SPE 132220 A Case Study: Profiling Gas Production in the Tubing/Casing Annulus, Using Noise/Temperature Logging

Techniques
M. M. Molenaar, SPE, Shell Canada Ltd.; B. M. Cowan, SPE, Weatherford Canada Partnership; E. Fidan, SPE, Shell International Exploration & Production, Inc.; D. A. Cuthill, SPE, Weatherford Canada Partnership

Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers This paper was prepared for presentation at the CPS/SPE International Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition in China held in Beijing, China, 8–10 June 2010. This paper was selected for presentation by a CPS/SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract To reduce liquid loading on multizone unconventional gas wells, tubing can be run to a depth below the lowest perforation interval. Gas flows down the tubing/casing annulus and flows up the tubing, eliminating liquid buildup. For production surveillance, this wellbore configuration is not conducive to obtaining conventional production logs. Conventional production profiling techniques involve repositioning the tubing string or removing it altogether. If the tubing remains in place during logging, the costs associated with pulling the tubing are eliminated; production is not suspended; and the risks associated with well control are reduced. Also by not modifying the wellbore configuration, fluid velocities are not affected and the log results more closely represent the actual production profile. Ideally the well should be logged without manipulating the tubing to provide a representative production profile. Noise/temperature logging has been used for many years to assist in locating sources of fluid flow behind casing. The use of this technique to obtain a pseudo or qualitative production-flow profile in the tubing/casing annulus was explored to enable the tubing to remain in the wellbore and obtain a measurement of the flow behind pipe. In the 1970s, tests where conducted to quantify wellbore inflow using noise logs. The research was recently used to evaluate numerous wells in western Canada with favorable results. This paper discusses the logging method and presents comparisons to profiling results from conventional production-logging techniques with emphasis on the cost savings to the operator. Introduction In general, tight-gas developments require a dense spacing of wells, ranging from a few to several wells per section. On these wells, regulators often require that a production-logging survey be acquired periodically. In Canada these requirements vary from province to province. Often, in the absence of regulatory requirements, operators must determine if the relative contribution of each completion zone continues to deliver gas as originally identified in logs. These tight-gas reservoirs are usually completed over several zones in stacked-pay, and each zone has varying subsurface qualifiers. These qualifiers can include different system permeability, stress distribution, and natural fractures—all tend to increase the delivery anisotropy between zones, especially when all zones are commingled. This anisotropy in producibility can create early water loading of some zones or even complete loss of production from zones within the first 3 months of a well being placed on production. It is critical to run a periodic flow profile that assists in predicting earlier-than-expected termination of the completed net pay. If remediation is required, corrective action could include refracturing, or if the well is liquid loading, then running a plunger or foam injection could be recommended. The water flowback during production usually becomes a hindrance to effective gas lift, forcing operators to run production tubing deep immediately from the onset of the production. Deep-run tubing, which is hung past the deepest set of perforations, can help lift the liquids and delay liquid loading in wellbore. Gas inflow is directed downward within the tubing/casing annulus, thereby lifting the liquid buildup from the wellbore as the gas is produced up the tubing. Normally monitoring is performed using downhole production-logging tools (PLT) to provide a production profile across the perforated intervals. These tools must be exposed to the wellbore and be run within the flowstream to measure fluid flow rates,

