Weatherford's Achieves Several Milestones with Downhole Gauge

Weatherford International has achieved several major milestones within its optical sensing solutions product line.

The Company's optical sensors have now surpassed the one-million mark for cumulative hours of run time. In addition, over one million feet of installed optical cable now support pressure/temperature, single and multiphase flowmeter, distributed temperature system (DTS), and seismic (Clarion) sensors.

This milestone is further augmented by a record 100 optical pressure/temperature sensors installed in over 90 wells, further demonstrating the acceptance of optical technology for use in permanent downhole applications.

The system's acceptance is due to the reliability of the fiber and cane technology, which is used in the sensors. The system also has the ability to integrate different types of in-well production measurements, including distributed temperature sensing and multi-phase flow measurements.

The unique all-glass sensor consists of a single component, which eliminates the typical failure mechanisms present in other sensing technologies. This makes the sensors particularly useful in high-rate gas wells, where they can operate reliably in the high vibration environment typically found in these applications. Additionally, this design enables life- of-the-well sensing in high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) applications.

Multi-zone completions, which incorporate multiple sensors, also benefit from optical sensing technology. These applications require a minimal footprint downhole that optical sensors can provide, since they can all be installed on a single cable.

Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President for the Company's Production Optimization group, said, "Weatherford has taken the lead in providing optical gauge technology to the production sector of the oil and gas industry. This capability provides the reservoir and production engineer with a reliable, stable, high quality data stream throughout the life of the well. By providing reliability and durability in a variety of applications, we have enabled producers to more accurately measure and understand what is happening downhole."

Worldwide, more operators are recognizing the productivity improvements and cost reductions that downhole optical gauges can offer. Operators are using optical sensing to simultaneously measure flow rates and reservoir pressures on a continuous basis from multiple zones, monitor subsea riser temperatures to prevent build up of paraffins, image reservoir near the well bore with in-well seismic, and other diagnostic applications.