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8th European Conference on Gas Well Deliquification

14-16 October 2013,


Hampshire Hotel, Groningen, The Netherlands

Use of Acoustic Surveillance in


Gas Well Deliquification
Course instructor: Lynn Rowlan
lynn@echometer.com

Liquid Loading of Gas Wells


Use a fluid level instrument to quickly conduct a
simple test on a well
Immediately identify underperforming gas wells
due to liquid loading problems.
Measure distance to the liquid level in the casing
annulus is most common use of an acoustic
liquid level instruments.
Less common technique is shooting the fluid
level down the tubing.
Fluid levels inexpensively determine severity of
liquid loading for gas wells
Traditional wire-line methods can be intrusive
and costly.

Acoustic Fluid Levels


Traditionally Fluid Level shot
down the Casing Annulus
Most Often In Oil Wells
Tubing collars are automatically
counted to determine depth
Operators shoot the well to
determine

Wells Producing Rate Efficiency


Maximum Production Potential

Gas Gun Physical set-up on Well

What is an Acoustic Fluid Level

Generate Blast at
Surface to Creates
Traveling Wave
Acoustic Wave Travels
in the Well at Speed of
Sound
Echoes RTTT from well
bore change diameter
recorded
Reduction seen as a downkick
Increase is seen as an upkick
Fluid level gives large kick
and lets almost no energy
through

perf

Collars
Level

perf

perf
LL

Acoustic Trace with Depth Determination

Collars count depth (C) is noted on


the acoustic signal.

The Liquid Level Depth (LL) of 7622.4 feet is determined by counting as


many collars as possible and using the average acoustic velocity of the
collars counted to determine the distance to the liquid level.

Analysis Method: Count Collars

Automatic Collar Count analysis method will determine the depth to the
liquid level for 95% of the wells

Use Downhole
Marker method

Window shown here pops up


Liquid level mark from previous
window is shown
Move other cursor to approximate area
of feature that will be used for
correlation
Select show one second interval of
shot trace
Move marker to knee of kick
Select enter depth to downhole
marker
Enter in distance and provide
comment for reference
Important things:

Must take depth reference into account


Must take into account distance
between microphone and depth
reference used

Hit calculate and then done

Acoustic Velocity Shot Processing


Acoustic Velocity method

Acoustic Velocity options:


Manually entered
Calculated based on SG of gas
Calculated based on
compositional analysis
(Manual gas velocity can be used for
approximations or in case where
velocity already determined by
downhole marker correlation in other
shot)
Acoustic velocity depends on:

Gas gravity / composition


Temperature along completion
Pressure
Automatically calculated from
measurements taken during the shots

Shot Processing
Acoustic Velocity method
Enter Gas SG

Enter Gas
Composition
from Analysis
Enter
Acoustic
Velocity if
Multiple shots
are compared
Make sure
BHT has been
input

Acoustic Surveys Answer the Following


Well Performance Questions:
1. What is the depth to the top of the liquid?
2. Does liquid exist above the end of tubing?
3. What is the percentage of liquid in the gassy fluid
column?
4. Does the liquid in the wellbore restrict production?
5. What is the surface pressure? Does it restrict
production?
6. Is gas flowing up the wellbore? At what rate?
7. What is the maximum production rate available from
the well?

Display of Reflections of Pressure Wave


Initial Acoustic Pulse caused by explosion of compressed gas into the
tubing or casing annulus, explosion into annulus forms compression
traveling wave.
Sec

10

12
-LL

Explosion
( ft ) 0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

16

18

Reflected Pulse
caused by
INCREASE in the
annular crosssectional area IS
displayed as an
upward kick on the
acoustic trace.

31. 6 m V

C-

14

8000

Acoustic Trace Acquired


down the Tubing Showing
Upkick from Hole in Tubing

Reflected Pulse
caused by
DECREASE in the
annular crosssectional area IS
displayed as an
downward kick on
the acoustic trace.

