Downhole Monitoring – Going Where No One Has Gone Before
The First Downhole Reservoir Network
For all the innovations in well designs and smart and intelligent completions over the last decade, monitoring challenges still remain – from the difficulties in generating anything more than a snapshot of flow contributions through to accessing accurate, multi-zone information from the sandface, the physical interface between the formation and the wellbore, and the lower completion.
For too long, the lower completion has simply been considered out of bounds – too risky, too costly and too complex when it comes to online monitoring. And this despite predictions from industry analysts Technavio that the intelligent global completion market will grow by 5% a year between now and 2023.
That’s why the launch of the Intelligent Multistage Completion Network™ (IMCN) by Emerson this week is one of those rare announcements that quite literally changes the way the industry does things – creating the first downhole reservoir network that connects wireless sandface data to the upper completion.
In the words of Geir Aanensen, vice president and general manager for Emerson’s flow solutions business, the new solution will provide operators with “unrivalled insights into the reservoir’s flow characteristics, access to valuable data and the ability to optimize reservoir production management.”
How has this new breakthrough been achieved?
In short, it’s a combination of the very best in downhole and wireless innovations with Emerson – building on its years of experience in advanced permanent downhole monitoring – teaming up with Metrol, a leader in battery-powered wireless well monitoring.
It is through the Roxar Matrix Downhole Wireless Interface™ – a wireless interface that combines the cabled permanent downhole gauges in the upper completion with Metrol’s wireless sensors and controls along the reservoir sandface – that the Intelligent Multistage Completion Network™ (IMCN) is formed.
So what can operators look forward to from the Intelligent Multistage Completion Network?
They can look forward to the wireless retrieval of pressure and temperature data from reservoir sands in a pilot hole for the first time, leading to an improved understanding of reservoir connectivity and drainage.
They can enjoy a permanent gauge installation, providing life-of-well reservoir monitoring, and cost-effective, low risk access to diagnostics data from the reservoir section of a well. It will reduce the need for costly and risky production logging, wireline, coil tubing and other cable-based downhole solutions.
They can access zonal flow data measurements without having to reduce flow rates and will also have the added ability of wirelessly operating flow control valves in multiple locations in response to zonal data analysis.
And, most importantly of all, they can utilize reservoir and flow information to optimize their reservoir production operations.
Downhole monitoring, well design and completions have come a long way over the past decade. The introduction by Emerson and Metrol of online, integrated wireless-based downhole monitoring for both the upper and lower completion is an important milestone in this journey.