Schlumberger Launches New Fluid Sampling Technology

Schlumberger announced the commercial availability of its new Quicksilver Probe* wireline sampling technology. This technology brings near contamination-free samples of formation fluids in a fraction of the time it takes with conventional sampling techniques.

"A new generation of sampling technology has been launched that will change the future of downhole sampling," said Kare Otto Eriksen, special advisor on formation sampling, Statoil. "Close to zero contamination sampling is not only important for general fluid analysis, it is also a significant step toward achieving the goal of doing high-quality downhole fluid measurements without being affected by mud filtrate contamination."

Based on a unique focused sampling method, in which two distinct flows are achieved and maintained, it is now possible to achieve zero filtrate contamination. Quicksilver Probe sampling makes downhole fluid analysis possible in hydrocarbon types, ranging from condensate to heavy oil, even in oil-base mud, and sets new standards in purity and sampling speed.

"This is the first time in sampling history it has been possible to collect formation fluid samples downhole that have the purity required for PVT analysis in situ or subsequently on surface," said Charles Woodburn, president, Wireline, Schlumberger. "Faster, more representative sampling cuts costs while delivering our customers more accurate reservoir information for optimizing completion, production and in exploration phases, possible topsides design."

Quicksilver Probe uses an uncomplicated focused sampling approach whereby pure reservoir fluid enters the center of the probe and separates from contaminated fluid entering the probe's annular perimeter. Contaminated fluid is pumped into one flowline, completely isolated from pure reservoir fluid collected in a second sampling flowline.

Quicksilver Probe has been successfully field tested in locations worldwide including the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, Nigeria and India. In a recent sampling operation on the Norwegian Continental Shelf a low-contamination water sample was needed. While attempting to accomplish the job with conventional sampling, a contamination level of 8% was obtained after pumping for two hours on one station. A Quicksilver Probe focused sampling operation was performed at the same depth, achieving 0.00% contamination after pumping fluid for the same period of time.