Use Acoustic Surveys to


Alert You to What is Downhole
@ 4750
Tight Spot
in Tubing

@ 5050
1/8 Hole
in Tubing

End of
Tubing

Tight Spot

1/8 Hole
Liquid
Level

Fluid Level
on Gas Well

Gas Velocity Impacts Result of


Acoustic Liquid Level Shot:
1. Below Critical Velocity:
Usually see liquid level
above bottom of Tubing
2. Above Critical Velocity:
May not see a liquid level
because liquid droplets
may fill tubing and absorb
all energy from shot
May see bottom of tubing
and/or perforations due to
small amount of liquid

Liquid Loaded if Below Critical Rate

Critical_Velocity_calc.xls

Flowing BHP Calculation


Qg > Qc

Qg < Qc (1)

LL

1) Echometer FBHP OK for Dry Gas or when Qg < Qc

Casing

Casing Fluid Level


Should be at EOT
ZOOM
IN
Gas Flow Up
Tubing
and
Casing
Valve is Closed:
Acoustic

1.

Velocity
1273.8 ft/s
Fluid
Level
SG = 0.72

Should
Marker:
be at End of Tubing
Top Perf
10364 Ft.
16.281 Sec.

2. Wellbore Description
Important
EOT

3.Liquid
Distance
Determined
Level
Identify
Marker
10536
Ft.
16.548
Sec. Collars
Count
Gas Composition
17

Pressure at EOT should be Equal


Tubing Shot

Casing Shot
511.8 psig

82.5 psig

104.9 psig

Psig 658
18

What If Casing Liquid Level


Not at End of Tubing
Acoustic Trace may not be Correctly Analyzed
Too Many Perfs OR Not Enough Energy in Shot

Gas May be Flowing up Casing Annulus


1. Cross Flow into Another Perforated Interval
2. Surface Casing Valve Leaking
3. Flowing into Hole and up Tubing

When Gas Well Flowing Up Tubing; High Fluid


Level in Casing Usually is a Hole in the Tubing
Shut-in Flow Depress Liquid Level Until
Acoustic Traces Show Up Kick on Casing and
Tubing Shots at Same Depth (From Hole)
19

Holes in Tubing in Flowing Gas Wells


are an Unexpected Common Problem
Tubing Hole often misdiagnosed or over-looked.
Production Rate Drop looks like Liquid Loading
due to Flow Falling Below Critical Rate
Reduced gas rate is frequently misdiagnosed
Problems occur gradually as hole size increases

Lift methods being applied to unload the gas well


often fail due to a hole in the tubing.
Case studies show significant increases in gas
production after repair of Hole.

Gas Well Production Curve - Flow Rate


Small hole
Began to
Cause
Problem

Drop in Production due


to Liquid Loading?
Shot Fluid Levels to
Open Sliding Sleeve and
Commingle Two Zones
Found Hole in Tubing
With Fluid Level Shot

Dramatic Drop in Rate


820 Mscfd

250 Mscfd
Turner Critical
320 MscfD

Replaced
Tubing and
Gas Flow
Returned to
2006 Rate

Use an Acoustic Fluid Level Instrument


To Identify The Depth To The Hole
1)

You must Shoot down both tubing and tubing/casing annulus

2) Shoot tubing/casing annulus while well is flowing up tubing (the


Fluid Level should be near tubing intake or below perforations (If no
Hole))
3) If you see a upkick that is not the perfs OR if you see a high fluid
level in the tubing/casing annulus, then shut-in the well, continue to
shoot casing annulus looking for down kick due to liquid leaking
from hole in tubing back into annulus.
4) Increasing Pressure pushes liquid down, and after shooting fluid
levels for a while the high casing fluid level should be pushed
deeper into the well and the hole should be uncovered.
5) After 1-2 hours of shooting tubing and casing annulus an upkick
from hole should be seen at the same depth on both shot down
tubing and shots down casing.

6) OR shut-in well over night, then come back in morning to shoot well
when pressure is high and fairly easily see upkick from the holes.