5 hr after shut-in. and as a result. Well Preparation. In some instances a plug was set in the bottom of the tubing to allow liquid to be placed in the tubing to assess the effects of better sonic and thermal coupling between the logging tools and the noise source. The noise created by gas and liquid flow is recorded along all the perforating intervals outside of production tubing while the log is acquired from inside the tubing. as shown in Fig. temperature. stabilized flow may not be obtained at the time of logging the well.and temperature-logging tools have been used for many years to identify flow behind casing within cement channels and for surface vent-source location. the noise log is very effective for gas detection as the gas flows up through liquid. Noise logging is used primarily for detecting channels in the cement sheath for gas influx. Logging Approach The main purpose of using a noise/temperature-logging technique was the capability to log the well without substantial modification of the wellbore from the normal production configuration. Gas flow is diverted into the annulus. Noise Logging A noise log is a record of the sounds measured at different positions in the borehole. 1. 2. 1955). In a wellbore environment. In 1973. The detector generates a voltage that is transmitted up the wireline conductor to a surface panel. the logging tool string is run downward to the bottom of the tubing. Also to reposition the tubing. Noise. 3.000 Hz. The gas flow is diverted through a valve assembly connected to the annulus. Repositioning the tubing presents numerous challenges. Logging procedure. However only after many laboratory studies where completed in the early 1970s did the tool begin to have wider usage. possible loss of well control as the tubing is manipulated. However because the tools were to be run within the tubing. Because fluid turbulence generates sound. as shown in Fig. and perforations.2 SPE 132220 pressure. It is the sounds of this turbulence that can be used to detect flow. crystal. up and out to surface facilities while logging. favorable comparisons are observed. If wells have deeply run tubing. and locate gas-liquid interfaces (Hill.5 m across the perforations and at 5 m station stops between zones. including channeling behind pipe (assuming that there is adequate turbulence in any given situation to produce enough noise). The sounds of moving fluids or the hiss of escaping gas are caused by disturbances in a liquid/gas interface or by turbulence in the fluid stream. . The well production was allowed to stabilize while running the tools into the well. McKinley et al (1973) outlined the utility of the noise log for both qualitative and quantitative applications. Stationary measurements are preferred to avoid noise generated because of tool movement against the casing and also resulting from the wireline motion through the surface-hanging equipment. sound detector is used. channels. Noise logging uses a sensitive microphone to record the sounds/noises attributable to pressure drops as fluids move through spaces behind the casing. high-noise amplitudes indicate locations of greater turbulence. Noise/temperature logging was performed on a number of tight-gas wells with deep-run tubing to investigate the applicability of the technique for production logging. The noise amplitude spectrum is filtered through many high-pass filters that present the noise amplitudes above 200. including the costs associated with moving the tubing string. 1. identify open perforations. but it is also effective for the detection of various kinds of gas. 1990). These different frequency ranges can be tied to different noise sources or could be an indicator of the fluid-flow regimes.000. Logging Tool String. The noise tool was first introduced in 1955 (Enright.5 and 2. it was thought that the technique could be applicable for production surveillance for deep-run tubing wellbores. 2. detect sand production. the level was maintained above the top-most perforated interval. at the same time recording a flowing temperature survey. traditional production logging can only be accomplished by pulling the tubing to a depth that is at least above the top perforated interval. The noise tool is pulled upwards taking stationary readings every 2 to 2. A through-tubing collar locator and gamma ray tool is also run to enable depth correlation. The well is subsequently shut-in. as indicated in Fig. 4. and at the time of logging the well not being produced under the normal producing conditions. water. With the well flowing up the annulus. 600. the well must be shut in. or oil single-phase flow. such as leaks. and when the noise/temperature and PLT where run. Frequently the noise tool is paired with a temperature tool to provide auxiliary and complimentary data and to assist with the interpretation. A preferred method would enable production logging without manipulation of the tubing. it was necessary to divert production up the tubing-casing annulus to eliminate the noise effect of production fluid movements across the tool housing. Case studies are presented that demonstrate this new technique. Typically a piezoelectric.000. and density. The noise log is a presentation of a series of stationary readings plotted against depth. and additional noise/temperature surveys are run at approximately 1. The noise-logging tool is simply a sensitive microphone and amplifier that is used to detect the sounds produced by fluids either entering the wellbore or flowing behind pipe.000. It has also been used to measure flow rates. and 6. Flow is directed into a flowline or a surface-testing unit to permit monitoring of the surface-flowing conditions during logging. Because the normal application of noise/temperature logging is to identify flow behind pipe. When liquid was added.

The noise log is then visually analyzed for indications of fluid entries across perforated intervals that had not been identified as productive with the temperature log. as a result several assumptions where made to account for technological tool improvements:  Tool gain factor. The interpretive technique for a deep-run tubing application relies on the following assumptions:  The fluid phase behind the casing is constant. These areas would indicate cooling behind the tubing as the gas exits the perforations and expands into the tubing/casing annulus. mV line correction factor tool gain factor meter factor geometry factor Several of the corrections noted in Eq. mV If the pressure drop is assumed constant. * Q  5  N1000  6   (2) To use the methods developed by McKinley et al (1973). the noise-tool readings must be calibrated to a standard EPRC sonde by applying various corrections to the noise amplitude: * N1000  N1000  FL  FT  FM  FG (3) Where: N*1000 N1000 FL FT FM FG = = = = = = normalized noise amplitude. Once all potential productive perforations have been identified. ft3/D (downhole conditions) normalized peak-peak noise amplitude (> 1000 Hz). then the pressure drop can be ignored as inflow is calculated on a percentage basis. 3 are based on outdated analog measurements. FG = 10 (fluid-filled tubing) .SPE 132220 3 Analysis method The analysis method uses equations originally developed by McKinley et al (1973).000-Hz noise curve is averaged across each interval. The relationships were derived for calculating a flow rate within a channel that essentially describes the wellbore configuration for deep-run tubing with flow diverted up the annulus. FT = 10 (tool gain was 100) = 1 (line variations not a factor)  Line factor. FL = 1 (digital meter was used)  Meter factor. mV recorded noise level. FM  Geometry factor. psi flowrate. Based on research conducted by McKinley et al (1973). FG = 30 (gas in both tubing and annulus).  Noise-tool. correction factors are assumed to be constant (correction factors for line type and length are not used). the single-phase gas rate at the entry points can be determined: * 5  N1000  6 Q P   (1) Where: ΔP Q N*1000 = = = pressure drop.  The fluid in the tubing is constant and homogeneous. the amplitude of the 1. The analysis consists of first identifying cooling areas on the producing temperature log.  The pressure drop for all the entries is constant.

