a relatively small area around the probe. The danger of sampling small areas is that they may be affected by formation damage close to the probe, gas breakout in tight formations, fines migration and probe plugging.

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Delta-pressure (psi)

45 30 15 0 -15 0 40 80

9 6 3 0 -3 280

Four steps to finding formation properties

Using the dual probe module, the single probe module and the flow control module, repeated vertical interference tests can be performed along the wellbore. The flow control module takes 1 litre of formation fluid into a chamber, displacing a piston in the process. During the test, flow rates are monitored (figure 3.11a). Acquired flow rate and pressure data from the observation probes can be analyzed to yield formation properties. The pressure change at the probes is used to construct a flow regime identification plot (figure 3.11b). For spherical flow, a spherical time function plot is generated by using pressurerate deconvolution to estimate the horizontal and vertical mobilities (figure 3.11c). The best match between observed and calculated pressures is obtained by using a model coupled to a parameter estimator (figure 3.11d). The multiprobe configuration has been used offshore in the Middle East to quantify vertical communication through calcite and dolomite zones. The openhole logs and test locations are shown in figure 3.12. Four tests were conducted in this well using one singleand one dual-probe module. The flow rate sources were both pumpout and flow control modules. Tests 1 and 3 showed no response at the vertical observation probe which was 2.3 ft above the active (or sink) probe. This indicates that a geological feature is acting as a barrier for the duration of the test.

Horiz. mobility = 5.34md/cp Vert. mobility = 2.78md/cp Phi* Ct = 1.96 E-06 l/psi

120 160 Delta-time (sec)



Flow rate (cc/sec)

Test 4

A larger withdrawal and the use of more than one probe eliminates most of these near-probe effects, allowing us to evaluate important formation properties on a larger scale. These include horizontal and vertical mobility (which is permeability divided by viscosity), and the porosity-compressibility product.

75 60

Verifications Reconstructed horizontal Pressure at horizontal probe Reconstructed vertical Pressure at vertical probe Flow rate

15 12

Fig. 3.11d: STEP FOUR: In an effort to get the best match between observed and calculated pressures the initial estimates are used in a model coupled to a parameter estimator. The final match is shown using pressures at the horizontal and vertical probes.

Multiprobe test 1, two attempts Flow control and pump out

Fig. 3.12: This example shows the results of some multiprobe tests. In this carbonate reservoir, the objective was to quantify vertical communication across dolomitic and calcite-rich zones. Test locations are marked on the openhole logs.

Multiprobe test 2 Flow control & pump out

Test 2 kh/ = 47.1md/cp kv/ = 18.8 md/cp -6 -1 c t = 1.97 x 10 /psi

Multiprobe test 3, two attempts Pump out



6.0 0.0

Multiprobe test 4 kh/ = 33.0 md/cp Flow control kv/ = 11.0 md/cp Tension ct = 5.00 x 10-7 /psi-1 (TENS) Bit size (BS) Neutron porosity (NPHI) (LBF) (IN) (V/V) 16.0 0.0 0.45 -0.15 2000.0 Caliper (CALI) PhotoElectric Factor (PEF) Bulk Density Correction (DRHO) (G/C3) (.....) (IN) 16.0 6.0 16.0 6.0 16.0 Gamma ray (GR) (GAPI) 100.0 MUD CAKE From CALI to BS 0.0 Bulk Density (RHOB) (G/C3) RHOB-NPHI from RHOB to NPHI 100.0

Number 16, 1996.


7.5 6.0 Delta-pressure (psi) 4.5 3.0

Verifications Reconstructed horizontal Pressure at horizontal probe Reconstructed vertical Pressure at vertical probe Flow rate

6.0 5.0 Flow rate (cc/sec) 4.0 3.0 2.0

Fig. 3.13: FLOW CONTROL TEST: Rates from the flow control module, observed and simulated pressure responses at both probes during test 4 (see figure 3.12).