Cant be a Hole ~ Tubing is New


Hole @ Depth 4325 Ft from Surface

Inside Pipe

Outside Pipe

Sec

10
-LL

C-

12

14

Hole Not Visible

16

18

20

22

100.0 mV

Time 12:12:27 Csg 125.9 Psi


Shot Casing/ Flowing Up Tubing

Explosion
( ft ) 0
Sec

1000

2000

3000
4

4000

5000

6000
8

7000
10

12

C-

14

16

18

20

22

-LL

100.0 mV

Time 12:24:15 Csg 135.5 Psi


Shot Casing/ Tubing Flow Shut-in
Explosion
( ft ) 0

Sec

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

10

12

C-

14

16

18

20

22

-LL

31.6 mV

Time 12:29:14 Csg 138.8 Psi


Shot Casing/ Tubing Flow Shut-in
Explosion
( ft ) 0

Sec

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

10

12

C -

14

16

18

20

22

-LL

100.0 mV

Time 12:35:58 Tbg 143.1 Psi


Shot Tubing/ Flow Shut-in
Explosion
( ft ) 0

Sec

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

10

12

C-

14

16

18

20

22

-LL

100.0 mV

Time 13:09:38 Tbg 150.8 Psi


Shot Tubing/ Flow Shut-in
Explosion
( ft ) 0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

516 Hole @4325 Ft


8000

Shots Down Tubing & Casing

Hole in Tubing
@ 6868

Tubing Shot

Casing Shot

Acoustic fluid level data Used to Show


Gradients of Gaseous Liquid Columns
1. Acoustic fluid level surveys are used to see Deep into
the Well
2. You can see features or identify behavior in wells that
explain what's happening down hole
3. Shoot Fluid Levels on Well until you understand ~ only
1 shot is usually not enough.
4. Generally In a Liquid Loaded Well When Flow Is Shutin:
Liquid Holdup Decreases as Gas Rate Drops
Liquids Falls Back
Gradient of the Gaseous Liquid Column Increases

5. Treating Well with Surfactant can Impact the Gradient


of the Gaseous Liquid Column

If Gas Well Flow Rate Less that 526 MscfD,


then Liquid Loading is Predicted

Gas Velocity
Removes Liquid
Qg > Qc

Qg < Qc

Liquid Loading
Predicted

Echometer
S-Curve
Determines
Gradient
Below
Gas/Liquid
Interface in the
Gaseous
Liquid Loaded
Fluid Column
Qg < Qc
VSL = 0

Mist {Qg > Qc}


0.09 psi/ft

Actual Field
Measured
Data Points

VSL = 0
Loaded
Qg < Qc
0.433 psi/ft

Qg = 0
28

Example of Liquid Loaded Gas Well


10000 Ft ~2.375 Tubing ~ 1000 FBHP

9
18
36

72
145

526

Gas Rate= 72 MscfD


Gas/Liquid Interface
= 4701 Ft
145

L = (10000-1418) =
8582

72

dP/dT = (4.0/1) = 4.0


36

Lx dP/dT = 34320

18

% Liquid = 20

Gas Rate= 9 MscfD

Gas/Liquid Interface
= 4701 Ft
L = (10000-1446) =
8554
dP/dT = (0.5/1) = 0.5
0

L x dP/dT = 4277
% Liquid = 31

Liquid Loaded 10000 Ft Gas Well

526
145
72
36
18

Mist {Qg > Qc} (High Gas Velocity)


Imagine a fine mist cloud in Tubing
1) Liquid being produced with the gas
or condensing due to temperature
and pressure changes is uniformly
distributed in the wellbore.
2) Gas velocity is sufficient to
continuously carry liquid as a fine
mist or small droplets to the surface
(Above Critical).
3) Gas velocity is sufficient to
establish a relatively low and fairly
uniform flowing pressure gradient.

