Wireless connections

Deep Data in Real Time

Head out to high-cost drilling environments – think deep water, for example – and there’s one constant you can always expect to find.

You’re facing steep operation costs.

That dynamic sparked industry services company Schlumberger to come up with an innovative technology that has the potential to offer a cost-saving solution to an operator.

The technology entails acquiring and fast-forwarding crucial reservoir data to the operator, thereby enhancing the operators’ knowledge of the reservoir response for more efficient and timely decision making during reservoir testing.

The latest buzz centers on the company’s recently released Quartet downhole reservoir testing system, enabled by Muzic wireless telemetry. The system provides data in real time for validation, providing critical information needed to meet the well test objectives.

With it, operators can interact with the downhole test tools, manage reservoir events and refine well tests in real time.

Quartet uses wireless bidirectional communication to provide downhole tool status, along with pressure and temperature data. This allows test design modifications and validation of test data while reservoir testing is occurring.

The Quartet system comprises four leading downhole testing tools that deliver accurate pressure measurements and contaminant-free reservoir-representative fluid samples all in a single run, according to John Reddington, marketing and technology manager, downhole testing and tubing-conveyed perforating at Schlumberger.

Four for One

The four downhole tools making up Quartet are:

  • CERTIS – Reservoir test isolation system having a built-in floating seal assembly that eliminates the need for drill collars and slip joints.
  • IRDV – Intelligent remote dual valve is the control feature of Quartet, allowing bidirectional communication for tool command and verification. Removes the need for equipment requiring nitrogen pre-charges.
  • Signature – This measurement tool is enabled by the new Signature quartz gauges, which provide wireless readout of downhole pressure measurements in real time.
  • SCAR – SCAR inline independent reservoir fluid sampling allows independent, redundant sample capture via wireless commands.

“With offshore deepwater well testing you don’t want to rotate the string to set the packer, because you have umbilicals and control lines on the string,” Reddington said.

“The CERTIS packer system allows the packer to be set just by pressure, without rotations,” he noted. “Still, it allows the string to move due to the integrated floating seal assembly in order to compensate for expansion and contraction of the string and other issues.

“When you’re finished, you just pick the string up and pull the entire system out of the hole, leaving the well clean and as it was prior to starting the well test,” Reddington said.

Because the CERTIS isolation system eliminates the need for certain equipment, such as drill collars and slip joints, it simultaneously reduces the number of connections required.

Reddington emphasized the Signature quartz gauges are a central element in the Quartet system and also with any well test.

“All four technologies are crucial to perform the well test,” he noted. “But the reason to perform this test is to get the data from the reservoir, and all of the equipment is run to convey the gauges to get the data with respect to the reservoir.”

Considering the potential hazards to be encountered in getting a handle on accurate, timely reservoir data in challenging circumstances, even the most jaded of industry players likely will acknowledge the Wow Factor.

“In the very challenging deepwater environment, we’re now transmitting data in real time while performing the test,” Reddington enthused. “Once the data are at the surface, they can be transmitted to the client’s office anywhere in the world, so they can make decisions in real time regarding the well and the reservoir.”

Advantages of the Quartet system versus conventional strings include:

  • Bidirectional wireless communication.
  • No drill collars or slip joints.
  • Fewer seals and connections.
  • Multi-cycle flexibility.
  • Single-trip efficiency.
  • Less nitrogen.
  • Lower operating pressure.
  • Premium connections.

u Shorter string design.

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Rendering of Quartet enabled by Muzic. Graphic courtesy of Schlumberger
Rendering of Quartet enabled by Muzic. Graphic courtesy of Schlumberger

Emphasis: Downhole Geology