1.5 0.0 -1.5 0 40 80 120 160 200 Delta-time (sec) 240 280 Horiz. mobility = 33md/cp Vert. mobility = 2.78md/cp Phi Ct = 5E-07 l/psi * 1.0 0 -1.0 320

Tests 2 and 4 produced responses at both monitor probes. Test 2 used the pumpout module as the flow rate source. Test 4 was conducted through the sink probe, using the flow control module. Figure 3.13 shows the flow control rates and observed and simulated pressure responses at the monitor probes. The results from these tests show that the vertical permeability is about one third of the horizontal permeability. This information will help reservoir engineers to set up their reservoir simulation model. Sometimes, operating companies need to know the extent of vertical communication across suspected barriers. Thick barriers can be accommodated by increasing the spacing of the multiprobe from 2.3 ft to 10.3 ft with the addition of a fourth probe. In this configuration the spacing between

Vertical probe 2

Vertical probe 1

Fig. 3.15: The four probe MDT configuration was used at four locations in this well. The objective was to quantify vertical communication across stylolitic zones. Stylolites are thin, irregular rock boundaries which develop in some limestones (and evaporites). They are caused by pressure dissolution and redeposition of existing sedimentary material.

Multiprobe Test -1 Across D2

Multiprobe Test - 2 Across D2-A

Multiprobe Test - 3 Multiprobe Test - 4 Across D3

Horizontal probe

Sink probe

Matrix % Fluid % Moblility Formation Pressure V2 (MD/CP) V2 probe (psia) 50 0 (PU) 0 100 (PU) 0.0 20.0 2800.0 3000.0 Porosity and Fluid Formation Analysis Formation Pressure Analysis by Volume Moblility, by Volume V1 probe (psia) V1 (MD/CP) Clay Unmoved 0.0 20.0 2800.0 3000.0 Moblility, Formation Pressure Sink probe Sink probe (psia) 0.0 20.0 2800.0 3000.0 Formation Pressure Hor. probe (psia) 3000.0 Moved Water Dolomite Limestone Porosity Anhydrite

Moblility, Hor. probe 2800.0 (MD/CP) 0.0 20.0

Fig. 3.14: FOUR PROBE FASHION: This configuration, popular in some parts of the Middle East, is intended to quantify vertical communication across thick zones which are believed to be flow barriers.


Middle East Well Evaluation Review


x125 x190.0

Fig. 3.16: These FMI images from tests 3 and 4 (see figure 3.15) show the type of heterogeneity which cannot be fully identified using openhole logs. These images, taken after the MDT survey, show the exact position of each probe during the survey.









two vertical probes is 8 ft. This arrangement (figure 3.14) has not been widely used in the Middle East. In this recent test, the configuration was used onshore, with all three flow rate sources (flow control, pumpout and sample chamber modules). The objective was to identify the barrier properties of stylolite horizons in a carbonate sequence. The four tests carried out on these horizons are presented in figure 3.15. The Fullbore Formation MicroImager (FMI*) images for the zones where test 3 and test 4 were carried out are shown in figure 3.16. The probe locations are clearly indicated on these images.

In test 3, a 3.5 litre volume was pumped - causing a pressure drop at the first vertical probe. The test continued with activation of the pumpout module from the first vertical probe. However, the probe was situated in a tight zone and the tool was reset for test 4. The tool was moved 0.6 ft down the well before the start of test 4. The first vertical probe was activated, pumping 10.5 litres of formation fluids. A pressure drop of 0.7 psi was observed at the second vertical probe.

Number 16, 1996.


Delta - pressure (psi)

Figures 3.17 and 3.18 show the recorded and modelled responses at vertical and sink probes. Results from all of the transients are summarized in Table 2. Note the response seen at the vertical probe, in test 1, which was 10.3 ft above the sink probe.