Well #1
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Sec

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Sec

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Sec

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Shots Down Tubing


Mist {Qg > Qc}

(High Gas Velocity)

316.2 mV

316.2 mV

Sec

316.2 mV

Fluid Level Measurements After


Shut-in

316.2 mV

Shots taken at approximate 5


minute intervals
Sec

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

100.0 mV

Should see Mist Gradient below


Fluid Level
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

100.0 mV

Sec

Fluid level below tubing

Use of Gas/Liquid Interface Depression Test


1) Dry Gas Gradient Above Liquid Level = 0.018 psi/ft
2) Mist Gradient Below Liquid Level = 0.026 psi/ft (6% Liquid)
3) Producing BHP is Extrapolated to = 804 psi
Well #1

Mist {Qg > Qc} (High Gas Velocity)

Gas Well Type 1 (High Gas Velocity)


Gas flow rate is above critical rate

Light uniform mist gradient

Mist from liquid level down to bottom of tubing

Conclusions:
1) Acoustic fluid level surveys
determine:

Tubing fluid gradient


Flowing bottom hole pressure

2) Light Gas Gradient to Liquid Level


3) Use at least two fluid levels to
calculate the gradient below the
fluid level.
4) Use gradient to extrapolate to the
flowing BHP

Gas Well Type 2 (Medium Gas Velocity)


1) Gas velocity is not HIGH enough to lift
liquids to the surface (Below critical)
2) Liquid accumulates in bottom of well.
3) Flowing pressure gradient shows:
Light gradient above gas/liquid
interface (close to gradient of
flowing gas)
Heavier gradient below Liquid Level.
4) Below Liquid Level (zero net liquid
flow) with gas bubbles or slugs
percolating through the liquid
5) May unload liquid from the bottom of
the well.
6) As the gas rate decreases, the
concentration of liquid at the bottom of
the well increases.

655 Feet on Liquid in well @ 12:54 PM Agrees with


Corrected Gas Free 703 Height determined @ 9:17 AM
Initial Shot

BMT C-35

Shot @ 9:17 AM

Well Flowing

Liquid Level @ 3700


703 of Gas Free Height

20th Shot
Well Shut-in

Shot #20 @ 12:54 PM

Casing Psi
Not Building
Liquid Level @ 6525
625 of Liquid in Well

Sec 0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

100.0 mV

LL=2392
Sec 0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Well #2

21

Liquid Loaded Gas Well


Acoustic Records During Shut-in
19

20

21

LL=2926
100.0 mV

Shut-in 5 minutes
Sec 0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

100.0 mV

LL=3632
Shut-in 10 minutes
Sec 0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

LL=4233
100.0 mV

Shut-in 15 minutes
Sec 0

10

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

100.0 mV

LL=4967
Shut-in 20 minutes
Sec 0

100.0 mV

11

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

LL=6148
Shut-in 30 minutes

Gas/liquid interface dropped from 2392 to 6523 feet (4131 ft in 24.5 min.)

After Shut-in Surface & BH Pressures Build


as Gaseous Liquid Column Collapses
Well #2

BMT 35 Pressure-Depth Traverses After Shut-in

Pressure
0

50

Pressure, psi
100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Gas
Gas

1000

2000

Depth, ft

3000

4000

5000

Collapse

Flatting Lines Show


Gaseous ColumnGradient
Increasing
of Gaseous Liquid
Column

Shut-in 1
Shut-in 2
Shut-in 3
Shut-in 4
Shut-in 5
Shut-in 6
Shut-in 7
Shut-in 8
Shut-in 9
Shut-in 14

6000

7000

Pressure at 7150
ft
Pressure
at 7150
Ft
8000

Pressure

39

Well #3

Shoot Tubing and Casing

40

Shoot Casing : Liquid Level @ Tubing Intake


Tubing Intake Pressure = 179.4 Psig
Well #3

Shoot Tubing: Intake Pressures must be Equal!


Total Gaseous Liquid Column HT (TVD) 4047 Ft

Casing Side Tubing


Intake Pres = 179.4 Psig
Shot Down Tubing:
Gas/Liquid Interface Pres
= 95.6 Psig
Tubing Intake Pres =
548.7 Psig

Well #3

TWM 24% Liquid w/


Gradient 0.112 psi/ft
When Surfactants Used
Gradients 1/3 of TWM
Actual Gradient: (179.495.6)/4047 = 0.021 psi/ft

Flowing Gradient through the Gaseous


Liquid Controlled by Gas Velocity

2 3/8 In. Tubing

Increased Gas
Velocity/Rate

43

Liquid Loaded Gas Well (VSL = 0 & Qg < Qc)


Wells Flowing Below Critical Rate:

Light Gas on Top

Uniform Stabilized Gaseous Liquid Gradient Exist


Below Liquid Level

Liquid Accumulates in Bottom of Well.