as indicated in Fig. and a noise/temperature log was run. The noise-log response suggested that single-phase flow (gas) was present. The noise profile assigns more flow to Zone C (3800 to 3950 m) than to Zone A (3500 to 3700 m) and also measures a higher contribution from Zones E–G (4000 to 4200 m). The noise survey shows that the reduced annular flow area. most commonly with water-based fracturing fluids. Because of the generally tight nature of these reservoirs. The noise log appears to show minor gas entry locations more clearly than the PLT-generated profile. vertical wells in the Western Canadian Basin. 7b also shows that the PLT spinner over Zone B suffers from the slug-flow response. the PLT-spinner.and temperature-log responses. The profile for the relative percentage inflow for each perforated interval is presented in Fig. Both the noise and PLT survey profiles identified the same zones and intervals to be the major producers. although usually at very low rates. A flow profile was developed from the PLT data and used as the baseline for future production surveillance activities. resulting from the installation of the velocity string. the flow profile using the noise amplitude of the 1. The last field trial was an experiment with the tubing-gas filled. the well was conditioned to a flow rate similar to what had been maintained during the PLT survey. 6. Results. Several field trials were conducted to prove the technology and to establish the application range as a potential pseudo-PLT. as shown in Fig. Initially the trials were run in a fluid-filled tubing to achieve maximum coupling.000-Hz curve (as described by the analysis method). and this could account for the difference in the interpreted inflow profiles. Based on the values of the noise generated from perforation inflow into the casing. formation water production is common.4 SPE 132220 The percentage inflow per interval is then calculated by dividing the interval 1000-Hz averaged amplitude by the cumulative effective interval total: Qi (%)  Qi Q i 1 i z (4) i Where: Qi(%) Qi z = = = percentage inflow for interval i normalized “flowrate” for interval i total number of intervals Case Studies The application of this interpretive technique for noise and temperature measurements was investigated as a cost-effective surveillance method for tight-gas wells to measure the well inflow profiles without moving the tubing. To improve the lift of fluids and mitigate liquid loading a tubing or velocity string is installed. The well was flowed up the casing with tubing filled with liquid and shut in throughout the survey. Well 1. The well was completed with seven perforated zones and six hydraulic fracturing stages. .5 to 1 m interval lengths. Fig. tubing is run to mitigate liquid loading. In some wells there may be 20 individual perforated intervals. Upon closer examination. the completions fluid cleanup takes long periods of time. even after a well is put on production. In addition. After the well was on production for approximately 1 month. Temperature surveys were also run down under flowing and shut-in conditions. 4. As a result. In general the vertical wells are completed with a cemented production casing and multiple intervals are perforated in each well. The tight-gas wells are then fracture-stimulated. results in better lifting of the well fluids (and also potentially less slugging). a PLT survey (pressure/temperature/fluid-density/spinner-flowmeter) was run inside the 114. 3. The earlier run PLT survey permitted a direct comparison to the noise/temperature-derived production profile. the interpretation of the PLT data is more subjective. In multi-stacked. normally with 0. 5. usually past the deepest set of perforations. which opens up the bottom zones to more flow.3 mm casing before the 60.3 mm velocity string was installed. The hydraulic fracture flowback stage is usually performed quickly (from immediate flowback to flowing back several zones in 2 to 3 days) to ensure that the completions fluid is recovered efficiently. 7a. flowmeter survey indicates a strong slug-flow response in the area of Zone A. as indicated in Fig. Stationary noise readings were obtained at specified intervals under both flowing and shut-in conditions. Well Configuration. as shown in Table 1. slickwater and crosslinked gel stages are combined for optimization of fracture conductivity. as indicated in Fig. After the hydraulic fracture flowback of the well. In some hybrid applications. either by large volumes of “slickwater fracturing technology” or smaller volumes of crosslinked fracturing fluids to place higher concentrations of proppant. The noise profile was found to be comparable to the PLT results.

