Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Testing and Validation of High-Resolution Fluid Imaging in Real Time
P-255 FEW G306
This project was funded through DOE's Natural Gas and Oil Technology Partnership
Program. The Partnership Program establishes alliances that combine the resources
and experience of the nation's petroleum industry with the capabilities of the
national laboratories to expedite research, development, and demonstration of
advanced technologies for improved natural gas and oil recovery.
The project goal is to use seismic and electrical data from a single borehole
to image the fluid content with high resolution out and below a borehole in
real time up to 50 meters away.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Sandia National Laboratories
Initial designs and equipment tests have been concluded to combine seismic and
electrical tools in the same hole. Noise tests have been performed and target
noise levels determined.
This project will fill a gap in the overall industry subsurface imaging effort
by providing advanced technology to image fluids at expanded distances from
the wellbore. One of the primary needs that this technology will meet is in-situ
information for real-time drilling and production decisions with well-log resolution
at a distance from the borehole an order of magnitude greater than is available
today. Primary application will be in the drilling phase of development, with
cost saving provided through more efficient drilling decisions, more accurate
drillbit location, and improved reservoir recovery.
This project was spawned by the DeepLook consortium, comprising five major oil
companies and several service companies. One effort initiated by the consortium
was to use borehole seismic imaging supplemented with electromagnetic (EM) methods,
the hypothesis being that the seismic methods will provide information on the
structural and mechanical properties of the medium, and the EM measurements
will provide independent information on the fluid state from electrical conductivity.
Initial work involved setting up parameters for conducting noise tests, then
undertaking seismic and EM modeling to confirm the validity of this approach.
Work focused in two areas on the instrumentation side: 1) fabrication, testing,
and modification of the LBNL single-well system integration and 2) testing of
EM sources with the LBNL system for noise analysis.
In the first area the single-well system was upgraded with new electronics to
combine fiber optic telemetry into a more efficient and compact design as well
as provide the capability for real-time, remote access to data acquisition for
real-time processing and interpretation. An improved single-well source was
fabricated and tested that is smaller (3.5 inches vs. 4.25 inches) and higher
frequency (1 kHz), yet just as powerful. In the testing and integration of EM
components, an EM receiver and electronics package was built and successfully
integrated and tested with the LBNL single-well fiber optic system.
In 3-D and EM modeling for validation, sensitivity, and directionality, Sandia
National Labs (SNL) focused on specifics to understand reflection and diffraction
responses observed by a single-well seismic-data acquisition tool. Earth models
represent typical Gulf Coast sedimentary materials. Synthetic seismograms were
calculated with an explicit, time-domain, finite-difference algorithm appropriate
for 3-D isotropic elastic media. In the EM modeling a new approach was formulated
to solve the joint seismic/EM fluid imaging problem-basing it upon the First-Born
Approximation in a solution to those equations that encompasses the full physics
of seismic and low-frequency EM field propagation in geologic materials.
Current Status (July 2005)
The next field tests and construction of the EM tools are on hold pending further
funding and negotiations with commercial sellers of the technology. Downsizing
of seismic sources is still in progress and will enter the next phase this year.
Conceptual diagram of integrated seismic/EM, single-well system designed to
image to 50 meters from borehole.
Project Start: April 12, 2001
Project End: April 11, 2004
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $1,025,000
Performer Contribution: $3,000,000 (70% of total)
Other Government Organizations Involved: Sandia National Laboratories
NETL - Purna Halder (email@example.com or 918-699-2083)
LNBL - Ernest Majer (firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-486-6709)
SNL - David Borns (email@example.com or 505-844-7333)