Conclusions:
1) Initial Acoustic Fluid Levels Most
Accurate in Determining Flowing BHP
2) Echometer Annular S-curve:
Developed Using Field Measurements
Use Down Tubing When Stabilized
Liquid Loaded Conditions Exist
Does Not Calculate the Correct
Gaseous Column Gradient After the
Valve Is Closed for an Extended Period
of Time.

Static/Shut-in Gas Well (NO Gas Flow, V=0)


V=0

1) No gas/liquid flow into the wellbore.


2) Bottom hole pressure has
increased until all flow from the
Formation Stops
3) Includes wells that have been shutin for an extended time.
4) Usually in shut-in gas wells the gas
pressure causes liquid to back flow
into the formation.
5) In shut-in gas wells the Liquid Level
is often at the perforations.

Static Fluid Level on Gas Well


Measured Surface
Pressure 2249.5 Psig
365.8 Psig Gas Column
Pressure
High Pressure Gas Pushed
all but 87.8 ft of Liquid
Back into Formation
Easy to Observe Up-kick
caused by the top perfs at
6032 feet

Collar Recesses Counted


to Perforations

Shut-in
Gas Well

Stratified Gas Flow Regime Exist


in Horizontal Gas Wells
1. Fluid level shot down the tubing/casing annulus shows a
liquid level at a MD of 9283.
2. Being able to see past the end of the tubing is unusual in a
vertical plunger lift well, because the liquid level is normally
at the end of the tubing.
3. In horizontal wells stratified flow exists; it is not uncommon
to see features in the well bore in the horizontal section past
the end of the tubing.

4. Horizontal section appears to be relatively dry (no liquid


level); but significant amount of liquid enters the tubing.
5. Differential tubing and casing pressure do not indicate much
liquid loading, but liquid exist in horizontal and causes more
liquid loading than expected (based on tubing & casing psi).

Horizontal Plunger Lifted Well

Tubing Depth:
7588.90 ft

Toe
9610 ft

GLV 1 @ 1712'
GLV 2 @ 3014'
GLV 3 @ 4092'
GLV 4 @ 4797'
GLV 5 @ 5256'
GLV 6 @ 5716'
GLV 7 @ 6176'
GLV 8 @ 6570'
GLV 9 @ 7031
Gas Lift Valves
Used To Confirm
Up Kick Selected
is the Top Of
Perfs
48

Can Shoot to Toe Due to Stratified


Gas Flow in Horizontal
Perf DM-

Perf

EOT

-EOT

4 5 6 7 8 9

1. Gas gun was charged to 800 psi to


create this shot. (CP=226 Psig)
2. Red line and valve number identify the
gas lift valves echoes on the acoustic
trace.
3. Top perf up kick echo was used to
determine the depths in the well.

Packer Integrity Testing w/ Acoustic Instrument


1.
2.
3.

4.

Identify Wells w/ Increased Annulus Pressure


DO NOT BLEED OFF PRESSURE
Acquire 2 shots on both Tubing and Annulus
thru Fully Opening Valve
Shoot Fluid Levels on Tubing
a) Calculate Pressure at Packer

5.

Connect Acoustic Instrument to Annulus and


Shoot Fluid Level
a) Determine distance to Liquid Level
b) Calculate Pressure at Packer

6.

Bleed off Annulus Pressure and Shoot Fluid


Level to Determine Gas Leakage Rate

Very High Fluid Level in Annulus Difficult


Fluid Level = 0.021 Sec YES

Ringing on Acoustic 0-8 Sec.