or gas-filled. Special thanks to B. completion team. an effective gas lift that is continuously supported while logging because the tubing remains in place. For wells that have been on production for some time. To demonstrate the operating range of the tool and to understand the extent of the loss in sensitivity. it is not advantageous to introduce additional liquid to the wellbore. The results of the noise/temperature logging and the inflow profile interpretations are shown in Fig. The results of the trial demonstrate that wells can be logged dry. The noise log that was run under dry conditions was comparable to the log run under wet conditions—similar zones are noted to be effective regardless of well conditions (wet or dry) under which the measurement is acquired (Table 2). as part of the ongoing technology development and deployment. in a liquid-filled tubing after a plug had been installed in the tubing bottom. However the results do not appear to be as definitive as with a wet-tubing string. As a result. Woodford and the members of the Weatherford crew for their efforts in acquiring the data used for this study. . In the application of the noise-logging tool for surveillance. The authors wish to thank J.SPE 132220 5 Well 2. guidance. the energy (reservoir pressure) required to clean up produced liquids from the wellbore lessens. Huber for his advice.  The noise/temperature string has no moving parts to fail. for graciously allowing publication of this paper. References Enright.  The less complex tool string results in lower logging costs. This well was used to determine the operational requirements for noise logging in a “dry” (gas-filled) tubing versus a “wet” (liquid-filled) tubing. However. or methanol be substituted for water as the tubing-fluid? Acknowledgements The field trials were initiated by the Shell Unconventional Gas Centre of Excellence (UG CoE) in Canada. it is important to understand that the main objective is to capture the changes in the inflow distribution over the producing length of the well over time.J. and surveillance team for their contributions to the project. As a result this well provided a challenge for the noise survey even under optimum “wet” logging conditions. R. and directly thereafter. Also there could be instances where there is a reason not to expose the formation and the hydraulic fracture to new fluids that could negatively impact the deliverability of the well. and producing zones can be identified. The authors would also like to thank Shell Canada Ltd.  Can a noise profile be obtained while flowing the well up the tubing?  Does the profile change if the flow is directed up the tubing?  Is the profile more or less accurate than that obtained using a spinner in a slug flow regime?  Can liquid carbon dioxide. Oil & Gas J.  No need to pull tubing to log which eliminates the need for snubbing. The well was representative of a well that has been on production for some time . Conclusions The noise/temperature method of profiling production was shown to be a cost-effective option for production logging in tight-gas wells with deep-run tubing. The well was completed with five perforated zones and five hydraulic-fracturing stages. a gas-filled tubing reduces the coupling between the noise/temperature tool and the tubingcasing annulus.  A representative flow profile can be obtained as compared to PLT. the capability to correlate to previously obtained through-casing PLT to provide surveillance of lift efficiency.  Pressure-control requirements are minimal in situations where the tubing is plugged before logging. a field trial was conducted. The cost effectiveness is realized through minimal downtime for the logging operation (no deferred production). Benefits. (28 February 1955) 78–79. The noise/temperature tools were logged in a gas-filled tubing. Future considerations. and no costly hoist and/or service rig is required. Sleuth for Down-Hole Leaks. The authors extend their thanks to the members of the Deep Basin venture team.the flow rate of this well was considerably less than Well 1 and was very close to liquid-loading conditions. study team. Oz and D. Results. to support the onshore North America gas ventures. whether the tubing is liquid. Thank you also to P. 8. and contributions in developing and refining the methodology used in this study. Miller for supporting this study. nitrogen. 1955. It has been demonstrated that qualitative inflow profiles can be obtained directly after installation of the tubing.

1973. R.6 SPE 132220 Hill. SPE. In Cased Hole and Production Log Evaluation..D. 1991..C. Texas 10: 112-121. Flexhaug. McKinley. . Oral presentation given at the CIM/AOSTRA 1991. 255-268. G. Monograph Series. Tulsa. F. 14. 1996.. L. 1990. C. The Structure and Interpretation of Noise from Flow Behind Cemented Casing. Canada. JPT. Fluid Movement: Noise Logging. Richardson. 21–24 April. Smolen. (March 1973) 329–338. P. Coiled Tubing/Production Logging in Highly Deviated and Horizontal Wellbores.M. Chap. R. Banff..M. Production Logging – Theoretical and Interpretive Elements. Huber.. J. Oklahoma: PennWell Publishing Company. and Baker. A. Bower. and Rumble. Lohuls.

SPE 132220 7 Fig. 1: Example of a noise/temperature survey for channel detection. .

. 2: Schematic of common wellbore configuration. Fig.8 SPE 132220 Fig. 3: Noise/temperature tool string configuration.

