Statoil has joined a collaborative project formed in October 2009 by a consortium of Chevron North Sea, Silixa, University College London and Weatherford International. The goal is to develop a fiber optics-based in-well distributed acoustic flowmeter based on Silixa’s iDAS technology. The British government-funded Technology Strategy Board is investing more than £750,000 over three years toward the new total project budget of £1.8 million.
The development project encompasses field trial installations, the first of which were successfully completed with first-generation instrumentation on six Statoil offshore wells in April 2010. These six wells already contained Weatherford’s in-well optical sensing systems and include two water injectors, one gas injector, two producers with gas lift valves, and one high-rate gas oil ratio producer.
The iDAS technology allows the user to listen to the acoustic field at every point along many kilometers of fiber optics sensing cable. It uses a digital optical detection technique to precisely capture the true full acoustic spectrum at every point. It has the potential for many in-well monitoring applications, including distributed flow measurement, sand control system performance and sand detection, gas breakthrough, artificial lift optimization, intelligent completions performance, leak detection and formation subsidence.
The project will continue through the end of 2012, and further field trials are planned.