1

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

17

18

19

10.0 mV

Sec 0

Fluid Level = 2.799 Sec? NO


LL
1. Kick @ 2.799 sec looks like LL
2. 4300 ft/sec AV Packer Fluid
3. 1391 ft/sec AV annulus gas

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

10.0 mV

Sec 0

Echo off Packer in Liquid

Pressure Approximately Equal at Packer


Annulus

Tubing

1. Pressures down the


tubing at the packer
is 2832 psi while
pressures down the
annulus at the
packer is 2802 psi
2. These two
pressures being
equal is a good
indication that the
leak in this well is at
the packer
3. If hole exist in the
Tubing, then liquid
level should be at
hole and the
pressures should
be equal at hole.

Annulus Re-charging through Leak

Casing Annulus pressure buildup rate of 3.2 psi in 15


minutes is due to a average of 15 Mscf/D of gas flowing
though the pressure leak over the 15 minute time interval.

Additional Testing

Liquid Level Near Surface

0.27 Sec ~ 165 Ft.

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

100.0 mV

Sec 0

0.105 Sec ~ 63.5 Ft.

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Pumping jobs
Typical program:
Well can be producing or shut-in
Rig up Fluid Level Instrument along with T-piece for
pumping if necessary (used for foam jobs, otherwise
fluids can be pumped down kill wing)
Shoot baseline shot (or several) before pumping in
order to get an acoustic velocity
Pump fluids
Shoot shots down tubing
Experience shows that fluids move very slow, so be
patient and plan on being there for a few hours at
least!

Example foam batch

SSSV

Shot level with no liquid in wellbore as a reference prior to


pumping foam
Easily recognizable features
Several repeats of SCSSV always seen

Sec

10

11

316.2 mV

3 X 2 7/8
crossover

Accessories
& packer

Shot several levels after batch job to follow the slug fall
Sec

10

11

316.2 mV

SSSV

WYK-4
Top of foam slug

Acoustic Response

Test Results and Comments


Due to the noise from bad weather it is difficult to spot tubing end exactly, but it
is picked from an average from all shots and set to be after 27.506 s. average
sound velocity of 380.768 m/s which is slightly slower than previous survey.
Down kick indicates an anomaly in the tubing @ 5063 m RT. Reflects most of
the energy.
Response from tubing end is echoing back and forth between the anomaly and
tubing end, which is marked with small red arrows on the trace.

Acoustic Response

1.
2.
3.

4.

Test Results and Comments


Not able to see the DHSV or any other completion parts in the wellbore.
Obstruction after 1.393 s that indicates a decrease in the well bore. A
second reflection is found after 2.236 s, only this is much more attenuated.
From the size of the reflections it can indicate that the first obstruction is
nearly plugging the tubing and that the second one is from liquid level. Both
reflections are too shallow to be from the DHSV and it is not possible to use
DHSV as a marker for calculating the sound velocity.
The sound velocity is calculated to 422.694 m/s, assuming a gas gravity 0.7
relative to air, temperature 6 deg C and pressure in the well is 165.8 bar.

Acoustic Response

1.

2.
3.

4.

Test Results and Comments


Due to the noise from bad weather it is necessary to use a noise cancelling
(low pass) filter to pick the completion details; but the accuracy will be
reduced.
Below the tubing end there is a down kick on the trace after 34.35 s, and
this will give a depth only 16 m above the top of the perforated liner.
Due to the filtered signal does not give the desired accuracy it is not
possible to determine if it is the liquid level seen at 6472 m RT, or if it is the
top of the pre-perforated liner at 6488 m RT.
There are no other responses that are possible to interpret as liquid level
below this point.

Static conditions shots


Typical program:
Tubing Tests:

Well is not in production


Rig up Acoustic Instrument and shut-in wing valve
Take some shots down tubing and see results
Assuming nothing is moving, only a few shots are required to
verify that data is consistent, then rig down

Annulus test:
Rig up Acoustic Instrument to annulus
Shoot a couple of shots and rig down

Static Fluid Level

SSSV with many Repeat Echoes

Packer / EOT seen by clear reflection


In 7 Casing 400 m below packer can see top
of open Perfs
LL Below Top of Perfs 11347 Ft

COV-28

Questions ?

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