4: PLT survey acquired before installation of the velocity string on Well 1.SPE 132220 9 Fig. .

. 5: Production profile generated from noise/temperature data for Well 1.10 SPE 132220 Fig.

Flowing temperature surveys show good agreement indicating well was producing under similar conditions. . 6: Overlay of production profiles generated from the PLT and noise/temperature.SPE 132220 11 Fig.

Zone A. Fig. 7b: Illustration of the slug-flow response and poor repeatability on the spinner-flowmeter survey from the PLT log for Well 1.12 SPE 132220 Fig. Zone B. 7a: Illustration of the slug-flow response and poor repeatability on the spinner-flowmeter survey from the PLT log for Well 1. .

. 8: Production profiles generated for Well 2 show relatively good agreement between the profiles developed from "wet" and "dry" logging conditions.SPE 132220 13 Fig.

2 0.3 4082.3 4039.0 0.4087.4011.6 4055.8%) versus PLT (34.4030.0 0.Noise 0.3 Zone D 4010.3 3512.9 1.0 .14 SPE 132220 TABLE 1–SUMMARY OF NOISE AND PLT PROFILES FOR EXAMPLE WELL 1 Formation Zone A Perforation Interval (m) 3482.3 4094.0 0.5 4034.0 4029.3497.0 4077.0 0.0 0.0 .0 0.0 0.0 0.3897.0 0.0 0.2%) versus PLT (2.0 -4240.1 0.0 .5 4049.0 .3 Zone B 3624.0 4084.2 0.0 .9 4.0 .0 .0 .3 %) total production Noise (16.0 .4115.0 .4069.4072.0 8.5 0.0 0.7 1.3893.0 .8 3893.3 %) versus PLT (51.4034.6 4086.4 0.7 5.0 .7 0.3 Zone E 4068.0 0.4 0.4055.3 3679.0 .0 1.0 20.3 %) versus PLT (1.5 %) Noise (64.0 2.0 0.3 4276.0 Qg (%) .4276.5 .4267.3 1.0 0.4191.0 .0 13.0 4092.1 0.0 .0 .3 3671.3%) from this interval No indications of inflow from the Zone E Ineffective perforations Noise (9.3864.0 6.4 11.4085.0 4176.0 0.3504.3509.4096.2 0.0 2.4040.0 0.3629.3679.0 0.0 .0 0.6 0.3 4240.4 4.3 3897.3 3504.0 32.7 0.0 0.4195.3 4195.0 0.0 1.4 0.3 4191.0 .7 5.4240.0 .3 3509.6 Zone C 3855.3 3864.5 0.4086.0 .4176.7 0.0 .3671.0 .0 .0 31.0 0.4083.0 3.3 4075.7 0.0 0.0 .0 0.3 3497.5 4072.0 4085.0 2.3868.0 31.0 .0 0.5 3.3 4267.0 .0 .5 .1 Qg (%) .0 0.0 0.0 .0 0.4092.0 .PLT 0.3 3629.0 Minor inflow noted on noise log Noise (4.5 0.4076.3855.0 0.0 .0 0.0 .0 0.5 .3 3868.0 .5 .0 .3 4240.0 0.3512.0 0.9%) Comments 6% total flow difference between surveys .4077.4049.3482.0 Zone F Zone G 4113.0 0.3624.

3 N/A Qg (%) .0 N/A .0 0.0 – 3572.0 – 3723.8 4.0 0.0 0.SPE 132220 15 TABLE 2–SUMMARY OF WET AND DRY PROFILES FOR EXAMPLE WELL 2 Formation Zone A Perforation Interval (m) 3300.0 0.0 0.0 – 3832.Wet 0.6 Qg (%) .9 Zone B 3560.0 – 3560.0 0.4 3832.0 16.0 – 3803.5 8.5 4.0 0.0 – 3415.2 27.0 – 2422.0 – 3605.6 3415.5 – 3711.1 0.6 3616.6 17.2 3822.0 0.3 8.0 0.6 4103.3 24.0 0.0 – 4079.0 0.4 3676.0 – 3388.6 3572.5 – 3658.0 0.0 0.6 Zone D 3802.2 21.0 6.0 3.0 0.0 – 3680.2 0.0 – 3676.0 – 3616.1 3723.9 4097.9 8.3 3631.0 – 4086.1 4086.3 3710.Dry 0.6 Zone E 4075.0 5.0 – 3631.6 3388.5 – 3823.0 0.8 3.6 Zone C 3657.8 18.0 0.0 5.0 6.5 – 4076.0 – 3300.0 0.7 12.3 3680.0 0.0 – 4103.6 3422.6 3605.

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