0.700 0.630 0.560 phi*Ct = 3.0E-07 1/psi 0.490 0.420 0.350 0.280 0.210 0.140 0.070 0.000 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Delta - time (sec) Fig. 3.17: THE VERTICAL MATCH: The response at the vertical probe, 8 ft above the active probe, was matched using a homogeneous model. The reservoir parameters are presented in Table 2. response at vertical 2 reconstructed vertical 2 1200 1400 1600 1800 horiz. mobility = 21.9 md/cp vert. mobility = 0.153 md/cp

Mini drillstem tests

Defining pressure points for fractured, vuggy, very tight or highly-laminated formations has often presented problems for wireline formation testers. The dual packer module available with the MDT tool provides a much bigger flow area - isolating 3 ft of formation between two inflatable packers. The area open to flow is then three orders of magnitude larger than a conventional probe. This allows larger flow rates and less drawdown than can be achieved with the probe. Tests conducted with the dual packer module can be thought of as mini drillstem tests on wireline. The radius of investigation may reach tens of feet in a test completed within a few minutes. The Dual Packer Module helps to overcome the testing problems encountered in highly fractured reservoirs. FMI tool and Ultrasonic Borehole Imager* (UBI) tool images (figure 3.19) were used to identify a suitable test zone which contains a fracture. A log-log plot of pressure and pressure derivative and a generalized superposition plot (figure 3.20) show measured data and the simulated pressure response produced by the Schlumberger ZODIAC* (Zoned Dynamic Interpretation Analysis and Computation) well testing package. The correlation between measured and theoretical data is excellent.

54 48 42 Delta - pressure (psi) 36 30 24 18 12 6 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Delta - time (sec) Fig. 3.18: SINK MATCH: During the pumpout test from the first vertical probe, the sink probe, 2.3 ft below, acts as an observation probe. The figure shows the pressure match at the sink probe. The reservoir properties are presented in Table 2. pressure at sink probe reconstructed sink 1200 1400 1600 1800 horiz. mobility = 1.4 md/cp vert. mobility = 1.5 md/cp phi*Ct = 1.06E-06 1/psi

Table 2: Summary of reservoir properties

Test 1 2 2 3 4 4 (2.3 ft) (2.3 ft) (10.3 ft) (2.3 ft) (2.3 ft) (8 ft) kh/, md/cp 11.1 5.20 12.0 1.60 1.40 21.9 kv/, md/cp 5.20 0.70 0.30 1.90 1.50 0.15 ct, 1/psi 1.41E-06 1.30E-06 2.00E-07 1.03E-06 1.06E-06 3.00E-07


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Log-log plot 10 p and derivative (psi)


Pressure Change


Pressure derivative


Radial Flow Regime


Fig. 3.20: This figure shows the log-log plot of pressure and pressure derivative and a generalized superposition plot for both measured and simulated pressure response. Note the excellent match which has been obtained using conventional pressure transient techniques.











t (hr) Superposition Plot 400

300 p(psi)


100 0 10








t (h ) Fig. 3.19: Using the UBI (left) and FMI (right) tools, suitable test zones can be selected and tested (essentially a mini drillstem test) using inflatable packers.

Wellbore storage using the MDT tool is five orders of magnitude smaller than a conventional DST. This allows full characterization of the tested interval after only 6 minutes of shut-in. These mini DSTs are more efficient than conventional DST tests and offer additional advantages in relation to environmental and safety issues. Formation testing has come a long way in the last 40 years. Sophisticated pressure measurement and fluid retrieval have become commonplace, but, as always, the quest continues for more information, gathered faster and with greater accuracy.

The next step in the evolutionary process of formation testing will be determined by the operators. The RFT tool, after all, was designed primarily for fluid sampling, but its pressure measurement capabilities were generally considered more important. As the MDT tool replaces older systems, log analysts will find ways to exploit the new technology and will ultimately control the way in which this powerful new system is developed.

Number 16, 1996.